Friday, 15 March 2013
Calling Women From The Desert
I do not consider myself a feminist. I pootle along, watching, listening, growing in grace and truth, I hope, as I age. I regard being a woman as a huge plus, subjected as I am (or was?) to the softer tyranny of oestrogen, observing with a smile of amusement, the Alpha males and their priests make a dog's breakfast of running the world. This, I imagine to be the expression on the face of La Gioconda which has bewitched, befuddled and beguiled her admirers since the sixteenth century. But today, I am not amused, I am deeply, deeply distressed.
There is, with very little publicity that I can discover, a declaration being prepared in the United Nations that sets out to curb violence against women. That the Egyptian Brotherhood should oppose it comes as no surprise. I hear they deplore the fact that should this resolution be accepted, women will be able to travel, seek medical advice, or use contraception without their husband's permission. (How those brave women who risked their lives to demonstrate against Mubarak have been betrayed!)
The ignorant posturing of such a group doesn't surprise me. I am shocked rather, by the opposition of The Vatican. Is it THAT important to maintain the dubious rights of a male hierarchy to keep an iron grip of power over the Catholic laity - the giving up of which would hold out the hope of transforming the church from the shambles it is today, to a modern and more relevant institution?
Hold in the balance the 'rights' of the Vatican and the 'wrongs' of the 66 MILLION ((UN figure) girls who are living wretched lives. Some simply grossly underprivileged. Too many mutilated, beaten, raped, starved, trafficked, tortured, exchanged as chattels and forced into marriages they have no say in, to be subjected to child-birth they are too young to survive. Ask yourself, 'Where would the carpenter of Nazareth stand?'
Today, I am ashamed to be a Roman Catholic.
For the rest, I include Fr Richard's Meditation for today, which once again seems uncannily timely.
The Feminine Face of God
Meditation 20 of 52
All this “women-stuff” is not only important; it is half of conversion, half of salvation, half of wholeness, half of God’s work of art. I believe this mystery is imaged in the woman of the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse: “pregnant, and in labor, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth . . . and finally escaping into the desert until her time” (Revelation 12:1-6).
Could this be the time? The world is tired of Pentagons and pyramids, prelates and princes, empires and corporations that only abort God’s child. This women-stuff is very important, and it has always been important, more than this white male priest ever imagined or desired! My God was too small and too male in the first half of my life. It kept me from the deeper mystical path.
Much that many feminists have said is very prophetic and necessary for the Church and the world. It is time for the woman to come out of her desert refuge and for the men to welcome her. As we see in the churches today. This is still quite difficult if you have been an “alpha male” all of your life. No surprise that Jesus came “meek and humble of heart” (Matthew 11:29) to undo the male addiction to power and performance. Mary is the standing archetype of how the gift of God is received. One almost wonders if the Roman and Orthodox churches do not “worship” Mary to avoid actually following her on her oh-so-natural and simple path.
Adapted from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, p. 279, Day 290