As I slid out of the jacket, the local Lord somebody or other drew attention to my arrival by greeting me (in a cut-glass accent and as many decibels as a foghorn) with "Wow. Look at you! Well, hooray for the ordination of women - now all of us men can safely own up to fancying the Vicar without anyone wondering about our sexuality."This caused my head to spin towards a tangential reflection. The role of the priest is a bit of a tightrope between being the representative of the people before God, and being the representative of God before the people. In these more democratic times, with an emphasis (quite appropriate, it seems to me) of the "priesthood of all believers," the latter role is played down. But it's there just the same. As the one who offers the sacraments, absolution and blessing in the name of God, the role of being a living icon, a window to God, cannot be ignored.
Now, on to my tangential thoughts. Within the Church, we are inclined to talk quite a bit about the theology of romantic love (as in Dante's Beatrice, as mentioned by Charles Williams, among others). We speak about God being madly, head over heels in love with us, and we with "him."
Yes, "him." Our tendency to consistently speak of God using male pronouns would seem to me to be a factor in why so often there are more women than men involved in the Church. It may be on an unconscious level, but I wonder how many men are a bit uncomfortable with all this love of a male God talk. Can the men own up to fancying a male God without anyone wondering about their sexuality?
Hooray for the ordination of women indeed, for multiple reasons beyond this one.
One last fleeting thought; maybe raising Mary to Co-Redemptrix is not such a crazy idea after all?
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