Apparently, the Holy Spirit had foreseen this. In anticipation of this heresy battle, He dropped a prayer / revelation book into my lap called "The 24 Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ." This sequence was penned by Luisa Piccarreta and translated by Saint Hannibal M. Di Francia (Luisa's Spiritual Director), but Luisa always said this prayer comes from Christ Himself. Currently, Luisa is on the path towards Sainthood, and I would only be too happy to write more about her in another blog at some point. But suffice to say, I know the Holy Spirit was being proactive by leading me to this particular set of prayers.
Last night, I prepared myself to take part in the Eucharistic Supper hour. In reading and mediating on this hour, Jesus patiently explained to me that He did not ordain His Apostles through the Passover meal as so many of us believe. It was in the washing of their feet that Christ imparted their worthiness to caress the Host of His Eucharist!
What an eye-opener! And it makes perfect sense, too! Only in John's gospel are we explained the "Ordination of the Apostles" in this manner. Jesus removed His prayer shawl, remaining only in what we would recognize as a priestly alb and wrapped a towel around His Waist. He knelt in submission and humiliation to accomplish a task so lowly that even Jewish slaves were exempt from the act! St. Peter, horrified that His God would humiliate Himself so drastically, refused to allow Jesus to touch his feet. Jesus, probably with a heart-smile at St. Peter's distressed expression of affection, simply replied, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me." In other words, Jesus was imparting to St. Peter that this act of cleansing must be accomplished in order to follow the Will of God to prepare him for the task about to be commissioned.
So contrary to what the women in the above link state, women were NOT present for this, nor were they present for the secondary Eucharistic meal after the Passover supper they prepared. Jesus, through Piccarreta, said of this washing of the feet:
I so much cherish this act of receiving Me in the Eucharist, that I do not want to entrust this office to the angels, and not even to my dear Mother, but I Myself want to purify them, down to the most intimate fibers, in order to dispose them to receive the fruit of the Sacrament; and in the Apostles I intended to prepare all souls.
Thus, we come to understand that it was in this act of total subjugation that Christ calls His Apostles to be like Him - to serve one another and more importantly, to serve the Church - humbly and with gentleness. Upon completing the Washing of the Feet, Christ then instructs them in the act of Consecration by, for the first time, creating Himself in the form of bread and wine - two of the most humble and universal commodities humanity knows. He then instructs THEM and ONLY THEM to "do this in remembrance of Me." But in order to share this act of Consecration with them, Christ, Himself, wished to make them ready to accept this gift into their hearts. I bow my head in appreciation of such a beautiful and humbling thought.
So again, the argument that women were around for the Passover feast has no bearing on the ability of our Church to recognize the ordination of women as priests. Simply put, women were NOT present for this cleansing in preparation for bestowing the gift of the power of Consecration.
Also, this "one priesthood" nonsense is exactly that... nonsense. There are two types of priesthoods recognized by the Catholic Church (not counting the Priesthood of Christ). One is the ministerial priesthood - which is the familiar clergy of priests and bishops we know and love. The second is the "common" (or, ironically, the "Royal") priesthood that each of us is a part of through Baptism. The two serve VASTLY different functions and one cannot exist without the other since they both exist to SERVE each other.
To put it simply, all apple trees are trees, but not all trees are apple trees, right? The same is true of Ministerial Priests. They all belong to the Royal Priesthood through Baptism, but not all royal priests are ministerial. To claim otherwise is simply fallacious. Utilizing a tiny seed of truth to start your garden of lies will inevitably turn into a jungle of folly.
Let me go ahead and dispell that lie outright. Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were NEVER anywhere even remotely near the capacity of priest. Their place was always at the feet of Jesus, learning from Him and serving Him as their honored Guest and Teacher.
With that nonsense aside, I'll delve into the topic of female deacons. The women spoken of by this "WomenPriests" organization were nothing more than helpers to maintain dignity and humility through the sacrament of baptism. At the time, Baptism consisted of being wholly submersed in water, thoroughly soaking undergarments. As a result, these "deaconesses" referred to were at the ready with towels and fresh linens so the newly baptized might change themselves into more presentable attire.
St. Epiphanius says it best in his piece "Against Heresies" when he wrote:
"We come to the New Testament. If women were ordained to be priests for God, or to do anything canonical in the church, it should rather have been given to Mary in the New Testament... but it was decided differently. She was not even entrusted with baptizing. Nowhere was a woman established among [clerics]. There were four daughters of the evangelist Philip, who were prophetesses, but not priests. Although there is an order of deaconesses in the Church, yet they are not appointed to function as priests or for any administration of this kind, but so that provision may be made for the propriety of the female sex [at baptism]."
And just to hit it home one more time that these women were NOT a part of the three "sacred" offices of Holy Orders (which, BTW, are priesthood, diaconate and subdiaconate), the Council of Nicea had this to say:
"We have mentioned the deaconesses, who are enrolled in this position, but since they have not received any imposition of hands at all, they are surely to be numbered among the laity."
So once again, WomenPriests.org, you are spreading fallacy. I really wonder how much of this you understand and how much you are simply ignorant of. Considering the poor religious education we receive anymore, I wouldn't be surprised if these ideas spring forth innocently from ignorance of where our religious beliefs (as true Catholics) come from. Then again, with all the research they've apparently done to tear down Catholic teaching, they must've come across even a small portion of what I've explained above.
*Sigh* Prayers, folks. Prayers to the wonderful Holy Spirit are necessary. May He touch their minds with the light of wisdom, understanding and faith.