Welcome to the Hearth

Welcome to the Hearth

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Hunger of Eve all over again...


It seems that church-going or attending some kind of sacred observance is consistenly low in the U.S. I find that many of my closest friends no longer find going to church, (even though it may be considered mandatory to be a member of some denominations,)life giving or helpful. Does this mean people are less spiritual,less connected with a Higher Power? My take on it is that we have grown in our understanding of God and the church practices have not caught up with our longings, so people have pretty much struck out on a personal journey to find ways to celebrate the Sacred in their lives. An awesome peek into how this may be playing out for some is one woman I know who keeps the zenamusings blog. She first started sharing My Sacred Life: an entry a day for a whole month, and now shares My Sacred Sunday. A long list of women and some men who read her blog have jumped on board to do the same thing on their blogs.

What strikes me about all this is what a leavening force this is in our world. As usual, it is women, always so intimately involved with bread and the making of bread, whose lives are a leavening agent in our world. The world over, woman have been concerned with the task of feeding their families. So, finding ways to feed our spiritual hunger is like a revisiting of the hunger of Eve all over again...We hunger for true spiritual food and go out looking for it, or more accurately, we begin to create it for ourselves.

What feeds you spiritually now a days?What is Sacred for you? For me, I've taken a whole new look at food preparation as a sacred act. It is a priestess kind of thing. This is not really a new thing, women have been priestesses around the food preparation thing since the time of the Goddess. Has anyone out there ever noticed how much kneading bread feels similar to how breasts feel? It is probably not a coincidence that a loaf of bread and breasts not only resemble one another, but they are really for the same purpose: A source of sustenance and nurture. Food, and bread in particular as a source of Divine gift, blessing and sustenance is a well known symbol in some mainstream religious rituals. Somehow, the way it is played out is just so stale and lifeless.Exploring the Sacred together would be a great adventure. What is your "church" these days? Inquiring minds want to know.....

11 comments:

The Dream said...

Sister Kathryn-
I am a wayward Catholic, meaning that I do not attend Mass on a regular basis. When I do, I am consistently grateful that I made the effort to get there. The pastor is AWESOME - there are times, more often than not, when I feel as though no one else is in the church and he is speaking directly to me. Is this because I am more open to HEARING the message?
I feel torn about the church - even though I have Faith in The Trinity and The Blessed Mother, and LOVE High Mass ("The bells and smells" termed by a friend), I find that I can not accept ALL of what the church lays down. As a remarried woman, with absolutely no intention of getting an annulment, I still take communion. As a priest friend of mine said several years ago: "receiving the Eucharist is not a prize for perfect living, it is to help us on our journey."
Aside from that, as a member of AA, I have grabbed onto Step 11 on a daily basis. P & M are the vehicle by which I stay connected.
Peace.

Dandelion seeds said...

I found your site through zenamusings and am so touched. I was raised catholic and found the teachings and environment to be large patriarichal, restrictive and judgemental. To 'hear' a catholic nun 'speak' as you do-to mention goddess without mentioning devil, to speak of the sacredness of women is quite honestly to me a little earth tilting. Thank you-you have no idea how wonderful it is to me to find this blog.

storyteller said...

My birth heritage is Dutch Reformed and very conservative. I joined the Methodist church in my teens and still feel like I've come home whenever I visit churches of that denomination. After losing both my parents and my marriage by the age of 44, I wandered into a local Church of Christ where few knew who I was and the music felt healing. I even joined for a time and served on their School Board, but couldn't get behind the socially conservative positions they pushed and eventually stopped attending. I've been a student of A COURSE IN MIRACLES for decades and pursue an electric spiritual path these days. I've joined Carla's Sacred Life Project and created a separate Blog to leave these daily pieces. Many of my friends refer to themselves as "lapsed" or "recovering" Catholics, but we talk often of seeing the spiritual in everyday life. I feel blessed to have found this sacred space.

Kikipotamus said...

