Anne Rice & the Church Home for all Peoples

Benedict XVI Prayer Intentions for August and Anne Rice's Statement of Leaving Christianity

"That those who are without work or homes or who are otherwise in serious need may find understanding and welcome, as well as concrete help in overcoming their difficulties. That the Church may be a 'home' for all people, ready to open her doors to any who are suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries".

While this intention has been send out across the social media sphere Anne Rice, the author of vampire stories, a two volume Life of Jesus and a new metaphysical series, has sent out her own statement of disbelief. I attended a Christmas party hosted by Anne about three years ago. She was a gracious host and she was living this prayer intention for a "home for all people..." This was a faithfilled reponse to the One who opened his heart and gave his life for all of us irregardless of our failures, sins, pride, wealth, poverty.

Anne could be considered a sincere seeker. The important thing for all of us seekers to remember is that we are not the one's who are seeking. God is coming toward us. Many mystics and saints experienced this reality of God's approach through darkness, suffering, misunderstanding, and confusion. How do we allow God to come close? Can we even "allow" God to come close? We have the gift of a free will to respond to God and God's love is not conditioned by our response. So we can "allow" God to come close. Jesus showed us what that looks like. In the Beatitudes Jesus calls blessed all those who respond, and tells us what following him in this response will look like (Matthew, Chapter 5). The Beatitudes encourage us, as Christians, to open our home and hearts to all people. Embracing these beatitudes, as signs of what a "new heart" looks like, we embrace Christ.

The world may not be ready to receive the gospel because it doesn't look like good news. To be honest each of us are a tagline and the slogan for the gospel - and that is humbling since we are going to remain imperfect bearers of the image of Christ. Followers of Christ won't "fit in" not because they are exclusive or prone to judgement, not because they follow certain rules that don't make sense - Christians are called to live the life of Christ: poor materially and/or spiritualy, groaning and mourning, as does all of creation, waiting for fulfillment, powerless, hungering and thirsting for being in right relation with God and others, merciful, living from a pure heart, bringing about reconcilation, persuing commuion and persecuted.

Our spiritual life as  Christians is not "how did I do" or "what degree of prayer am I in now." It is not focused on us. It is about Christ. We are in Christ, we are a new creation, so we can "rejoice and be glad" even as we enter into the stuggle of kenosis - until it is Christ who lives, not I (Gal. 2:20). Anne is called, as are each us, to love as God loves. Jesus shows us what God's love looks like and what leads to the promise of blessedness. God has a passion to connect, a desire for relationship with us. The church as the body of Christ seeks together to deepen this relationship: "Amen," (meaning "I put my trust in you God. I take my stand here") "Teach me how to respond to your love."

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