Monday, September 11, 2006

Heretic of the week

Heretic of the week:

Sister Julie: First let me read a quote to you by the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, winner of the Nobel Peace prize, founder of a religious order that cared for India’s poorest citizens:

"There is only one God, and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I've always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people. We have among us 475 souls - 30 families are Catholic and the rest are all Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs - all different religions. But they all come to our prayers."

Here is an e-mail I recently received by Dennis Momin who comments on the life and works of Mother Teresa. His letter starts, “Heretics you all are!!” and continues from there…

“If "Mother" Theresa has truly uttered those words that you
dorn on your front page sister (and which, I believe, greatly
reflects your ideals and organization) then the crucifix she
pinned on her shoulder was her greatest shame. All her life
long deeds of kindness and love was for the sake of humanty
than God and was not worth a child's day who died for
Christ.” – Dennis Momin

Yes, Dennis, in answer to your letter I am proud to say that our order is dedicated to the same hertical principles espoused by this most famous of heretics, a nun who devoted her life to God and who has been beatified by the Catholic Church. And so Dennis we have named this part of our podcast for your words and call it:

Sister Frances: [with emphasis] HERETIC OF THE WEEK!

Sister Julie: Each week we will be dedicating part of this podcast to people who dedicated their lives to the heretic principles of peace, harmony, unity and understanding. People who in some way, whether small or large, made the world a better place to live in. Keep in mind that God, by what ever name you may call Him, does not always call for deeds that stand out in the world’s eyes to be great…sometimes the smallest deeds of kindness can be great in God’s eyes.

Here with our first Heretic of the Week is Mother Frances:

Sister Frances: This weeks heretic was a rebel amongst rebel. You have seen Him over and over again in the news at every turn, with his long hair, scraggly beard and sandals – a real throwback to the hippies of the sixties.

He is a Jew and not only that He is a Rabbi.

Sister Julie: [shocked gasp of amazement] NO!

Sister Frances: Yes! Time magazine for June 21, 1971 describes Him as a:

- Notorious leader of an underground liberation movement
- Practicing medicine, winemaking and food distribution without a license.
- Interfering with businessmen in the temple.
- Associating with known criminals, radicals, subversives, prostitutes and street people.

In one of His famous public quotes He has said, “Do not think I have come to bring peace to the world, No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

He was sentenced to death by the civil authorities but remains at large. Yes my friends, He is the only man that women don’t mind sharing – you know Him, we love Him, Sister Julie and I want to be like Him – this week’s Heretic of the Week is none other than Jesus Christ Himself.

Sister Julie: In a future segment of Heretic of the Week we will feature one of His close followers – a man who dared to be both Christian and Jew, author of much of the New Testament – none other than the Apostle Paul Himself.

Sister Frances: Our pod-cast is about spirituality, yet with a tongue-in-cheek sort of humor. The basic idea is to call ourselves and all these various past "saints" and holy people "heretics", because most of them, if not all of them were thought of as heretics by one group or another during their lives. We are laughing AT the people who even make the call of "heretics" about other people. We are laughing at those who think themselves in some way better than the general population, better either because of social status, religious rank, or ego.

Sister Julie: My dear departed grandmother put it best when she said, “If you didn’t laugh, You’d cry.”


Susan said...

I've been really enjoying this series of posts so far. It's really hard to think of Jesus as a heretic if you are of the Christian tradition but I was reading in Mark about Jesus coming home to Nazareth with his disciples and trying to preach to the people there. The townspeople basically say in reply to him "Who is this guy? Isn't this Joseph and Mary's son? Where did he get the authority to preach?" And we all know what he went on to do. That's why I have to giggle with you about labeling Jesus a heretic and I have to say that if your heretics I would rather be on your side. :)

Sr.Julie said...

Thank you for your comment Susan. It helps to know that people are actually reading the column. Mother Frances and I are working on developing a podcast but it is a bit of a slow go with out other duties.

Yes, in His time, by many people Jesus was thought of as a hertic. AS you pointed out, Our dear Lord Himself said:

"I am sure you will quote this proverb to me, 'Doctor heal yourself.' You will also tell me to do here in my hometown the same things you heard were done in Capernaum. I tell you this, Jesus added, 'prophets are never welcome in their hometown."
- Luke 4: 23-24 (GNV)

Thank you for your reply.

Sister Julie