"I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'Son, let this woman be a bride to you in the restoration of my people. Let her be a mother for these people, regenerating souls through the salvation of spirit and water.'" (Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Black Lives are Sacred Day 4: Sr. Thea Bowman, FSPA

On the feast of Francis of Assisi, what better focus than the amazing African American Franciscan sister, scholar, preacher, and singer Thea Bowman? Above is Brother Mickey McGrath's powerful icon of St. Francis and Sr. Thea (purchase).

Here is a bit of the college chapel liturgical celebration where the icon was blessed and dedicated.

Here are her powerful words to the mostly white Roman Catholic bishops. https://www.fspa.org/content/about/sister-thea-bowman/thea-bowman-day-march-2015

Stories of Sr Thea from her community

Edited to add:

Please visit this powerful piece on Francis and racism by Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney,

For Iron Age women and men these sea monsters were terrifying. Their genus would include human-eating sharks, whales, and any fish big enough to overturn a boat and drown a person. The psalmist’s insistence that the tanninim are part of God’s chorus of praise is a claim that Francis would recognize. Francis and our psalmist saw the handiwork of God in faces that others called monstrous.

We live in a time were some folk look into human faces and do not see the image of God. The white supremacist values that form the foundation for our American culture and pervade it say that black folk are monsters to be shot on sight. The policies of the Governor of Texas say that refugees are not members of the human family who merit Christian—or even human—compassion and hospitality.

The demonization of Muslims and Mexicans is a denigration of their humanity. The entire conversation about undocumented immigrants is about brown Spanish-speaking immigrants from beyond our southern border for whom Mexican is a codeword. No one is concerned about Canadians and Germans who overstay or work without valid documentation. Others look at the marriages, partnerships and unions of lesbian and gay couples and those where one partner is trans and fail to see the love of God and instead see something monstrous.

The word monster encodes our fear. It says nothing about God’s vision for her own creation.

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