Jackson Kemper vs. Margery Kempe

Kemper vs. Kempe. Sometimes matchups exist solely because the SEC likes the names involved. Sure, there’s always prayerful discernment that takes place in the formation of the bracket. But still, how could we not pair these two against one another? Only a single “r” separates Jackson Kemper and Margery Kempe, missionary bishop and 15th century mystic. Who will ride on? Who will be left in a vale of tears? That, dear friends, is up to you.

Yesterday, Brigid of Kildare soundly defeated Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist 68% to 32%. Fortunately, no silver platters were involved.

In case you missed it, we offered everyone a brief peek behind the Purple Curtain of Lent Madness, sharing some insights into how the annual bracket is formulated. A rare glimpse into the mind of the SEC.

unnamedJackson Kemper

The seemingly inexhaustible Jackson Kemper served as the first missionary bishop in The Episcopal Church,working over the course of a thirty-five-year ministry in such untamed wilderness territories as Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and especially Wisconsin, where he established the Nashotah House seminary and eventually made his home.

Born in 1789, Kemper served as a priest for many years in Philadelphia until the deaths of his wife and his mother led him to new fields of service. In 1834, Kemper traveled to Green Bay, Wisconsin. At the same time, a committee of bishops was considering how to approach the western frontier. In 1835, General Convention appointed Kemper as missionary bishop of Indiana and Missouri (with Wisconsin and Iowa thrown in for good measure) and assigned him the tasks of establishing and organizing parishes, recruiting clergy, and fundraising, all at a time when travel was daunting and communication was spotty.

Kemper was up to the challenge due to his “indefatigable zeal and amiable manners,” adding to his portfolio the establishment of schools to train young men and clergy, since he found that many Eastern-trained priests weren’t able to hack it in the harsh midwestern climate. In his spare time, he expanded his Missionary See to more distant territories such as Minnesota, Nebraska, and even further west, making regular visits to parishes and clergy throughout much of this vast region.

Notably, Kemper ceded power and oversight as dioceses became established, turning over territory to duly-elected diocesan bishops in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Kansas, and declining numerous offers of more comfortable episcopacies elsewhere.

He was also famously generous. His biographer wrote, “so simple were his tastes and so perfect was his economy that out of his annual missionary stipend of fifteen hundred dollars, he was able to give largely to struggling missions in his field; there was probably no one in the church who gave away more in proportion to his income than he.”

After twenty-four years as a missionary bishop, Kemper retired at the age of sixty-nine in 1859, only to take up the role of diocesan bishop of Wisconsin. He continued to make regular visitations within the diocese and further afield for another decade, when failing health forced him to stay near the Nashotah community where he had resided for many years. At the age of eighty, his final episcopal act was a confirmation near his home in April 1870. He continued official duties with the aid of a secretary until days before his death on May 24, 1870.

Collect for Jackson Kemper

Lord God, in whose providence Jackson Kemper was chosen first missionary bishop in this land, and by his arduous labor and travel established congregations in scattered settlements of the West: Grant that the Church may always be faithful to its mission, and have the vision, courage, and perseverance to make known to all peoples the Good News of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Laura Darling

unnamedMargery Kempe

The first autobiography written in English is something of a mystical revelation, travel diary, opinion essay, theological discourse, and personal diary all in one. Margery Kempe, who lived in the late-fourteenth to early-fifteenth century, was a middle-class woman living in Norfolk in eastern England.

She began The Book of Margery Kempe recalling a series of crises during and after her pregnancy. She felt tempted by the devil not to confess her sins. In response, she fasted, performed acts of charity, and devoutly prayed, to no avail. She eventually sent for her confessor and confessed sins from “her whole lifetime.” After her confession (of which she was not complimentary of the pastoral skills of the priest), she was disturbed and tormented for almost a year by visions of devils. In a moment of great crisis, she had a vision of Christ but did not fully embrace her mystical deliverance. Only after several business failures did Kempe surrender to a life of mysticism and Christian devotion.

Kempe experienced the gift of tears — frequent sobbing, weeping, and wailing at the sight of the Blessed Sacrament, while engaged in prayer and meditation, or engaged in other acts of devotion. Throughout her book, Kempe remarked at the discomfort others had at her expression of this holy gift. She shared her thoughts and visions of heaven freely, as well as her conversations and visions with our Lord. Kempe, like many medieval mystics, was attached to meditations on the events of Christ’s life and had many visions associated with these events. She also found sexual relations with her husband disgusting and eventually took vows of chastity, after giving birth to fourteen children.

Kempe then began a series of pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Assisi, Rome, and Santiago de Compostela, as well as several holy sites in England. She wrote of her encounters with several historical figures, including the Archbishop of York — who questioned her as a heretic, found her unorthodox, and told her to leave York and never return. She spoke with Julian of Norwich. She called out the Archbishop of Canterbury for the behavior of his clergy. Perhaps in a related story, she was almost burned as a heretic while in Canterbury.

Kempe, who likely dictated her book to a scribe, wrote with a mystical stream of consciousness. She was not concerned with narrative timelines; she did not write a text primarily concerned with intricate depictions of her mystical experiences. She wrote about the exhausting attitudes of others who criticized her life and expression of faith and of moments where she was vindicated for being true to herself. She shared the raw (sometimes outrageous) aspects of all that was her life.

An admission to the Guild of the Trinity at Lynn in 1438 is the final historical mention of Kempe. Her book, known only in excerpts until a manuscript was found in a private collection in the twentieth century, has become a key reflection on the life and spirituality of a middle-class woman in the Middle Ages.

Collect for Margery Kempe

Gracious God, we give you thanks for the life and work of Margery Kempe, hermit and mystic, who, passing through the cloud of unknowing, beheld your glory. Help us, after her example, to see you more clearly and love you more dearly, in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Laurie Brock

Vote!

Jackson Kemper vs. Margery Kempe

  • Jackson Kemper (74%, 5,058 Votes)
  • Margery Kempe (26%, 1,811 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,869

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220 Comments to "Jackson Kemper vs. Margery Kempe"

  1. Ann Garvin's Gravatar Ann Garvin
    March 4, 2015 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    On, Wisconsin!

    • Alice Flick's Gravatar Alice Flick
      March 4, 2015 - 6:29 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you, Ann! Green Bay! Good on ya’, Jackson, you must have been a cheese-head, in addition to all your other fine qualities.

    • Robert Bruce's Gravatar Robert Bruce
      March 4, 2015 - 11:37 pm | Permalink

      Amen!

  2. Tutu Lois's Gravatar Tutu Lois
    March 4, 2015 - 8:09 am | Permalink

    Kempe has also been a missionary to ordinary people through the centuries, and has my vote today

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 4, 2015 - 8:18 am | Permalink

      I wasn’t thrilled with Jackson — wasn’t unthrilled either and looked to Kempe as my passion for the day. And so it turned out to be. Another sobbing weeping woman with a “gift of tears” Dear Lord deliver us! And who won’t be turned way off of sex after 14 children? Many years in Kansas gave me a love of that country and so unexpectedly — Jackson it is.

      • Christina Thom's Gravatar Christina Thom
        March 4, 2015 - 10:33 am | Permalink

        I like Kemper he sounds like a no nonsense kind of saint. I have and had two friends with the gift of tears. One is holy the other could turn on and off the water works like a bratty child.

        • Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
          March 4, 2015 - 11:54 am | Permalink

          I think both of today’s saints are amazing, but I had to vote for Kempe. I have been plagued by whole life by crying and sobbing in church, while reading scripture, etc. At times I am so embarassed that I have stayed away from public worship because I did not want to disturb, upset, or distract my fellow congregants. It is very reassuring and edifying to me to know that this may just be ‘the gift of tears’ and I should accept it as part of my worship. So I have to vote for Margery Kempe for her encouragement.

          • Emily's Gravatar Emily
            March 4, 2015 - 11:42 pm | Permalink

            I too find myself full of emotion when reading or listening to scripture. Therefore I embraced Kempe. Tears are good!

      • Joan's Gravatar Joan
        March 4, 2015 - 2:24 pm | Permalink

        Donna – you captured my reaction

      • Jane's Gravatar Jane
        March 4, 2015 - 3:28 pm | Permalink

        The gift of tears is a long and accepted part of the spiritual life in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Some refer to it as the second baptism.
        Here is one of many discussions about it. This one from Isaac the Syrian:
        http://www.orthodoxprayer.org/Articles_files/Isaac-On%20Prayer.html

  3. March 4, 2015 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    The “Action Jackson Kemper” facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ActionJacksonKemper has some interesting posts, including some old photos, a few scans of pages from old books, and at least one map showing the states in his “northwest territory”. Also some lighthearted fan postings.

