"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The importunate mothers...
And the dishonest judges.
Some bloggers, a couple of them women, get criticized online for some of their very frank statements - almost as if they are public sinners, accused of detraction, slander, calumny, and rash judgement. It's a risk we all take every time we open our mouths or our laptops to comment on a controversial issue. Everyday everyone of us sins somehow - except of course for those souls living in transforming union I suppose - but even then Our Lord can leave a particular soul with all the human foibles and faults necessary to test the charity of those they encounter. Consider the Russian fools for Christ, such as St. Xenia and St. Basil. There are other saints in the Latin Church who annoyed those they lived with as well - the only ones I can think of at this moment are Jerome and Catherine of Genoa. Like Simei who insulted King David, God sometimes uses the most unlikely persons to call out an important personage - or to call the likes of me out, an insignificant blogger.
That said, I responded to a friend who was put off by some of the commenters on this blog, and perhaps some of the posts I did that may have attracted more negative commentary. Stuff happens, what can I say? I'm sorry. I can't defend myself. But I do want to defend a couple of people who I think have been mis-characterized as overstepping boundaries or saying things they maybe shouldn't have - in the opinion of other readers I mean.
This is pretty much what I said in an email to my friend:
I honestly see your point about some of the negative rhetoric, and can understand it to an extent, since I was once taken aback by what initially struck me as an abrasive manner - but the woman is just being honest and it is 'just her way', so to speak.
Perhaps surprisingly to some, I get a few housewives and mothers sending me emails full of frustration because of the confusing, conflicting messages coming out of diocesan chanceries and Catholic parishes, schools, colleges and so on as regards sexual morality and Church teaching. What I came to realize and understand is that these women are first and foremost mothers whose natural instinct is to protect their children at all costs - committed to educating them and training them to live good lives in this world and become saints in the next. That is their job, and it is God's will: The will of God is our sanctification, and these are mothers committed to their vocation. One has to understand that dynamic and never dismiss them - they are very much like the importunate widow in the Gospel, oftentimes dealing with dishonest judges, as it were - sometimes for years.
I have gained a deep respect for these women. They have a right to speak. I'm honored they comment on this blog. I'm always amazed how more liberal-progressive types - often women religious - get the ear and approval of so many in the Church, while others who tend to be more conservative, and more faithful to Catholic teaching, seem to be ignored and frequently condemned for their candor and perceived lack of charity. Undeterred, they remain persistent, and as St. Catherine of Siena affirmed:
"We've had enough of exhortations to be silent! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world has become rotten because of silence."
Illustration: Importunate widow and dishonest judge.