Sunday, May 22, 2011

The apocalypse, and what it means to you

So 21 May, 2011 passed without a blip. I was rather disappointed because I was looking forward to not having to pay my student loans anymore. Then I thought, maybe the rapture DID happen, and we just didn't notice because the number of people raptured was so insignificantly small that it didn't even register on the local news? Then I thought, what if Westboro was raptured? A quick scan on the internet did not give me the news I wanted, so it looks like we'll be sharing this planet a little longer.

All this rapture talk got me thinking about some very personal things. My faith, my sexuality, my family, my friends, my plans for the future. How do they all intertwine? Obviously, they inform each other, and the family question has been a big motivator for my current choices. Moving back home, quitting my job. My faith? Well, it's becoming harder and harder for me to claim that I am a strictly orthodox Catholic. Certain aspects of myself and my views on the world I am finding irreconcilable with Catholic teachings on the same subjects. Reading up on the views of religious communities in communion with the Catholic Church has shown that Rome isn't as stringent in some of these views as we in the West would like to think. Of particular note are the Eastern Churches and their views on Mary.

In the Marovite Church (in Communion with Rome), as Christ is viewed as the incarnation of God the Son, Mary has been defined as the incarnation of God the Father. While she is not worshipped as a goddess or divinity co-equal to God, there is a level of adoration offered her that would dwarf the Marian devotions of the most devote Irish Catholic grandmother. The issue is that the RCC maintains that Mary was strictly mortal. Immaculately conceived, but mortal nonetheless. The Marovite definition, however, is akin to the Hindu concept of an avatar, the mortal incarnation of a god. Either God was incarnate as the Father in the person of Mary to bring Christ incarnate as the Son into the world or God was absent from the equation. Either Mary was divine or she wasn't. In the whole of Christendom, only three people are considered "immaculate" or "without sin", and these are God, Christ, and Mary. Two are divine. One isn't. One is formless. One is everywhere still portrayed hanging from the cross. And the other speaks directly to her devotees, giving them prophecies and visions.

If Mary has a litany all her own, made up of nearly a hundred titles, gave the King of Spain a vision wherein she was able to intercede on his behalf at his deathbed, has healed the sick, and foretold the end of the world, I would rather welcome the rapture with the Ave Maria on my lips than be surrounded by people holding hands and singing "Kum Ba Yah". Even if this is called heresy, my praises will be for a God that is the personification of love, a Messiah that is the fulfillment of love, and a woman who is the sole vessel of love.

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