To place the picture in the blog I had to search for it and was surprised that it was the Daily News that tweeted it, I really thought it was one of the Catholic people I followed not a secular newspaper. Read the story for yourself here. Of course the use of the words "wedding" and "married" have sent people into a tizzy. Kinda funny considering we are to open to all sorts of "marriages" now. The use of the word marriage is what throws people off, this woman has chosen to become a Consecrated Virgin. While we say she's married to Jesus we also so that nuns and sisters are married to Jesus though we know they are not really married to Jesus. We also refer to the Church as the Bride of Christ. That's an awful lot of brides for one man; though He is God. All kidding aside, it's the odd Catholic phrasing that gets people. It's like when we say we pray to the saints, we're not really praying to them as prayer is reserved strictly to and for God, but we are asking the saints to pray for us. It's just the language we use that confuses people.
Anyway I read the article and thought that's odd, but kind of cool. I went about my evening thinking no more of this woman's vocation until it appeared a few times on my Facebook feed. I didn't read the articles as I knew the story, but I did make the mistake of reading the comments on one of the posts. I refused to read the others as I assumed they would be full of hatred, I mean loving comments on how ugly, crazy and stupid this woman is. So much for tolerance.
Of course most people commented isn't this what nuns do and well she's a nun now. Not knowing much about it I didn't respond to the comments as I'd be there forever saying, "no she's not a nun, her vocation is different. She many not of found a charism of an order that matched her."
My favorite comments have been the "stupid Catholics, don't know what they are doing." All the so called Catholic theologians came out on this one. You know the ones who tell me I worship Mary, that I'm committing necromancy for "communicating" with the dead, that I don't read the correct Bible, your faith is fake, your religion is made up, yes those "catholics" who know more than those of us actually studying Catholic theology.
These are the same people that when you point out that all the Christian religions have their roots in the Catholic faith tell you that you are wrong. I know that right now I sound like an uber-snobbish holier than thou Catholic. Did you know that all Catholics have a holier-than-thou attitude? I didn't but I'm glad I do now. By the way this blog is dripping in sarcasm, in cause you couldn't tell.
I usually just ignore the Protestants and just keep going, but one comment set me off, not really set me off, but made me say "please do some research before you spout off misconceptions of the Catholic Church."
Below is the tread that followed. I'm learning to nicely defend the faith. I'm using comments make at conferences. I'm trying to be civil and level headed, but I'm Irish so we'll see how long that lasts.
I'm pretty sure you can click on the picture to make it larger, but I'm not sure. I'll see what happens after I publish the blog. (Side note: it does open in a pop up, but on my screen it's smaller than what it is here on the blog.)
It's always the same old "argument" and people act like Catholicism didn't exist before the 1500s. Another woman just commented on how pompous Catholics are because we believe that we wrote the Bible and are the rock on which Christianity was built. We did and we are, so yes we do have the technical right to be pompous, but we're really not. I don't throw Church teaching in others faces, I don't ask "have you been saved?", I'm lucky I get my sinful person to Mass every week. I try so hard to not come across as a know it all, holier-than-thou person, but sometimes I honestly can't help it. I've studied Theology and I love being Catholic so yeah I do come across as bitchy and pompous, but I also know that I have the fullness of faith at my fingertips. It's easy for me to pick up a Catechism and read actual Church teaching.
Anyway back to the woman this blog is about. As a "cradle Catholic" I have heard of Consecrated Virgins, but never paid attention to what it is/was. I honestly didn't think they existed anymore. I think God has used this women's story to bring awareness to this vocation. God bless her for her decision, I know it could have been easy. I know that I'll be adding Consecrated Virgin to my list of vocations to talk about to the teens. What I don't understand are the vile and awful comments of this woman is so ugly no one would want to marry her, she couldn't get laid so she decided to do it. As a woman who is constantly discerning her vocation, I understand that this was not easy for her.
There is an article that does a good job of explaining what happened at the rite here. I feel a great disservice is done to the rite and to this woman because the words marriage and wedding were used. White is a symbol of purity hence why it's worn for Baptism, Communion, Confirmation (though most don't do that anymore), and a wedding. I don't know people are so immersed in the sexual ways of the world that this simple act seems so strange. I know her story has opened my eyes to the idea that not every woman is called to religious life in the idea of being a nun or sister.