"Prayers for Hannah"

"Feminine Chalice" - Order of Magdal-Eder, copyright 2005

On May 9th, 2006, an article appeared on EducationGuardian.co.uk with the story of "Hannah", a young Catholic girl who feels called to the priesthood. It has inspired us to begin a special prayer mission for all the female children of the world who are experiencing a call to the priesthood, but are being repressed by ancient cultural taboos made obsolete by the Christ only to be reinvested into the church under government-controlled religion centuries later.

We declare it to be an intrinsic part of our ministry to pray for all of the "Hannahs" of the world --- that the call they experience may come to fruition.

How fitting it is that the name "Hannah" should be used to represent all of the female children who experience a calling to the priesthood! The name Hannah means: Grace; favor; compassion; defense. By extension, the definition speaks of the soul, because of its high aspirations, its consecration to God, and much earnest prayer, established in divine grace and favor - it receives that which it desires, the ability to hear the inner voice of the Spirit, to perceive Truth.

(See: 1 Samual 1:2 - 2:21)

Please join us in our "Prayers for Hannah"
We inaugurate this prayer ministry with a novena: May 9-17, 2006. The novena may be undertaken at any time one wishes to enter into the prayer process. The follow prayers are offered for each day of the novena:

Day 1

O Beloved,
As Jesus' Blessed Mother was received into the Temple,
we ask You to look with favor upon Your daughters
who long to serve at the altar of Your church.

Help us to reach the hearts of those who would prevent them
and to turn them from the hardness of their hearts.

And bring the light of hope to shine within each "Little Hannah"
so that they feel the warmth of comfort,
which we pray will be carried forth with our prayers.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord.


Day 2

O Beloved,
You sent your Son as witness to the esteem with which You hold all of humankind.
He broke the proscriptions of His culture by demonstrating the Spirit of the Law;
He embraced women as disciples along with men,
spoke to the woman at the well,
and chose a woman as witness and first apostle to carry the good news of the Resurrection.

Send forth Your grace upon us,
that we may restore the dignity of Your creation
as You are calling both women and men to Your priesthood.

We pray for all of Your children to experience sacred dignity as made equally in Your divine image.

Day 3

O Beloved Lord, Creator:
As Hannah prayed, we enjoin our prayer to hers;
"Speak boastfully no longer,
nor let arrogance issue from your mouths."
For we know that the old Law is fulfilled
as You call forth women and men to be parent and priest.

Do not allow those You call to languish,
nor give rest to the proud until they desist from denying vocations.
As the Christ opens us to Your kingdom within
may the wind and fire of Pentecost come upon us again.
We await Your Holy Spirit in the upper room.

Day 4

Lord, Jesus,
You spoke the words, "Talitha koum" - 'Little girl, I say to you, arise!',
and Jairus's daughter arose immediately and walked.
O Beloved, Lord and Savior, we ask You to speak words such as these
in the hearts of all the little ones who long to serve You at Your altar.

In You, O Lord, all things are made possible by Your Resurrection,
even service as bishop, as Theodora Episcopa did in the early church;
even as the apostle Junia and deacons Prisca and Phoebe did,
and all the holy women who went forth in Your Name.

We are confident that Your healing breath remains a balm to ease all hearts;
for You would not be calling unless You had need of us;
nor would You leave desire unquenchable.

Day 5

O Lord, Jesus,
You know our hearts and search them for the good of Your church;
for the ones who yield as a child in awe are ripe for Your service.
To these You whisper within - a burning desire to serve at Your altar.

When Your disciples would have prevented it,
so that You would not have laid hands upon Your little ones,
You said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Beloved, allow this winter to pass;
and catch the foxes that damage the vineyards,
so that we may go forth and tend to the pruning
and hear the song of the dove on earth.
Be with us, O Beloved.

Day 6

O Lord,
As You gave the Great Commandment, "Love one another", You also said,
"It was not you who chose me, but I chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you."

Thus, Your evangelists made known to the world
that there were women who had followed You from the beginning at Galilee.
Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Suzanna were among the many women
who provided for Your ministry from their own resources.
Today more than four out of five who accomplish Your ministry are women.
Surely they shoulder the weight of service in Your name!

As the foot of the altar of old was anointed
and also the head of the priest who would serve it,
Your feet were anointed at Bethany
and Mary's head received the anointing
as she wiped Your feet with her hair.

