|Jesse Tree Ornaments|
You can tell St. Augustine is male. He actually has the unmitigated gall to state:
Mary heard God's word and kept it, and so she is blessed. She kept God's truth in her mind, a nobler thing than carrying his body in her womb. The truth and the body were both Christ: he was kept in Mary's mind insofar as he is truth, he was carried in her womb insofar as he is truth, he was carried in her womb insofar as he is man; but what is kept in the mind is of a higher order than what is carried in the womb.
You can tell a man wrote this. Besides, being a co-creator in creation, (like all mothers) with God, she alone, incarnately, can definitively state, THIS IS MY BODY; THIS IS MY BLOOD. St. Augustine, in all his testosterone opinion, places this fact lower on the scale than acknowledging God's existence, which she had to have done in the first place. Grrr-rrrr-rrrr!
What has propelled me into this uncharacteristically mean state of mind is the following. Last night was prayer group. I planned a surprise for them. I arrived an hour early and went into the back room, where we end our meeting. I changed the table cloth to Christmas red. I put the Christmas tree we use for our Jesse tree on the table. I hung the Jesse tree ornaments on the tree branches. On the whiteboard I put the scripture readings for the first week of Advent, according to the Jesse Tree. I had brought presents for the group. The presents were pictures that I've taken of the group at various times. I had the pictures placed in separate envelopes with the members' names on the envelopes, and I put them under our tree. I also brought in a new CD for the group to share. I also put Father De Adder's present under the tree. (He's in a nursing home and is the priest we spiritually adopted.) The room looked so Christmasy! I was going to take a picture and try to have it put on the parish website.
When the room looked the best it could, I closed the door, and joined the prayer group praying the Rosary. I didn't say a word.
After prayers, Adoration, and singing, we left the nave of the church and went to our prayer room. I opened the door.
Their surprise disintegrated immediately. Our leader told us that we can't use this room for two weeks. The room will be used for stashing the caring tree presents. The room will be locked. And sure enough, there was a shiny new combination lock on the door.
This is an example of what the parish thinks of the prayer group. Out of all the places in the church and the rectory, they have to take ours. Our room is the smallest. We work hard to make it the prettiest, most prayer conducive we can. We change the tablecloth, often. We write inspirational messages and special events on the board. We leave CD's and pamphlets for others to use.
It's very disheartening to be given physical proof that we're regarded with such little thought.
Why didn't they store the presents in the rectory? That's secure. There's room. There wouldn't have been any interruption to the parish activity. There would not have been the expense of buying new locks.
But, oh no, they choose that little lame prayer group's space. They're not important.
And the prayer group's leader, in all humility, offers it up.
And right now, I can't make myself do the same. Lord help me.