  4. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 4, 2015 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    An exceptionally demented middle-class woman in the Middle Ages, it seems.

    • Cynthia Chace's Gravatar Cynthia Chace
      March 4, 2015 - 8:58 am | Permalink

      Now, Davis, just because she cried a lot, doesn’t make her “demented”. I often weep during hymns at St. John’s

      • Christi Hill's Gravatar Christi Hill
        March 4, 2015 - 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Are you moved to tears by the text of a hymn? Or is the choir?

        • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
          March 4, 2015 - 7:10 pm | Permalink

          Yes and yes

        • Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
          March 4, 2015 - 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Same here. And I’m in the choir.

    • Wynne Osborne's Gravatar Wynne Osborne
      March 4, 2015 - 11:23 am | Permalink

      As a middle class woman myself, I have liked Mistress Kempe since I first met her, a number of years ago. After 14 children, I sympathize with her choice to remain chaste. She inspires humor in her distaste for her confessor (what did he know about having 14 children?) and how about all that travel? In the Middle Ages no less? I’m sure Mr. Kemper was a nice guy, but I stand with middle class women everywhere!

      • Kris Austin's Gravatar Kris Austin
        March 4, 2015 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

        ^^^ Here, here!

    • Robert Andrews-Bryant's Gravatar Robert Andrews-Bryant
      March 4, 2015 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

      How “middle class” could she be to afford to go on all those pilgrimages?

      • Christi Hill's Gravatar Christi Hill
        March 4, 2015 - 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps she was funded by the people she encountered? Seems to me that a chap named Jesus told his followers to take nothing with them…

    • Jill Liberty's Gravatar Jill Liberty
      March 4, 2015 - 8:59 pm | Permalink

      David Dassori,

      Your comment and its ramifications are precisely why I voted for Kempe.

    • Marisa's Gravatar Marisa
      March 5, 2015 - 9:05 am | Permalink

      I am wondering if Margery Kempe suffered, in part, due to post-partum depression. Although many women had many children, 14 sure is a lot if one is already having some ‘devil’ issues! We don’t know what sins she confessed, but hopefully isn’t wasn’t harming her children! And, though I get emotional easily, I feel very happy and blessed; I went with Kemper as he amazed me!

  5. Marcia's Gravatar Marcia
    March 4, 2015 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    This Nashotah House student just has to vote for Bishop Kemper. He and others have left us a glorious place. Poor Margery though-14 children in that day and age, whew!

    • Michael Gray's Gravatar Michael Gray
      March 4, 2015 - 8:44 am | Permalink

      forget about in Wisconsin
      nolite illegitos contrerere vos
      Nashotah House, 1976

      • Michael Woods's Gravatar Michael Woods
        March 4, 2015 - 11:44 pm | Permalink

        As a “lurker” and a Nashotah House alum I would be disloyal if I didn’t cast my vote for Jackson Kemper. My wife and I spent idyllic three years in Wisconsin on that beautiful campus.

    • Babzee's Gravatar Babzee
      March 4, 2015 - 11:25 am | Permalink

      the saddest part is that she did not enjoy the fun of conceiving all those kids. I think Freud would have fun with her.

      • Christi Hill's Gravatar Christi Hill
        March 4, 2015 - 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Is there any record showing how many of her children survived to adulthood? In all probabilty, not more than 7 or 8

  6. Rev. Carole Wageman's Gravatar Rev. Carole Wageman
    March 4, 2015 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    There sure are a lot of mystics in this year’s matchup!

  7. DK Sampson's Gravatar DK Sampson
    March 4, 2015 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    Growing up near Kemper arena, I’m conditioned to vote for a Kemper, even if there’s no connection. Still, a missionary to the frozen chosen of the Midwest has to win over tears.

  8. Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
    March 4, 2015 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Today it was the hermit and mystic for me!

  9. Denise's Gravatar Denise
    March 4, 2015 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Go Margery! Gotta love a gal who writes her own autobiography in the 14th century!

  10. Harry Moncelle's Gravatar Harry Moncelle
    March 4, 2015 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Although I am a “Flatlander”( Illinois native) I cast my vote for Bishop Kemper one cool “Cheesehead”

  11. March 4, 2015 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    This was a tough one, but I had to vote for one of my predecessors in Iowa!

    • TJ's Gravatar TJ
      March 4, 2015 - 8:38 am | Permalink

      I had forgotten that I was confirmed by a former bishop of Iowa. All the more reason to root for Kemper!

      • Ann Wetherell's Gravatar Ann Wetherell
        March 4, 2015 - 11:37 am | Permalink

        Born and raised in Iowa, I’ve got to go for Kemper.

    • Paul Neuhauser's Gravatar Paul Neuhauser
      March 4, 2015 - 11:46 am | Permalink

      So did I, Chris. You are right, as usual.

  12. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    March 4, 2015 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    My vote goes to Kemper, the hard working, thrifty fellow Midwesterner. Kempe was a little too out there for me. I also can’t pretend that I see declaring a vow of celibacy after giving birth to 14 children as an act of particular holiness. The poor woman was probably just tired!

  13. Marj Lewis's Gravatar Marj Lewis
    March 4, 2015 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Today i was compelled to vote for Margery Kempe in thanksgiving for all the crazy church ladies I’ve known. God Love em every one.

    • Gail Renborg's Gravatar Gail Renborg
      March 4, 2015 - 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Amen to that. It only took her 14 children to decide her husband was disgusting.

  14. shawn's Gravatar shawn
    March 4, 2015 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Again, a comparison of apples and oranges……the contemplative versus the active but in the spirit of mysticism which I have had some experience with I vote for Margery today. I can’t wait to read her documents. Perhaps Kemper is a descendent of one of those 14 children she bore…..I mean there must be some relation there!

  15. Anne Monahan's Gravatar Anne Monahan
    March 4, 2015 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    “Gift of tears”? Drama queen indeed. Jackson Kemper for me.

    • Camille's Gravatar Camille
      March 4, 2015 - 9:14 am | Permalink

      Who wouldn’t be brought to tears with 14 children running around during the Middle Ages

  16. Sally's Gravatar Sally
    March 4, 2015 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Goodness! I had to pull out my own Holy Women, Holy Men and see what I missed on September 28 (Margery’s day). The “tears” and “14 children” is absent from the official account, thank goodness, and she’s not given even given her own day! That Julian of Norwich was a contemporary and encouraged her is food for thought. However, a missionary bishop to the wilds of the High Plains of these United States must always get this family’s vote!

  17. March 4, 2015 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    The Missionary Bishop of the Whole Northwest (everything northwest of Philadelphia, that is) Jackson Kemper gets my vote today.

    He’s one of the “local saints” so beloved here in Wisconsin, along with Charles Chapman Grafton, James DeKoven, and James Lloyd Breck.

  18. Karen Moore's Gravatar Karen Moore
    March 4, 2015 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Poor Margery deserved sainthood if for no other reason than giving birth to 14 children! But I had to vote for the Bishop who gave of his life so freely and seems to have been a little more amiable than poor Margery – although she no doubt had earned the right to be weepy and less amiable.

  19. Nancy of Day's Gravatar Nancy of Day
    March 4, 2015 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    I am wondering about the proportion of male versus female saints – not just in the Madness, but overall. It does seem as though the female saints are getting the short shrift in these votes. I also voted for Jackson Kemper since Kempe really does sound a little batty and self-absorbed, but still . . .

  20. March 4, 2015 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    Margery Kempe’s Book is remarkable precisely because of its grit and diversity — rather than a carefully edited spiritual memoir (like even Augustine’s Confessions), its mosaic of everyday life speaks much more directly to the reality of the ups and downs of Christian discipleship. An edition (with teaching notes) is available online: http://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/publication/staley-the-book-of-margery-kempe

    (Personally, my favorite of her encounters was her pilgrimage to Norwich to visit and interview Julian late in the Visionary of Divine Love’s life, when her revision of her original visions into the Long Text of her revelations was likely almost or already complete. One can spend many hours imagining the meeting between these two remarkable women.)

    • Sister Janet's Gravatar Sister Janet
      March 4, 2015 - 9:55 am | Permalink

      Thank you for the link, Nathaniel! I have read excerpts from Margery Kempe, but look forward to dipping into the larger work. And while I’m a big fan of vigorous activity in service of the Lord, I’m voting for Margery, because without the everyday mystics, the church as an institution might survive, but the deep practice of life lived in communion with the Divine might not!

  21. Michael B. Palazzolo's Gravatar Michael B. Palazzolo
    March 4, 2015 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    No disrespect to Bishop Kemper, but what about Philander Chase! Wasn’t he the first missionary Bishop of the Episcopal Church, founding the great diocese of Ohio a few decades before Bp. Kemper came on the scene, and the diocese of Illinois a little later? I did cast my vote for Bp. Kemper, so no hard feelings on my part.

