Dom blogs on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious annual assembly which could be advertised with "Got Liturgical Abuses?" One photo he linked to is worthy of a caption contest.
Now I am sure many will wonder exactly what liturgical act this shows? Applying olive oil for the communal salad? A new service for Jiffy Lube? Servicing an Olympic torch? Of course not. How could I have not seen it is a representation of "All of the assembly presenters were anointed with oil that had been blessed with the hopes and dreams of the assembly participants." Before Vatican II this rite was called "Extreme Dysfunction", but post Vatican II when done at a women’s religious conference is called "Anointing of the Chick." You can easily imagine what happens to this oil when blessed with "hopes and dreams" of these women religious. I bet the oil practically screams "Ordain me now!"
This is the annual tweaking of the nose of the LCWR president-elect, oh I mean anointing with hopes and dreams.
And who exactly decorated this object? Possibly someone who admires the decor at Chucky Cheeses or works at one of those party supply stores. "I need to decorate something for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious annual assembly. Why of course I need to get gold foil and multi-color streaming ribbons." It seems to me though that tinfoil would have been more appropriate.
And add some to the lectern for good measure. What more could they want besides possibly a Pope Benedict XVI pinata to bash open at the end of the conference. Well why of course Sr. Chitister addressing the conference with such profundities
"And feminism challenged the white male system and even the white male god."
"John Glenn, first American astronaut, took — from outer space — the first picture of the planet that had ever been taken, with a $45.00 camera that he bought at the local drugstore the night before the trip."
Wow I bet Alan Shepherd is bummed to hear that he wasn’t the first American astronaut. I guess Sr. Joan has the same level of knowledge of Church history as she does of space history.
The irony of her speech is that she parallels the last 40 years with the years of wandering in the wilderness. Her parallel is too apt, but not in the way she meant. Vatican II had a map for renewal of religious life that was pretty much ignored. The documents of Vatican II got as much attention as Joshua did when he described the inhabitants of the Holy Land. Instead many religious orders decided to make it up as they went along and and so it should be seen that much of the renewal as described in Perfectae Caritas has not been accomplished and most was totally ignored for whatever fad was currently popular in academic circles.
Sr. Joan Chitister of course peppers her speech with the word prophetic multiple times and seems to have no idea what the word means in relations to the Old Testament Prophets. Listening to her this word would mean someone calling the Church to something new and departing from what it has taught before. Nothing could be farther from the old prophets who constantly called the Israelites back to faithfulness to what had been passed down and taught. Their criticism of the Levitical priesthood was in the areas that they had departed from the faith. The prophets never added some new thing or demanded that the Israelites change to a more modern concept on par with the culture they lived in or the cultures around them. They have got the prophets exactly backwards. She says that Vatican II calls religious life “the prophetic dimension of the church.” The fact is that no such phrase exists in any Vatican II document. Though a similar phrase is used in Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Vita Consecrata, but not in the context she implies. In fact it is worthwhile quoting our late Holy Father on this.
True prophecy is born of God, from friendship with him, from attentive listening to his word in the different circumstances of history. Prophets feel in their hearts a burning desire for the holiness of God and, having heard his word in the dialogue of prayer, they proclaim that word with their lives, with their lips and with their actions, becoming people who speak for God against evil and sin. Prophetic witness requires the constant and passionate search for God’s will, for self-giving, for unfailing communion in the Church, for the practice of spiritual discernment and love of the truth. It is also expressed through the denunciation of all that is contrary to the divine will and through the exploration of new ways to apply the Gospel in history, in expectation of the coming of God’s Kingdom.
Sister Joan Chitister: "The function of religious community is to give light and balm and direction to model courage and conscience not to exist for itself alone."
Perfectae Caritis: "…the ultimate norm of the religious life is the following of Christ set forth in the Gospels, let this be held by all institutes as the highest rule."
I beg you, my sisters, if religious life is to be religious life, form your communities to climb and climb and climb to that new land where God awaits us even yet, even now. And do it courageously and with confidence. Why? Because the cure for anxiety is not nostalgia for the past. Because the Chinese say that if we stay on the road we are on we shall surely get where we are going.
Well to quote Robert Plant from Stairway to Heaven "Yes there are two paths you can go by but in the long run,
There’s still time to change the road you’re on." If I get on I-95 and head North to get to Miami, I will never get there regardless of how long I stay on that road. Sister please make a U-Turn.
Update: Gerald also blogs on Dom’s post and says: "A yes, those 60s revival get togethers are still quite popular.