by Paul Edwards, 1952, Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur
“The Power of a Woman”
A modern philosopher a few years ago made this statement: “There is nothing in an age that so sharply mirrors its philosophy as the lives of its women.”
By that standard, how does our age measure up? Do the lives of its women mirror a way of life of which we can be proud?
There comes before our eyes a picture of Jesus as a young man thirty years of age. He has left His Mother in Nazareth, and has set out on His work of teaching the people. One day He returns to His native village and enters the synagogue to teach His fellow-townsmen His doctrine and give them the good news of salvation. After He speaks to them they refuse to accept Him, and finally He warns them that they are in danger of losing the special graces God is offering to them.
In sudden rage they rise up and drive Him from the building and up the hill to the cliff. They would cast Him off. He was worthy of death.
The news soon reaches Mary. She rises quickly and rushes into the street to follow the mad crowd, thus putting her own life in danger. If her Son is to die, she is willing to die with Him.
But then events take a new turn. There is a confusion in the crowd. The shouting subsides, and soon a thwarted mob slinks down the hill. Mary steps aside and watches them pass. She realizes now that Jesus has miraculously disappeared.
Today there is a chapel on that hill to commemorate this sorrowful moment in Mary’s life. It is called the Chapel of Mary weeping.
Is the modern attitude toward women tantamount to a rejection of Christ? Would Mary have cause to weep for the women of our age?
Catholic Women to the Fore
The world is filled with crime and sin. In the press, the theater, in books, on the radio and television, the noble ideals of womanhood are being attacked. In such a world which is flaunting morality, Catholic women must defend the standards of Christ and Mary.
Catholic women must reject sinful fashions aimed at arousing the lower passions of men: they must live so as to inspire men to look on woman-hood with pure eyes; Catholic women must rebuild the ideals of marriage. By and large, women will set the moral standards of society.
Catholic women, if they are to fulfill their mission, must dare to be different.
It is up to Catholic women to take the lead in restoring family life and society. If they are to be successful, they cannot be content to go along with the modern tide of paganism.
To get back to Christian standards, requires strong Catholic womanly ideals, a spirit of virtue and self-sacrifice; the spirit spoken of in Solomon’s remark over two thousand years ago: “Who shall find a valiant woman? Her value extends far and wide to the end of the earth.”
We would have a much wider living of the Catholic ideals if every Catholic woman would only realize her tremendous influence for good or evil, out of all proportion to her seemingly small place in the world.
There is more truth than we might suspect in the old proverb: “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”
In the Catholic pattern, women hold a lofty and important spot, and a place with far-reaching responsibilities. A woman need not be in the public eye, in politics or in business to influence the world. “Not in the branches of a tree but in its roots do force and power reside,” wrote one woman very much aware of the potentialities of womanhood.
Woman is a powerful influence in the roots of society. When those roots become strong, pure and healthy, then society will manifest a new life.
It was the Holy Father himself who reminded the world: “Every woman has then, mark it well, the obligation in conscience . . . to go into action in a manner and way suitable to each, so as to hold back those currents which threaten the home, so as to oppose those doctrines which undermine its foundations, so as to prepare, organize and achieve its restoration.”
The formula is simple. Mary, a humble girl, living, in an obscure town left a lasting imprint on womanhood, on family life and on the world.
Today the life of a Catholic woman will have a similar effect on the world IN SO FAR AS HER LIFE IS A REFLECTION OF MARY’S. That briefly ought to be the ideal of every Catholic woman.
~ The friend is one to whom we go for sympathy, encouragement, helpful advice, and inspiration; he is one with whom we can share joy and sorrow; he is, in fine, another self. ~ Friendship should have a positive influence for moral good. The appreciation of the worthiness of the friend should inspire one to a similar worthiness. It lifts up; it brings both nearer to God; it is a union in Christ. -Fr. Gerald Kelly, 1950’s, Painting by Andrew Loomis
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Women historically have been denigrated as lower than men or viewed as privileged. Dr. Alice von Hildebrand characterizes the difference between such views as based on whether man’s vision is secularistic or steeped in the supernatural. She shows that feminism’s attempts to gain equality with men by imitation of men is unnatural, foolish, destructive, and self-defeating. The Blessed Mother’s role in the Incarnation points to the true privilege of being a woman. Both virginity and maternity meet in Mary who exhibits the feminine gifts of purity, receptivity to God’s word, and life-giving nurturance at their highest.
You’ll learn how to grow in wisdom and in love as you encounter the unglamorous, everyday problems that threaten all marriages. As the author says: If someone were to give me many short bits of wool, most likely I would throw them away. A carpet weaver thinks differently. He knows the marvels we can achieve by using small things artfully and lovingly. Like the carpet weaver, the good wife must be an artist of love. She must remember her mission and never waste the little deeds that fill her day the precious bits of wool she s been given to weave the majestic tapestry of married love.
This remarkable book will show you how to start weaving love into the tapestry of your marriage today, as it leads you more deeply into the joys of love.
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