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Finding Femininity at Its Finest

January 30, AD 2017 10 Comments

We are in a spiritual battle right now. Society is challenging women, and the men that support them, to rethink femininity and what it means to be a feminist. It is a conflict that demands increasing courage to face.

We shouldn’t have any consternation though; women are the daughters of the greatest human warrior we will ever know: the Blessed Virgin Mary.

She made a promise to St. Dominic saying, “One day, through the rosary and the scapular, I will save the world”. What a threat to Satan! God has promised she would crush him since the beginning of human existence. She is our commander-in-chief and provider of weapons. The rosary is basically our AK-47! 

So let’s remove ourselves from the confusion and get back to the basics with the one who is blessed among women, Our Mother. By her example, what is a true woman and what does she stand for?

She is an observer of the world

We are unique from men in the way we perceive the world. According to researcher Israel Abramov, of the City University of New York, we distinguish colors, sounds, and smells better than men. We also have a tendency to focus on people’s faces and bodies. Mary is the best observer of us all. She didn’t speak about things but rather pondered on them in her heart.

But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be — Luke 1:29.

And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart — Luke 2:19.

He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and His mother kept all these things in her heart — Luke 2:51.

By taking Mary’s example, we are better able to process what goes on around us. By reflecting on events, we can gain greater understanding, as well as charity towards all people involved. That way, whenever we do speak, our words carry meaning and truth. And like St. Augustine said,”The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose and it will defend itself.” 

She brings forth life and preserves it.

We as women are granted the greatest gift on earth: to take part in producing life and preserving it. Our bodies are designed as temples to offer protection, nourishment, and growth for our children. Many of us are also teachers; we have the ability to enrich the mind and the soul. All of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual talents give humans the ability to thrive. God called Mary to give each of her gifts so that the Son of God would be able to carry out His Father’s will. She said yes.

How do we say yes, too? We can be open to life, without the input of foreign substances to “control” our bodies. We can care for our children and fulfill the responsibility of guarding their precious souls. Like Mary, we can care for our relatives, especially the elderly and our family. Luckily for us, God equipped us with motherly instincts and graces to help us along! These blessings create beauty and life in us whether we are single, married with or without children, or in the religious life. We are called to care for the children of God, so that means everyone!

She brings about dignity. 

If we’re being honest, men have a tendency to be a little more beastly. This is not a bad thing: men are often ordered towards hunting, fighting, conquering, and building… all necessary things for this world! Women are more often gifted with beauty, gracefulness, gentleness, and a quiet fierceness that captivates. We can rule with the expression in our eyes, face, and body. Anyone can observe “the look” a mother gives her child who may be misbehaving or the way a crowd turns to consider a woman who holds her head high. Women also more often have the ability to bring out the good in others and convince them to reach the best version of themselves.

Even the Blessed Virgin had to tell Jesus when it was His time to perform His first miracle at the Wedding at Cana. Jesus was divine, but it was His mother who prompted Him to start a long process of bestowing graces of God’s people. She also cherished the dignity of the most desolate when she chose to appear to the three shepherd children at Fatima and a poor young woman named Bernadette of Lourdes, France. We can mirror her by keeping our appearance modest and presenting ourselves in decency. We can also be mindful of the fact that we are daughters of God and our souls mean so much to Him. More importantly, we can extend this to others and help them be aware of the pricelessness of their souls.

 

She works behind the scenes. 

Our Lady speaks a total of four times in the Bible. She followed Jesus wherever He went, caring for Him and the apostles. Even on the way to Calvary, while her Son was being mocked and mutilated, she silently followed close behind. At the foot of the cross, she watched Him die without uttering a word. Her eyes stayed on His face, even as He was taken down and placed in the tomb. She didn’t oppose what God had planned, or complain about her suffering. Some of her most important work was behind the scenes.

God often calls us to do the same, and this behind-the-scenes work is most easily seen as a wife, mother, or religious sister. In today’s world, these callings are seen as the least glamorous and are often not openly encouraged for young women. But in reality, where would the world be without mothers and wives? Leaders would not be raised with the ideals they use to guide others. Workmen would break down more easily under the weight of their work without the support of their family. Society would not know the safety of the home. Moreover, the forces of evil would have a much greater advantage without the stronghold of the family to break through. Even the absence of consecrated women would result in the lack of spiritual support and education. So instead, we should cherish the opportunity to create, build, and support our families and communities. We can always be faithful to our marriages, even in the face of the worst circumstances. The world may not recognize or celebrate us often, but those closest to us will adore us for the work we do. God will also see every sacrifice we make and give us the graces to carry out His will. 

God gave us Our Lady as our constant help and example. We need her more than ever, as the most precious ideals that make up a woman are being attacked and modified in our society. Let us unite in prayer and ask Our Blessed Mother to help us become the women God destined us to be.

 

About the Author:

Larabeth Miller resides in North Carolina while supporting her husband through medical school and waiting for the arrival of their first baby in April 2017. She loves to deepen her faith through meaningful thought and discussion, as well as spending time with the Eucharist. In her spare time, she reads, paints, and blogs at A Place in His Garden.
  • Michelle

    What a help! Thank you Larabeth.

  • Karen

    “Be a doormat.” You have described a role entirely subordinate and inferior to males.

    • Larabeth Miller

      #1. You must discover the power of silence. #2. True beauty is often buried under the spoils of the world, but I believe our souls have the ability to recognize it when we see it. It changes the hearts of humanity. What’s true beauty? Read above. #3. No doormats here. Rather: first contemplation in wisdom, then words spoken with dignity and truth, then actions to back those words up. Power does not always look like chaos, volume, and quantity. Still confused? Read above. This is exactly my point … femininity has taken a different shape, making it hard to recognize. Thanks for reading and responding!

      • Karen

        How is “discover the power of silence” anything other than a counsel to shut up?

      • Larabeth Miller

        Oh sorry about that misunderstanding! I was inferring the power of silence to contributing to being able to better observance of the world around us, as well as listen to the counsel of God. It brings peace instead of confusion. It also prepares you to speak in truth and to better convey your ideas as a woman. By all means speak! But first refer to silence, so you are well equipped. Hope this clarifies things!

      • Karen

        That makes more sense, but because there is a long history of the stereotype of women as chatterboxes, and a long history of men telling us to be quiet, I think we have to be vey careful in counseling silence to women. It’s better to explain that this is the voluntary stillness of meditation and not muzzling ourselves in response to men.

      • Leila Miller

        Karen, Since generally women do speak about 10 words for every word that a man does (I don’t have the exact statistic), perhaps we on both sides, male and female, need to recognize and respect the differences and be OK with modulating ourselves. Men can try to speak more in their relationships to be more emotionally available, and women can try to speak less, if they chatter. Hopefully you’re not suggesting it’s a power struggle, or that men should be shamed about their needs and nature any more than we women should be shamed about ours.

  • Kell Brigan

    A “true woman” has XX chromosomes. Get off your high horse, princess.

    • Not sure where you read condemnation. She clearly wrote: “God equipped us with motherly instincts
      and graces to help us along! These blessings create beauty and life in
      us whether we are single, married with or without children, or in the
      religious life. We are called to care for the children of God, so that
      means everyone!”

    • Larabeth Miller

      Kell, as Jean pointed out, I did include all women in my discussion. As a former single and childless woman, I by no means think they are abnormal. Rather, they have just as important roles in caring for everyone. Also, women aren’t just chromosomes… they have souls! Thanks for reading!