In one of St. Catherine of Siena’s many letters, she writes that God creates people as lights and as fountains with water. Each person receives unique gifts of these treasures. But, she notes, it is necessary for the collective whole that we offer our different lights and waters to one another. In her words:
“It is necessary that God’s servants share with each other the light and the gifts and graces they receive from God in order to display God’s magnificence. . .They are put in this life both to give themselves life and for the comfort and refreshment of God’s other servants who are thirsty for these sorts of water. . .This is how God meets our needs. No one is so enlightened as not to need light from others–and often.”
One of the great joys for Bondings 2.0’s editors and writers in these last eight years has been the community of readers and commenters which has developed. Your contributions in the ‘Comments’ section and on social media have benefited all of us with the wisdom, insights, and personal experiences shared. These are the unique lights and waters about which Catherine writes that we need to share with one another as nourishment for the journey as disciples and to God’s glory.
To expand the conversation, we are beginning a Bondings 2.o Facebook group to promote discussion on Catholic LGBTQ news, opinion, and spirituality, in keeping with our mission. We will share the daily blog posts for discussion, and we will invite content (news articles, blog posts, videos, memes, etc.) from all of you as well. In this time of coronavirus social distancing, supporting and conversing with one another digitally is even more important. And by educating one another, we can advance the work of renewing the Catholic Church to be a place of welcome for every person, especially LGBTQ people, their loved ones, and allies. The church very much needs the unique lights and waters which this community offers.
The group, “Bondings 2.0: A Forum for Catholic LGBTQ News, Opinion, and Spirituality,” can be found either by searching Facebook for that name or by clicking here. It is a closed group, meaning you will be asked a few questions before being approved as a member. This step helps ensure the community space remains affirming and safe for everyone wishing to participate. You will also be asked to sign on to the group’s rules, which are similar to the guidelines we maintain here on the blog and on all New Ways Ministry social media channels. If you have any questions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Catherine of Siena, in her time, was a church reformer. As a lay person, she used her unique gifts to call wayward popes and the church they led to be more faithful to the gospel. Likewise today, LGBTQ people and allies call the church to greater fidelity to Jesus’ witness of inclusion and equality. On behalf of the blog’s staff, I thank you, the Bondings 2.0 community, for contributing your gifts and graces to this cause. You greatly enable and enrich our ministry. We look forward to even more conversation in the months to come!
—Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, March 30, 2020