Thank you in advance for indulging my rant!
As much as I am still fasting from the Eucharist (read here about the whys and hows of my exodus from the institutional Catholic Church), I still view Jesus as my teacher and in this, spend time every day with scripture. I go to the USCCB (United States Council of Catholic Bishops) website and read and meditate on the daily readings. Every day! Usually I find guidance, support, healing, inspiration, nurturing, nourishment and comfort in the scripture. Not so much this week. Instead, this week’s readings made me want to barf!
Peter. Peter. Peter. All I heard was about all the ways in which Peter delivered the message of Jesus’ resurrection and how he was THE ONE who started The Church. Ok, from the perspective of a hierarchical, patriarchal, white, male privileged, misogynistic, fear-based, rooted in power and control institution, I guess this is true. Peter did (or as some scholars would argue – Paul – or even Constantine) establish the institutional Church. The Church that I can no longer bring myself to participate in because:
- I’m a woman who happens to be called to the “priesthood” (though certainly not in the clerical sense of the word!!!!!), and this path is closed to me.
- I’m divorced and refuse to pay a tribunal of single, white, men $750.00 to determine if my marriage was sacramental or not!
- I’m a mystic.
- I believe that all paths ultimately lead to God (by whatever name we give to SOURCE/LOVE/TRUTH).
- I believe all religions/spiritual paths contain kernels of the TRUTH and have practices and tools which help us to arrive at that TRUTH and that all are sacred and holy in their own right.
- I do not believe the Eucharist should be denied ANYONE who is sincere in their heart in their desire to connect with Christ in this way.
- I do not believe in original sin (not in the way the Church teaches it anyway).
- I believe we are all sons and daughters of God – regardless of our religion or beliefs!
- I practice Reiki (Which the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay has called “witchcraft and sorcery.”….don’t even get me started on this one. A) I can’t believe that in the 21st Century the Church still believes in witchcraft and sorcery….and B) how is Reiki witchcraft and sorcery and the “in hoc est corpus meum” that turns bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is not? Just sayin’!
- I’m an uppity lay person who believes the Church should be worrying less about women Reiki practitioner, mystic, yoga practicing meditators and more about cleaning up the mess they have made with the millions who have suffered abuse at the hands of the institution. And if they aren’t willing to clean up this mess – how about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, providing homes for the homeless?????? Really…..Lauri Ann Lumby (who apparently has a HUGE file with her name on it in a Diocesan office that will not be named – Hey, Diocese who shall not be named and those who have nothing else to do but police what Lauri Ann Lumby is saying and doing…here’s another piece for that big fat file! ) is SMALL POTATOES!
I digress! This week’s readings…..raving about Peter’s greatness made me want to barf!
WHAT ABOUT MARY?????????
What the hell happened to Mary Magdalene?
- Jesus’ most devoted and faithful follower.
- The ONLY one who was said to have completed her own self-actualization under Jesus’ guidance (“healed of seven demons” is a metaphor for having completed an initiatory process through which one attains self-realization).
- ONE of few who remained by Jesus’ side through his trial, suffering, crucifixion and death (other than John, the men were not up for this…including Peter!).
- THE ONE Jesus appeared to in the resurrection at the tomb… and…
- THE ONE Jesus ordained to tell the others. (YES, I said ordained!)
What happened to Mary? The last we hear of her (in canonical scripture anyway) is when she went to tell the other disciples (who were hiding in the Upper Room) that Jesus was raised from the dead. That’s it. No more Mary!
Did she die or disappear into the mist? Or….did she simply get edited out?
Well, thanks to some boys (or shepherds) playing in some caves in the desert in Egypt, we know, at least for a time, what happened to Mary. And thanks to some linguists, translators and antiquities scholars, we now have Mary’s own words (at least in as much as the other gospels are the author’s own words) and a glimpse into what happened to Mary after the resurrection. (See Jean Yves-LeLoup’s book, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene for the full text, translation and an absolutely beautiful and insightful commentary!!!!! Or, for a fictional account, read MY book, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene. )
SHE TAUGHT THE OTHER DISCIPLES.
Because, Jesus taught her things the guys wouldn’t or couldn’t get. Jesus taught her in secret and he taught her after he had died and been raised from the dead.
SHE had eyes to see and ears to hear what the others could not….and
SHE TAUGHT THEM.
But as has always been the case in the Western world, the woman’s word could not be received and was therefore discounted and later, demonized.
But not anymore. In a million ways through a million teachers, Mary Magdalene has resurfaced and has come to teach us….
HOW TO BE HUMAN.
Or rather, how to be FULLY human.
Not the half-humans we have been for the past 10,000 years – dominated by fear, power and control, wreaking havoc on our planet and on each other.
Mary teaches us what Jesus taught her:
HOW TO LOVE and HOW TO BE LOVE.
Listen to her!
If you are interested in learning more about Mary Magdalene and the fullness of her role in the Jesus story, check out my online courses. Click on the corresponding icons to the right of this blog, or click on the links below: