Thursday, April 1, 2010

This Is My Body, This Is My Blood

Lighting of candles at a seder meal.

I found the following on the blog Blue Eye Ennis. These are two poems written by two different women which point to the novelty of the idea that women are somehow incapable of uttering or representing the words "This is my Body, this is my blood." I think not.

On this Holy Thursday, I am reminded that it is quite impossible to have a Jewish Pass Over feast without women, and yet somehow our Catholic re enactment of this feast manages to do just that. Makes me wonder.

These are difficult times to be Catholic. The idea of betrayal is in the air. Scapegoating is again in play.

Tonight Pope Benedict will wash the feet of twelve male clerics in a symbolic gesture of service. The cynic in me thinks this is highly representational of the real decisions of white washing the acts of abusive clerics. And yet I remember betrayal was a major theme of this night, so it is fitting I guess that Benedict wash the feet of clerics.

I hope though, that sometime this weekend Benedict remembers that he himself is the product of his mother's body and blood. That he recognizes on a fundamental level the Church is the product of the body and blood of a woman and all the women who have followed. I hope that he can recognize the true place of women in Catholicism, just as is recognized in the seder meal, the part of humanity that lights the Light, and brought Salvation to the world.

Did The Woman Say
Frances Croake Frank

Did the woman say
When she held him for the first time
in the dark dank of a stable,
After the pain and the bleeding and the crying,
“This is my body, this is my blood?”

Did the woman say,
When she held him for the last time in the
dark rain on a hilltop,
After the pain and the bleeding and the dying,
“This is my body, this is my blood?

Well that she said it to him then,
For dry old men,
Brocaded robes belying barrenness,
Ordain that she not say it for him now.

Irene Zimmerman SSSF

All the way to Elizabeth
and in the months afterward
she wove him, pondering,
"this is my body, my blood!

"Beneath the watching eyes
of donkey, ox, and sheep
she rocked him crooning
"this is my body, my blood!"

In the search for her young lost boy
and the foreboding day of his leaving
she let him go , knowing
"This is my body, my blood!"

Under the blood smeared cross
she rocked his mangled bones,
re-membering him, moaning,
"This is my body, my blood!"

When darkness, stones , and tomb
bloomed to Easter morning,
She ran to him shouting,
"this is my body, my blood!"

And no one thought to tell her:
"Woman, it is not fitting
for you to say those words.
You don't resemble him."


  1. My meditation on Holy Thursday is a repost - related to the foot-washing and servant leadership.

    Women, above all in the Gospels, are examples of beloved servants of Jesus. I think we could go back and look at each woman, depicted in the Gospels and see this embodiment of what Jesus taught in the foot washing. Interestingly, he seems not to have needed to teach this to women! And sadly... the males, especially the bishops, seem not to have learned this YET!

    Soon my repost of an open letter to bishops, based on Br. Pierre - a Genuine Shepherd, will show up on your sidebar. I've also posted it in my "Nothingness" blog.

    One of these days I might do a blog on how women are able to "serve" as shepherds - better than men!

    Thank you for this post! Would that the men, like Mary, would ponder and treasure things up in their hearts!

  2. Beautiful poems. If one can still dream, I suppose one could dream that Benedict might imagine the presence of women with Jesus, recognizing a true place of women in Catholicism, recognize Christ in women.

    Wishful thinking that an arrogant old stubborn medieval minded man might become humble enough to include women in any meaningful way in the Church and to actually serve them. You are too kind to Judas. Even Christ said that to the one who betrays Jesus "it would have been better had he not been born at all."

  3. Having read up on all the increasingly horrid news of the ever spiralling out of control abuse/coverup scenarios - and noting the insane level of abject Denial of many (if not most...)Catholics, it was very hard for me to watch Ratziner. Or listen to his pious lies.

    1. In the Mass of the Lord's Supper in the Lateran Basilica, the collection was taken up "for the poor - to rebuild the Seminary in Port au Prince, Haiti".

    EXCUSE ME????? There are something like 1 million homeless/displaced persons in Haiti....and these clowns want to 'rebuild a Seminary"???

    This is a direct slap in the face of Christ whom they (pretend to..) believe in & (claim to....) 'represent'. This is serving Satan, not God.

    Which part of "I demand MERCY and not sacrifice' do these imbeciles not get? Use the money to feed the poor, clothe the naked, house the homeless & heal the sick ppl of Haiti........not make luxurious "Priest Factories"!

    The late JPII never had such luxury; he studied for the priesthood in underground 'flying seminaries', laboring as a common workman & dressing as a layman (all do to Nazi restrictions). For all the negative things would could ascribe to his pontificate (actually the work of his inner circle....) his priestly training was as it should be: as an equal with his fellow humans.

    The absolutely incredible level of moral bankruptcy & spiritual emptiness of this man (Ratz) and his cronies literally cries out:

    "Come quickly, Lord Jesus.....and STOP this madness, before more souls are destroyed by these men who dare to claim to act' in your Name'!"

  4. Wonderful poems. How those words bring relevancy to the Holy Thursday liturgy.