    • March 4, 2015 - 9:16 am | Permalink

      I was chaplain at Kenyon College for a bit and have very fond feeling for that great man Philander Chase. Here’s the scoop: Bishop Kemper was appointed a bishop by General Convention. Bishop Chase was duly elected bishop of Ohio. That’s why the different designation of missionary bishop is given to Kemper. More on Bishop Chase during his Lent Madness run here: http://www.lentmadness.org/2012/02/thomas-merton-vs-philander-chase/

    • Christi Hill's Gravatar Christi Hill
      March 4, 2015 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your reference to Phil. It was in reading about Phil that I discovered Kemper

  22. annette's Gravatar annette
    March 4, 2015 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Yes, Bp. Kemper did exemplary work, but Margery is a delightful companion on the journey. Think how much fun it must have been to be on those pilgrimages with her! She gets my vote —

  23. Mark E's Gravatar Mark E
    March 4, 2015 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    As a lifetime Midwesterner, I have to give my vote to Jackson today.

  24. Victor of Sturbridge's Gravatar Victor of Sturbridge
    March 4, 2015 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    I’m devoted to Dame Julian of Norwich (even read her Revelations aloud on tape for students using Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic — and in Middle English, God help me!, as I am not a Middle English scholar); I have made four pilgrimages to the site of her cell. Through her I discovered Margery Kempe. And I admire contemplatives, so my eleventh “losing” vote in a row goes to Margery. (Yes, I vote before looking at the results.)

  25. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    March 4, 2015 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    It is snowing in Kansas as I write (so a bit frozen), though as a lifelong Diocese of Kansan I chafe a bit against the frozen chosen moniker, but without hesitation Kemper it is. Selfless service and humility in difficult times. What is not to honor about that?

  26. Carol Miro's Gravatar Carol Miro
    March 4, 2015 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    I read the Book of Margery Kemp some 20-30 years ago and found it an interesting document, but the woman was somewhat demented and very difficult. She was angry with everyone around her and told everyone off. She was not a pleasant traveling companion, what with the weeping and the constant finding of fault in others. I did not feel at all spiritually uplifted by reading her book, it was kind of like watching the curmudgeon in “The Man Who Came to Dinner”. My vote goes to the Bishop!

    • Jules's Gravatar Jules
      March 4, 2015 - 9:02 am | Permalink

      You said it!

    • March 4, 2015 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

      “She was angry with everyone around her and told everyone off.” Possibly because they kept patronizing her? Possibly because she knew she could be so much more than her class station? It’s not likely a “middle class” woman in the 14th century could read or write, or was taught what we would consider “critical thinking.” And we don’t know what her priest said to her, of course, but early 15th century priests were not known for sympathy towards a woman who had unorthodox opinions. A lot of rage and frustration there, I think. And of course, no reliable birth control, and a husband who called the shots in bed and out. No wonder she cried.

      • kathie zingler's Gravatar kathie zingler
        March 5, 2015 - 11:11 pm | Permalink

        Amen, sister

  27. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 4, 2015 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Even though I love the phrase “gift of tears” and will totally use it the next time I cry in church (every Baptism, at least every other children’s sermon, and on and on), I had to go with the Bishop. Kempe seemed a bit too dramatic for me – and that is saying something coming from this dramatic middle-class housewife!

  28. lysbeth Andrews's Gravatar lysbeth Andrews
    March 4, 2015 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Anyone who has 14 children needs my vote !

  29. Ralegh's Gravatar Ralegh
    March 4, 2015 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    St. Margery has some appeal, but on the whole seems a bit self-centered to me. On the other hand St. Jackson is remarkably selfless, brave, and hard-working. I’m for the ones who strive humbly to follow God’s Word!

  30. Carol D's Gravatar Carol D
    March 4, 2015 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    This was impossible! Two stellar candidates! I will explore more about both. I voted for Kemper because I thought Episcopalians waited for Pullman cars.

    • Barbara Ross's Gravatar Barbara Ross
      March 4, 2015 - 10:03 am | Permalink

      My sentiments exactly! My father-in-law used to joke that his family waited and went West on the train with the Episcopal clergy. I didn’t know Episcopalians were enduring hardship to preach in what was then a vast wilderness. And I was born in Wisconsin, so Bishop Kemper gets my vote.

  31. Jules's Gravatar Jules
    March 4, 2015 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    “The gift of tears”? Ha. Margery Kempe comes off as an attention-needy neurotic wrapped in medieval piety. Bishop Kemper, please.

  32. Lucy Alonzo's Gravatar Lucy Alonzo
    March 4, 2015 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    Not directly about today’s vote (though I voted for Bishop Kemper) – but noticing that the percentages in yesterday’s vote stayed absolutely steady all day long, and were the same as the final result, even though there were thousands of votes being cast all the time. I haven’t kept track that closely before – this time I was rooting hard for Elizabeth, so I kept checking frequently – but I wonder whether that happens often, that the early trend is maintained? Perhaps the SEC knows the answer?

    • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
      March 4, 2015 - 9:54 am | Permalink

      In my experience with about 4 Lent Madnesses (and wow – I like the plural!), it happens almost every time.

      The exceptions are when there’s a voting bloc of some sort – the Philander Chase bloc, or the Queen Emma bloc; the latter was an effect of differences in time zones.

      But usually, what you see at 10 a.m. is very near to what you’re going to see the next morning at 8 a.m. It’s sort of uncanny, really.

      • Lucy Alonzo's Gravatar Lucy Alonzo
        March 4, 2015 - 10:41 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the information!

      • Ann Garvin's Gravatar Ann Garvin
        March 4, 2015 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

        Don’t forget the Frances Perkins block! THAT was amazing!

        • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
          March 4, 2015 - 7:09 pm | Permalink

          Wow, how could I have forgotten that one? You’re right, Ann!

    • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
      March 4, 2015 - 7:51 pm | Permalink

      I should add, though, that if it’s close, all bets are off. Leads change, and there’s no predicting the winner. I can’t remember who it was, but once somebody won by a really tiny margin. Anybody recall?

      • Kat G's Gravatar Kat G
        March 5, 2015 - 1:10 am | Permalink

        I believe it was one of Hilda of Whitby’s runs last year. Or perhaps the St Martha one. I remember it being so incredibly close on one of those– 50/50, only a handful of votes separating the two running. I need to go back and look- you’re right, it really was something!

        • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
          March 5, 2015 - 10:04 am | Permalink

          Thanks, Kat! I’ll go back and look too. Ah, the Lent Madnesses of yesteryear…..

          😉

  33. linda m.'s Gravatar linda m.
    March 4, 2015 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    when margery began her series of pilgrimages who was taking care of those 14 children? did she abandon them? did her husband care for them?
    as for the “gift of tears” the poor woman was depressed… in my opinion.
    i want to give her a “pity” vote, but i just have to go with the one with the R in his last name.

    • Pat's Gravatar Pat
      March 4, 2015 - 11:11 pm | Permalink

      My question too, who took care of the children? Did any live to adulthood? Most mothers would mention these things in an autobiography.

  34. Bill Ericson's Gravatar Bill Ericson
    March 4, 2015 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    My vote goes to Jackson!

  35. Alec Clement's Gravatar Alec Clement
    March 4, 2015 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    I admire contemplatives too but the C hristian who rolls up his sleeves, steps into the hurly burly of life and does the Lord’s work gets my vote. our west and Midwest back then could not have been a pieceof cake

  36. Alan Christensen's Gravatar Alan Christensen
    March 4, 2015 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Too bad Green Bay didn’t name its football team the Kempers!

  37. Susie's Gravatar Susie
    March 4, 2015 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    And who raised those 14 children? And I guess she wrote in her autobiography that she then decided to have a vow of celibacy? Come on! Pretty self absorbed to me, and not all there!

    • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
      March 4, 2015 - 10:27 am | Permalink

      If I’d given birth to 14 children (and managed to survive all those childbirths when so many did not) I think I’d be inclined to declare “factory closed for all business, including monkey business” too.

    • Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
      March 4, 2015 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Women in the Middle Ages (and still in many countries) were not allowed to refuse sex from their husbands. Taking a vow of celibacy was one of the only ways for women to avoid marital rape. And I wonder if we’d ask the same question about who raised those 14 children that she may or may not have consented to having if this were one of the many male saints who had a large number of children.

      • kathie zingler's Gravatar kathie zingler
        March 5, 2015 - 11:13 pm | Permalink

        Great post.

  38. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 4, 2015 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    I did not feel a connection to either of today’s candidates, but give the sympathy vote to Marjory Kempe because…my God, 14 children!

    • Ellen Gracie's Gravatar Ellen Gracie
      March 4, 2015 - 10:47 am | Permalink

      Seriously!

