Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Theology of Women

From The Catholic World Report:
German philosopher and Catholic convert Edith Stein (later St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) explained that women have a deep desire to bring wholeness to themselves and then share their gifts with others. Of course, sin and abuse can affect this desire, but in a healthy woman, this is the general hallmark of the genius of woman. It epitomizes motherhood, both spiritual and physical. Maria Montessori is a great example of this feminine genius; by using her gifts as a doctor, she was able to teach the unteachable—young, impoverished, mentally-challenged boys. Not only did they flourish in remarkable ways, but she revolutionized the way children around the world are now taught. Of course, the best example, which Stein uses over and over again when speaking of the genius of woman, is of Mary at the Wedding Feast of Cana. Quietly, before any of the guests know there is no more wine, she remedies the situation. No fuss, without drawing any attention to herself, she takes care of the problem. These are examples of women using their gifts and sharing them with others in their attention to detail and compassion. 

There is also a connection between motherhood (spiritual and physical) and how our souls relate to God: the feminine spiritual vocation mimics the physical model of motherhood. Over and over again in Scripture and the lives of female saints there is an initial sense of mission that comes before the mission happens; a seed is planted. And then, over time, slowly, God reveals the full truth of the work he planted in the heart of the woman years, or even decades, before. Certainly, we see this in spades in Mary, the perfect woman, both in the Annunciation and Simeon’s prophesy: “A sword shall pierce your heart” (Luke 2:35). Mother Teresa had the sense decades before moving to India that God had a particular mission for her that would eventually blossom. This “seed planting” requires that a woman has the heart to hear God and then the time and patience to let it fully come to life—much like pregnancy. This very different than, say, the insights St. Joseph received through dreams, which required immediate action and not a long period of gestation. Of course, every person is different, but a theology of woman could look more deeply into these sorts of patterns. 

Rather than shun these gifts, these uniquely feminine ways of relating to God and the world, women need to come to understand them and find specific ways to apply them in their own lives. (Read more.)
Via The New Beginning. Share

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