“Give us Lord a strong heart like that of the Virgin Mary, so that we can consecrate our lives to you, and thus we will see that everything becomes new in you, Lord. Gives us power to unite ourselves to Jesus so that our difficulties may become a ladder to climb up and reach you, the King of kings.”
My friend Brenda introduced me to praying the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Kibeho on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The quote above is from these meditations (from the prayer at the end of her First Sorrow). Back around 2004, when I was feeling called to Regnum Christi, I kept hearing the same message; it was simple: that as a convert to Catholicism, Regnum Christi would be the “place” where I would grow closer to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I know that relationship has a ways to go; at the same time, growing ever closer to our Lady is to see –with the eyes of the heart –the Christian vision of real women’s liberation.
Women helping women
In my last blog post, I wrote about my own rather dark take on the tentacles of feminism and its politically correct “cousins” of social activism, “race and class.” I hope in this writing to work this out a bit better, to give a personal experience of these realities. Interestingly, in college, I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in a program called “Literature and Society.” I left Kentucky to go to the “Ivy League” to be an English major. At the time, I wanted to return to the south well-equipped to teach high school English. I say that it is interesting because the professors in the program, males and females alike, were soaking in cultural theories of “race, class and gender,” theories and philosophies informed by a Marxist ideology of culture and the human person.
He made man in His own image, male and female, He created them…we all know this by heart. Our dignity comes from our being children of God. We, women and men, are so loved by God that He became a human being to show humanity a way of life, “on earth as it is in Heaven,” full of truth, beauty, justice and devotion. Like so many young people today, I went to college seeking to study what the great thinkers and writers had to say about improving society. I had been writing poetry since I was a child. I was an avid reader. I wanted to continue writing and teaching. I was eager to get out of the south, out of my own head and hear and know what others had to say about the big questions of injustice.
I did not set out to become a feminist literary critic or to leave behind the traditionalism of my mostly Protestant, Christian upbringing. Yet, it was this divergent path that I found myself on for many years, a stray path, one meant to uphold justice; yet, as it was based on error, this path lead to deception and injustice.
As one of the greatest teachers the Church has ever known has taught us: in these theories and philosophies, the anthropology is all wrong. After my university years, as a young wife and mother of two small daughters, I participated in a four year parish-based, small group of the apostolate Familia. These women, our prayers for each other, and the material we studied would be a light in the ideological darkness. It was in Familia that I began to read the man I already loved and respected. Pope John Paul II and his friend, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, had become heroes to me in the early 90’s.
St. John Paul writes to women
In June of 1995, St. John Paul II wrote and sent out to the world an expression of what I believe to be prophecy, called “Letter to Women.”
Well, there is more to say on this but I can think of no better place to rest our heads and allow our hearts to be inflamed than in the words of St. John Paul II,
“…I am convinced that the secret of making speedy progress in achieving full respect for women and their identity involves more than simply the condemnation of discrimination and injustices, necessary though this may be. Such respect must first and foremost be won through an effective and intelligent campaign for the promotion of women, concentrating on all areas of women’s life and beginning with a universal recognition of the dignity of women. Our ability to recognize this dignity, in spite of historical conditioning, comes from the use of reason itself, which is able to understand the law of God written in the heart of every human being. More than anything else, the word of God enables us to grasp clearly the ultimate anthropological basis of the dignity of women, making it evident as a part of God’s plan for humanity.”
St. John Paul II, pray for us!
St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!