Food preparation is most definitely a sacred act for me. Tomorrow is my day to prepare supper for the family I live with. I am thankful for each opportunity to show them love through the meal I prepare.

Doe Grozs Art said...

I love the "community" of church, but found I was leaving there feeling guilty, rather than more uplifted. My "church" today is my whole entire life -living everyday as sacred, not just Sunday. I probably feel the Divine mostly when I am in nature, doing yoga and meditation and most assuredly in children. Breaking bread with whomever I share a meal with should be thought of as a gift from God, that would surely increase the energy and life force of the food we eat. This is where I am focusing on now. Preparing our food with love, eating with gratefulness. Thank you so much for this post (and thanks to Zenamusings for the lead here)
Doreen

Deborah said...

I have been my own church for a long time now. Sometimes it gets lonely but then I remember that I most easily experience "God" as the interaction with others and I seek out the company of like-minded (-hearted) people...like everyone from the My Sacred Life projects.

lucy said...

oh what a journey this life is. i grew up in the methodist church of the south and then ironically found myself in increasingly more conservative church environments once i landed in the pacific northwest. i always felt in my heart that something was amiss with the dogmatic and patriarchal teachings that surrounded me, but there is also something comforting to me about the ritual and community.

only in the last year have i broken away from my traditional church, but preceding that time and definitely carrying into the now, i find myself increasingly drawn to God through contemplation and meditation that manifests itself in writings. nature is also i place i feel truly connected as well as with music and poetry.

i am continually blessed and surprised, however, by the number of like-minded seekers and individuals (lots of "rebellious catholics")that i meet through this crazy world of blogging. it is a truly magical community.

it is a blessing to read your words and those of the other commenters here. thank you.

peace.

sharryb said...

I just finished reading The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd. Finding our deep feminine spirituality can be a huge journey and needs all kinds of support and guides. I can see Hearthtalks will be one of these for me.

Blessings,
Sharry

miss*R said...

I was born into a Anglican family in Australia, and we had a minister who was about 100 then... he stood up at the pulpit, shaking his fist and telling us we would all go to hell... fear God he said.. and I did.. Then throughout my life, I searched for an answer to a longing.. when I was 30, I converted to Catholicism.. a wonderful priest took me under his wing and became my mentor.. then he retired and moved.. a new priest.. and back to hell fire and brimstone but this time on top of it was the guilt .. so I left the church.. left christianity and became my own little mentor and I search for something that is missing in my life.. I need to find a loving God and I need to learn to live my SELF...
I love this blog, each post touches a cord in me... and I am sorry for the length of this comment.. I just wanted to share :)

A bird in the hand said...

My journey: Catholic, lapsed Catholic, Nothing, Cafeteria Catholic, Nothing... and finally... realizing that just because many call themselves Christians but don't follow the teaching of Christ (quite the opposite), it didn't mean the word "Christian" was bad; just because people commit atrocities in the name of God, it doesn't mean God is bad. God doesn't do any of these things: people do.

So I guess I'm kind of a cafeteria Catholic, but my religion is in my heart.

AnnieElf said...

I am a cradle Catholic and though absent for many years was blessed with the grace of a successful return in 1986. But what a return and oh how things had changed. I remember when the priest first turned around and spoke in English, we are all a little stunned even though we had been warned that it was coming. Forth-five (ish) years ago, the Mass did not feel so different except for language and direction but as time as gone by I feel we have lost an essential unity of our Catholic Faith and the symbols of our Faith, on the altar, are disappearing to the point that I react to the Mass as "Mass Lite".

As my personal spiritual journey has progressed over the last couple of decades, I've come to realize that for me the best way of going forward is to step into the past. Because of that, I attend a Latin Mass weekly and find the quiet and sense of reverence and attention to devotion that I find missing elsewhere these days. My husband has joined me again in church and we are both happier for it.

And since starting to blog 20 months ago, I've been countless extraordinary women who have been on a similar journey. We may not all be ending up in the same place but we have the quest in common and it binds us tightly in a spirit of oneness.