The Power of Women like Sister Cristina

The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Matthew 9:11-13)

Sicilian nun Sister Cristina Scuccia is making a lot of news these days. Everybody seems to be talking about her, so I’m going to jump on the bandwagon.

If you haven’t heard about her, Sister Cristina recently appeared on the Italian version of the television program, The Voice, and stunned the audience and the judges with her amazing rendition of Alicia Keys song, “No One.” Check out one of the following links for more details:

If you are unfamiliar with the program The Voice, singers audition for celebrity judges who cannot see them because their backs are turned. If the judges like what they hear, they turn their chair around, and if more than one judge does so, the artist has to choose which one will become their coach for the rest of the season.

It was amazing to see how the audience and judges were so taken with this diminutive little nun, who they exclaimed was “so full of energy.” (Little do they know where that energy comes from, and it’s not coffee.)

I think Sister Cristina is a wonderful illustration of the following quote from Pope Paul VI from his closing address to women at the Second Vatican Council:

“…At this moment when the human race is under-going so deep a transformation, women impregnated with the spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid mankind in not falling.”

In my opinion, Sister Cristina shows the power of women. All you have to do it look at the tears in the eyes of the tattooed rapper judge, J-Ax, whom she chose to be her mentor, to know that. Women like her, unashamed of their Catholicism and of their true femininity, are the ones that can bring society back to their knees.

I learned from the news stories about Sister Cristina that it was not her own idea to audition for the program, but she did so at the urging of her religious community. During her interview with the program judges, she said she hoped to use the opportunity to evangelize. And, what is interesting to me is that she also let God pick her coach. She apparently decided to choose the judge who turned around first.

All these tidbits tell me she is truly an example of feminine “receptivity” to God, to use terminology coined by Pope John Paul II, discussing what he called the Feminine Genius.

I want to share a quote from an article by Catholic writer Mary Jo Anderson, describing this Feminine Genius (and I urge you to read her entire piece.)

This fullness of the feminine vocation is missing in the debate over “power-sharing” in the Church and the insistence on the ordination of women, because the fullness of the human experience can be realized only when the inherent gifts of each gender are ordered to each other.

In John Paul II’s explanation of this “fullness of human experience,” men, who image God, initiate the gift of self-giving in human relationships, and women, who image the Church (see Ephesians 5) are receptive to it, and they then return that gift. As John Paul II teaches, in this exchange, women show men how to respond to God.

J-Ax initiated the gift by turning his chair. And I make this prediction. He thinks he is going to help make Sister Cristina a star. But this energetic little nun is going to help make him a saint.



About Kelly Luttinen

Kelly Luttinen works as a public relations advisor for the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi. She is a wife and mother of four teens and lives in the metro-Detroit area.
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