The Church in Darkness and in Light

Updated: Mar 10

-submitted by Mary Anne Schaenzer, SSND


As I read through my notes, I may have to refer to them in the words of our theme for the year: Gathering the Fragments: Embracing Light and Darkness.


Fr. Steve did a marvelous job of addressing an aspect of this EMBRACE


I share these fragments (as I wrote them).


Spoke of the word CRISIS which from the Greek means OPPORTUNITY. We stand in the middle and that can be a gift. Conflict reveals what is important, opens doors, tells us about ourselves and about Jesus of Nazareth.


Karl Jung – You don’t have enough life under the age of 50 yrs. One needs to live long enough to experience the collapse. The temptation is to run from it. The answer: Stand quietly in the middle. Patiently wait for something to appear – opens something new.


The Crisis in the Church is about Victimization.


Image of the Crucified Lord – Dead and Risen Lamb of God – Forever slain Jesus is recognized by the signs of his passion.


Jesus – giving back: He stands at the dead and risen life.


Preface for Easter: He is the Lamb who lives forever slain. The slaughtered one. Resurrection did not take away his death (I take that to mean, the fact that he died.) Jesus is the Victim. Our Lord and Savior is the Risen Victim.

In Matthew 25 – Where are you going to find me? When I was a victim – you saw me and took care of me.


Beatitudes are Victim Statements. Jesus stands with the poor. In light of today’s crisis, he stands with the victim.


In the Eucharist – establish unity without making someone the victim.


Jesus does not allow for making some victims.


Where do we find light?


Catholic Writers

1. Flannery O’Connor: WISE BLOOD Sometimes in the face of the darkness there is a temptation to give up.

2. “The Hound of Heaven” by Francis Thompson: God won’t let you give up!

3. Writings of Dorothy Day Get into the center of the collapse and wait for something to reveal itself. The one who believes preserves eternal youth. It is no easy task to stand in the midst of the mess.

4. Mass – Eucharist Idealism: The person who gets to work from darkness to life. We need to be encouraged to dream. We need to be with others who encourage us.

5. Georges Bernanos (wrote Diary of a Country Priest) Saints were obedient but not docile.

Dorothy Day’s ways were wide and vibrant.

6. John XXIII stood in the Darkness and saw the Light. He had hope and confidence. Wrote Pacem in Terris [April 11, 1963]. (six weeks before he died) He saw hope.

7. Women are a great sign of hope. Arts change people’s souls.

8. New social and political life – able to dream

9. Flannery O’Connor: a. the Fall, the sin

b. Redemptions leads to healing.

c. Judgment leads to understanding what this is about.


The end of the beginning – then you can see new life.


Reading: Authors my (Fr. Steve’s) age or what I’ve read before


Spoke a little about the book Mr Blue by Myles Connolly. [published in 1928] a story about the incarnation a story about a poor man who brings joy Darkness to light – part of the Gospel. God brings light out of the darkness. Dream what ought to be, ought to happen. Talk to people about that. Dreaming happens in community We can put our oar in the water.

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