It is thus my hope, dear sisters, that you will reflect carefully on what it means to speak of the “genius of women”, not only in order to be able to see in this phrase a specific part of God’s plan which needs to be accepted and appreciated, but also in order to let this genius be more fully expressed in the life of society as a whole, as well as in the life of the Church.– Pope St. John Paul II, “Letter to Women”
Secular society will waste no time in telling us what it means to be a woman – often, in our present age, it is to take the worst of the qualities of man and ascribe it to women as a right. Be promiscuous! Be lewd! Be aggressive!
Yet that is not femininity. That is the sinful propensities of fallen masculinity. So what does it mean to be feminine? I believe the answer lies completely in the Catholic faith, in embracing men and women as God created us to be, and not blending the two into a kind of Frankenstein’s monster of gender.
In EP 115: Embracing Catholic Femininity, I chat with Catholic wife and mother Adele Collins of @simplelifemusings about what it means to be feminine today and how Catholicism encourages women to be full of dignity and life and goodness.
Be sure and connect with Adele on Instagram @simplelifemusings
Have a question or topic that you’d like me to cover on a future episode? Submit ideas HERE.
And if you haven’t read JPII’s Letter to Women, I’ll leave this here and hope that you will spend time reading his letter. It’s quite beautiful and exemplifies the important role that God gave women to have in His Universal Church:
Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God’s own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child’s first steps, who helps it to grow, and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life.
Thank you, women who are wives! You irrevocably join your future to that of your husbands, in a relationship of mutual giving, at the service of love and life.
Thank you, women who are daughters and women who are sisters! Into the heart of the family, and then of all society, you bring the richness of your sensitivity, your intuitiveness, your generosity and fidelity.
Thank you, women who work! You are present and active in every area of life-social, economic, cultural, artistic and political. In this way you make an indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture which unites reason and feeling, to a model of life ever open to the sense of “mystery”, to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more worthy of humanity.
Thank you, consecrated women! Following the example of the greatest of women, the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, you open yourselves with obedience and fidelity to the gift of God’s love. You help the Church and all mankind to experience a “spousal” relationship to God, one which magnificently expresses the fellowship which God wishes to establish with his creatures.
Thank you, every woman, for the simple fact of being a woman! Through the insight which is so much a part of your womanhood you enrich the world’s understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic.– Pope St. John Paul II, “Letter to Women”
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