Rites. Not rights.
It has been many years now since I received an instruction to study the issue of women’s ordination. I think my daughter was in kindergarten, or thereabouts.
I won’t go into the precise details, but suffice it to say that it entailed participating in an argument. An argument that went on for years. At the time, I was completely indifferent to church politics. Perhaps even less than indifferent. It not only did not interest me, I had the overwhelming belief that people would not be so stupid as to pull the stuffing out of their own church.
In all things God, I’m always wrong. That’s how I know that it’s God in my visions: when they are accurate (right), it can’t have been me to get them there.
The assignment was to study the arguments that went into the pro-women’s ordination mindset. There were other things involved, also, but, for this writing, they are immaterial.
The core of the assignment, the one that took years to accomplish, it one of the things that shall remain unwritten for all time. But I did accomplish it. I found it horrifically tedious, but I did it. There were a lot of things I learned along the way, though. One involved a sacrament of the church.
There was a woman in the discussion group in which this argument took place. She considered herself ordained. She was an older woman, and one that I would assume would express wisdom in her assertions. She was very well educated, again a person that I would assume would handle herself in an argument nicely.
What do I know?
Not much, it seems.
To her, there was something radically wrong with me because of my position (which really was a reflection of what I was taught by God). I would counter with something along the lines of, well if there is something horrifically wrong with me, why do you treat me with such disrespect? Shouldn’t you be kind? Generous? Understanding?
To my mind, I kept thinking that I shared my opinions with people like Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa, and Thomas Merton.
If there was something broken with them, then I didn’t think I would mind being broken myself. If I had to choose between them and her, I would choose them.
But my eyebrows hit the ceiling one evening when she complained, actually complained online to a group of people she didn’t really know, about a woman in her parish, one of her congregants, who needed to push up the date of her baby’s baptism because of concerns by her doctors about the baby’s health.
And, I said? What’s your issue with that?
Well, this priestess harrumphed, she just wants to make sure she has a baptism, not for the baby’s sake (this priest cried), but because she wants a big “do.” A gala for her friends.
I can understand people in charge of a church having not the most positive thoughts about their congregants in the back of their heads, but to blurt it out to the general public was something I found obscene.
And what about the baby’s soul? I asked.
Oh, that. She replied. What of it?
Now that, right there, could have ended the study very nicely. But I figured that this woman couldn’t possibly represent the new breed of “ordained” women. Could she?
Again. What do I know?
Ultimately, and through this woman (although I truly didn’t expect it to be her), I found what I had been assigned to find. And I put up my hands.
Fine, I said. You win.
There is no such thing as women’s ordination.
And like other visions, although this had taken years to accomplish, it was really just the beginning of the study.
When I came to the study of soul structure, I was shown the difference between the soul structure of men and women. How women’s souls were powerful and strong, like an automatic weapon compared with a handgun. And this power and strength was there for a reason: to give the woman the ability to heal spiritually.
And we see this in history: wise women who know how to heal. Women who separate themselves from the rest of society (except their own, perhaps) so that they can indulge in a freedom and creativity that allows them to “know.” And usually towards the ends of healing.
And that’s it, really. Women, in order to accomplish their ministry, need to be flexible, creative, and highly individualistic. They need the room to follow their own path, their own visions and intuition, to find the solution to the problem.
And what is a sacrament?
Well, as far as I am concerned, it is a literalization – the creation in reality – of the concept of sacrifice.
The church is about rituals. It is the keeper of the rituals. Priests are the men who have been graced with the understanding and responsibility of these rituals.
And in these rituals, along with the concept of sacrifice, is the need to assert the purity of the sacrifice: Jesus was pure. He was innocent. He is the ultimate sacrificial lamb, who had no need for purification because he is the embodiment of purity and innocence.
And women, if they are true to their nature – the nature of healing – then they have developed their ability to endure contamination. Like a doctor who walks through the wards of a hospital: he develops immunity to the diseases he comes in contact with, he develops means of keeping himself fit in spite of being attacked (literally) by the germs around him.
The soul of a woman is equipped to ward off the contamination that comes from fighting evil.
And the contamination that is a natural part of a woman’s make-up (for better or for worse) has no place on the altar of purity.
I’m probably making no sense.
But look at the churches that adopt the idea of women’s ordination. What has happened to the respect for the rituals of the church? They’ve been thrown out the window, it seems to me.
Let’s get rid of this. Let’s get rid of that.
I actually heard a much respected woman in a collar say to the congregation in front of her, her hand resting on the altar, saying, This table does not belong to the church. It belongs to everyone. To anyone.
You mean like the counter at a bar?
Yeah. I think she really did mean something like that.
To her, the altar had become a place where anyone could do whatever struck their fancy.
And all you have to do is look around to see the “creative” ways that churches are being used.
With respect to the rituals, no.
It’s no wonder that churches are being destroyed from the inside out.
And if the Eucharist is the acting out of our reverence for the sacrifice of Christ, in what ways do women promote this idea of the value of sacrifice?
Who hears women in the church speak of sacrifice? Of what people should give up for others?
Instead, it’s all about what others should do for them.
Approve their abortions.
Celebrate their divorces so they can choose another partner, or move to another town to take a job their current husband cannot accommodate.
Dance at the wedding of two people of the same gender.
The woman-led church is not about sacrifice. Or sacrament.
It’s about self-indulgence and the promotion of hedonism.
From the pulpit. From behind the altar.
Women have even given up their wisdom, their ability to heal spiritually.
Kate just had her baby. William only contributed what God created in him to contribute. There is no shame in the difference in body between the boy and the girl.
And there is no shame in the difference in soul between the man and the woman.
Jesus Christ brings us his sacrifice, in his pure and innocent nature. As a means for reconciliation: reconciling man to God, and God to man.
The Holy Spirit brings us its power and strength: the qualities needed to fight and cleanse the world of the disease of evil.
Instead of working to develop these two gifts of Christianity, we muddy God’s design (because we know better) by not listening to church wisdom, to church tradition.
It’s OK to be wrong in terms of God.
It’s more than OK for God to be right about things.
It’s his creation, after all.