On Wednesday the Church will celebrate the feast of St. Edith Stein, also known by her religious name St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was a German Jewish philosopher, and convert to Catholicism following some time as an atheist throughout her teenage years. Her journey surely speaks volumes of God’s pursuit of us and incredible work in us if we are open to the grace of His love. Her academic life is admirable and through her writings one can peer into the very beautiful virtue and heroic femininity in Christ that she exemplified and lived by.
Often out of ignorance it seems that some imprisoned passivity is attributed to women in the Church as if there is an “attack” on them, or a dismissal of the tremendous gift that they are. This, in my humble opinion is not the case. Surely, to some I have been “indoctrinated” by accepting to think less of myself, or have embraced some powerless role of inferiority. I can only respond to this with thankfulness to God for allowing an honest understanding of authentic worth and wonder at the immensity of gifts entrusted to all of us women in the Church. So often it seems people seek and want to become something else and fail to embrace the magnitude of what they are, or to live up to the role given unto them with great purpose.
By reflecting on the lives of some the most heroic and virtuous women in the history of the Catholic Church we can become imbued with a deep sense of dignity, worth, and be led to embrace the irreplaceable nature that we possess.
We can gaze upon Mary, our Mother with a trembling respect, one that can affirm us in our role, and inspire us to strive toward fulfilling the role(s) handed to each of us.
Mother Mary is known as Mother of the Church, it is extremely diabolical in nature for a mother to destroy her child. Our role as women in the Church is to care for it with the heart of a Mother, under the shadow of our divine Mother, thus helping to raise Her up to be the best Christ intended Her to be. This begins with fervent prayer for the protection of the many sons called to the holy priesthood, and for the sacredness of the Liturgy. Through utilizing the gifts we have been given by our very nature as women to encourage more life, to nurture, to serve, and receive openly the graces that are especially ours as women in Christ.
To reconcile ourselves to understanding the immensity of the gift that women authentically are, and the irreplaceable role they have in the Church can heal and reorient misguided longings to alter and change what our Lord intended the Church to be.
To protest and to demand some higher magisterial ranking is to overlook and actually minimize the divine and mystical role that women bring forth to the Church. Ironically these motives are deemed to be with the intention of upholding some true feminine power, while simultaneously they destroy what is the purest feminine, under the bosom of the most High Woman, Mary our Mother, Mother of us all, and our Holy Catholic Church.
Whenever I hear a woman who longs to be a priest, or a deacon, or this and that, I am quick to recognize that we are living in a time where women have no idea how to rise to the role that Christ truly willed for them or how important, how vital, how needed today a purification of this is in order to keep the heartbeat of the Church in proper rhythm, and society at large.
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