Friday, March 8, 2019

Celebrating the Privilege of being a Woman...and a book worth reading

International Woman's Day is a day where we celebrate being a woman. I want to truly celebrate being a woman, I want to celebrate having the privilege being born a woman and not feeling the need to achieve equality to man.   

Webster’s Dictionary defines  privilege
Privilege:  1  a right, advantage, favor, or immunity specially granted to one, esp. a right held by a certain individual, group, class and withheld from certain others or all others.  
The advantage of being privileged is that I do not have to work to achieve womanhood.  Webster’s Dictionary defines achieve as;
Achieve:  To do,  succeed in doing,  2  to get or reach by excursion; attain….
So, I don't have to reach by exertion to be a woman, I don't have to succeed at being a woman, I AM a woman. I have enjoyed and suffered womanhood without having to work hard at attaining equality to women.   My desire is not to be like a man, that's not a privilege that's an achievement and it's an achievement that you have to work extremely hard for and I’m not sure that the payoffs are so great at the end.   The privilege of being a woman comes with a price, sure, it comes with a responsibility of my striving to be the best woman I can possibly be

Celebrating being a woman today, and every day, to me and in God's eyes, is celebrating my womanhood, my motherhood my being a wife and my relationship with my husband, a daughter with my parents, the feminine genius that I have been gifted with and my appreciation for the role I play in life without having to be equal to a man.

No man could do what I've done in my life, no man could match what is inside of me, the depths of my heart, no man could possibly run the marathons I have run, the nights of sleeplessness, the nights of worry, the nights of prayer for the children and my husband. No male counterpart holds the same degree of  passion for those in my care. 

The privilege of being a woman is indeed a free given gift, a birthright to be part of and to appreciate not to reinvent or change.   I don't envy man and I don't envy being a male.  I don't envy or desire to be a man or do what men do.   I don't want to be a Boy Scout, I don't need to be the president the United States, or be a priest to influence and nurture those around me.  I don't want to be a  father, those are roles for men.

It is a proven fact that children raised by both their mother and father excel in life far better than their counterparts from single parent homes.   Those with fathers who take them to church continue to be members of a church community as adults.   I have never tried to be a father, I've always been mom.   I don't know what it's like to be a man, to be inside a man’s head, think the way a man thinks.   I don't know what that's like and it is not for me to know! What it is for me to know about man is that man needs to be loved by a woman, be supported by a woman, be nurtured and cared for as a human being.  He needs woman to walk along side with; but not overtaken by or ruled over, but a community of love and concern and family

The privilege of being a woman that I am celebrating, is my place in the world as a woman.  This is what I think today is all about, but the modern women of feminism have truly lost their grip on their purpose.  They have turned away from the silent power of womanhood and transferred it to the achievement to being equal to man, of beating man, overwhelming man, exceeding man thus being as good as man.  With this as the new goal, modern feminists are relinquishing the power and the privilege that is their God-given gift so needed in the world today.  Theirs is a useless game  that proves nothing but robs woman of her true role and worth in the world.   GK Chesterton said and I quote “Cleverness shall be left for men and wisdom for women.”  from his book "What is wrong with the world" pg 144.  Being a woman means being part of man; it means being with man, alongside man, helping man, partnering with man; but not being man nor is it being equal to man. 

The Privilege of being Woman needs to be revisited by the modern feminist with open eyes and an open heart.  Her power is within her and it needs not be belittled or ignored, or even made base against the role of the male.  Her feminine genius surpasses all understand at times and can save the world when called upon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Empty nest thoughts

Listening to the Christian radio channel while quilting in my empty-nest world, I got to thinking.  There are so many songs that talk about being free …set free and forgiven.   That we no longer have anything to fear because of what Christ did on the cross for us.

Did I teach our children enough?  Is it too late to be an example to them?  Do we still influence them in our own lives?   Through the years, we were busy with the workings of life, meals, education, the good and the bad times, money struggles, and all the things in between.  My husband was blessed with a very wise dad who made sure that his children were nurtured both in the necessities, but all in the emotion and ego side.  He often inspired with letters or visits to my husband in the rough spots of his younger years and again in his college and doctorate years, plugging him through the spots that found his heart sinking in studies or responsibilities in his research.

Did we do that for our children?

All three of our children are out of the house, doing the grown up thing...or what people call it now, "Adulting" stuff.  They are free to make their own choices and from henceforth influence the next generation.

Was it sustaining?   Did they really and truly GET what and the whys of our parenting?

Enough to pass it on to their children?

Well, as far as fearing goes, we must trust and pray for our children continually.  I have a healthy fear of the Lord and I hope that my children do as well.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Epiphany

Jesus came to earth as an infant and not as a grown adult or an emperor, king, or some huge powerful dominating being, instead he came to us as an infant to show us vulnerability and dependency.