  39. Patricia Nakamura's Gravatar Patricia Nakamura
    March 4, 2015 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    This is cruel! I am a Julian associate, and a member of the Diocese of Milwaukee!
    I will have to ponder awhile . . . 🙁

  40. Carolyn Ballinger's Gravatar Carolyn Ballinger
    March 4, 2015 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    This priest who drives all over Western Kansas votes for her predecessor! I hope that this saint will reward our votes by stopping the snow out here….

  41. Lithophyte's Gravatar Lithophyte
    March 4, 2015 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    Baptized & Confirmed in Minnesota I have to vote for Kemper. The upper mid-west also had a catholic, Father Baraga that also might be a great candidate for a future LM contest. Braraga translated the bible into multiple native people languages and did his winter travel on snow shoes. He spent some time in Apostle Islands working with the natives. For Kemper to move out of Philly for the mid west is a testimony to God’s call to tell the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

  42. Sarah Gaede's Gravatar Sarah Gaede
    March 4, 2015 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    Being the loyal Sewanee grad that I am, it pains me to vote for Jackson Kemper, but Marjory is way too cray-cray for me.

    • Steve Clifton's Gravatar Steve Clifton
      March 4, 2015 - 11:13 pm | Permalink

      Hi Sarah! This Nashotah AND Sewanee grad appreciates your magnanimity. (And I second your motion re: cray-cray — the probably oppressive marital norms of the day notwithstanding.)

  43. MegN's Gravatar MegN
    March 4, 2015 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    Several of our rectors in Tokyo, St. Alban’s, have come to the ministry via Nashota House, and each has been a blessing to us. Bishop Kemper it is…

  44. patricia cooper's Gravatar patricia cooper
    March 4, 2015 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    Margery’s life was varied. Fourteen children, weeping, writing her autobiography. Definitely unique to her times. Gets my vote.

  45. Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
    March 4, 2015 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    Bishop Kemper is the “youngest” saint we’ve had in Lent Madness so far. And he may have been the most active, too! There is little question that he founded the church in the west. He was the first clergy to preach west of the Alleghenies and invested decades of tireless, faithful service on behalf of God’s mission in the frontier states.

    The presiding bishop said, “Never has a Bishop had a larger field, never one more truly and permanently successful in cultivating it.”

    When appointed missionary bishop of the northwest (an area of more than 450,000 miles) there was one missionary and no church in Indiana, one church and no clergy in Missouri, one missionary in Wisconsin, and in the rest of the area neither church nor clergy.

    As the first missionary bishop, Kemper logged more miles than Paul, confirmed 10,000 souls, ordained more than 200 clergy (including the Native American deacon Enmegahbowh, of prior Lent Madness fame), founded eight dioceses, six missionary jurisdictions, and three colleges (including Nashotah House Seminary). He supported the Oxford Movement, but also supported translations of the Bible and the BCP into the tribes’ languages ~ indeed, he consistently reached out to the Native American population.

    It was said that, “He was the soul of honor, integrity and benevolence. His purity of speech and thought was as unsullied as the snow upon the brow of Diana, and to these were added an unfailing cheerfulness of spirits, good conversational powers, and a gentle humor crowned his talk.”

    Bishop Kemper practiced self-denial. He had no home for the first 11 years of his episcopate, and he gave away 2/3 of his income to missions, Sunday school libraries, church buildings, redeeming church property from debt, and founding institutions of Christian education. He also took particular care of his clergy, and watched over them closely, knowing their hard work and limited means.

    Surely a Golden Halo is out there for the good Bishop!

    As mentioned in an earlier post, there is a Facebook page ~ Action Jackson Kemper: https://www.facebook.com/ActionJacksonKemper

    • March 4, 2015 - 8:15 pm | Permalink

      thank you so much the additional information. i had already decided for the missionary bishop but you affirmed my choice. many thanks!

    • Linda Bracken's Gravatar Linda Bracken
      March 5, 2015 - 11:52 am | Permalink

      Bishop Kemper gets my vote! I am a graduate of Nashotah House Seminary–a truly holy place–and Kemper is well known there, of course. Thx to Linda Brown for all the additional information about Jackson Kemper.

  46. Mary W. Cox's Gravatar Mary W. Cox
    March 4, 2015 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    This was hard! The influence of Kemper’s pastoral leadership is undeniable, but my heart went with a woman who wrote (and cried)–in her spare time, while mothering 14 kids! I so identify with a spiritual life that includes temptations, writing, and tears–though not the 14 pregnancies.

    Margery, wrestling
    with domestic sins, prayed, wrote,
    wept. Been there, done that.

    • Steve Clifton's Gravatar Steve Clifton
      March 4, 2015 - 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Love, love, love the poem, Mary — blessings!

  47. Char Minnette's Gravatar Char Minnette
    March 4, 2015 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    Being a Midwesterner, my first thought was Kemper, but in my own life I can relate much more to Margery.

  48. March 4, 2015 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    Not a tough decision today. We studied Margery Kempe in our adult class this winter. Love the Mystics! But, I voted for Kemper because: 1) He helped to found the seminary I attended in the eighties, 2) He officiated at the first BCP service in the community I serve, which eventually became the congregation of which I have been pastor and priest for over twelve years, and 3) Our parish has a wonderful icon of him in our library (painted by priest/artist Johnson Loud).

  49. SPRINGTIME MUSIC's Gravatar SPRINGTIME MUSIC
    March 4, 2015 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Somebody check me out; all of this year’s winners, so far, have been the “top button” in the voting. Does the SEC know something about preference for the first button to push?
    I would put nothing past those wily rascals.

    • Susan's Gravatar Susan
      March 4, 2015 - 11:01 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly….

    • Victor of Sturbridge's Gravatar Victor of Sturbridge
      March 4, 2015 - 11:28 am | Permalink

      According to the official chart, seven of the first ten winners were on the second line, three on the first line. My count can be checked at http://www.lentmadness.org/bracket/.

  50. Barbara from St. Barnabas's Gravatar Barbara from St. Barnabas
    March 4, 2015 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    My vote goes to Jackson Kemper. He was brave enough to venture into the untamed wilderness and worked hard to recruit priests and establish parishes. He sounds like a very kind and generous soul.

  51. Daniel Nieciecki's Gravatar Daniel Nieciecki
    March 4, 2015 - 9:52 am | Permalink

    Once again, I’m already in the minority in today’s Lent Madness. However, I can’t not support a woman who not only wrote the first English-language autobiography that shared her deeply personal spiritual experiences, but also a brave and intelligent person who traveled the world and was not afraid to criticize high and mighty people when they needed it.

  52. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 4, 2015 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    My vote is for Margery, the mystic, doubtless most misunderstood.

    • March 4, 2015 - 12:34 pm | Permalink

      I’m frankly surprised at the nasty comments directed toward not just Margery, but other female mystics. in general, *by* women…Sheesh, vote for whichever saint moves you, but wow, some venom out there.

      • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
        March 4, 2015 - 7:21 pm | Permalink

        I am also really astonished at the venom…add another sheesh from me!

  53. Martha's Gravatar Martha
    March 4, 2015 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    My heart wants to vote for Margery because I am a student of autobiography and hers is sometimes seen as the 1st such work in English. The self-assertion necessary for a woman to write of her own life at a time when women were usually consigned to the private arena is impressive. And I love mystics. But Kemper gets my vote. Not only was he a powerful evangelist and supporter of education, but he also lived a life of great charity. For me it’s not mystic vs. doer, it is doer vs. doer.

  54. Katrina's Gravatar Katrina
    March 4, 2015 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    Bishop Kemper reminds me of the work of one of my dear Bishops, so he gets my vote.

  55. Jennifer B-C Seaver's Gravatar Jennifer B-C Seaver
    March 4, 2015 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    As a writer and a traveler, I cast my vote for Margery.

  56. Carol Townsend's Gravatar Carol Townsend
    March 4, 2015 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    The first autobiography written in English? A successful woman author?!? She’s got my vote. I celebrate the women writers of early times, and can now add Margery to my list of favorites: Isabella Whitney, Mary Sidney (Countess Pembroke), and Marguerite Porete.

    • March 4, 2015 - 11:32 am | Permalink

      I would also suggest you take a look at Christine de Pizan (1364-c. 1430), the first woman to make her living as a professional writer. Her “Book of the City of Ladies” (Le Livre de la Cité des Dames) still stands up as an amazing Christian take down of misogyny and promotion of the rights and dignity of women!

      • Carol Townsend's Gravatar Carol Townsend
        March 5, 2015 - 9:56 am | Permalink

        Thank you Nathaniel – I will!

