Have you ever pondered the readings from yesterday? I am always struck by that passage in Exodus when the Israelites are suffering from snake bites and so ask Moses to pray for them; and God's answer is to mount a bronze serpent on a pole and tell them to look on it.
Ever think about how weird that is? That to cure yourself from a snakebite, you must look up at an image of the snake; to be healed from a wound, you have to look what caused it in the face.
And then they draw the parallel of Christ, and how looking upon Him, lifted up on the cross, heals us. Now this never really made sense to me because it's not like Christ is the one hurting us, whereas the snake is the cause of the Israelites' pain.
But then I thought of what we are seeing as we gaze upon Christ on the cross; We are really seeing evil, staring our own sin in the face. He was made sin to save us, so gazing on Him on the cross is seeing what humans have done to God. Seeing my sin and what it has cost the Son. Ignace de la Potterie writes in his excellent book "The Hour of Jesus" about the moment that Pilate presents Jesus to the crowd, saying "Behold, the Man!" He reflects on this statement of Pilate's, saying that Christ, who by this point is covered in blood from his scourging and wearing a crown of thorns, is now a revelation of "man". In looking upon Jesus at that moment, the crowd sees themselves, beaten and disfigured by sin. Christ's passion reveals what sin does to the human being. "Look," imagine Pilate saying, "Look at who you are, you who call for the death of the Son of God".
Next Friday, April 2, is the CL Way of the Cross downtown in Washington. Please come, it will start around 9:30 or 10 am at a church near the Capital South metro. It's a powerful time of prayer, incorporating poetry and music as well as readings, and we end next to the Washington monument.
Thoughts on the Personal Essay • In the personal essay, there is no universal truth, only personal truth. • The personae with which you write is a little bit bold, a little presumptuous. • Yet it’s the form most available for people who are clueless. • You start with “this is what I think” and you move somewhere. • The strongest thing in this form is the antithesis—the point in the essay where you try to speak from the opposite of what you think and belive. Often its in that dialectic that the insight comes. If it’s really an essay, you need to wrestle with ideas.
Regardless of our access to power in our tradition, giving one another a forum from which to name our realities is a first step in doing feminist theology. Further, it is a way of building community. What are our needs as young women with experiences of Catholicism?
I don't think they believe in universal truth in the first place, but okay. And that last part- oy. I'm sending mine in today- have you done yours yet? :)
"In Notre Jeunesse, Peguy (Charles Peguy, French writer and poet, Ed.) said: "An event is always whatever is most unexpected". An event, then, is "something" which suddenly introduces itself: the unpredictable, the unforeseen, the non consequence of factors antecedent. In fact, the word closest in meaning to "event" is "chance" ("Circumstance"): the word "chance" describes something that is there but our eyes as they watch it happen can find no explanation for it. So we can say that as far as our reason and our faculties are concerned, an event is purely and ultimately a thing of chance. Moreover in terms of our capacity for inquiry and understanding, an event is an event precisely to the degree that it is elusive - if there is something about it that escapes us.
It is typical of an event to be unpredictable and unforeseen ( it is unforeseen in that, by its nature, it is unpredictable). So, that which has the power to clarify me to myself is something which penetrates the horizon and the atmosphere of my existence like a strange, alien meteorite that I could not foresee or ultimately, therefore, understand since the unforeseen is by no means comprehensible.
So it is the incomprehensible, the unpredictable that sheds light - like a struck match - on our true selves. It is because of the intrusion of this irrational and alien "thing" - that our reason cannot grasp and our measure cannot master because it goes beyond, it breaches all our measures, this thing which does not derive from our thoughts, however clever we might be - which in the darkness of our existence begins to enter, shedding light on our true selves and which starts bringing order our of confusion. And it is from this point that an attraction and an affection in our own regard start to take form, then comes a tenderness and the possibility of compassion for others, then a serious attitude to plans for today and above all for tomorrow.
Let us stress this point. Commenting on the phrase quoted above, the French critic Alain Finkielkraut says this in his book on Peguy: "An event is something which erupts from the outside. It is something unexpected. And this is the supreme method of knowledge ". (Learning is finding ourselves before something new, something foreign to self, something that self has not constructed). We must restore to the event its ontological dimension of a new beginning. It is an eruption of the new, that breaks the cog-wheels (things already established, the definitions already provided), that sets a process in motion.
...Besides the face of Jesus the Christian event typically assumes human faces, the faces of companions, of people like you and me. In the same way in the villages of Palestine he could not get to, Jesus acquired the faces of the two disciples he sent, he was present in the very faces of the two he had chosen. And it was exactly the same thing: "Master, that which you made happen we also made happen". Identical. "The Kingdom of God is at hand. The Kingdom of God dwells among you"...
...The event of Christ which is revealed in the encounter unites us with others, it is the beginning of a new people; it creates a new environment, a companionship, like a home. A new dwelling place where all things are yours, where everything is yours, where all things are for you, where you are totally free. And this companionship opens up to the whole of reality, it gradually makes everything interesting to us, rendering the world and the men who populate it less foreign to us. This companionship discovers and loves history as the dwelling place of the active unity of a people, and it introduces the perception that a new history is possible."
Here's to events and wretches [and others] who show me the face of Christ...
but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,
While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ear:
"This is the way; walk in it,"
when you would turn to the right or to the left.
Thank you Dawn for reminding us about this passage! Love it. Waiting to hear the voice, though I'm pretty sure that as soon as the offer comes, if it comes [teaching] I will jump at it and just hope that the voice says ok! St. Joseph, pray for us.
But I think it would be really interesting if we could swamp these women with the kind of essays on being a young Catholic woman that I doubt they are looking for- and maybe they don't realize exist.
The most telling line: "There were Catholic dinners in Harvard Square, Buddhist meditation in the house on Broadway, the proclamation of The Vagina Monologues in Andover Chapel, lots of laughter, and many cups of tea. We built community, and it was good."
Please, ladies, write!
One more classic note: "Our outreach for this project is intentionally grassroots. For this reason, we are relying on people like you to help spread the word. "
It's intentionally grassroots because they think they will get the kind of essays they want that way! This is what we call a "self-selected group" i.e. not truly representative of anything at all.
Is it super wretched that this kind of thing energizes me?
A big huge thank you to the most sweet wretched friends a gal could imagine; thanks for taking care of me and cooking and teaching me to clean and just being :) And I loved that 4 of you were wearing green, by coincidence.
Catholics could be a very powerful force in our society.
Please, if you're in MD, call or email these senators and let them know you are against Senate Bill 575, which "would REMOVE the statute of limitations on monetary lawsuits against the Archdiocese, parishes, schools and ministries as well as other non-profit and private organizations."
Can't serve the poor if you're broke from lawsuits about people who died 30 years ago.
Check out this article in the Boston Globe about a recent court decision that:
"'The constitutional right of parents to raise their children does not include the right to restrict what a public school may teach their children,' Wolf unambiguously wrote in dismissing a suit by two Lexington couples who objected to lessons the local elementary school was teaching their children. 'Under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy.'"
Wow. Interesting that in cases we read in constitutional law, the rights of parents precisely did extend to their education... and from there we eventually got this somewhat fictitious "right to privacy"... and from there... the state can suddenly determine education? I missed something.