As an infant, Jesus shows us the kind of love that is incomparable to any known to mankind.

This holy love that Jesus, our God and Creator, revealed set out to prove that the things we do every day are meaningless without him.

There in the creche, the infant Lord shows us that humility is not below us. There in the young mother's arms the infant-God's tummy gurgles of dependency and trust proves not out of reach, and that this purest love is undefinable in it's most perfect form.

This is hard to believe in human terms, especially amid all the distractions around us during this time.  All the planning of festivities, the shopping, and rich foods that we invest ourselves in.  During this one time a year, rules are bent, all bets are off financially and diet-wise for many.  So the focus is not always where it should be.  It's like we get swept away in the fast and furious flow of secular society.  Larger and larger this season of Christmas is morphing into a 3-month calendar of black Fridays, pre-Christmas sales, and baking plans.  Halloween is barely here when the Christmas decorations and the imitation trees come out on the shelves, the toy section expands, and the Halloween candy gets put on clearance.

So, back to the infant Jesus and the splendor of his teachings.  We are taught a lesson from a newborn, besides the fact that schedules are non-existent, rules are made to be broken, and they are the boss.  Aside from these, we are taught such a large, life-changing lesson of self-donation.  Our Lord Jesus, his humility and dependency is nurtured by the young Mary's love and her own self-donation from her "Be it done to me..."Yes and cooperation with God.

As a mother myself, I can see and understand the self-donation with a young helpless newborn in my arms.  The sheer helplessness and dependency of this new little human is both fearful and precious.  So, this is what our God and Creator did for us.

How can I repay or at least carry on what he did for us?  What can I make of this selfless act from one who is perfect, greater, and most magnificent of all?  The humble and fallen being that I am can only do as much as I know how to.  To do the best I can for those around me.  To be generous with my blessings to those around me.  To make the best of bad situations with those around me.  I don't need to go too far to find those who could use some of my self-donation, some of my patience, some of my care.

Then just sit by the creche and take in the lessons he is teaching me, and take it to those around me.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Bishop Barron on today's Gospel: Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018
Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 8:27-35
Friends, today’s Gospel reports Peter’s confession of faith in the midst of the disciples, when Jesus asks that strange question: “Who do people say that I am?” What he gets by way of response is, first, a public opinion survey: John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.

Then Jesus turns to those closest to him, and he asks them, But who do you say that I am?” They are silent, afraid, unwilling, unable to speak. Finally it is Peter who speaks: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And he gets it right. Does he get it right because he is the most intelligent? Please. Because he is holy and close to Jesus? Please. We know the whole story of Peter’s weakness, betrayal, stupidity.

It is the Father who has given Peter this insight—not Peter’s clever mind or searching heart. It is a supernatural gift, a special charism. And it is upon this inspired confession that the Church is built.

Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, PO Box 170, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States

Thursday, August 30, 2018

School Days are Back Again, and so are the memories

Back to school pictures are filling up my news-feed on Facebook these days.  Seeing the parents I’ve known for years posting pictures of their children growing bigger and changing accentuates the reality of the days and years flying by.  Our own children now are grown and gone.  Those pictures didn’t have a place like Facebook like they do now.  ‘Let me down easy, let me down slow’ are the words of a song I listen to some days.  Our children have grown up so quickly as if to ensure their survival in the wild like cubs or baby sea turtles.  The bigger they get the better their survival rate is, we can only pray.

When our son was younger, kids bullied at the bus stop.  One summer he shot up several inches and blazed through 5 shoe sizes literally.  That next year, the bullying stopped and his life at school got so much calmer.  Thank the Lord for growth spurts! 

The nights we hovered over our babies with white knuckles wondering if they were OK swiftly moved into the toddler years when bumping their heads or what they just put in their mouths caused such excitement.  Kindergarten and the early grades seemed to pass by like a waterfall of pictures falling in break-neck speed.  Looking back at their little smiles morphed into metal-banded grimaces of complete disdain toward homework or practice time.

The college years could not have gone faster for us.  Attending the orientation each year with a different student was like a dream that wouldn’t stop.  Text pictures of time-stamped hallways at 4 am in the library with study-buddies and the capturing of a long lost sibling eating lunch by themselves until being caught up in a picture sent to mom and dad with the caption, “Look who I found!”  Laughter at the time dad bought Valentines gifts and delivered them to their dorms with chocolates.  Oh the smiles!!

What do we do with all these memories of footsteps down the stairs, violin and piano music playing, or someone playing with a cat in the next room.  The midnight requisition of a sibling’s attire would find a stampede of feet clamoring down the stairs for the judge and jury to convict and the laughter of holiday meals and days together on vacations.  When all the while we loved being parents, witnessing the growth and progress of the human person in our care.  As that phase of our lives ends, theirs are just beginning.  More memories, for sure and more laughter, we hope.

Again, I say:  “Let me down easy, let me down slow.”