It was pointed out to me in recent years that the Catholic Church has seven sacraments for men but only six for women. I already knew that, but I had never thought it about it in quite that way before. For all you non-Catholics out there, sacraments are sacred rituals to mark initiations, milestones, and transitions. But their greater purpose is to serve as powerful reminders that God is ever present in our lives. Apparently the Church would have us think that God is more present for all you guys than for us gals.
The Seven Sacraments are: Baptism, Eucharist (or Communion), Confirmation, Matrimony, Reconciliation (or Confession), Ordination, and Extreme Unction (or the Anointing of the Sick and Dying.) Bonus points if you immediately recognize the one that excludes women. Spoiler: that would be Ordination. It’s true that nuns take vows, but they are not ordained. They are barred from this particular sacrament.
Spiritual Author and Medical Intuitive Caroline Myss wrote a book about the sacraments (among other things) way back in 1997. It’s called Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can. It’s one of my favorite books. In it she writes about the Catholic sacraments, as well as Hindu teachings about the Chakras and Hebrew teachings about the Kabbalah. Since I was raised in the Catholic Church I related most strongly to what Myss has to say about that.
This is a book I’ve read a few times through, and now I pick it up often, especially during rough times. Usually I read her insights on Baptism, Communion and Confirmation because those teachings deal with day-to-day practical stuff about family and relationship and self-esteem. I’ve also found what she has to say about the sacrament of Reconciliation to be helpful as I strive to forgive myself and others.
When I picked up the book this summer, I planned to re-read the prayers and rituals for forgiveness. But for the first time, my heart drew me to focus on the teachings about Ordination.
Unlike the Church, Myss does not believe that Ordination is only for men. Nor does she believe Ordination is only for those who want to be priests. Ordination is for everyone who is ready to offer their lives in service to Divine Energy, the Universe, God—however you imagine this Entity or Spirit.
I have felt this call before in a way. But now, during this Corona Summer, I feel a realization that whether we are conscious of it or not, we are all called as part of something larger, an energy that is in constant motion, like a murmuration of starlings. As individuals we are unable to discern the pattern or purpose of this movement, but when we let go of our reliance on human logic, we are drawn into the dance. I like to believe meaning (or purpose) will be revealed, but I don’t know if it will or not. I can only trust that when we open our hearts and ask for guidance, we will be of service to the companions and the planet that we love.
Years ago, my late friend Craig wrote me a letter I’ve always remembered. He concluded with a final bit of wisdom: “The best conductor has no resistance.”
So I invite you to drop your resistance. Be the copper wire. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how. Affirm that you want to channel God’s grace, and trust it will be so.
I pray and affirm that working together we will save this nation and this planet that we love. Amen.
Photo by raychan on Unsplash