Wednesday, May 11, 2005[posted by jaed at 7:31 AM]
Possibly the first-ever fisking of a prayer
To celebrate (more precisely to deprecate) the elevation of Joseph Ratzinger to the papacy, the Women's Ordination Conference brings us "WOC's Offering of Spiritual Nourishment", written by one "Aisha Taylor, WOC's Program Director":
Abba Godde,* we come to You
Can we declare a moratorium on the use of ancient languages for purposes of spiritual one-upmanship? [in particular, such use by people who don't actually speak those languages, and just toss in the occasional "foreign" word, like parsley]
It makes me want to throw things at people's heads.
...With heavy hearts
But trusting in You.
In Ruah, your Holy Spirit...
See above on languages.
...In Sophia, your divine wisdom...
...In love, your universal language....
OK, maybe there are worse rhetorical crimes than throwing in random Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic words in the labored attempt to be more in touch with primitive Christianity than thou. Analogizing love to a "language" may be one of them.
...Help us love unconditionally,
Each other in our times of need
And those we may consider our enemies....
Do you know why Jesus didn't say "Love those you may consider your enemies"? Because he wasn't mealymouthed. Talking about "those we consider our enemies" is mealymouthed. "Those we may consider our enemies" is verging on parody.
If Jesus had said, "Love those you may consider your enemies", people would have thrown things at his head. Justifiably.
...Help us see each other as You do,
You long to reconcile us.
Breathe into us new life,...
"...Lose patience with us and throw things at our heads..."
...Lift us out of the depths of mourning
Calm the tumultuous sea of our thoughts and feelings
Quench our aching thirst and ravenous hunger for justice...
(Careful. We wouldn't want you to break your arm there.)
...Nourish us with your life-giving Eucharist.
Intensify our passion to take steps toward Your reign.
Empower us to be like seeds that fall on good soil,
Developing deep roots
Growing in faith
Reaping a full harvest of Your creation who live as one through Baptism in Christ...
Since the people who wrote this are not present, I cannot throw things at their heads, so instead I am now whacking myself in the head. This is not good.
...Learning from Mary Magdalene,
Who remained with Jesus as a leader in his ministry, at his crucifixion,...
Ah. The most important thing about Mary Magdalene is her (entirely notional) role as a "leader in his ministry". Mary Magdalene is important first of all because she had power.
...And at his tomb
Weeping, yet remaining.
Remaining long enough to see Jesus — RESURRECTED!
Help us and be with us as we remain,
In our weeping
In our despair
In our anger...
Is anyone else beginning to see a vision - a vision gone far, terribly wrong - of an angry, sixty-year-old "dissident nun" sitting in a high chair and banging her spoon on the tray? Or is it just me?
...That we may see the Risen Christ
The Resurrected Church!
Your church where all are welcome at the table and the altar,
More than welcome,
Nourished and encouraged....
The priesthood is, at least in theory, a life of service. And in fact, most priests don't even make it to Bishop, let alone Cardinal, let alone Pope. To be a pastor, you have to aspire to doing a mostly-thankless, very difficult set of jobs, with approximately zero material reward and little chance of ascending far in the hierarchy. To do it wholeheartedly, you pretty much have to want to serve.
You, on the other hand, want to be welcomed, no doubt with cries of joy. You want to be nourished and encouraged. You want to be affirmed and cuddled. You want to be as proud as a toddler of its first step, with the entire church standing around and smiling indulgently, ready and eager to step in with encouragement and praise.
Dare we note that self-inflation of this magnitude is going to run into very cold realities if the Catholic doctrine on women and ordination is ever changed? Why yes, we do dare. Now I find the theological arguments against ordaining women to be unconvincing. But if you want to demonstrate that you even have a notion of what a priest is supposed to be, or why anyone would want to be ordained in the first place, you're going to have to do better than this... this childish and self-entitled gabble. To convince listeners that you are worthy to be a priest, you're going to have to sound like one, not like the product of far too much therapy.
...Help us step back and take a long view
Of your creation,
Blessed be. Amen.
I sense a little religious confusion here. You know, if you can't decide whether you're Wiccan or Christian - I can hardly see any grounds to blame the Catholic Church for not giving you a seat of power, even if you do hedge your bets by using both "Blessed be" and "Amen".
* Feminist spelling
One last note: People who have no sense of rhythm should never attempt free verse. That is all.
(via Roman Catholic Blog, which I think I got to via The Anchoress)