O Beloved, let the house of Your people be filled with the fragrance of the oil
as You commission both women and men in Your holy priesthood.

Day 7

O Lord,
At the wedding at Cana Mary said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you."
Then You ordered six stone water jars to be filled to the brim,
jars reserved for ceremonial purification.
So, through Mary's initiative and symbols of purification
the wine of gladness was made manifest,
heralding Your public ministry.

Surely we are meant to notice that Mary commanded servers ('diakonos'/deacons),
to prepare the offering for the feast.
How can those who claim to serve You say that women may not represent You
knowing that Your ministry was called forth by a woman's words?

Let true believers' eyes be opened and their ears receive
the signs that were before us all along.
O Lord, allow the wine of gladness to stir Your people's spirit once again.

Day 8

O Beloved, Lord Jesus,
When You were confronted by the traditions of the elders,
You said, "You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things."
Your heart must be heavy with sorrow in knowing
that tradition remains an excuse to sidestep Your divine will for us.

Most holy One, we know the future of Your people depends upon Your little ones.
Ease the hearts of those You call and instill calm confidence within them.
Give them tenacity to question false teachings;
and bless them with the knowledge of Your presence;
and do not permit them to be kept from Your sanctuary.

We, who wish to manifest Your kingdom join our prayers to Your blessed ones,
calling upon the holy multitude of all ages and times,
that truth prevail and Your reign begin on earth.

Day 9

O Lord, You said,
"Then to what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace
and call to one another,
'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.'"

Our present generation is like the one that drew Your comment.
Many are ruled by documents rather than the Spirit stirring within the heart.
So many fail to dance with joy as You call the children to service!
So many fail to weep when they hear prohibitions against vocations!
All too many live as silent children, never allowed to reach spiritual maturity.

Open our ears to the song of the flute
and let us dance with You, O Lord of the Dance!
Let us hear the dirge and mourn the absence of nurturing femininity
as more than half of humanity is kept from serving at Your altar.

Then, let us sing out Your praises with joy as Your church is restored
to Your intention - the sacred marriage of heaven and earth,
true reciprocity among Your people in Your all-embracing Love.

"The Tears of the Bride"

"Tears of the Bride" - Order of Magdal-Eder, copyright 2005

During the time of the Crusades, as young men went off to war, they followed the custom of giving their bride or betrothed a special vial for the purpose of collecting the tears they would cry because of their longing for their husband's or intended bridegroom's return. Upon returning, the crusader would then be shown the vial as a proof of the bride's fidelity. The vial of tears seems a fitting symbol to represent the long suffering sorrows of the church; its misguided practices that have inflicted suffering upon its people, the marginalization of many, and the "Power Suffering" it taught to women that caused them to undergo austerities under the false assumption that their self-afflictions would merit something of value as a prayer form offered for the good of others.

St. Catherine of Siena, for instance, died of anorexia because of this strange teaching, and there are countless other examples such as the flagellist movement of the middle ages. These practices continue today is subtle ways through subjugation theology which runs counter to the Gospel message that proclaims that the Christ came among us so that we might have life more abundant. (John 10:10)

We wish to declare to the world that "The Tears of the Bride" are sufficient. The vial is full. It is time to embrace the true Gospel message and allow the church to embrace the Bridegroom by removing all barriers to unity and equality. Let us rejoice with the Bridegroom of our heart, for He is among us!

"Life Together"

(The Bridegroom Speaks)

O garden-dweller,

my friends are listening for your voice,

let me hear it!

(Song of Songs 8:13)


To read the full article, copy/paste the following link to your browser: http://education.guardian.co.uk/faithschools/story/0,,1770230,00.html

Excerpt: "The fact that women cannot become priests is something that confuses pupils at the English Martyrs Roman Catholic school, a voluntary-aided and mixed-sex establishment on the other side of Leicester from the Islamic Academy. In this school - with the iconography of Catholicism adorning its building and notices of religious intent on its walls ("Are you hiding your faith or wearing it?" asks one) - Hannah Hogarth, 15, is unimpressed with her teachers' explanation of why women cannot represent her faith as men do. "I'm very argumentative," she says, "so because I can't be a priest I want to be a priest. When I talk to [a teacher] about it, he just laughs it off and says, 'Well, you can have a child'. But I want to be a priest."


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