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A Courageous Redemption

I loved the interview with Karen Armstrong (having been a reader of some of her work). What struck me as both poignant and inspiring was Karen's honestly and her Phoenix-like rise from the ashes of self-abnegation to her reclamation of an "authentic life". I feel that her story highlights the soul's search for self-worth and holistic healing that only a mature "faith" can nurture. I, too, feel like a pilgrim on a journey and I was truly moved by Karen's unabashed honesty and her fascinating discovery of the myriad ways to God. Now that female voices are demanding equal space in the theological public square, I find it refreshing to encounter someone like Armstrong who seems to have rescued a fledgling soul on the point of despair only to re-create and re-new themselves over and over again without "turning back again" (TS Eliot was awesome).

I include a poem of mine that I wrote while at seminary and after having been introduced to some amazing feminist theology. You may include it if you like:

Fiat Mihi
Rick Folker

�Thy will be done on earth�.�
And Mary obeys
And becomes
Disciple suprema in coeli.

�Do unto me that which you have promised...�
And Seila submits to the
Aqedah meant for Isaac
Haunting the virgin hills, barren and despised
And is quickly forgotten.

�Let it be as you say�.�
And Rahab the whore
Lowers a red cord that twists and coils
Through history, spiraling to its terminus
In Christos who keeps company with whores & outcasts
Her place in the Bible a mere footnote.

�Surely a bridegroom of blood art thou to me.�
Zipporah cuts the child, restores the covenant, banishes death
While her husband sleeps.
Yet, it is Moses who awakens to his destiny
And Zipporah fades into the realm of Rivka, Sara, Tamar
Fellow companions in oblivion and obscurity�. Deborah who?


A nun feeds the poor, teaches a class, comforts the dying.
A mujerista leads a commuidad de base,
A laywoman protests the School of Americas
A suburban Catholic woman wrestles with the burdens of one more child
A Latina navigates the road from La Maquiladora to El Paso terrified of walking through mine fields of rape and torture yet glad to be free from her Factory of Fear.

And meanwhile:

In a place far away;
A celibate man prefers to ignore
These heroines of Scripture, these minor characters
Whose Ruach and Sophia, gracefully and forcefully pervade every scriptural breath breathed by God as She whispers about, �Wisdom�..Holy Spirit�.Grace�.�
The old cleric prefers his Wisdom as manly and straight.
And then; he quietly, turns to his devotions and begins the Rosary�..

Hail Mary, full of grace, Mater Dei, Queen of Heaven, we have no place;
Blessed is your womb, clean and safe,
Alas, we have no use for you at our altar of faith,
Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death,
But please understand, we�ll need a priest for our wake.�

Rick Folker
Kansas City, MO