October 24, 2021
As Pope Francis has reminded us all, what we are undertaking is not an opinion poll, it’s not a parliament. It is, in fact, “ecclesial event whose protagonist is the Holy Spirit.”What this is – is huge! This is a way for all of us to participate in re-forming the Church into the vision of Vatican II. It is a process that opens the way for all voices to be heard, the young and the old, from the pew but especially from the margins, all the baptized and especially the laity! The potential for change is here, we are part of it, we have a role to play!!!
But how do we do this? The model is flexible and will adapt depending on whether we are speaking in groups or one on one. However, what is always present is the prayerful process of deep listening. Synodality is the ancient practise of gathering as community, listening to one another and through this listening process seeking the voice of the Holy Spirit.
OK let’s unpack that. How do we do this? For many of us, we will gather together and look at our experiences of the Church in the past and our hopes for the Church in the future. But we do this in a different way. We do this by actively listening to everyone, by sitting in silence and reflecting on what has been said, and by paying attention to our emotions and thoughts as we hear others speak because in this active listening we will hear the whispers of the Spirit. This is a process of discernment. We will pay attention to what moves us, how we respond to other voices. We need to speak truth to one another and do so respectfully, fully and provide the necessary spaces for people to feel safe to share their truth with others.
We will start this process immediately. On the front cover of the bulletin, at the liturgies and social media you will find a question to reflect upon. It is a means of “priming the pump.” It will get you started on the road of reflection as we begin to journey together. As you consider this question, possibly discuss it within your family and friends this week, listen deeply, hear with your heart as well as with your ears. The Spirit is speaking, the Synod has begun!!!