Category Archives: Reflections

Reflection – February 2018

Years ago I gave a retreat for a group of Catholic women on “Women in the Church”. I started out by telling them that I was exactly the wrong person to be giving that retreat. I was male, and worse I was a member of that other privileged class in the Church, I was a priest. I gave the retreat any way. I find myself in a similar situation today.
I was at the demonstration at the State House in Concord last week and I felt an electricity in the air, a fierce joy and determina- tion; something momentous is happening, and I am exactly the wrong person to be telling you about it. I am still male, and still cler- gy, still privileged in the church and in society.
At the demonstration were women, and men, of all ages and description. There was little anger and a great deal of joy. I had a sense that these were people who had broken through, who would no longer simply accept the status quo. People who had found their voice and had a plan: register to vote, vote and run for office.
Looking past the politics of the event, I felt the Spirit moving in that place. Something is happening. Our sisters are rising up and allowing themselves to be agents of change. They are encouraged by the presence of all these newfound sisters all around them, and their hearts are burning within them .More women are running for office this year than ever before. Something is happening.

Rev. Ray Bonin

Reflection – January 2018

Some of the poinsettias I got for the altar have withered. I had hoped  they would last longer. But the Christmas services are ended, the presents have been opened, family visitors have come and gone. I guess Christmas is over. Liturgically, we will celebrate this feast through the end of February, but emotionally its over. It needn’t be.
What we have waited for and hoped for; to witness the birth of Jesus, of Emmanuel, of “God-with-us” has come. This is not a one day a year thing. We can extend it as long as we wish. The hope, the generosity, the Joy of this season is still available to us. The family who came to visit are still out there, we could call them or visit them for no reason other than we want to. The generosity of the season is still available to us. The needy in the community are still needy. We could remember them in January as well as in December. The hope and the joy that filled our hearts has not withered; in faith it flourishes still. God is with us in January too, God is near to us. Let’s pitch our tent in Bethlehem and stay a while longer.

Rev. Ray Bonin

Reflection – April 2017

“…what we have heard, what we have seen with our own eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands…” 1 John 1

We are pilgrims, and I have a certificate to prove it! 15
of us from both the synagogue and the church spent 8 days in
the Holy Land. We stood on the Mt of Olives, we prayed in the
Garden of Gethsemane and the Western Wall. We went down
to the depths of the Holy Sepulcher and the Holocaust Museum.
We sat together in the synagogue at Capernaum and
heard the echo of Jesus unrolling the scroll and reading, “ The
spirit of the Lord is upon me….” All this we heard, and saw
and touched. It was a profoundly spiritual experience for me.
To walk in the places that the person of Jesus walked in is
very powerful..

Yet, the trip to Israel was not necessary in order for me
to become a pilgrim. There are not thousands of miles between
us and the Holy Land; we are all pilgrims because true
pilgrimage is an interior journey. We are still in Lent, walking
through that interior landscape, traveling from the heights of
the Mount of Olives to the darkness of the Holy Sepulcher. It’s
a difficult pilgrimage because we don’t always like what we
find there. The darkness of our sinfulness limits our vision,
but we also discover oases of God’s mercy and the hope of
God’s lovingkindness there. They refresh us and give us the
courage to continue to Golgotha and at last to arrive at the
empty tomb. These interior places are our Holy Land where we
hear and see and touch the Christ; it’s where He lives most
vividly.

Thank God for my companions of the trip to Israel, whose weariness
I felt, and whose joy I shared. Thank God for you, my
Lenten companions, I cannot make this journey alone. Soon
we will gather in the Upper Room and be amazed at his presence
among us.

Rev. Ray Bonin