Saturday, February 11, 2012
It wasn’t until high school that I began to see women around me that I respected. A couple of my contemporaries had mothers who I could look up to. I am not saying that my mother was a bad person—not at all! But I could not find in the way that she lived her life anything that I wanted to emulate. From the time I was in my early teens, I knew I did not want to marry. I did not want to mother children. All signs of being a woman...
The Order of St. Ursula is a Roman Catholic religious community whose ministry is to teach girls and young women. I met them through a sister who played in the local community symphony that I did. I have commented on them several times because I credit them for introducing me to prayer and community in my mid-twenties. And that longing for community and prayer still is part of my life today.
I think that that sense of community is still something that I need to be who I am. I look for it among women colleagues, among groups of women in my parishes and even among online groups where women can share their opinion is safety and respect. I have over the years found that mixed groups of men and women CAN be safe places where men and women can share faith but they are more the exception than the rule. And I treasure those groups as precious places.
Who says that virtual communities aren’t REAL? Who says that virtual Church isn’t efficacious? If my Ursuline community is still a source of spiritual energy after 40+ years, why is not the community of those I speak to through the computer daily not just as important? The Revgalsblogpals are as much a community of faith as are my colleagues in the diocese who I claim as the ‘college of clergy’ in my area or the parish I attend weekly. They allow me to be myself in ways that I might still be unwilling to be in person. They are willing to let me speak freely and critique me with loving (and sometimes not so loving) kindness so that I can be transformed by their loving. Is that not Church? Is that not what each one of us is about who is serious about living out their Baptismal promises?
It doesn’t look like the white steeple church that is beginning to fail but the effects the same. It is going to be interesting to see what Christ’s Church is going to be in another 100 years. I hope I will be able to watch.