  57. David M.'s Gravatar David M.
    March 4, 2015 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    This was an easy call, and I enjoyed the comments. I request the SEC to find a format to “approve” comments so we can see which comments are most appreciated. Ms. Miro’s comment seems spot on to me. On Kemper! On Wisconsin!

  58. Tarheel's Gravatar Tarheel
    March 4, 2015 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    As a former CheeseHead , long before I became a Tarheel, Jackson Kemper has my vote. Anyone able to tackle those harsh Midwest winters is entitled to the warmth and glow of the Golden Halo.
    So it is On Wisconsin, Bucky Badger, the Green Bay Packers and Jackson Kemper.

  59. Christianne McKee's Gravatar Christianne McKee
    March 4, 2015 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    As a daughter of the House, class of 1987, how can I not vote for Jackson Kemper?

  60. John Williamson's Gravatar John Williamson
    March 4, 2015 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    Jackson Kemper travelled more miles in his missionary work than did Saint Paul. Probably made more converts and certainly founded more churches!

  61. Ann E's Gravatar Ann E
    March 4, 2015 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    Bishop Kemper got my vote today for his energy as a missionary and Bishop, and his devotion to education, his generosity and pleasant personality. His work made a real difference in the history of the mid-West.

  62. March 4, 2015 - 10:28 am | Permalink

    To r or not to r, that is the question…

  63. Cheryle's Gravatar Cheryle
    March 4, 2015 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    Jackson it is for me! Braving the wilds of what was then the West was no small feat, and he was faithful to his call from God and his direction from the church.

    I don’t want to be too hard on Margery – 14 children during any era is no joke! – but she’s a little too out there for me. I’m afraid I would have been one of those “others” who was uncomfortable with her holy gift. Ordinarily I’m all for the mystics, but, oh, Margery!

  64. Linda Clader's Gravatar Linda Clader
    March 4, 2015 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    A dyed-in-the wool Midwesterner, how could I not vote for Kemper? Now, when will they put Bishop Henry Benjamin Whipple, first Bishop of Minnesota, in the calendar?

  65. Joanne's Gravatar Joanne
    March 4, 2015 - 10:42 am | Permalink

    Is it just me who can’t stop singing “Day by day…”?! I went with Jackson, in spite of Laurie’s subtle reference to the fabulous musical “Godspell” .

    • Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
      March 4, 2015 - 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Yay! Someone caught it! Good on you!

  66. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 4, 2015 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    I have a feeling that Jackson Kemper would vote for Margery Kempe. So that’s what I did, too; I almost always vote for the mystic.

    But I won’t be sorry to see JK win, either!

  67. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 4, 2015 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    Reading about Kemper made me think of him as a “modern day” apostle. He got my vote.

  68. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 4, 2015 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    BTW, where is Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson this year, does anybody know? I miss her comments….

  69. Linfs Ryan's Gravatar Linfs Ryan
    March 4, 2015 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    Amazing how many people focus on Margery’s 14 children and extravagant tears (that nearly drove me nuts when reading her autobiography) but nobody mentions her extensive travels to holy places in a time when women didn’t usually travel all that much. A hard person to get along with on a pilgrimage? She was trying to keep the penitential nature of the journey while her companions were a bit more rowdy than was seemly. Parts of her autobiography made me want to shake her, but in the end, she was much more than the mother of 14 and a PITA on trips. She was in every sense a mystic who did not tolerate fools lightly. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when she and Julian met.

    • Becky Smith's Gravatar Becky Smith
      March 4, 2015 - 11:25 am | Permalink

      Our church recently hosted a production of the play “Cell Talk : 1410” by Dana Bagshaw. The play presents a “fly’s-eye-view” of the meeting between Margery and Julian. Check out the facebook page for the west coast tour at: http://www.facebook.com/CellTalk1410

    • March 4, 2015 - 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Well said! I really thought I was going to vote to Kemper and that would have made my bracket solid so far, and I wasn’t a fan of the way Margery’s biographer framed her, however truthful. Jackson seems so “perfect” and Margery seems so wacky and pathetic but yet I went with her precisely for the reasons that Linfs Ryan wrote. And, she was the second button!

  70. Holly's Gravatar Holly
    March 4, 2015 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    I’m an Iowa girl (in exile in Illinois) but I had to vote for Margery. Sure, she’s kind of crazy (okay, minus kind of) but I can related to a woman struggling with marriage, kids, career setbacks, mental illness, and I really want to hang out with Julian of Norwich.

  71. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    March 4, 2015 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    with several missionary bishops in the family, knowing the work and hardships they’ve been through I had to go with Kemper

  72. Sherry in Sequim's Gravatar Sherry in Sequim
    March 4, 2015 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    My vote goes to Jackson Kemper. While he was before the founding of my home church (St Cornelius, Dodge City) I stepped out of the fray to check out the website and remember my growing up years… No doubt in a parish whose founding was inspired by Bishop Kemper.

  73. Judy Hoover's Gravatar Judy Hoover
    March 4, 2015 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    Good grief, just think of Margery Kempe. She had fourteen children in a space of less than 20 years. She was trying to convince her husband to be chaste for several of those years, finally succeeding when she was 40. No wonder she had fits of crying. Then she went on all those pilgrimages. Oh my I cannot resist even though I am a great admirer of Kemper.

  74. Solange De Santis's Gravatar Solange De Santis
    March 4, 2015 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    When I was a church reporter in Canada, I read up on some of these pioneer bishops. They had an astoundingly hard time and the physical demands of the West literally killed some. Kemper is my man. Besides the “gift of tears,” Kempe was aware of others’ discomfort at her histrionics (you can see the eye-rolling).

  75. Betts's Gravatar Betts
    March 4, 2015 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    I voted for Kemper today. He reminds me of Bishop Harry Kennedy, Bishop of the Orient.
    My cousins and brother and I were confirmed on different islands of the Pacific.
    Bishop Kennedy served the entire Orient including the Military members.
    He was a gracious and loving man and I owe my beginning faith to him.
    He asked my confirmation class would we die for Christ. He was in constant jeopardy from the communists in China so that question was close to him.
    RIP Bishop Kennedy.

  76. Fiona Haworth's Gravatar Fiona Haworth
    March 4, 2015 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    Love the mystics but never really took to Margery – too much weeping and wailing for quiet contemplation. So I voted for Kemper who sounds a much more amiable companion (Amiable is a word not used enough!)

  77. Margaret Bivins's Gravatar Margaret Bivins
    March 4, 2015 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    Margery Kempe comes off as a real drama queen. I voted for the Cheesehead bishop with his real world missionary fervor.

  78. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    March 4, 2015 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Margery sounds much like women through the ages who have been trapped by the limitations placed on them by the societies within which they lived. Trapped to pregnancy after pregnancy, to no opportunity other than staying in her role while longing for so much more. Worn down by children, unending housework, constant exhaustion. No wonder she was angry and depressed, possibly experiencing chronic postpartum depression. That she was able to try and offer this all to God, write her feelings out and leave us a written legacy, is pretty noteworthy. In some ways, she reminds me of the women of more recent years crying for equal rights! We do her as great a deservice in lableing her “neurotic” as we did the “housewife” of the 1950’s! Blaming the victim, making it internal to her, pathologizing her is not acceptable. Her witness shines a light on what it was like in her day. Her life shows me the grit that was needed to indure and makes me eternally grateful for the life I have today. Thank you for introducing me to her. She has my respect and empathy. I can understand and relate to her efforts to find peace and healing in prayer and contemplation. Maybe, in the end, this is the model of sainthood that one meets everyday in school, at shops or at tea. Just like you and like me. Living out out lives ever so faithfully as best we can within our circumstances!

    I have great admiration for Bishop Kemper. He’s always been one of my heroes. I intended to vote for him. But I’ve talked myself to the point that I must vote for Margery much to my surprise.

    • March 4, 2015 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

      AMEN, Millie Ericson!

    • ConnieHJ's Gravatar ConnieHJ
      March 4, 2015 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Millie! (Even though I voted for Kempe for other reasons.)

  79. john miller's Gravatar john miller
    March 4, 2015 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    I have been suspicious of these mystical experiences like Margery’s….telling the difference between an encounter with God and an emotional breakdown. Heaven knows after 14 kids, the badgering, and the pursed lips, she was certainly prone to a breakdown Kemper, plodding along through the harsh seasons and experiencing the usual stress of the bishopric, just seems more “real.”

  80. Miss J's Gravatar Miss J
    March 4, 2015 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    My vote goes to the saint I first heard of as the Bishop of All Outdoors.

