Tuesday, January 10, 2012
"She was just a vessel!"
That's what a friend told me yesterday when we met to talk about the study she leads on women of the Bible.
She burst out with it after proclaiming a bunch of misconceptions about Catholic views, eyes on fire as if a procession of indulgence-peddling papists was hot on her heels.
She said that Catholics elevate Mary above Jesus. That they worship dead people. That they removed idolatry from the ten commandments in the "Catholic Bible".
The accusations flew so fast that it was hard to keep up, and her fear and discomfort were so intense that it was hard to know what to focus on. I didn't know if I should keep responding to each preposterous claim with facts, or work on helping her deal with her emotion.
So I tried to do both.
As it turned out, she denied having the emotions that I watched play out. And this wasn't the first time they'd been displayed.
In thinking about it now, I realize that our conversations must be disturbing. It must be threatening to consider that the things you've been taught for years and years and which you accepted as truth turn out to perhaps not be. When that question enters, the what if, it could shake foundations and send you scurrying for emotional, intellectual, and spiritual cover.
I suppose that if you learned these falsehoods from people that you revered and trusted and loved, from people who mentored you and maybe even brought you to Christ, it could bring up emotions that you just might not want to deal with.
I am praying for her. Praying that she not be afraid. Praying that she open herself to whatever God wants to reveal to her, and that He protect her from anything that is not of Him.
And I pray that this woman, a mother herself, will never again say that any mother is "just a vessel".
Especially not the mother of God.