Remember when in the late 1990’s the world was wondering—“Will the Catholic Church ever let women become a priest?” Well back then, I was wondering too, and was having some ‘conversations’ with the Holy Spirit about this and seeking Wisdom too, on why of the Church chose to keep Her Priest men and celibate.
Logical to me was the realization that being a Priest carried with it heavy duty stress, responsibilities, long hours and well –not really ideal for him to be married with CHILDREN! Marriage in itself is a vocation in itself and requires much commitment between the couple. A woman would have to share her husband/priest with multitudes, and her patience could wear then. Look at how many marriages in the military, firefighters, police work, CEO’s, doctors--many end in divorce and without God no marriage is working now a days is it?
Back to the subject of should the Church allow women to be a priest. One day as ‘we, God and me’ were discussing this topic—I was asked. “Which would you rather be, a priest committed to parish work, tied down to many duties and constrictions—or someone I can send to where and whoever I want to, to minister in the ways I lead you to do?”
Oh, I thought, no doubt—the last one. For already that was just what the Holy Spirit had me do in everyday life, in my work, with my singing, well—where He leads, I usually go or respond to His directions, (usually) and—We have fun! Or sometimes it is holding the hand of someone dying, sick, and worried or in need of reassurance of God’s Presence in their life. And—we share tears and suffering. All of which is pastoral duties, is it not? Of course it is.
As I was driving home from work later that day, a question popped into my head. “What do you want to do tonight?”
“Well Lord, there is Mass at 6pm over at St. Joe’s, but You know my husband does not like me to go and run off when I get home, but I would like to go. But husband first, I guess I will go home and fix supper and do whatever.”
Walking into the house and seeing all the dishes waiting, and other chores too—I sigh and think ‘whatever.’ Here comes God with that sense of humor of His. “Well Priest, let us have Mass!”
Instant understanding flows in along with joy—for of course---all of my daily life, my work can be Mass when I follow the format of Mass!
There is a time of entering into His Presence. A time of examination and repentance and asking the Saints and Mary to be a part of my life. A time of dwelling on His Word as I think of some Scripture that is meaningful for what is occurring. A time of Offertory, where I offer up to God all that I am and all that I do. A time of Consecration too, as I consecrate my life, my work to God, uniting my sufferings and crosses up with Jesus, as a sacrifice of Praise. And finally a time of Communion—joining my heart with His, taking into my being that desire to have Him dwell in me. That Spiritual Communion prayer can be said too. After all, Mass never ends, Missa means to go forth and share the Good News, to share His love.
So, after all the dishes were washed, supper cooked-- I enjoyed sitting down with my husband as we shared a meal on our ‘altar table’ and smiled, thinking—I am baptized Priest, Prophet and King. Think I will claim all of those titles and live it by the grace of God—the best I can.
"Honey, would you pass the wine please."