April 22, 2012

"Humility... is the simple grace of being in the right place"

Fr. Dwight, writing on the question of why women cannot become priests....

...Finally, the argument, at its heart, also has nothing to do with "equality". I realize that to say so bluntly may make some people howl with rage. This is because at the very heart of the Catholic faith we believe in something greater than "equality". We believe in a principle we might call "equity".

Equity is the quality of being fair, objective, unbiased and even handed. Equity has more to do with giving everyone what they deserve rather than giving everyone the same thing. Equity is the idea that everyone has their rightful place in society, in the family, in the church, and ultimately in the cosmos, and that true justice is a matter of each person eventually finding their own rightful place in the greater order of things.

Dante's picture of heaven is of each person in the cosmos being in exactly the right place in relationship to God, and therefore in relationship to one another. As this is attained each person finds total peace, or as he says, "Our Peace in His Will". The achievement of this "perfect place" is the work of a lifetime. It is the work of a lifetime of prayer, surrender, mystery and service. This "place of peace"; this equity of heaven is also the result of humility.

Humility is understanding our rightful place and being there. Humility is not abject groveling, but the simple grace of being in the right place. Furthermore, this humble fact of being in the right place grants us not only humility, but great dignity. I am where I should be and where no one else should be. I am who I am. I am who God has made me to be. I am in my unique place in the divine economy. This individual dignity is far greater and the freedom that comes with it grants me much greater peace than I would ever find by seeking to be someone else just because I want to be "equal" to them.

Obedience to the divine will and submission to the divine teaching is the only way to attain this equity.  I am not writing this to women telling them to be submissive and shut up and know their place.

I am writing this to myself.
Posted by John Weidner at April 22, 2012 8:10 AM
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