Based on Luke 14: 7-11

To Roman Catholic priests:

You choose the places of honor everywhere
As if honor is always your due
But you will discover that it is the rejected, the outcast
And those you abused in body and soul
Who have the place of honor
At the banquet of the Lamb.
At that banquet, the Hostess will say to you,
“You must yield your place to these more distinguished guests. You were not invited to My banquet to be honored but to serve.”
And then you will proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place of service.

For God will humble your priestly hierarchy,
But the ones you humbled, abused, excluded,
She will exalt.

Adaptation of Wisdom 3: 1-9

The souls of the abused, the outcast, the denied are in the hand of God,
and no more abuse shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the arrogant, to be worthless;
and their abuse was thought an insignificant thing
and their leaving the church, their utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if by priests, men all, they were abused,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
though greatly abused, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God, Lady Wisdom, loves them
and finds them worthy of Herself.
As gold in the furnace, they suffered and She knew of it,
and as sacrificial offerings She took them to herself.
Now and in eternity they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks
burning through the stubble of deceitful clericalism;
they shall judge priests and rule over the hierarchy,
and Lady Wisdom shall be their God forever.
Those who trust in Her shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with Her in love:
because grace and mercy are with Her holy ones,
and Her care is with the abused, the outcasts, the denied.

Adaptation of the Beatitudes

Blessed are those the church treats poorly,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the abused who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are those who spurn clericalism,
for they will inherit the faith.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are those who refused to protect abusers,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
who neither abused nor turned a blind eye to abuse,
for they will see God.
Blessed are those who work and pray
for healing and peace for the abused and outcast,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are excluded and persecuted
because of their sexual orientation,
because they are women,
because they accused their abusers,
because they speak out to restore righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are we when they insult us, persecute us, ignore us,
close their ears to our cries for justice,
and utter every kind of evil against us falsely
because we claim our rightful place with Jesus.
Let us persevere and support each other,
Though we see no reward in our lifetime.
Let us rejoice and be glad,
for our reward will be great in heaven.

Adaptation of Jeremiah 31:7-9

Thus says Lady Wisdom:
Shout with joy for Sarah and Hagar,
For Keturah
For Leah, Rachel
For women valued and devalued,
For women cherished and abandoned
Exult with the women of the nations;
Proclaim your praise, your hope and say:
Lady Wisdom will deliver her daughters,
The remnant of Israel.
Behold, I will bring them back
From the land of the desert and the cold,
I will gather them from the ends of the world,
With the blind and the lame in their midst,
The mothers and those with child,
The young women and the old,
Women by birth and women by choice –
They shall return as an immense throng.
They departed in tears,
But I will console them and guide them;
I will lead them to brooks of water,
On a level road, so that none shall stumble.
For I am a mother to Eve,
Keturah the forgotten is my first-born.

Paraphrase of 1 Cor 3:6-9

Whenever someone says, “I belong to the Catholic Church,” and another,
“I belong to the Lutheran Church,” are you not thinking as non-spiritual humans?

What is the Catholic Church, after all, and what is the Lutheran Church?
At most, they are ministers through whom you became believers,
just as the Lord assigned each one.
Churches may plant, denominations may water, but God causes the growth.
Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but only God, who causes the growth.
Churches that plant and denominations that water are one,
and each will receive wages in proportion to their labor.
For they may be God’s co-workers;
but we are God’s field, God’s building.

Paraphrase of Ezekiel 12:1-12

The word of God came to me:
Daughter of woman, you worship and labor in the midst of a rebellious church;
they have eyes to see but do not see,
and ears to hear but do not hear,
for they are a rebellious church.
Now, daughter of woman, in the harsh glare of revelations, while they are looking on,
prepare your spirit as though you were one of the abused,
and again while they are looking on,
migrate from where you worship and labor under them to another place;
perhaps they will see that they are a rebellious church.
You shall bring out your spirit like one of the abused, in the harsh glare of revelations
while they are looking on;
in the quiet sanctuary, again while they are looking on,
you shall go out like one of those abused and driven into exile;
while they look on, dig a hole through their walled indifference and pass beyond it;
while they look on, shoulder the burden of the abused and set out in the darkness;
cover your face and weep, refuse their boundaries on your soul,
for I have made you a sign for the Catholic Church.
I did as I was told.
In the harsh glare of revelations I brought out my spirit
as though it were that of an abused one,
and in the quiet sanctuary I dug a hole through their walled indifference with my prayers and actions
and, while they looked on, I set out in the darkness as one abused,
shouldering their burden.
Then, in the morning, the word of the God came to me:
Daughter of woman, did not the Catholic Church, that rebellious house,
ask you what you were doing?
Tell them: Thus says God
This oracle concerns Rome
and the whole hierarchy within it.
I am a sign for you:
as I have done, so shall it be done to them;
as captives they shall go into exile.
The prince who is among them shall shoulder this burden
and set out in darkness,
going through a hole he has dug out in their walled indifference,
and covering his face in shame for all to see.

