08 April 2011

A cloistered Augustinian nun will write the Good Friday meditations for the Way of the Cross, to be led by the Holy Father in the Colosseum. Zenit published a letter to the editor from one lady in New Jersey:
To read about a cloistered nun writing the Good Friday meditation was good news to me and I am sure, to many women around the world also. This invitation coming from the Holy Father himself is very significant: 1) it is a sign that the place and role of women in the Church is recognized and appreciated in whatever capacity, and 2) the contemplative vocation is not something to be afraid of because their voices could still be heard from the cloister and they could still make great difference from their silent world.
What a dreadfully silly thing to say. Has she ever heard of the Virgin Mary, the greatest saint in Heaven next to Jesus? St. Catherine of Siena, who singlehandedly convinced the Pope to return to Rome? St. Thérèse of Lisieux, called by Pope Pius XII "the greatest saint of modern times"? One could go on and on. What sort of affirmation do you need as a woman that our role is "recognized and appreciated" in the Church? Really, I do marvel at such women as this one from New Jersey, and wonder if they know anything whatsoever about their faith.

My doubts are only underscored by her second remark. As if the silence of the contemplative life is inferior to a voice in the world! Does she know anything about redemptive suffering? The interior life? The power of silent prayer? Apparently very little, if she thinks the contemplative life is validated by the fact that a nun gets to have her meditations read publicly before millions. I mean, wow. What's intimate converse with the Almighty compared to that?

I know, I know--I'm grumpy.