In the Paraclete I trust

BURKHART, MARIAN

siders it may have looked like any other Near Eastern marriage, but its dynamics were radically altered. Mary may have baked the bread and darned the cloaks while he planed and sawed, but her...

...n Galatians 3 and 4, Saint Paul discusses another patriarchy-modifying consequence of Christ's entry into human history...
...ii...
...Not because the hierarchy is made up of patriarchs, for patriarchs qua patriarchs are no more likely to rethink customs that put them in the catbird seat than are--well--matriarchs...
...Offspring...
...Only the son was a longed-for heir...
...That my school was not really an aberration, no matter how many Sister Ignatiuses elsewhere explained it all or inveighed against patent leather shoes, the history of the church demonstrates...
...Mary may have baked the bread and darned the cloaks while he planed and sawed, but her needs and the needs of her child determined the course of their lives...
...There are other Teresas: Saint Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the church, at whose feet sat Saint John of the Cross, and Saint Th6r~se of Lisieux, whose little way is an approach to spirituality profoundly original, so apt in its insights that she may be declared a Doctor, too...
...To object to "son" is to undermine the gift of God Paul sought to clarify...
...Thus, I find myself in this matter echoing Julian of Norwich, another woman whose intelligence and spirituality the church nourished, as she carried Christ's message that "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well...
...siders it may have looked like any other Near Eastern marriage, but its dynamics were radically altered...
...I entered the church...
...there is neither i...
...How about "children of God...
...In the ancient Middle East, Greeks had certain rights of citizenship not open to Jews, but Jews had rights as sons of Abraham not open to Greeks...
...I started thinking about the passages when I followed an exchange of letters in the Tablet (London) about the felicity, or lack thereof, of Paul' s use of the word "son" in Galatians 4: "But when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons...
...But that is a term technical and cold, reminding us that one' s heirs in law can be second cousins twice removed whom one does not know and cannot love...
...Instead he extends it to include all of us whom Christ has received in baptism-making all of us freeborn "sons" who can inherit...
...That would be to reintroduce the difference...
...In Christ, these distinctions are erased, as are the distinction between the freeman who can inherit and the slave who cannot, between the male who can and the female who cannot...
...No other term will do...
...And how about Saint Catherine of Siena, another Doctor, who, having cleared the nepotists and simonists out of Rome, rapped the knuckles of the pope in Avignon until he agreed to come back where he belonged...
...In the Paraclete I trust...
...He could, indeed, inherit and was, indeed, beloved...
...For you are all one in Christ...
...One must go back to Galatians 3 where Paul says that for those who have been baptized into Christ "There is neither Jew nor Greek...
...A patriarch who thinks at all objectively about all of that has to revise from the bottom up his socially acquired and approved idea of what it means to be a patriarch...
...i~::I...
...She was God's, and the child to whom she was devoted and for whom she required Joseph's devotion was not his child...
...She wasn't...
...trusting only ~.~?i.ii~2 male nor female...
...there is neither slave nor freeman...
...After trying to determine what other word Paul could have used to convey the whole of his message, I found myself entirely on the side of the women...
...In the climactic sentence in which he expounds the richness of the Christian inheritance, could Paul have called us "sons and daughters" of God...
...iii:: ~ Catherine McLauohlin ~i;~ lnstinct~ ~.'~,~,~i...
...He is talking about legal rights, particularly the right to inherit...
...And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba, Father.' So that you are no longer a slave, but a son...
...and if a son, an heir also through God...
...What Paul is doing is baptizing the concept of son...
...Americans have always protected their innocence of history, and Catholics since Vatican II, in being less prone than in the past to honor the saints, have tended to ignore that window of history, too...
...who leans, stretching, sinew, farther out' backwardtodanger,::: " : .....:: ::::atauttorsoridingonair : : ::: flayed by salt...
...Middle Eastern patriarchs loved their daughters, as my father loved me, but at the time of Paul only sons could inherit...
...A gentleman, acting as lector in an English parish, wrote that the women in the congregation had need of consciousness-raising because they took no umbrage at Paul's sexist language...
...r ~iii: That cat flvin~ its hull...
...But even briefly opened it will show a long line of women--Saint Scholastica, herself, right up to Mother Seton, Mother Cabrini, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, and Mother Teresa--who in founding orders have not only worked out their own salvation but directed women, and men, too, to a new aspect of sanctity...
...But these men are Christians who in the light of the Holy Ghost meditate upon Mary and read Galatians...
...If it is God' s will that women be priests, in the fullness of God's time, they will be, and they will be ordained under the aegis of the Roman hierarchy...
...But children, simply because they are children, cannot exercise fullness of right, can inherit in form only...
...To his eternal glory, Joseph recognized that to be a patriarch need not mean to dominate but rather to protect, and to protect, furthermore, a woman who was in no way merely an extension of her husband, a possession to be cared for because she was his...
...What I experienced at Saint Scholastica' s Academy in Canon City, Colorado, was Christian sonship in act...
...16:6 May 1994 Commonweal...
...In no way does he diminish the role of the son...

Vol. 121 • May 1994 • No. 9


 
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