From the epistle for today:
‘My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.’ Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?
In the week when the report into the Magdalene laundries is published (here), it’s chilling to imagine this kind of text being used to subdue the poor young ladies in those institutions. This is not just an Irish Catholic problem. The first such laundry was set up for Protestant girls. I had a teenage great aunt who, in a close knit Methodist community in northern England, became pregnant outside wedlock. She was thrown out. Her three sisters were all but locked up by their parents, and their mother lived ever thereafter in self-imposed purdah, not even attending Chapel. In those days, and even in my childhood, that was quite something. It’s not just Irish Catholicism that needs to repent.
How long will people continue to twist Holy Scripture in order to oppress? How long will we continue to dissemble? How long will we continue to refuse to acknowledge our shame? Try this for a good read.
In one sense it’s all very sad. In another it’s hopeful. Bringing things into the open is never a bad thing, no matter how painful it might be at the time.