"I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'Son, let this woman be a bride to you in the restoration of my people. Let her be a mother for these people, regenerating souls through the salvation of spirit and water.'" (Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

True Humanity, True Prayer

This piece became a powerful part of my Lauds today, especially two key memories:

--DearSpouse discovering it on TV and running to the back apartment bedroom in San Diego where I was finishing Nick's bedtime prayer and songs to insist that I come and watch--a total revelation. I grieve deeply that the humbly truthful and vulnerably courageous prayer of lament and rage, which the Psalms prove that our loving God delights in as a sure path to mystical intimacy, is not just forgotten but shamed in most Christian preaching and worship, especially on the cross.

--Watching the entire piece with the family as our Holy Saturday prayer and worship in Dayton at the close of a Holy Week begun by speaking the truth in the Palm Sunday dialogue homily about an egregious pedophile priest inflicted on an unknowing progressive community by the other priests and a few complicit lay leaders. It was a heartbreak to see a group dedicated to reform make all the same mortally sinful choices as the hierarchy they rightly called out--lying to the media as well as the membership, and engaging in cruel and clever bullying of the whistleblower. They consciously chose to have him chant Psalm 22 in his haunting voice, then spirit him out to avoid the revelation--a tragic betrayal of their brother whom real charity would have called to repentance and amends for the many boys he charmed, drugged, and raped before the diocese which enabled this for decades allowed him to quietly resign in good standing.

Even second grade Katie could identify the Ellis=Jesus and Laura=Judas statement, and my heart was healed when she exclaimed in innocent confusion: "But it's the opposite!" It was only this morning that I realized he was indeed an image of Christ, though in a very different way than his victims--rather, dead in the tomb, as Caryll Houselander movingly said of souls in mortal sin which need prayer for conversion as reverent as that we would show at the sepulchre. It was indeed a traumatic cup of poison but made bearable and even shot through with a thread of fiery sweetness by sharing it with Jesus, especially during the the devastating panic attacks I experienced Thursday night and Friday noon. I was deprived of the tremendous consolation of the liturgy for the first time in decades, but carried by the prayer of sisters and brothers offering themselves with Christ to Divine Mercy for the world he loves.

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