Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Three Hail Marys

"There is always enough time to pray three ‘Hail Marys.’"
Our Lady of Guadalupe St. Hedwig Parish Detroit
"There is always enough time
to pray three ‘Hail Marys.’"

That’s what Mary G. would always say.
She was one of those church ladies.
You know the ones I mean.
She did everything:
serve as Eucharistic Minister,
fill in for the secretary on her day off,
stuff the church bulletin,
count the collection money. . . .

She was very staunch in her ways,
often making me very angry
because she always thought
that her point of view
was the only point of view to have.

God has already called her home.
But her words
stay with me:
"There is always enough time
to pray three ‘Hail Marys’"

This really isn’t a hard practice for me to follow.
I have always had a devotion to our Blessed mother,
particularly under the tile of
Our Lady of Guadalupe.

I found myself
practicing this "Three Hail Marys" devotion last night
as I drove home from St. Gabriel parish
after a rehearsal last night.
As I neared the intersection
of Outer Drive and Fort Street,
where the cities of Lincoln Park and Detroit meet,
I found myself with more than enough time
to pray "Three Hail Marys."

A few years ago,
my eldest son was car-jacked there.
I suddenly realized
that I had been praying "Hail Mary"
every time I drive through that intersection.
Last night I realized
that the intersection is calling me to prayer.

At the time when my son was car-jacked,
I found my prayers were three-fold.
Of course,
I offered prayers for my son.

But I also offered prayers
for the young man
who held a gun to my son’s head
and shouted at him,
"Get out the ride."

What could have happened
in this young person’s life
that he chose to do this?

Where did he get the gun?

What did he want the car for?

Even as I write this
I offer prayers to Our Lady for him.
And I remember him
to St. Monica as well.

At the time
I also offered prayers up
for this young man’s mother.

Was she a good mother
whose son went down the wrong path?

Was she a bad mother
who just didn’t care?

Was this young man’s mother deceased?

Whoever she was
and whatever the situation
I found that I needed to offer prayers for her as well.

You know,
it isn’t just sacred space
because we worship there,
because the church building is there.

It’s sacred space
because we walk on it.

It’s sacred space
because we drive through it.

Outer Drive and Fort Street.
It’s a sacred land
because no matter how many times
I drive through that intersection
I always feel the sudden desire to pray.

Thank you, Mary G.
This time your point view
truly proved to be the only point of view to have.

There IS always enough time
to pray three Hail Marys.

About the photo:
Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day 2007
St. Hedwig Parish
Detroit, MI

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Citing the Women

In one of the comments in my previous blog entry,
someone mentioned that they did not know
some of the biblical women I mentioned.
So, I promised that person that I would give the references
where these ladies can be found.

I’ve been looking up references
and double checking all of the numbers.
I do believe I have them all in check now.
Sorry it has taken so long
to finally give the biblical references.

But here we go!

Women Omitted from the Lectionary:
Huldah, the Prophetess (2 Kings 22:13-19)
Lois and Eunice (2 Timothy 1:4,5)
Phoebe (Romans 16:1,2)
. . . .as I continued to write this blog entry,
it slowly became clearer why Phoebe was left out of the lectionary. . .

Women in brackets as optional in the Lectionary:
The Prophetess named Ana
(Luke 2:22-40) Lectionay #524
The woman with a hemorrhage
(Mark 5:21-43) Lectionary #99
the woman who anointed Jesus on the head
(Matthew 26:6-13) Lectionary #38

Old Testament Ladies:
Ruth (Ruth has an entire piece of the Old Testament, can be found after Judges and before 1 Samuel)
Miriam (Exodus 15:20,21 - Miriam actually makes several appearances in the Old Testament . . .Numbers 12, Micah 6:4. . but she was forgotten in v. 21 of Psalm 70 as only Moses and Aaron are mentioned there.)
Hanna (1 Samuel 1:1-20)
Rebekah (Genesis 24, Romans 9:10-12)
Hosea’s Wife (Hosea 1:2,3)
Lot’s wife, Gomer (Genesis 19:26, Luke 17:32)
Tamar (Genesis 38)
Judith (Judith can be found in the Old Testament after Tobit and before Esther)

Women with No Name in the New Testament:
The Woman at the Well (John 4:1-42)
The Woman from Cana (Matthew 25:21-28)
The Woman bent over (Luke 13:11-13)
Peter’s Mother-In-Law (Mark 1:30,31)
The Child of Talitha Koum (Mark 5:35-43)
The Woman Caught in Adultery (John 8:1-11)
The Woman Who Anoints Jesus (Luke 7:36-50)
The Daughters of Jerusalem (Luke 23:27-29)
The Women Jesus Appeared to (Luke 24:1-12)

And oh,
I realize that there are a number of women
that I did not mention in my previous blog post.
Rest assured,
that I did not forget them.

Here’s a partial list:
Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45)
Rahab (Joshua 2:1-21)
Delilah (Judges 16:4-22)
Bilhah and Silpah (Gen.16:4-22)
Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:1-7)
The Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1-13)
Abigail (1 Samuel 25:14-31)
Rachel (Jeremiah 31:15-17)
Mary Magdalen (John 20:1-18)
Damarias (Acts 17:3-34)
Priscilla (Acts 18: 1-3, 18-19, 24-26)
Mary, Junia, Tryphaena and Tryphosa (Romans 16:6-13)
Mary of Bethany (John 12:1-8)
Tabitha (Acts 9:36-43)
Lydia (Acts 16:9-15)

And finally,
as perhaps the hardest for some to swallow,
a few excerpts regarding women deacons.
Now, rest assured,
that I am no advocate,
neither pro nor con,
for women’s ordination.
And while I know that the words "deacon" and "deaconess"
may have a different meaning from the original Greek
and in the context of history,
the fact remains that the word "deaconess" (Diakonos)
is used in the works quoted below.
And so, I simply state
that the following documents exists.

And the first document I quote is the bible
"I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is also a minister (diakonos) of the church in Cenchrae, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the holy ones, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a benefactor to many and to me as well." (Romans 16:1,2)

Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.)
"A Woman shall not receive the laying on of hands as a deaconess under forty years of age, and then only after searching examination. And if, after she has had hands laid on her and has continued for a time to minister, she shall despise the grace of God and give herself in marriage, she shall be anathematized and the man united to her." (Canon 15)

The Council of Trullo (692 A.D.)
(also known as Quinisext Council)

" Let the canon of our holy God-bearing Fathers be confirmed in this particular also; that a presbyter be not ordained before he is thirty years of age, even if he be a very worthy man, but let him be kept back. For our Lord Jesus Christ was baptized and began to teach when he was thirty. In like manner let no deacon be ordained before he is twenty-five, nor a deaconess before she is forty." (Canon 14)

Citing the Women.
It’s been more fun
and thought provoking
than I ever would have realized.