I continue the interrupted stage of my spiritual challenge. It has been a hectic week, as weeks leading up to three-day holiday weekends tend to be, even for those of us in retirement. Your regular rhythms get rocked.
Of course, that is what this challenge is supposed to help you establish – a routine spiritual practice that doesn’t get rocked by your Labor Day weekend or any other plans. I am challenge-challenged, I guess.
It doesn’t help that at a time I am trying to deepen my Catholic practice, the Church again is embroiled in controversy. Understandably you question your commitment to a Church that has failed spectacularly as an institution so many times throughout its history.
But I deeply believe in the theological underpinnings of the Church. I can no more turn my back on Jesus in the Eucharist now than I could disown my son. It is never going to happen. There is no going back on that for me.
This doesn’t mean I am not critical or saddened in the Church as an organization. But perhaps because I am a convert, I have never had the “awe” of priests that those raised in the Church grew up with.
So the fact that they can be seriously flawed human beings capable of their own grave sin does not surprise.
Also I joined after the 2002 Boston Globe expose that so rattled the Church and began reforms and more inclusion of laity. But I think the Church has far to go in transforming – not its theology or Tradition – but framing those things within a changing world.
And self-sufficient woman I have always been, yes, I think women should be able to play greater and more authoritative roles, including that of being Deacons. If we can train them in their formation (and we do), then it is indeed a failure that we cannot be Deacons.
Please, spare me the Apostolic heritage argument. The risen Christ appeared first to a woman – my Patron Saint, Mary Magdalene. If she can proclaim Christ’s resurrection to the original twelve Apostles, we women can proclaim the Gospel itself. And give homilies.
In fact, I think the feminine view proclaimed from the Ambo would give new dimension, insight and depth to a Church too steeped in its patriarchy.
Allow Mary, our Mother, to proclaim through a female voice to the congregation “Do as he tells you.”
I am not suggesting this as a cure for child sexual abuse that has happened in the past. (Please God, let it be in the past.)
But I do think it could be a part of the balm that heals the Church going forward.