The shame of the male dominated Catholic church is that women are still subservient in the 21st century?! Can you imagine just how different the church would be today if women had equal billing?
A woman paved my way to God. I was lucky enough to have a very loving teacher.
From a very early age, this woman taught me that the way to God was through Mary and then Jesus. Simplistic? I guess so, but I was a little boy at the time. Her guidance began the process of continual learning for me, she taught me to have an open mind (hopefully), and the courage to question dogma and authority, yet she was the simplest of souls. She also taught that acknowledging the presence of the Holy Spirit in everyday life led to “sense the love of God”. To sense God is to sense Her/His unwavering (equal) love for everyone and everything – not just the male of the species. My introduction to that love, I have appreciated for some time now, wasn’t because I was born a cradle catholic or because my parents were strictly religious; thankfully, they were realistic and pragmatic. No, my love of God was wrapped up in a love of the church, its history, traditions, faults, failings and myths because of a woman.
I confess, I was a class pet in those days and a Mercy nun, sister Mary Odilia, took a shine to me, and, I to her. Her approach to Jesus, to his blessed mother (as she would say) was of such positivity, kindness, and honesty that it has stood the test of time, especially frustration and disillusionment with old men in dresses! She taught us kids that God was “a lovely man”. This lovely man never became someone to fear until later, when in higher grades draconian punishment was associated with offending a vengeful God, with ‘sinful’ children and with negativity. Sister Odilia never raised her voice, never used corporal punishment but simply went about her work, teaching and caring and thankfully preparing us [for life] under the watchful eye of “a lovely man”. Had Sister Odilia been a priest or equal to the most powerful in the Church, what a difference she would have made. I am sure you can extrapolate my message.