End of Lent Examen

Wadowice Confessional by sacerdotal
Wadowice Confessional, a photo by sacerdotal on Flickr.

How perfect is this?! We are at the end of Lent and about to enter into the Triduum. Holy Week. It’s a great time to do an examination of conscience, review what I have done over the course of Lent, and to make that final trip to the confessional.

How appropriate that we are reading 2 Timothy in class? It reads just like an examination of conscience in 2 Tim 3:

People will be…

Self-centered — Ugh. Check.
Lovers of money — No…. But does “haters of bills” count?
Proud — maybe?
Haughty — I don’t think so….
Abusive — Not that I know of, but I haven’t been around any marshmallow Peeps recently….
Disobedient to their parents — well, my parents haven’t asked anything of me recently….
Ungrateful — Ooooh. This could be painful if they count the things I tend to take for granted….
Irreligious — hmmm….
Callous — Not typically
Implacable — No
Slanderous — I don’t think so.
Licentious — Depends on which definition of Webster’s you are looking at. We’ll put that down as a “maybe”….
Brutal — oh, yes, vicious even! LOL! Okay, that’s probably a “no.”
Hating what is good — Noooo….
Traitors — no….
Reckless — Check. *sigh*
Conceited — But I *am* awesome! Oh…wait….
Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — Eeep!

I think if we really pray with this passage, there is much which will convict us. Or me. You guys are probably all fine and stuff.

What time’s Confession??

Be Quiet, Woman!

SHH_by_cookiemonstah by 旺小福
SHH_by_cookiemonstah, a photo by 旺小福 on Flickr.

Ah, and now to deal with the text which caused all the controversy in class! 🙂

“A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet,” (1 Timothy 2:11-12).

I will have to come back to this posting after the end of Holy Week and Easter and the semester to properly do justice to this topic, as I believe that it is an important one (and I have a lot to say!!!).

I’d like to note just a few things about this.

— This in no way means that women are inferior to men, nor should it be taken that way to justify the oppression of women.

— I think this speaks more to the innate differences between men and women and how we react to different situations/projects.

— I think the juxtaposition of this passage, after speaking of the duties of men and before speaking about the qualifications of ministers has significant influence over how we are to interpret this.

— What’s so bad about obedience anyway? Jesus was obedient unto the cross.

— How come every time people speak of women being obedient, someone has to counter with Eve and the apple, blame, and sexual assault? And what does it mean that these topics are continually re-presented?

As Catholics, Can We Pray for God’s Forgiveness for the Sins of Others?

Here’s the question: The acknowledgement of the sins of his ancestors and asking for forgiveness for those sins constitute a large portion of Nehemiah’s prayer in Neh 1:4-11. During the 2000 Jubilee Year celebrations, Pope John Paul II asked God’s forgiveness for sins committed by Catholics over the last two millennia. In your opinion, is it ever possible for a later generation to ask forgiveness for the sins committed by earlier generations? In what ways can that be redemptive and healing?

My answer: I would imagine that if Pope John Paul II saw that asking God’s mercy and forgiveness for sins of the past was a worthwhile endeavor, I wouldn’t have any reason to think that this might not be efficacious. For individuals who have passed, we can merit indulgences and perhaps ease their way through Purgatory. I think we are probably more connected than we think — as the body of Christ — and if the sin of one can affect all, perhaps the repentance of one can also be universally applicable. Even in my own body, if it is my hand which sins, it is still my tongue which confesses. This can be redemptive in ways we do not fully understand. But if Jesus took upon Himself all of our sins, and if we are to conform ourselves to Him, perhaps there is not only something known as redemptive suffering, but also redemptive repentance. I think it can be healing precisely in the fact that it underlines our unity in Christ and encourages us in our love of neighbor. Our neighbors are not just those who are temporally proximal to us, but all people in all times.

Spiritual Motherhood

This has been on a sticky note in my office for years now, “I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,” (Ephesians 4:1).

I always pair this in my mind with James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.

Since I have been given this vocation to pray for my priest, I find it necessary to be extra-aware of the sins that I commit and to go to Reconciliation often. I mean, believe me, I am concerned about my own salvation, but more importantly, I have been gifted with this person to help support in prayer and I want to support him in the best possible way. No one wants to meagerly provide for her children; she wants to provide them with all the good things in the world! So, if being a holier person, if having a closer relationship with God, means that my prayers could be more powerful, more efficacious, than I will seek towards that.

Not that I think that my prayer is what is efficacious in this. It’s not like prayer is like putting a quarter in the vending machine, and when enough quarters have been inserted you get the snack or the prize. Not at all. It is entirely God’s doing. His free gift. Yet, He allows for our participation. And it is this aspect which I wish to maximize.

So, it is for the sake of my priest that I try to live in a manner worthy of the call which I have received, so that my prayers may be powerful before Jesus on his behalf.

St. Thérèse, pray for us!