I have a crush on Abelard over the centuries...
"Maeve B. Callan" wrote:
> >I suppose my objection to her - which is poorly founded and
> >half-hearted, really - is that she impresses me as a female version of
> >Bernard of Clairvaux, whom I also find somewhat repellent. The Oxford
> >Dictionary of Saints says it well: "Like Bernard, Catherine had
> >prophetic vision [that's OK] and personal intransigence [that's not];
> >these led both of them to identify God's cause with their own." Then
> >there's the grotesque display of her head... And, of course, I firmly
> >believe, with Jung, that what we find objectionable in others is what we
> >see of our own shadow in them. Now that really gives me pause......
> >(Chastened) Kathryn
> >p.s. I also deeply resent the dismissal of C. of Alexandria. How someone
> >revered almost since the beginning can be said not to have existed...
> Hi Kathryn,
> Apologies if I came across as harsh. I was honestly just curious,
> though I am a big fan of Catherine's. And it's interesting that you
> and the Oxford Dictionary of Saints liken her to Bernard, another
> association I would not have made. Personal intransigence, perhaps,
> but in her case I view it more as personal strength, strength she
> needed to take an active role in the world, especially as a woman and
> a tertiary. I see Catherine's cause as an active apostolate to all,
> particularly reaching out to those whom society had rejected or
> marginalized, helping them realize their inherent self-worth and
> fostering love, peace and justice; whether or not that's God's cause,
> I think it's a very good one. I could definitely see a criticism of
> Bernard that accuses him of imposing his own views as if they were
> God's (to wit, his case against Abelard), but I don't see it with
> Catherine, perhaps because I appreciate her in most cases far more
> than I do Bernard. Since Hildegard of Bingen was brought up in
> connection with this conversation, I see her much more along those
> lines, most forcefully when she strenuously objected to her most
> intimate friend Richardis leaving her to become abbess of Birsim,
> even invoking her prophetic voice in her losing battle to keep
> Richardis with her, but on several other occasions as well. As much
> as I admire and respect Hildegard, I definitely see her as imperious,
> but Catherine I don't. By the way, as to the whole whom do you
> prefer, Abelard or Bernard, controversy, speaking purely with regard
> to their Latin, give me Bernard over Abelard any day!
> Before you give up on Catherine, you might want to read Karen Scott's
> article in the book that's been the subject of other postings today
> and earlier, Lay Sanctity, ed Ann Astell. Not that I've read it
> myself, but I've read other works by her and it's all good.
> You've got a great name saint (several, actually). I'd be proud.