Jesus, in His encounter with women at varying points in Scripture touches them with a profound sense of dignity, entrusting to them on more than one occasion the hiddenness of His majesty that through them was further revealed.
Women by their very design make visible the invisible to man, and in the fertility of their ordained ability of receptivity to life bring forth, even in spiritual ways, a depth of understanding and sensitivity to the movements of the Spirit that ultimately encourage man to uphold all that is entrusted to him by God.
Through Jesus’ encounter particularly with the Samaritan woman, the woman caught in adultery, and Mary Magdalene there is a restoration by His touch to return to that divine origin and dignity that they had been created in, by calling them from the bondage of sin and into the fullness of His grace.
There is great intentionality in the way that Jesus appears to these women, and what unfolds after these encounters.
Through the Samaritan woman many unbelievers came to believe, and Mary Magdalene was the one to bear witness to the most important moment in all of history and the reason for our rejoicing. I find great symbolism in the way that our Lord made himself apparent to these women, to go forth and carry the news to man that he may believe and come to faith, and even endure in it.
There is a sacrament born in the life breathed into them by Christ’s presence that blesses those who bore witness to it. They, in tremendous ways brought the Good News to men. They, through the encounter of the nearness of God made visible the invisible power of the Lord. The souls of these women and their receptivity is the fertile ground that our Lord plants seeds of His truth.
Though I am much ignorant of “feminine theology” and also the direction that a lot of it seems to take. I am struck primarily by the ways in which a false sense of feminism has crept into the Church, and into the minds of women, this idea that there is an inequality of roles, that there is need first and foremost to be as man. And to ultimately fulfill duties that our Lord never ordained to us as women. God in his design made us helpers to man, to be as partners, to receive life physically and reveal the majesty of God’s blessing, tangible evidence of a miraculous God through the body of the woman. This, I see as an important point that translates even in to the spiritual, into the mystical reality of Christ.
I see a tremendous suffering of ignorance to the truth and role of women as willed by God. There is one woman alive who has boldly shared her sentiments on this matter with whom I agree greatly. And this is Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand. I worry there are far too few women imbued with the sense of understanding that she holds, and as she nears her end it is a blessing that she has left us with the abundance of her words upon pages and pages that will endure beyond her time on earth.
I recall a lecture I heard of hers where she spoke about the creation of Adam and Eve, she spoke to those initial days in the garden and brought us into the moment of God’s creation of man and woman, identifying that Adam was created from the slime of the earth, and that Eve had the dignity of being made from the human person. Eve was created by God through man, through part of his body, the body that God had made from the earth, and in this wondrous creation, from the rib, and thus the dignity of the body was made Eve. She spoke to this to begin highlighting the initial glory already belonging to woman. Her thought continued in Adam’s naming of Eve “Mother of all the living”, this lingers in my mind as a key point, and a necessary point of remembering, that even though woman suffers the wounds of original sin, nothing can eliminate this point of potential or even divine purpose of being called to be “Mother of all the living”, even in a culture where women have too often become the handmaids of death through killing the life of their womb.
Vonhildebrand, a lover of St.Augustine went on to allude to his comments regarding the temptation in the garden, and while he suggested that Satan came to Eve because she was the weaker sex, Vonhildebrand differs in that she was able to see Satan’s coming to Eve as a means of highlighting the power of woman’s influence over man, for good, or for evil.
She sees this approach to the woman in light of the great threat women are to Satan’s designs, because through woman comes all life, through woman is mirrored God’s glory in a profound way exceeding that of man. She speaks of this in relation to the ability to beget life within the womb, and reminds us that everything God touches, especially in regards to the potential of conception is sacred, immensely sacred and calls for a trembling respect.
When we come to view woman in light of having the capacity for the greatest influence over man, the chaos we suffer from today and many of the issues surfacing arise from this forgetting of woman’s divine purpose, by women themselves.
Satan comes not as a serpent in the garden, but in cunning, tremendous ways to cloud the concept of the feminine dignity and divine purpose that consequently leads man to roam around in the filth from where he was drawn.
In numerous ways there is an outpouring of women seeking worth and dignity in areas to claim some lofty status of headship, especially in areas of the Church, in my opinion this is pursued completely ignorant to the reverence necessary to hold man in his designated place and fulfill humbly the immensity of the role entrusted to them as women of Christ. When woman becomes the antagonist to man she is no longer helper, she is no longer “Mother of All the living”.
There is One Woman through Whom we must pass to understand our role as women of God and this is the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. When we seek to be near Her and to grow in the virtues that she so taught by her witness, then we uphold the role within the Church that God willed for us. To imbue it with the gift of life, to receive in the hiddenness and fragility, by our nearness to God, the eternal truths made visible by faithful servitude.
There is One Mother of The Church, One Divine Woman deserving of the role to sit beside the alter of Christ. That woman fails at large to recognize the magnitude of her worth and divine purpose is reflective that she has forgotten her tremendous belonging to the Maternity of Mary. What does it mean to be a woman of God, and His beloved daughter, but to uphold the dignity of ourselves by seeking to unfold the mystery that we are in Him, being helpers to man by utilizing our gifts in accordance to their design. By carrying the good news entrusted to us, by being a “mother of all living” and caring prayerfully for the many sons of God through whom we receive the Living Word and Bread of Life.
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