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June 18, 2011

Something happened that day

The Most Holy Trinity
Took possession
Of my soul,my heart,
All that is me !

Long, long has been
The search everywhere
To re-discover that
Happened that day.

Now at last I found
In my  own heart
The One Holy Trinity
Who possesses me.

In this communion
I belong
Since something
Happened that day

June 15, 2011

Impact of Vatican II on Consecrated life in the Church

I belong to the Post-Vatican II generation of  young women theologians of colour in a developing country. It is difficult to see the difference between Pre-Vatican II and Post-Vatican II theologies. As far as I understand, Vatican II tried to reduce the gap between clergy and laity, religious and laity - and it tried to flatten the hierarchical mountain, to bring the priesthood at the center rather than the top. The vision/mission of the  ordained priesthood according to Vatican II was at the service of animating the priesthood of the laity (all the non-ordained people of God)--so that together the entire Church could be at the service of the world. The purpose of the desire to flatten the pyramid was mainly for greater unity and harmony within the Church.

From an Asian perspective, I do not see why instead of the gap between religious women and laity being reduced, in the struggle for equality of power/ leadership by men and women in the Church, most theologians (both conservative or liberal and Pre or Post Vatican II) have succeeded in 'raising' women religious to stand next to the clergy on the PYRAMID OF POWER.

So the pyramidal structure is being encouraged in order to encourage women in general (?) in developed countries, and women religious whose vocations continue to flourish in  developing countries, at the expense of the vast majority of the remaining People of God. My observations show that the 'main' reason why religious life is flourishing in Asia is the ‘high’ feeling experienced by religious women when they are put on the pedestal. I  have seen exceptions in some congregations and individual religious. But the majority seem to be motivated to religious life due to the attraction of security, comfort, education, privileges, and power.

I  do not support  these kind of motivations – inspite of the fact that I’m a woman who has been through a long long  journey of liberation as a woman in Asian culture and society and certainly wish the advancement of women in all fields.

As a disciple of Christ, I do not see this theology of  equality of power between men and women – moving in the right direction or in the spirit of the Gospel.

Even if I imagine women priests, maybe they would work in the developed countries in the right spirit, without  hampering the vocation of the laity in general. But  I have reasons to doubt this would be the case in other parts of the world which are simply not ready for such drastic reform in the Institutional Church and may not survive such a crisis. (Although I know the Holy Spirit holds surprises ! ) Hence I am personally not in favour of women’s ordained ministry in the Church at this time.

I think the urgent need of the Church is Unity.  No doubt, theologians should reflect on reform but only  the persons called  to the service of Unity in the Catholic Church may perhaps fully understand the burden of their calling which takes in the perspective of the entire universe with the diversities in the Churches. Jesus Christ did explicitly desire this Unity !

Personally I think it is the right time to focus on reflections on married clergy which would itself take care of the pyramid. Then other reflections /reforms could follow if still inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Consecrated virginity is both an ancient and new vocation, searching for its Identity and Mission in Today’s Church and World. Maybe one of the reasons why Vatican II re-introduced this vocation in the church was to reduce the gap between Religious Institutes and the Laity, while maintaining the richness of this vocation. It is upto consecrated virgins today to see in which direction it should move without losing  the Spousal and Service dimensions  and also to ensure the OrdoVirginum is not identified with the laity and subordinated to clergy and religious.

June 11, 2011

Waiting to be Filled with the Spirit

[written on 26th June 1999][ When I had severe Malaria ]

Thank You Jesus 
For bringing me Home
Long have I waited
Were the years wasted
In longing for freedom?
My heart is all empty
My will surrendered
My mind all empty
Nothing to do
All taken away by time
Life looks boring
This pain is no pain
A restlessness
An emptiness waiting
To be filled.
Your living waters
When will they Refresh my soul
One by one the seeds are sprouting
Into flowers within
I’m dying
A death of love
As I embrace this pain
Every moment
One moment at a time
Is more than enough to bear.
They have all left
One by one.
Leaving me on the shores
Of loneliness.
To wait for You.

On the snow You’re taking me
My friend, my Lover
On the path without footprints
Stained by travelers feet
On the road to nowhere.
We leave not footprints behind
But tread onwards
To the top of the mountain
Alone with each other
How meaningless !
There isn’t a feeling, a vision
A thought, any idea
Only Emptiness
Waited to be filled
With LOVE.
LOVE , my Father-God
You’re Love
You’re Light
Your Radiance
Is like the Sun
Yet Your Mercy
Like Refreshing waters
From the melting snow
How I love You Lord !

June 1, 2011

Joy a Mystery

Image result for joy images

[Written in 1998]
JOY was always a Mystery

Until I entered ‘His’ heart
Alone this time
And saw it wounded,bleeding
And let it bleed !

I was searching for it outside
Wondering what it is which
Friends said I don’t truly have
And they have.
I looked and looked at their lives
But the Mystery remained,
What is JOY ?
And never could I understand!

Then one day I met
A Christian family of missionaries
Just recently
And we ate together
I met Joy  and “Hey” I said
“Haven’t we met before !”

I hugged and kissed her
And we shared in Love
Our own life-stories
Joy shared with me her pain
Because the two were inseparable
She excitedly told me of her discovery
When she happened to meet her duplicate
We both had a hearty laugh
As she narrated the incident.

Joy had traveled
From house to house
In fact Pain had carried her along
But the house-keepers
Were frightened
And denied her entry
So Joy stayed outside with Pain
Peeking-in through the windows
And this is what they saw-

Inside was a family
They were laughing away
There was someone
Who looked just like Joy
And someone who looked like Peace
A friend of Joy
And someone who looked like Love
The mother of Peace and Joy
But they were all ‘duplicates’
What a pity !

They were laughing away
Cracking jokes,giggling
Hugging and kissing each other
Pulling each other’s legs
Laughing at each other
And at outsiders and events
Sometimes even laughing
At nonsense
Their faces were bright
Indeed they looked
So happy, so happy
Even Joy wondered whether
She wasn’t her duplicate !
Whenever suffering intruded
They tried to “shoo” her away
They didn’t want to get involved
With Pain and Discomfort in the conscience
And felt completely with peace
And continued laughing !

So Joy shared this story
We met in the missionary family
As I said  two weeks ago
She said-here too Pain brought her
And Pain was allowed entry
Not only in their House
But in their hearts
Whenever pain burned in their hearts
The warmth of Love embraced it
And it Burst into JOY
Like corn POPS into POP-CORN
Joy comes from within
And it is not empty !

Duplicate Joy was a balloon which burst with great noise
Only to leave it empty !
Only to give vent to hidden emotions
Duplicate peace came from
Satisfaction at possessing duplicate joy
In the family which liked complacency
True JOY and PEACE
Shared with me
That they weren’t always attractive
But their Duplicates
Were always shining and attractive
So they were rarely recognized
This was the Painful story of Joy
And at last I recognized her !

I looked in my / His heart
Alone this time
And saw it bleeding
And let it bleed !
The more it bled
The more Pain clinged to it
And  it bled even more and more.
Till it felt emptied
But it clinged to Pain
Like on the Cross
And embraced it with WARMTH OF LOVE
And then surprisingly
Pain started Popping into JOY
And as Pain burned
It burned into a Flame of Love
And Peace brought refreshment
Sometimes the light of Pain burning
Was too blinding
And seemed Dark like a night
Yet the warmth of the Love
Which embraced JOY HIDDEN in Pain
--- in others’ lives she
Made a difference !

And so Pain my constant companion
Waits for the freedom
To  belong to a little family
Will embrace it
And it will all POP into JOY !