You’re getting an open, internet blogging letter today. I reckon you don’t tweet (too minimal, shallow even). You probably don’t LiveJournal (although you’re a fangirl/boy, you like to keep that part of your existence to yourself) and you probably don’t even blog (although I do know some bloggers that might have ‘I am God’ tendencies). Although not me. Never me.
I want to thank you for Mary MacKillop. In fact, there’s a few things about Mary from Fitzroy (boo, the Lions) that I want to thank you for, but the first is that she’s going to be canonized in a few days despite being excommunicated in 1871 and ruffling the feathers of the hierarchy in the male-dominated Roman Catholic church of the time.
Thanks for canonizing Mary in 2010 when many of us need reminding that the simple gestures in life are often the most sacred. When the caring for children, the poor, the destitute is a thousand times kinder than pontificating about sin and the fires of hell and premarital sex. When questioning and independent thought (just as Mary advocated) are as important as blind faith based upon supersition.
Where random acts of kindness, no matter how small (or how seemingly insignificant) all contribute to the sense of community. To the joy of simply giving without having to get anything back, or without having any guilt associated with receiving a kindness.
Thanks for making a saint of Mary MacKillop at a time where the RC church is struggling for leadership in Australia. Where community figureheads — still unmarried and male — are dwindling in numbers, many searching to show their love for God in the basis of family, children, a life partner.
Thanks for making Mary (soon to be known as St Mary of the Cross) Australian and a woman. Thanks for letting her work in the farming communities, educating children, looking after the very ill, the young, the elderly. Thanks for allowing her to travel. Interstate, to Queensland, South Australia, and overseas to Rome and New Zealand.
Thanks for making her fallible, for giving her seven siblings, for allowing her to make mistakes, get into trouble with the bishop, get her hands dirty and wipe them clean again with her amazing work. Thanks for letting her be a good, hardworking woman with no predilections for sexual perversity or warped physical punishment of children. Thanks for letting her care in a time when the indigenous were considered less, and thanks heaps for allowing her to push EQUALITY within the church and community.
Good onya, Mary.
I’m not a religious zealot, but I am an out-and-loud proud Aussie. This weekend, we are living Australian history. We are canonizing our first saint (EVER) remembering her simple, kind deeds in an era where many of our thoughts of kindness are blasted away by the loud noise of our iPod Nano or the latest download of Dexter.
Thanks (non-Tweetable) God for Mary MacKillop. She may not be as fashionable as Nicole Kidman, as enduring as Kylie or as rich as Gina Rinehart, but she’s salt-of-our-dusty-dry-earth, where the mere mortal floats upon it for the duration of their fame and wealth.
And on Sunday, we won’t be watching Nicole in ‘The Hours’ or listening to Kylie canary ‘Better the Devil (youse) Know’! We’ll be having a bottle of beautiful Penola red wine and some freshly made pasta from Fitzroy!