Friday Fish Duc in Altum

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In the net this week there has been much on the sisters of the LCWR in the USA.

A while back there was an idea that Catholics should carry a card advertising what it means to be a Catholic. 

It turns out the Vatican hierarchy seem to be intent on circumscribing ever tighter rules and monitoring procedures on exactly how Catholic women may carry out fishing according to its doctrine.

This NCR article and comments section examines various issues at stake.

and this one and here 

and Mary Hunt's article "We are All Nuns" and wide ranging comments section also well worth a read. 

I think of the parable of the woman at the well and it  resonates in my ears: the women who bring their empty jar to the well of the church to be filled with living water, our empty sinful selves in need of hope and solace from alienation and judgement. 

We come because we hear that God will meet us there where we are at in our life situations and will seek us out like lost sheep and restore us. We hear that there are other sinners there or others in pain of some kind or other whether or not from sinning or being sinned against.

But  we are also told that Jesus identifies with her, and in His understanding and comprehension she comes away being able to say Here is a man who told me everything I ever was.

These days I come away from the well after a meeting with what the hierachy are saying, with an empty jar and a mighty headache; and a realisation that these men of the church have a jaundiced and fearful view of what it means to be a woman.

Read this wonderful homily on this parable from 2008, written and delivered by a woman minister.

So Duc in altum- that means casting out into the deep, and women have done that often enough in their time too.The church often co-opts some of them as saints after they are dead, but have a bigger problem dealing with recognising women who are living saints.
Lots of issues come to mind here in the higher places of the church : trust and the lack of it, authority, leadership and the lack of it, the magisterium and who contributes to it, weird and wonderful terms like sensus fidei,( faith making sense of revelation), male domination, the symptoms of psychopathology in an institution adrift from many ; the inclusive way the Holy Spirit operates, the steady dismantling of Vatican II,  an infrastructure that is increasingly remote from truth, unsafe for theologians to explore and express themselves without fear of censure; a clerical culture that seeks to preserve the status quo at all costs. 

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Endeavouring to get to grips with things like this  and this , isn't really what brings me closer to Christ or God.

I am coming to the conclusion that maybe I'd be better off gardening, because as the saying goes, "One is nearer to God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth." 

It was in a garden where Jesus revealed Himself to Mary after his resurrection too. 
There is solace and inspiration in that and thank God there are no complex doctrines to get in the way of that encounter.  

I have been lucky to have been led by Christ and held close in the loving arms of the Good Shepherd, and not to feel stifled or suffocated by that embrace.  I have been lost and found many times.

I have been at the feet of Christ but not felt downtrodden or stepped on, sat at the shore with Him and other disciples eating fish and bread, walking and being met on the road to Emmaus - I have been to all these places where I have met a newly risen Christ that tells me everything I am and can be and where I feel safe and wanted and there is no church hierarchy taking notes, monitoring and framing the terms of reference for discussion and deciding whether I should be there or not. 

Perhaps I don't qualify as a card carrying Catholic,  but I hope Christ would not be too bothered by that .

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