    And the first Episcopal clergy in the real NW arrived in Oregon starting with Michael Fackler (VTS) via the Oregon Trail circa 1849 & William Richmond (GTS) via boat-portage across Isthmus of Panama-boat in 1851. Together they founded the mother parish of the Pacific NW, Trinity, Portland. Richmond founded many other parishes in the NW. Fackler went on to found others too, including one in Boise that took the name of St. Michael’s in his honor. Both St. Michael’s & Trinity eventually became Cathedrals. Fackler & family traveled back East via the Panama route and along the way encountered a cholera outbreak. He ministered to the sick and dying, eventually becoming ill and dying. He is buried in Key West. That the Rev. Mr. Fackler isn’t in HWHM yet continued to amaze me. (But Mr. Rogers isn’t there yet either.) But at least the Bishop of All Outdoors is there & I can vote for him.

    • Deacon Georgia's Gravatar Deacon Georgia
      March 4, 2015 - 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Kudos for bringing up Michael Fackler and the Oregon Trail. As a recent transplant to Eastern Oregon I have just begun to learn of the pioneering bishops who spread the gospel in this area and founded the churches in the communities that exist today. I had known about Kemper before and had to vote for his pioneering spirit as well.

  81. March 4, 2015 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    I believe Bishop Kemper made it all the way to California and established the church in Benecia. I understand that he was buried there and just recently Nashotah wanted him and so he is now reburied there.
    I too found Margery a little over the top and found my regard for the Bishop more to my comfort level. He got may vote today.

    • March 4, 2015 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

      I m made a big mistake ! It was Beck not Kemper. disregard what I said! Sorry!

  82. March 4, 2015 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    I served in two parishes established by Jackson Kemper. He established parishes from Wisconsin to Mississippi and much of his work remains a testament to his tenacity. Margery Kempe could use a dose of cymbalta or maybe a zoloft regimen. I am not certain I would have the pastoral skills to care for her either.

  83. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 4, 2015 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Well, Kempe frankly sounds like a bit of a fruit-loop to me. I would be one of those who felt “discomfort” at frequent sobbing, weeping, and wailing, and her taking a vow of chastity after having fourteen children sounds like closing the barn door after a lot of horses have escaped. She doesn’t seem to have found sex disgusting before then. Okay, I stand accused of lack of charity–not for the first time. Mea culpa.

  84. Fr. Andy's Gravatar Fr. Andy
    March 4, 2015 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Kansas Clergy for Saint Jackson Kemper!

  85. Kris Austin's Gravatar Kris Austin
    March 4, 2015 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Any woman who has 14 children deserves to take a vow of chastity. Margery all the way, baby!

  86. Duchess's Gravatar Duchess
    March 4, 2015 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m from West Missouri, so Bp. Kemper was our first bishop. It would be disloyal to vote for anyone else. Besides, generosity is cool.

  87. Adelaide Kent's Gravatar Adelaide Kent
    March 4, 2015 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Margery is a great example of the ‘second act’ for women. I would probably have found her a bit hard to put up with, though. I voted for her because of the connection with Julian. She is also a layperson as we would think of the concept, one of the first to appear in the Christian record.

  88. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 4, 2015 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Sheesh! Another difficult matchup. Bp. Kemper models a heroism whose depth requires historical imagination on our part: in his day travel in the Upper Midwest was almost as tough and dangerous as European travel in the Middle Ages. How rapidly has the American landscape been transformed since his day, and perhaps in part through his action! The breadth of Kemper’s vision is remarkable: he foresaw much of what the Episcopal Church understands as its mission today, more than a century later. As for Margery Kempe, she models a type of spirituality that was widely recognized in ancient and medieval times but often escapes our notice today. We have pathologized our understanding of people like her, locking them up, managing them, treating them like children, condescending to tbem. We do everything but LISTEN to them, and our failure to do so shuts one door against the prompting of the Spirit. God speaks through all his children, not just the sane, the practical, the industrious. He makes us uncomfortable by doing so? Isn’t that His job?

    • kathie zingler's Gravatar kathie zingler
      March 5, 2015 - 11:37 pm | Permalink

      I like the thoughtful answer of John Lewis. Yes, God can and does speak through everyone. If we say God can only speak through the clean, well dressed, and rational person, we may miss hearing what God has to say to us.

  89. A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
    March 4, 2015 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I suspect Margery would have been exhausting and annoying to be around, but her story is fascinating and she shouldn’t be so easily dismissed. John the Baptist dressed funny and seemed a bit cray cray too. Just sayin’!
    The introduction of the Staley edition describes some of the values at stake in Margery’s life choices. Above all, Margery was trying to follow and love Jesus.
    1. Nothing against Kemper, but he is celebrated for going walkabouts, and Kempe is condemned for not staying home to take care of the kids? Please remember Margery was sharing the gospel with people she met as she travelled, too.
    2. I greatly admire her courage in challenging clerical sins and corruptions while maintaining a pastoral heart with the priests and monks she ministered to.
    3. As more of a Frozen Chosen myself I look a bit askance at Margery’s willingness to give herself over to a ‘full-body’ Pentecostal-style experience of worship but hey – King David danced around nakee before the Ark of the Covenant and no one (besides his wife) called him out for it, or dismissed him as ‘neurotic’ or ‘self-absorbed’.
    4. Re: Kempe’s vow of married chastity – as she understood it, she was trying to remain full-body faithful to Jesus, and it was actually negotiated with her husband. Important to remember also, I think, the state of medicine and the real risks of childbearing in the 15th century. No idle decision either way, but after 14 children I sure wouldn’t fault her for taking a break to do other things.
    5. “Contemplation” does not mean “sit on your butt and do nothing” nor it is all she did. She took time to carve out a spiritual vocation while also being caregiver to her children AND (spoiler alert) her debilitated husband. What a woman!
    6. In the unlikely event she wins Golden Halo 2015, pretty please can her mug be decorated with pears and bears?

  90. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 4, 2015 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I voted today for Jackson Kemper. This is the first I’ve ever heard of either of these saints. Love learning through Lent Madness!! Margery strikes me as strange and a little sad. Though I might be strange and sad after 14 children. Heavens! I admire JK’s zeal and amiable manners.

  91. March 4, 2015 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

    A lot of venom in a few of the anti-Marjory comments. I don’t care who you vote for, but, wow. Marjory’s priest lives on.

  92. Carolyn Roper's Gravatar Carolyn Roper
    March 4, 2015 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    It was Kemper who brought the wild and woolly west to Christ vs the “crazy church lady” (mentioned above). We have had many, many of them, bless their souls, but it seems to me that it boils down to Kemp’s building of churches and communities vs Margery Kempe’s whining about her lot in life. I could only surmise that she must have severely tested Julian’s patience.
    C.R.

  93. Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
    March 4, 2015 - 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Because of word limits in the bios, I was unable to share more about the gift of tears, and reading through the comments, I’m troubled by the way Margery’s gift has been denigrated to the act of an “overly emotional, depressed, or histrionic” woman instead of a gift of the Spirit that is held in high regard by many saints past and present. I wonder why Margery’s Gift of Tears is reduced only to a mental illness in which God could not be present, while many other saints behaved in ways that made others uncomfortable, yet we laud those behaviors. Not saying Margery didn’t color outside the lines -she most certainly did – as did many of the holy women and men who are saints of the church. Perhaps her Gift of Tears and her spirituality were rooted in something modern day psychology could address, perhaps not. We can’t know. For more information on the gift of tears: http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/practices/features.php?id=22736

    • March 4, 2015 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Charismatic Christianity comes in mostly for denigration in the modern world, rather than our admiration. It is to our shame that, as others have noted, we would have Margery drugged into a stupor today just to keep her “under control.” Oh, the fallen, prideful human urge to exert our own control over God, rather than allowing him to take control of us!

      • March 4, 2015 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Don’t overlook the ever-present sexism — Marjory is pathologized in terms we don’t apply to men, now, today, right here in River City. She may well have been an almighty pain in the ass, but she had backbone and guts in a time when her life would have been vastly more comfortable if she had neither. Christ spoke to her (maybe; maybe she *was* nuts); she didn’t back down from her visions, and she told both her priest and her archbishop they were crap at their jobs because they weren’t “pastoral” enough, whatever that meant in the 14th century. Girl speaks truth to power, you have to give her some respect. More than Bp Kemp? That’s up to the voters; but does it really matter?

        • March 4, 2015 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

          I was trying not to say it, but yes, the pathologization of medieval holy women in order to discount their prophetic power is a cottage industry. I suspect we’ll see more of it tomorrow when Hildegard of Bingen’s visions are reduced to “migraines.”

          • March 4, 2015 - 2:00 pm | Permalink

            But she wrote such purty music, did she not? Much more in keeping with the responsibilities appropriate for a Leddy of her stature.

