The soul of woman must…be expansive and open to all human beings; it must be quiet so that no small weak flame will be extinguished by stormy winds; warm so as not to benumb fragile buds; clear, so that no vermin will settle in dark corners and recesses; self-contained, so that no invasions from without can imperil the inner life; empty of self, in order that extraneous life may have room in it; finally, mistress of itself and also of its body, so that the entire person is readily at the disposal of every call. -- “Essays on Woman,” Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (the former Edith Stein)
God created women to be sensitive to spiritual things. (This is not to say that men are not also sensitive in this way, but they have to work a bit harder at it then women. This why woman was created as a “helper” for man…)
Spiritual sensitivity is something I had to cultivate with great care. There was a time when I allowed what sensitivity I had to be trampled and almost snuffed out. Today, it only survives and even sometimes thrives, because of my recourse to the sacraments and prayer.
One of my favorite prayers has become:
Holy Spirit, inspire in me what I should think, and what I should say, what I should leave unsaid, what I should write, what I should do, and how I should act, to bring about the good of souls, the fulfillment of my mission and the triumph of the Kingdom of Christ.
Also, the Scripture passage John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in (her) will bear much fruit, because without Me you can do nothing,” has become my daily mantra. (Being a mother has also helped. This vocation requires one to forget about herself and live for others.)
I suggest all women try to cultivate their gift of spiritual sensitivity (call it feminine intuition, internal radar, whatever you like…) because it can be very helpful.
It often helps me know when someone, or something, is not to be trusted. For example, many people have tried to get me take a yoga class. I have always been leery of this form of exercise. Call it a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that won’t go away, or a little sickly feeling in the pit of my stomach, but the mention of it gives me a hint of the willies.
Recently I was listening to Catholic radio, and heard Teresa Tomeo interviewing Patti Maguire Armstrong about what Catholics should know about yoga. (Read her article.) The discussion confirmed for me what my internal radar always suspected. Prior to my reversion as a faithful Catholic, I dabbled in New Age stuff. (Yoga is a favored practice of the New Age crowd.) I had been visiting psychics, using crystals, faithfully reading my horoscope and had even made an appointment get my past lives read. However, God saw fit to give me a spiritual wake-up call that made me run screaming from anything that even hinted in that direction.
The day of my appointment, for some reason, I decided not go. I called the woman who was supposed to perform this service for me, and told her I could not come and would likely not be rescheduling. She didn’t say anything right away, but I as I remained on the line, I had a feeling that I can only describe as a palpable dread of what was on the other end. I just knew that, whatever it was, it was evil. After I hung up the phone, I had a great sense of relief, and I knew I had dodged a dark, supernatural bullet that day.
Ladies, if you too want to nurture your natural gift for spiritual insight, and sharpen your own internal radar, imbibe those many blessings offered you by your Catholic Church. Then, with the help of the Holy Spirit, your feminine intuition will rarely lead you astray. (Note to the Men: Please do not discount the insightful advice from your mother, wife, girlfriend, sister, aunt or female friend etc. It just might be the Holy Spirit talking…)