Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pope Mary Magdalene the First

Monday, April 13, 2009
An apocalyptic vision-- of the first female pope! 
I was driving down through the green hills and valleys of California to see my mom for Easter, and a lovely vision came to me, which seemed like a potentially possible future; no less potential than the Book of Revelations' vision of all the events of the hallucinatory "rapture". The vision unfolded quite fully in my mind, and a rosy picture it was, which made me smile; and if it comes to pass when I am alive and still able to get up and dance, I will dance, like David danced with the Ark of the Covenant!

The newspapers and magazine articles' story goes like this:
The first woman elected to the papacy by the college of Cardinals in Rome has taken the name Pope Mary Magdalene I. She was highly favored to be a winner, but after 2,000 plus years of male-only papacies, it seemed almost inconceivable that she would actually be voted into office. Her closest friends in the college of cardinals, known affectionately as the "Tres Teresas" or the 3Ts, Terese of Lisieux, the French-speaking cardinal of Singapore, Teresa of Avila, cardinal from Southern Argentina, and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, cardinal from Northern Germany had spoken very highly of her administrative skills, communication skills, and holiness.
"She is a very charismatic person", Teresa Bendedicta said, and "will be a great asset in helping to form more cohesive Catholic communities around the world."
Pope Mary Magdalene I has said that she will continue to wear the habit of her order, the Daughters of Charity formed by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, with the wide blue band along the rim of the white veil and sari-gown. She will walk barefoot to the throne of Peter, as a reminder of the vows of poverty taken by the sisters in her order.
One of the male cardinals who was said to be very much in opposition to the election of a woman, however holy, to the papacy, has said that he now will attend the consecration and Mass, because it came to him in a dream that "divine love conquers all". Most of the male cardinals seemed genuinely gracious and pleased, as they believe the election of a woman is a long-awaited fulfillment of the Gospel promise that we are all children of the living God, and brothers and sisters in Christ. Cardinal Bernard of Clairvaux, the head of the Benedictine order, was especially clear that this follows what St. Paul said in the epistle to the Galatians, that we were baptised into Christ, and "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free person, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ".
Both the Italian Cardinals, Ignatius and Dominic were won over by the sensible and kind behavior of the new pope. They were both impressed with her preaching, and her life of service to the poor.
The first promulgation from Pope Mary Magdalene was to ask each archdiocese to have a local site for pilgrimages within each archdiocese, where a representation of "the empty tomb" should be displayed. "Every Catholic Christian should have an opportunity to make a pilgrimage to a place which reminds us of this fundamental miracle of our faith; and of the importance of Easter, which makes us people of the Resurrection" she said.
She has also asked the College of Cardinals to promote ways to be better stewards of the earth as part of the duty of Christians, and to make plans to increase the ecologically sound practices of growing vegetables and fruits within each archdiocese especially for the needs of the poor and the sick; and wherever feasible to convert the church buildings to wind- and water- and solar-powered energy sources.
Sister Misericordia of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in South China was in enthusiastic admiration of the idea of growing food within the purview of the church properties-- as this gives a good role model for secular organizations to follow.
All over the world, women rejoiced, as this brings a new feeling of equality and shared stewardship in God's creation and in the full expression of holiness within the lives of women. The "Tres Teresas" have also said that this will help ensure the full protection of children within the offices and functions of the Catholic church, as Pope MMI is dedicated to protecting all children from abuse and exploitation through better policies and enforcement of existing regulations.

Finding Meaning in Medicine

More than ever, I now want to get the attending physicians to understand that there is an ongoing way to do this reinforcement of our medical vocation. It is called Finding Meaning in Medicine. There are small groups of doctors who get together once a month, to explore a topic such as "mystery and awe in medicine". Each one must bring a story or a poem to share, from their work, to give to the group. Sharing on this level helps us drop down into a truly-meaningful conversation, not surface chit-chat. It is really important to build these groups into medical communities.

More information is available at the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness, at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.