May They Go Up to the Altar of God!

May They Go Up to the Altar of God!

I’m a Roman Catholic, and I’m blessed to be one.

I also have four daughters, and I am very blessed to be their Dad. They have taught me more about life than I ever taught them.

The Church’s teachers (the Magisterium) are a blessing when they make some kind of sense. Occasionally, however, they don’t seem to make sense at all to me.

When they speak of matters related to “faith and morals,” I most often listen and let the teaching form my conscience. Treatment of the poor, freedom of religion, the Resurrection of Jesus: in these and similar areas I am, as Pope Francis said a few weeks ago, “a son of the Church.”

When they speak about women in the priesthood, I am not with them.

I don’t believe it is a matter of either faith or morals. It’s purely a matter of tradition. When the offices of the Church initially were created, women held a far different, and much lower, social status than they do now. Thanks be to God that things have improved! St. Paul required women to be silent and to cover their heads while in Church. We no longer have those requirements in the Church, thank God.

The principal reasons for not allowing women to be ordained seem to be (1) that Jesus didn’t choose a woman to be an apostle, and (2) that priests, who act “in persona Christi,” must look like Jesus.

Jesus, it seems to me, was totally pro–woman. His treatment of women—and his esteem for them—was unfailingly positive and accepting. The fact that He didn’t select a woman as an apostle was, I am convinced, a cultural decision. Jesus worked in a particular time and place, and, to be effective, His actions and methods had to be understandable and acceptable to His contemporaries. Were Jesus to come into our world today, I’m pretty sure women would be fully represented in the college of apostles.

And to say that women can’t be ordained because “they don’t look like Jesus” is to say they can’t be ordained because they don’t have penises. If physical resemblance to the Redeemer is a criterion for ordination, then why aren’t priests required to have beards, to be circumcised, etc.

May God’s will in this matter, as in everything else, be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

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18 Years and Counting

18 Years and Counting

This is a photo I took last night. It shows the altar of the Perpetual Adoration Chapel. The Chapel is part of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Winchester, Virginia, a parish neighboring my own.

For more than 18 years, lay parishioners (and lay visitors) have been present – at least one each hour – 24/7. Think about that! 18 years. At least one person per hour (and usually two people each hour from 6 am to midnight). 24 hours each and every day. What an amazing – miraculous – witness of faith.

I began participating last June when I signed up for the 2am – 3am hour each Wednesday morning. That hour each week blew my cynical socks off. So I signed up a month ago for another hour, the 3am – 4am on Mondays (I’m a night owl).

It’s changed my life.

As we used to say in school, “Laudetur Jesus Christus in aeternum. Amen”

Who knew?

Who knew?

Beni and I were married 35 years ago. If someday I lose my mind and tell all about myself here, you’ll know why that is such a miracle. This photo was taken a month or so before our wedding in 1978.

Beni has taught me what love is. It isn’t passion, sex, fun vacations, or complete agreement. Love as Beni gives it to me is the assurance:

that I (eventually) will be forgiven,

that I have a constant best friend,

that I can be known pretty thoroughly and still be wanted.

that I can be myself, and be by myself, yet still be part of an external two, and

that I have someone to laugh with as the stairs get harder to climb.

And Beni has taught me indirectly what a joyful mystery is the infinite love that God has for me.

I’m blessed. I love Beni.

Pope Francis with the Franciscans

Pope Francis with the Franciscans

Pope Francis is an amazing guy. He is genuinely interested in people, and he seems to get great energy from his interactions with others. At least twice he has quoted Saint Francis, “Preach always, and, if necessary, use words.” Pope Francis preaches loudly and stirringly to me about the goodness and the infinite mercy of God. I pray for him every day, that God will give him joy in his work, health, and wisdom to bring to fruition the great work he has begun. This geezer loves this Pope! Viva il Papa!