          • March 4, 2015 - 2:10 pm | Permalink

            We probably won’t see it as much with Hildegard because the match-up will be against another woman (Egeria); and because Hildegard isn’t known for the “histrionics” that are one of misogyny’s favorite tropes. Rather, she purposefully exploited the tropes of “feminine weakness” in order to add an even sharper edge to her prophetic denunciations of clerical sin — things had gotten *so* bad that God couldn’t even find a man to do the job! Hildegard is “transgressive” in precisely the ways we moderns like our women to be transgressive — by wielding power on men’s terms.

            But I will leave the greater comments on the Visionary Doctor until tomorrow!

    • A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
      March 4, 2015 - 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Comments here are mirroring reactions to Margery in real life: some ‘got’ her, some were highly critical, some simply dismissed her, and some realized after getting to know her that there was so much more to her than her first impression.

      • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
        March 4, 2015 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Well said! Lent Madness holds a (distant) mirror up to ourselves.

    • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
      March 4, 2015 - 7:06 pm | Permalink

      I regret that MK has been pathologized, to use the phrase others have applied ~ that said, she does not hold up even among her contemporaries (i.e., other uppity women identified as mystics).

  94. Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
    March 4, 2015 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

    In this time poor Margery could be medicated for her gift of tears. Her book is more about the negative reactions of those around her to her emotional outbursts. Her story reminds me of tbe many saints observed in mental institutions. Jackson, on tbe otber hand, accomplished so much with so little. He impresses me as saintly. Margery clearly needed mental health help in a time in which it was nkt available.

  95. Robert Andrews-Bryant's Gravatar Robert Andrews-Bryant
    March 4, 2015 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

    This was a tough one (as they often are). But a woman who locked horns (figuratively, of course) with the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 15th Century! Go Margery!

  96. Diane Norton's Gravatar Diane Norton
    March 4, 2015 - 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I am getting good at predicting results, today my first time to be in with the winner. Admire both. New saints for me, your commentaries are so well done. Wringing my hands as I will be away for the whole week leading into Palm Sunday.

  97. Marilyn D's Gravatar Marilyn D
    March 4, 2015 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Margery doesn’t sound particularly saintly to me. Glad to learn about her though. “The Jackson man” seems to have done so much more!

  98. Kay Richardson's Gravatar Kay Richardson
    March 4, 2015 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Jackson Kemper was a remarkable man and a worthy saint. Margery, however was an uppity feminist in a dark era. Being an uppity feminist myself, I must vote for her.

  99. March 4, 2015 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Another hard decision ! My children gave me a copy of Margery Kempe’s autobiography years ago just because of her name. I was fascinated by her spirituality and wholeheartedly agree with these comments here in her favor. Perhaps it’s because I too sometimes feel like yelling at people who say they’re following God’s will, but are instead following their own.

  100. Wendy L. Bell's Gravatar Wendy L. Bell
    March 4, 2015 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Did that description of Jackson Kemper really not mention native americans even a single time or did I simply miss the reference?

    • March 4, 2015 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

      You are not blind…I wonder what the Native Americans thought of Kemper. And I sure hope he didn’t set up some of those Indian schools that tried to wring the last bit of cultural identity and “otherness” out of their students. I realize the context of the time Kemper lived in; and even saints can commit grievous error.

      • Linda Brown's Gravatar Linda Brown
        March 4, 2015 - 7:01 pm | Permalink

        Far from trying to Anglicize the Indians in his areas, Bishop Kemper gave his time, money, and direction to support translations of the Bible and the BCP into the tribes’ languages. He reached out to the Native American population and ordained many of them.

  101. the Rev. Judith Jones's Gravatar the Rev. Judith Jones
    March 4, 2015 - 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I once had a dearly loved parishioner named Marjorie Kemp who is a wonderful worker for God, and I love our mystical saints. However, this time I had to go with Bp. Kemper: his gift of developing churches throughout the northern parts of the U.S., plus his sacrificial monetary gifts to the churches he established, including Nashota, make him a standout in this round.

  102. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 4, 2015 - 1:59 pm | Permalink

    As one who was privileged to attend Kemper Hall, I must go with the Right Reverend.

  103. Carmen's Gravatar Carmen
    March 4, 2015 - 2:26 pm | Permalink

    As a woman who also walked the Camino de Santiago, my vote goes to Margery who walked this pilgrimage during its heyday in the Middle Ages when mostly men walked it. She managed to find a way to end the years of domestic drudgery that gender roles and her time in history demanded of her, but I do hope the last baby was at least of school-age and in good hands when she left for Santiago as she was probably gone from England for 2 or 3 months!

  104. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 4, 2015 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Voting from Dallas, Texas, during a cold, driving wind and rain, I wonder how anyone lived, much less worked as a missionary, north of San Antonio during the winter, or south of Amarillo during the summer, I choose Bp. Kemper. I don’t think that mental illness or emotional instability was the cause of Marjorie Kempe’s tears, and I agree with the other voters who believe that 14 children could put the damper on romance.I admire her chutzpah in confronting the Archbishop of Canterbury about the behavior of his clergy, and I’m sure that her account of her travels is fascinating. As colorful and devout as she was, however, I’m in a practical frame of mind on this cold March day, and Bp. Kemper gets my vote.

  105. March 4, 2015 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

    With a name like Jackson, he has to be my choice!

  106. Suzanne's Gravatar Suzanne
    March 4, 2015 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Poor Margery… sounds like she was desperately in need of today’s psychiatric counseling, not to mention contraceptives: I’d cry and have visions, too! Gotta go with Kemper.

  107. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    March 4, 2015 - 2:46 pm | Permalink

    One of the greatest things I got out of my many, many British lit classes in undergrad was a love of Margery Kempe. Thanks, Dr. Stargardt–this vote’s for you!

  108. Linda Maloney's Gravatar Linda Maloney
    March 4, 2015 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Margery drew attention to Julian of Norwich, a plus. (Say, where’s Julian, anyway?) But I was ordained in the Diocese of Minnesota, so I owe Kemper.

  109. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 4, 2015 - 3:57 pm | Permalink

    A footnote to Kempe: many today use “middle class” to mean just plain folks. In Margery’s time it wasn’t a legal or sociological term, bht we can use it anachronistically to mean rich but not noble. Like Chaucer’s Wife of Bath she could pay her own way, though as a wandering schizophrenic she may well have begged her way. Medieval Christians had a gift of discernment that is rare today: to see Christ in lunatics andfools.

    • Lynn Marini's Gravatar Lynn Marini
      March 4, 2015 - 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Yes but why must we “label” as lunatics those who are different than we? If we are basing lunacy on what society defines as normal.

  110. Hugh Matheson's Gravatar Hugh Matheson
    March 4, 2015 - 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Margery Kemp for me. Any woman who can have a revelation from God after being hit by a brick falling from church roof repair, and the revelation is to open a pub, well this just makes me glad. A little more Monty Python and a little less starch please. And it would have been wonderous, in the Holy Sepulcher, with all those pious pilgrims to be there when God gave Margery her amazing scream. This woman wrote the first female autobiography in english. Wow!

  111. Donald Lowery's Gravatar Donald Lowery
    March 4, 2015 - 5:14 pm | Permalink

    I had to vote for Jackson Kemper because having studied Margery Kemp at some length, on my own while in seminary, I thought she was crazier than a loon, a sort of Julian of Norwich wannabe who did not quite measure up. However, given that she made it to this most holy context, I shall reconsider my position as perhaps in error. Still It was Bp. Kemper for today.

  112. Edna Marie's Gravatar Edna Marie
    March 4, 2015 - 5:14 pm | Permalink

    On Nashotah!

  113. Donald Lowery's Gravatar Donald Lowery
    March 4, 2015 - 5:14 pm | Permalink

    contest, not context

  114. Lynn Marini's Gravatar Lynn Marini
    March 4, 2015 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

    i resided in the diocese of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. for 10 yrs & sat in on some Nashota House classes. You may rest assured that May 24 is akin to a national holiday. That said, I have to cast my vote for Margery Kempe. Seems like most the votes this year have been going the”Mary” types while The Martha have been skimmed over.
    I simply must ask, are putting worth to those visible works, than on “chosen the better part”
    It would be nice recognize some these lesser known candidates for the Golden Halo to see the bigger picture of our heritage

  115. Sallie's Gravatar Sallie
    March 4, 2015 - 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I admire Margery Kempe for many reasons, and had never heard of Bishop Kemper before, but I am voting for him in memory of a pioneer Episcopal minister in early 20th century New Mexico, Hunter Lewis, for whom my father had great respect. He traveled up and down the railway line, preaching and ministering in the little towns along the way, and eventually building seven or eight churches in southern New Mexico. He occupied some of his travel time crocheting hats for children–I still have my “Preacher Lewis hat”. Let’s remember the pioneers of all our churches–this is our own heritage.

