Alice Von Hildebrand on Feminism and Femininity
married or unmarried, is called upon to be a biological, psychological or spiritual mother -- she knows intuitively that to give, to nurture, to care for others, to suffer with and for them -- for maternity implies suffering -- is infinitely more valuable in God's sight than to conquer nations and fly to the moon.
When one reads the life of St. Teresa of Avila or St. Thérèse of Lisieux, one is struck by the fact that they constantly refer to their "weakness." The lives of these heroic women -- and there are many -- teach us that an awareness and acceptance of one's weakness, coupled with a boundless confidence in God's love and power, grant these privileged souls a strength that is so great because it is supernatural.
Natural strength cannot compete with supernatural strength. This is why Mary, the blessed one, is "strong as an army ready for battle." And yet, she is called "clemens, pia, dulcis Virgo Maria."
This supernatural strength explains -- as mentioned by Dom Prosper Gueranger in "The Liturgical Year" -- that the devil fears this humble virgin more than God because her supernatural strength that crushes his head is more humiliating for him than God's strength.
This is why the Evil One is today launching the worst attack on femininity that has ever taken place in the history of the world. For coming closer to the end of time, and knowing that his final defeat is coming, he redoubles his efforts to attack his one great enemy: the woman. It says in Genesis 3:15: "I will put enmity between you and the woman." The final victory is hers, as seen in the woman crowned with the sun.
Q: Why do you think women have moral power?
Von Hildebrand: The mission of women today is of crucial importance. In some way, they have the key to sanity -- the first step toward a conversion. For supernature is based on nature, and unless we go back to a natural soundness, the sublimity of the supernatural message will be lost to most of us.
Why do they have the key? Because their influence on men is enormous when they truly understand their role and mission. Again and again I hear priests say that they owe their vocation to their grandmother or mother.
St. Monica, in collaboration with God, brought back her wayward son to God. St. Bernard's mother, St. Francis de Sales' mother -- who was only 15 years older than he -- and St. John Bosco's mother were key factors in their spiritual way to holiness.
Q: How is Mary a model of femininity?
Von Hildebrand: Women have the key because they are the guardians of purity. This is already clearly indicated by the structure of their bodies, which chastely hides their intimate organs. Because their organs are "veiled," indicating their mystery and sacredness, women have the immense privilege of sharing the sex of the blessed one: Mary, the most holy of all creatures.
Feminism began in Protestant countries, for the plain reason that they had turned their backs on Christ's mother, as if the Savior of the world would feel deprived of the honor given to his beloved Mother.
Mary -- so gloriously referred to in the Apocalypse -- is the model of women. It is by turning to her, praying to her and contemplating her virtues that women will find their way back to the beauty and dignity of their mission.
Q: How did writing this book help you grow in appreciation of being a woman?
Von Hildebrand: Writing this book has been a privilege. It gave me a unique opportunity to meditate on the greatness of the woman's mission, following in the steps of the Holy Virgin.
Mary taught us two rules leading to holiness. One is: "I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to thy word." This indicates that the woman's mission is to let herself be fecundated by grace -- holy receptivity. The second is: "Do whatever he tells you."
This is the holy program that the Church offers us. No doubt, if women understood this message, marriage, the family and the Church would overcome the terrible crisis affecting us. As the liturgy says, "God has put salvation in the hands of a woman."
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Feminism, Femininity, Women
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Featured Today
- Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
- My Dad
- A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
- John Paul II as an Apostle of Mercy
- Embrace every moment as sacred time
- A Recession Antidote
- The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
- Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
- Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
- Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience