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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

960: I’m reminded of your authentic faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois

Day 960: Tuesday, November 1, 2022

I’m reminded of your authentic faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice

Voices of Our Female Ancestors

Author and podcaster Kat Armas shares how honoring the voices of our female ancestors enriches our faith. She calls it “abuelita theology”:

Scripture testifies to the power and influence of grandmothers among the people of God. For years I overlooked this detail because I hadn’t been trained to recognize the importance or value of women in the Bible. . . .

I overlooked the introduction to Paul’s second letter to Timothy until one day it caught my attention, affirming my curiosity and conviction of the importance of both abuelitas and the faith of my ancestors. In this short passage, Paul says: “I’m grateful to God, whom I serve with a good conscience, as my ancestors did. I constantly remember you in my prayers day and night. When I remember your tears, I as my ancestors did long to see you so that I can be filled with happiness. I’m reminded of your authentic faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. I’m sure that this faith is also inside you” (2 Timothy 1:3–5, emphasis mine).

Here Paul names the power and importance of abuelita theology.

By acknowledging Timothy’s faith (a faith birthed from his abuelita and his mamá), Paul honors [and] . . . acknowledges that their faith is a communal faith that takes seriously the impact of . . . the women who formed and shaped him. . . . I often wonder what Abuela Lois and Mama Eunice’s faith looked like. How did they live it out? Were they dedicated to serving the community like Tabitha? Were they leading house churches like Lydia did or instructing leaders like Priscilla did?

Armas recounts losing sight of Christianity’s communal nature, and how the communion of saints inspires her:

I internalized the hyperindividualistic view of faith and salvation. . . . I bought into the idea that my spirituality is private, that my spiritual growth has absolutely nothing to do with my community, my ancestors—the cloud of witnesses, those I knew directly and indirectly—as well as the countless number of people who have influenced me or even those I myself have influenced. . . .

The communion of saints has enriched my theological imagination, particularly when it comes to my ancestors and las madres of the faith, the women throughout history who have gone before us paving the way, building their own tables, and offering a perspective of the divine, without which our faith would be lacking. . . .

My hope is that those without power or privilege in society, many of whom hold our families together, would be highly honored by all. . . . My desire is that the stories of these women in Scripture and beyond illuminate something new in us so that when we see those on the margins living life en la lucha, in the struggle, we would be drawn to their experiences and drink from their wells overflowing with sabiduría, wisdom, about the divine.

-- Daily reflection from Richard Rohr

Announcement from FutureChurch:

November 3rd at 7pm ET and November 10th at 8:30pm ET

Fertile Ground: Building a Synodal Church

Pope Francis has steered the worldwide Church toward synodality, a concept that means "walking together," as we discern our future. This process of collaboration flows from the Second Vatican Council, but what does that mean in practical terms? How will it create a more inclusive governing and ministerial structure? And, what can we do to make it a greater reality today?

JOIN US for two exciting evenings!

NOVEMBER 3, 7:00pm ET

Help us to honor our two award recipients for their outstanding leadership in the Catholic Church! Dominican Sister Maureen Sullivan, Ph.D. will receive this year's Louis Trivison award for her world-class leadership in educating Catholics about the Second Vatican Council. Author and advocate Yunuen Trujillo, Esq., who has served as an immigration attorney and advocate, will receive the Christine Schenk Award for Young Catholic Leaders for her highly acclaimed ministry and book, "LGBTQ Catholics: A Guide to Inclusive Ministry."

We encourage you to become a sponsor and purchase your tickets using our secure online system to ensure we receive your RSVP on time.

NOVEMBER 10, 8:30pm ET Join us as we talk about building a synodal church with world renown expert Professor Raphael Luciani. Professor Luciani will offer his insights regarding the current efforts of Pope Francis to create the next phase in the reception of Vatican II. He argues that what is at stake is nothing less than the Church's fidelity to her calling as a follower of Jesus and her response to the signs of the times. For Professor Luciani, synodality requires a re-ordering of relationships within the church where "we" the faithful are equals in a communion with the same responsibility for the identity, vocation and mission of the Church.

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