Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Secret Regret

When I was eleven, I hated the fact that I was a girl.

Oh, I've had my crushes even then. But I quite detested that I could never run as fast or climb a tree or be allowed to buy "suka" from the corner store without an escort. I wasn't allowed to stay out in the backyard after 6 p.m., and I was given silly little dolls to play with. No wonder I resorted to books --- you could only change Barbie's dresses so many times until you want to puke at the very thought of handling another taffeta-infested mini skirt. I hated the color pink. I went through a phase that I adored wearing baseball caps. I wanted to change my name to Elizabeth --- So I can call myself Liz. I thought the name Olivia was too girly-girly. And Liv sounds positively and undesirably feminine.

I preen whenever I'm scolded by my Mommy for being tomboyish. It was positive praise, at least in my dictionary. It means I'm not one of those giggling, lace-laden, floral-headbands-stricken girls who are just beyond hopeless.

Now, I think pink clothes bring out the blush in my cheeks. Lace is not to be abhorred but to be used wisely. Sometimes, I even put on make-up when I'm in a good mood. I sign my letters as Liv or Livia.

Yeah, I'm not that eleven-year-old hellcat anymore, but I still have one regret about my being a girl / woman.

There are no woman-priests in the Catholic Church.

Seriously.

There are nuns and there are nuns. They visit the sick, give succor to the suffering, live out the good deeds of Christians --- just as priests do. But they do not --- CANNOT --- celebrate Holy Mass. They do not get assigned to parishes --- so far out in the countryside that the only way to communicate to your loved ones would be by whispering to the wind and praying a trace will touch your intended.

I want to write homilies and stand at the pulpit. I want to make people think, cry, laugh, and believe in the word of God. I want to inspire hope in people. I want to administer communion. I want to be Pope.

Unfortunately, even the beloved late Pope John Paul II was against ordaining women in the priesthood. Maybe it could never really happen in my lifetime. Thinking about this red hot desire to do God service THIS WAY makes me want to cry.

Why can't I? Why does it have to be men only? I understand tradition should be honored --- but I would really give my all if given the chance.

My mother keeps reminding me she has promised the Blessed Virgin that her first born child was going to be either a priest or a nun. I would not have felt bad about this if I were a boy. But unfortunately, what I have is a concave, not a convex apparatus. And to rebel, I pushed away the thought of becoming a nun. Not only pushed, I suppose. Even trampled upon that dream and tried to run away from it as far as I can manage.

But I cannot claim I know my future. If I was promised and accepted, if destiny had laid out a path for me, if I find that someday I'm changing my mind --- I might actually turn out to be the Sister Mary Olive my kindergarten teacher kept calling me back then. My convent education in an all-girls school might come in handy.

But now, my stomach churns at the idea. A priest --- that's what I could never dare to wish to be --- seeing that I'm a woman and a whole tradition of Popes and a whole Bible of fire and brimstone awaits me if I make a wrong move. But the wish cannot be erased nor eliminated.

I know God must have never intended me to be a priest or else I'd be male. He must want me to serve some other purpose. What it is remains to be obstinately unclear though. So... I just make do by serving Him in other ways. Girly ways. Sissy ways. The way I know how. The only way for me.

4 comments:

  1. How about other types of ministries. You don't need to be a priest to serve the Lord. If you really wanted to be one, then you can do so outside of Catholicism unless you don't feel comfortable with not being Catholic.

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  2. oh, and by the way, we are the priesthood. Jesus Christ relied on the people to preach to each other - to spread his word and the love of God in "house" churches. The early Christian movement did not have solid hierarchies. All they knew was that they believed in the Trinity of the Holy Spirit, God, and Jesus Christ - and that their main material were not bible passages but their life changing experiences that only God can give.

    Just my 2cents.

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  3. I love being a Catholic, fortunately or unfortunately. It fascinates me to no end.

    But it is the hierarchies that I respect which deters me from wearing vestments. :)

    Still, I know we are the Church, and God accepts our good deeds no matter what form it takes.

    Thanks, noyps...

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  4. Anonymous1:40 PM

    You just have to keep the faith...

    ReplyDelete