That Remarkable Gender
THAT REMARKABLE GENDER
by Father Charles M. Mangan
In our contemporary era, there are many competing images of women and womanhood.
Who is a woman and with what is she to be involved?
This question, although its answer may seem obvious, has received widely varying responses from diverse sources: Playboy Magazine, Planned Parenthood of America, the National Organization for Women and Pope John Paul II, to name a few.
Playboy Magazine considers physically "attractive" women (in its estimation) to be akin to goddesses to be coveted for their ability to provide sexual pleasure.
Planned Parenthood of America declares that the "abortion decision" is to be made by women alone, ignoring the facts that men are responsible for conception and that abortion unfailingly takes the lives of a third party--innocent preborn children.
The National Organization for Women contends that women have been traditionally oppressed, especially because of their role as child-bearer. Therefore, they should now be aggressive in reasserting their "rights" to "reproductive freedom," among other equality issues.
Finally, Pope John Paul II, in harmony with Sacred Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition, believes women to be holy daughters of the Creator who possess an intrinsic beauty and value because they, like men, have been fashioned in the imago Dei--"the image of God."
In the midst of these opposing viewpoints, we would do well to remember one simple but profound truth: the Almighty Lord, in the words of our Holy Father in his Letter to Women (June 29, 1995), has a "mysterious plan regarding the vocation and mission of women in the world." Each and every woman--regardless of her role as mother, wife, daughter, sister, religious, consecrated person, consecrated virgin--is remarkable and special in God's eyes. Pope John Paul II, in pondering the dignity of each woman, wrote: "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" (number 2).
Where would we be without women? The astounding realization--but perhaps not too astonishing, upon prayerful reflection--is that we owe women our very physical lives. Our mothers and fathers conceived us and brought us forth. We did not exist until they provided the physical matter (the seed and the egg) and God furnished the spiritual matter (the rational, immortal soul).
The Ever-Virgin Mother of God is the only woman hailed as both Virgin and Mother. She, more than any other person, cooperated freely in the inscrutable design of the Maker by yielding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, thereby living with a zest to do good that is at once amazing and inspirational. Our Blessed Lady teaches us how to put aside our projects so that Christ can work in us His inimitable plan of salvation.
As the Church praises God for Our Lady, we also offer our gratitude for women and womanhood. As the Holy Father expressed in his August 15, 1988 Apostolic Letter Mulieris dignitatem (The Dignity of Women), the Church "desires to give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity for the 'mystery of woman' and for every woman--for all that constitutes the eternal measure of her feminine dignity, for 'the great works of God,' which throughout human history have been accomplished in and through her" (number 31).
The Madonna is, in the words of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), the stellar example of "obedience, faith, hope and burning charity" (number 61) for all women, no matter their state in life. She reflects Christ and instructs all her daughters to do the same. Mary is the model for all peoples, but especially for women.
When we recite the Holy Rosary, let us pray for women everywhere, that they may imitate Mary in her countless virtues.
Where would we be without women? No Mary . . . no mothers . . . no wives . . . no sisters . . . no daughters . . . no women religious . . . no consecrated women . . . no consecrated virgins . . . how impoverished our world--and depleted Heaven--would be!
(From The Catholic Servant, May 1998, page five. Used with permission.)
Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
http://www.catholic.org , IT
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan - Official--CICVSAL, 390 666161125
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Is God sending a warning? Third megaquake in the year suggests 2018 ...
- The government shutdown continues, but bombs still drop, surveillance ...
- Pope Francis in Peru invites us to be saints
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, January 24, 2018
- St. Francis de Sales: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, January 24, 2018
- Daily Reading for Thursday, January 25th, 2018 HD Video
- Third Mega-quake in three weeks suggests 2018 will be a bad year for ...
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 HD
- The shocking numbers that reveal why poverty is here to stay HD
- Science is transforming the pro-life debate for the better HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, January 22nd, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education