  116. Ruth Drewry's Gravatar Ruth Drewry
    March 4, 2015 - 5:35 pm | Permalink

    In 1851 Bishop Kemper celebrated the first service in Plymouth, WI and in 1858 he consecrated our present church. Thanks, Bishop Kemper – and keep rooting for those Packers.

  117. Ann Willis Scott's Gravatar Ann Willis Scott
    March 4, 2015 - 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad I liked the bio of Bishop Kemper because I had to vote for him. I went to camp at Kemper Hall, run by the Sisters of St. Mary. However, I’m still sorry for Ms. Kempe who must have had post-partum depression — it can do things to you head. The times didn’t help her much, either.

  118. Regina W.'s Gravatar Regina W.
    March 4, 2015 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Take note, SEC! The Collect for Margery Kempe, which has been adapted from the Holy Women Holy Men Collect for Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, and Margery Kempe, is not quite accurate: Kempe was a mystic, but not a hermit. She visited Julian of Norwich, an anchoress, but was not herself a solitary. A good revision would read, “pilgrim and mystic.”

  119. Jan Robitscher's Gravatar Jan Robitscher
    March 4, 2015 - 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Another hard choice, but because of the Nashotah House connection I voted for Kemper.

  120. Joan A. Reyes's Gravatar Joan A. Reyes
    March 4, 2015 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I was moved to tears during the ceremony when I was received into the Episcopal church but that was because I was having a Cuban moment.

  121. March 4, 2015 - 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Margery needed a sympathy vote, if only for her weeping gift and 14 children.

    • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
      March 4, 2015 - 7:39 pm | Permalink

      A while back I knew someone who had a “gift”? of holy laughing. Can’t say that I see either that or weeping sobbing tears as a “gift”.

      • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
        March 4, 2015 - 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps “gifts” are also “burdens” or even “crosses.” Ask someone who has such a “gift.”

        • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
          March 4, 2015 - 8:07 pm | Permalink

          Amen, and amen, John Lewis!

        • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
          March 4, 2015 - 8:09 pm | Permalink

          That’s a big AMEN!

          • Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
            March 4, 2015 - 8:13 pm | Permalink

            Maybe a “gift” like those are only gifts if you think it is.

        • kathie zingler's Gravatar kathie zingler
          March 5, 2015 - 11:57 pm | Permalink

          Yes, John Lewis, I agree with your thoughts. God works in us and through us as we are. Perhaps those who see devils, of whatever kind, are more open to spiritual realities then the rest of us. Another thought: we too are called to be saints The most important characteristics of a saint are forgiveness, fortitude, prayer, and perseverance. Certainly all the people mentioned to date have those gifts. Hopefully all of us do as well.

  122. Betsy's Gravatar Betsy
    March 4, 2015 - 7:40 pm | Permalink

    The Drama Queen gets my vote!

  123. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 4, 2015 - 7:40 pm | Permalink

    On my phone I’m not able to reply directly to anyone , but would someone cut and paste this for John Miller? Who says that there is a difference between emotional illness/breakdowns and hearing the word of God? Can God not speak to us in our most grievous pain? Isn’t it possible that we may be in a better position to hear or encounter God when we are at our most vulnerable, when our need for God is greatest? I recommend the writings of and on Christopher Smart. I have struggled with a mental illness all my adult life, and I assure you, God is there, my friend. It takes all kinds of us to be witnesses and saints for God. As the SEC said today, let’s show a little respect for the variety of God’s children. Please.

    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 4, 2015 - 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Beautifully said, Susan Maurine! The Christophers and Margeries among us should be recognized in an additional verse of “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God”!

  124. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 4, 2015 - 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Lynn Marini,I don’t know why we do, but we do. Maybe it’s because because “labeling” others with such terms is a way to dismiss them as guides and teachers? Maybe so we don’t have to take a look inside ourselves? One of my students is working on the ideological roots of this pathologizing as it happens in contemporary debates over treatment of marginal people in the U.S. I look forward to seeing what he can come up with.

  125. March 4, 2015 - 8:43 pm | Permalink

    As a Midwesterner, I need to vote for Bishop Kemper. However, as a Minnesotan, I’m curious whether Bishop Whipple was one of those who took over when Kemper began to cede authority to the new diocese?

  126. Chris Carter's Gravatar Chris Carter
    March 4, 2015 - 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Though I spent seven years worshipping in a church which Kemper helped establish, I had to vote for Margery Kempe because I remember reading her book as a college student in a seminar on pilgrimage literature and having to translate it to others during class. I remember being sort of amused but simultaneously moved by the holy tears which overcame her so often. One cannot help but be impressed by her conviction when one reads her own words.

  127. Bonnie's Gravatar Bonnie
    March 4, 2015 - 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Margery is putting the “madness” in Lent Madness….I voted for Jackson.

  128. March 4, 2015 - 9:51 pm | Permalink

    3.4.2015 [Jackson Kemper]

    open land, no borders,
    waiting for vision and
    a heart with courage
    to go

    and say, this too
    is the Lord’s land
    and there are
    no others.
    —————-

  129. Bill Fasel's Gravatar Bill Fasel
    March 4, 2015 - 11:12 pm | Permalink

    To Miss J: when Bishop Jackson Kemper founded Christ Episcopal Church, Lexington, Missouri, in 1844, the priest he installed there was one Michael St. James Fackler. There’s your connection between Bishop Kemper & the great Northwest. (From the current Priest-in-charge of Christ Church, Lexington–and 2 other Bishop Kemper plants.)

  130. Robert Coates's Gravatar Robert Coates
    March 4, 2015 - 11:34 pm | Permalink

    The Episcopal Church in the Midwest is mostly characterized by small mission churches with fewer than a hundred members. My church with 250 is considered large. This may seem sad to some, but I find Midwestern Episcopalianism beautiful and precious. To see a tiny stone chapel in the midst of a pine forest or to visit the DeKoven Center in Racine, in the buildings of a long-defunct college, evokes the image of hardy missionaries bringing the brilliant faith of Cranmer and Seabury to what was then a wild frontier. Jackson Kemper wrought a fine thing in this snow-covered wilderness, and I am glad for it.

  131. March 5, 2015 - 1:03 am | Permalink

    When reading about women saints, I’m starting to get the same kind of flinch reflex to the term “mystic” as I have to “virgin”, and for the same reason: it’s *really* starting to feel like a gendered category.
    I suppose it’s not surprising that members of the “Frozen Chosen” wouldn’t think much of the gift of tears. 😉

    My vote today goes to Bishop Kemper, though, because he really seems to have been a model bishop in so many ways that I wish our bishops today would emulate.

  132. ej's Gravatar ej
    March 5, 2015 - 3:19 am | Permalink

    This is an interesting match. A man who founded a seminary that refuse to allow women priests to celebrate Eucharist until the early 90’s against a woman from the Middle Ages who defied convention, sought to seek her own path to worship God and confronted the authority of the church. Some may call her crazy; I call her courageous.

  133. Ruth's Gravatar Ruth
    March 5, 2015 - 6:08 am | Permalink

    My husband and I undertook a survey and mapping of the graveyard at Christ Church, New Brunswick (NJ), only to discover that Jackson Kemper’s parents are buried there. I like to think Jackson at least walked down the path. Now we are off to Indiana for retirement and find that Rev. Kemper preceded us there also.

  134. virginia's Gravatar virginia
    March 5, 2015 - 7:18 am | Permalink

    …bless the founders and benefactors of this house…

  135. Kathryn Albrecht's Gravatar Kathryn Albrecht
    March 5, 2015 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Hearing of Margery Kempe (after having studied various hagiographies over the years) is a provocative meditation on our gradually evolving concepts of mental health. For the first time, I think I’m ready to say that the Medieval Church, with it’s baggage of dogmas, damnation and patriarchy, was not necessarily nurturing of one’s peace of mind. (And is not MY PEACE the most overtly-presented gift Christ urged upon us?) The long era of psychotic breaks under crushing burdens of guilt and fear-of-Judgment resulted in poor Margery sounding like one sick cookie. Her condition reflects those of so many other sensitive, seeking women of long ago. I’m not saying that some asceticism, rapturous hallucinations and the chasm of contrition are not good and valid; I’ve just come to the conclusion that the Church, when it was “the only show in town” through centuries of European life, twisted many a personality, probably beyond recognition.

  136. A Different Jennifer's Gravatar A Different Jennifer
    March 5, 2015 - 8:33 pm | Permalink

    [weeping and wailing so loudly I can barely hear Margery telling me to buck up and get over it, already]

  137. March 6, 2015 - 3:09 pm | Permalink
    • John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
      March 6, 2015 - 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Margery has certainly opened my eyes to the needs of many in my neighborhood that I might have passed in the street without truly seeing.

Comments are closed.