Paraphrase of Ezekiel 34:1-11

The word of the Lady Wisdom came to me:
Daughter of woman, prophesy against the shepherds of the new Israel,
in these words prophesy to them to the shepherds:
Thus says the Lady Wisdom: Woe to the shepherds of the new Israel
who have been pleasuring themselves!
Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep?
You have fed off their innocence, worn their youth,
and slaughtered their faith,
but the sheep you have not pastured.
You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick
nor bind up the injured.
You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost,
but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally.
So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd,
and became food for all the wild beasts.
My sheep were scattered
and wandered over all the mountains and high hills;
my sheep were scattered over the whole earth,
with no one to look after them or to search for them.

Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the Lady Wisdom:
As I live, says the Lady Wisdom,
because my sheep have been given over to pillage,
and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast,
for lack of a shepherd;
because my shepherds did not look after my sheep,
but pleasured themselves and did not pasture my sheep;
because of this, shepherds, hear the word of the Lady Wisdom:
Thus says the Lady Wisdom:
I swear I am coming against these shepherds.
I will claim my sheep from them
and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep
so that they may no longer pleasure themselves.
I will save my sheep,
that they may no longer be food for their mouths.

For thus says the Lady Wisdom:
I myself will look after and tend my sheep.

Paraphrase of Ezekiel 28:1-10

The word of the Lady Wisdom came to me:
Daughter of woman,
say to the prince of Rome:
Thus says the Lady Wisdom:

Because you are haughty of heart,
you say, “A god am I!
I occupy a godly throne
in the heart of the church!”—
And yet you are a man, and not a god,
however you may think yourself like a god.
Oh yes, you are craftier than Solomon,
there is no secret that is beyond you.
By your power and your influence
you have made riches for yourself;
You have put gold and silver
into your treasuries.
By your great craftiness applied to your trading
you have heaped up your riches;
your heart has grown haughty from your riches–
therefore thus says the Lady Wisdom:
Because you have thought yourself
to have the mind of a god,
Therefore I will bring against you
your victims, the most abused of your churches.
They shall draw their words
against your beauteous kingdom,
they shall run them through your splendid red apparel.
They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die
a bloodied corpse, in the heart of the churches.
Will you then say, “I am a god!”
when you face your victims?
No, you are man, not a god,
handed over to those who will slay you.
You shall die the death of the unforgiven
at the hands of your abused,
for I have spoken, says the Lady Wisdom.

A Catholic Woman Speaks

Paraphrase of Ez 12:1-12

The word of God came to me:
Daughter of woman, you worship and labor in the midst of a rebellious church;
they have eyes to see but do not see,
and ears to hear but do not hear,
for they are a rebellious church.
Now, daughter of woman, in the harsh glare of revelations, while they are looking on,
prepare your spirit as though you were one of the abused,
and again while they are looking on,
migrate from where you worship and labor under them to another place;
perhaps they will see that they are a rebellious house.
You shall bring out your spirit like one of the abused, in the harsh glare of revelations
while they are looking on;
in the quiet sanctuary, again while they are looking on,
you shall go out like one of those abused and driven into exile;
while they look on, dig a hole through their walled indifference and pass beyond it;
while they look on, shoulder the burden of the abused and set out in the darkness;
cover your face and weep, refuse their boundaries on your soul,
for I have made you a sign for the Catholic Church.

I did as I was told.
In the harsh glare of revelations I brought out my spirit
as though it were that of an abused one,
and in the quiet sanctuary I dug a hole through their walled indifference with my prayers and actions
and, while they looked on, I set out in the darkness as one abused,
shouldering their burden.

Then, in the morning, the word of the God came to me:
Daughter of woman, did not the Catholic Church, that rebellious house,
ask you what you were doing?
Tell them: Thus says God
This oracle concerns Rome
and the whole hierarchy within it.
I am a sign for you:
as I have done, so shall it be done to you;
as captives you shall go into exile.
The prince who is among you shall shoulder this burden
and set out in darkness,
going through a hole he has dug out in your walled indifference,
and covering his face in shame for all to see.