Sunday, March 09, 2008

Story of Sister Christine Tan.

I'm noticing my recent posts and they all have something to do with religion and spirituality. And I just remembered that next Sunday is the start of Holy Week, Palm Sunday.
Although not Catholic, as a child I was immersed in the sights, sounds, smells, and heat of semana santa. From the weeklong reading of the pasyon over loud speakers blaring from the bisita/small church, the maroon-robed cross-bearing penitents, the bloodied flagellants, the cruxifictions (sp!) -- this vivid imagery is still with me around this time of the year. So no matter how secular my present whereabouts are, there is a kind of pallid pause, a somber mood that descends around me at this time. I've decided I will no longer resist it or try to distract myself.

As a young girl, I dreamt of Jesus Christ once. In the dream he was serving me the bread of communion. There were various pieces of it and I chose the smallest morsel. He looked at me and said: why take the smallest one? here, take this. I love this dream.

Last week, my students read accounts of the American Holocaust and watched The Mission. You could just imagine their questions about the actions of Christopher Columbus and all those who followed him and the genocide of 100M natives that followed. How can we ever live down this history: this marriage of sex, race, and holy wars? And yet this weekend I was with Methodists providing input on how best to grow Fil Am churches. During q and a, one clergy asked: So are you saying that the Empire must die? And I quickly said: Yes!...so that it can be born again.

Maybe this is what Sr. Christine Tan and my other friends who are resisting the empire within the folds of its religious institutions are teaching me. Use the master's tools to take down the master's house.

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