So many of the women I am close friends with would shudder to think of their husband’s losing his job and possibly having to go out and be the primary bread winner. Many I know may be happy if some sideliner business or work adds some butter, but are deeply grateful and happy to see their hubbies win the bread.
Now, you may say, “Sara, you live in a Catholic bubble…come, get with the times!”
Let’s be about changing the times. Among other recoveries with which God has blessed me, another recovery is a long-time recovery from feminism and its entanglements. For me, feminism is like the arch-villain Venom in the Spiderman story (part III if you like movies). I can visualize all that black goo cut away by my repentance and God’s merciful graces. What is left is me and the protective armor of the real, “superhero” suit (God-given and God made). I am left free to live and move and just be that beautiful child of God we are all meant to be, free from all that blackness.
Yes, in my university years I was a rather on-fire feminist. I discussed and studied and wrote about the “woman’s movement,” read a lot of Gloria Steinem and had bought, overall, the democratic party line about issues of “race, class and gender.” I was, like so many then, and so many now, soaking in much “politically correct” goo –and, for that matter, goo on top of goo…black, dark and destructive.
I was half-heartedly “Pro Choice.” I expressed in writing in my college journalism course the experience of an abortion facility protest I attended: I was left foggy and confused as I saw evil all around me: religious persons shouting “baby killers” at the women getting out of their cars and sad and dejected women moving like zombies to the killing fields.
Because I was born in 1966 and among other things, I have much more history to share. With God’s help, all of us Catholics will be given such graces during this Year of Mercy to be the change we want to see in this hurting world.
This winter, I have had the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for this year’s March for Life in D.C. It was, for me, a joyful experience to sit in my little cube, adjacent to my kitchen, “standing” for Life united in prayer via EWTN’s live Internet streaming. I was actually sitting; but, my heart and mind were alert and marching. “To be Pro Life is to be Pro Woman.” Yes, we are moving…we are growing…we are healing lives, healing persons in need of Mercy and Reconciliation. Mother Church is not meant “to get with the times,” but, rather, to be a leaven to the times, raising history to its sublime destiny of being a civilization of justice and love, one pilgrim stepping out in faith at a time.
Let’s keep this going. Let’s keep exploring who are those affected by abortion and how we can be better instruments of healing and grace. Let’s see the Pro Life movement as us all crusading and defending the repentant sinner, the aged, the homeless, the addict, the lonely, the confused, the entangled. Let us lift the fallen, give ear to the despised and dejected.
It is Lent, we can be like Simon of Cyrene and take the heavy burden of abortion that weighed so heavily on the Way of Pain (still does…). When a woman decides to kill her baby, she has already, in many ways been killed herself. She, like the beaten and crucified One, has been, before she goes to have an abortion, despised, rejected, abused and neglected. The whole process is diabolical. It is also a possible meeting place for the divine and the human –certainly not outside of redemption.
Men too suffer from abortion, the utterly innocent unborn suffer unspeakably, families suffer, and our society now is bleeding and weakened by the malice and rage that goes on before, during and after abortions. So, why did I begin this short reflection talking about bread and butter? One of the many feminist lies is that a woman is not worth anything if she does not “earn a living.” Another: you are no one if you are not a ______________ (fill in the blank with a job or profession). Another: you have every right to make your life what pleases you most. This may be the foundational lie and what is most opposed to Christianity. Pleasing ourselves first comes first.
Well, I am lately thinking and praying much about the wonderful, edifying things going on now in the Pro Life movement. I have kept the Catholic teaching on the dignity of human life, human sexuality and on family life pretty simple in Casa Sullivan over the years. As the heart of our home and family, so many of these things are both “caught and taught.” Praise God for the miracles of big conversions, for the graces that make for continuous conversion and for a near future of more women strong enough to be a bunch of nobodies in the eyes of the world…strong enough to be the biggest somebody to their families and near communities.
I do not like leaving this here because there is so much more to express. It is Lent. It is time to see what happened to our Savior even before He was nailed to the Holy Cross. You see He knows the whole truth about each person. What has happened to each of us has happened to Him Who is Love. What concerns us concerns Him, both deeply and personally. His Cross is a capital “T” for the Truth that sets us all free from pointing the finger at the other; we are free to allow Him to help us remove the beam in our heart-eyes before fixating on the splinter(s) in that of our sister or brother.
Big “T” is also for Trusting God enough with our failings and sins to believe that He loves us so much as to give us more than what we ask for, to give us just what we need and when we need it. “Jesus, we TRUST in YOU!”