And all manner of things shall be well...
I was reading Mumcat's great reflection on Katharine Jefferts Schori's election to PB, and it got me to thinking about the role of women in the church through the years.
Mary Magdalene [not the one of the recent novel, but the one of the Gospels] was an apostle; she was never given that title, because she was a woman. Instead, she was wrongly characterized as a former prostitute.
Mary and Martha of Bethany were disciples.
So many women have served God with all their hearts, minds and souls, over the centuries, yet they would have never been considered for ordination.
So it's been with my gay/lesbian brothers and sisters in Christ, unless they simply did not tell.
It's only been a short time women have been eligible for ordination, 30 years in the Episcopal Church, and there's a movement to rescind that, as well as keep out anyone but (apparently) heterosexual men. All this is being held up to the glare of the convention's light.
It's easy to be angry, judgmental and condemning -- to become the enemy -- with a "thick film over the eyes of our soul."
In the words of one of my favorite female saints, Julian of Norwich:
"The soul that would preserve its peace, when another's sin is brought to mind, must fly from it as from the pains of hell, looking to God for help against it. To consider the sins of other people will produce a thick film over the eyes of our soul, and prevent us for the time being from seeing the 'fair beauty of the Lord'-- unless, that is, we look at them contrite along with the sinner, being sorry with and for him, and yearning over him for God. Without this it can only harm, disturb, and hinder the soul who considers them. I gathered all this from the revelation about compassion...This blessed friend is Jesus; it is his will and plan that we hang on to him, and hold tight always, in whatever circumstances; for whether we are filthy or clean is all the same to his love."
"Glad and merry and sweet is the blessed and lovely demeanour of our Lord towards our souls, for he saw us always living in love-longing, and he wants our souls to be gladly disposed toward him . . . by his grace he lifts up and will draw our outer disposition to our inward, and will make us all at unity with him, and each of us with others in the true, lasting joy which is Jesus."
May we yearn over the demagogues, for God. May we yearn over each other for God.
May we all come to unity with God.