Monday, August 22, 2005

As promised, commentary

I reprint Fr. Gerald Vann's quote, for commentary:

"Of all the trends we have been considering as characteristic of the world today--the increasing loss of wisdom and vision, of stillness, of Nature, of the stability of home and family life, of symbol--it seems true to say that they represent something particularly alien to the nature of woman.... Our troubles spring from the overemphasis on the masculine in our world ... precisely because the nature of the psychological crisis through which we are passing is what it is, woman has an unique opportunity to redeem the situation. (From The Water and The Fire, 1954)

Let's start this way: what is the "psychological crisis" of our time???? Let's consider Mother Teresa's assessment: it is the failure of love of the poorest of the poor. And she saw the greatest poverty in America.

Where do we look now to marvel at creation: technology. We wonder at i-pods and cell-phones and plasma TVs and (so-called) precision bombing and cloning. Children here no longer die of hunger, polio or tuberculosis. The wounds are much deeper now: neglect, abuse, divorce, day-care. Where is the suffering now? It is in the family, in relationships. Where is the nexus of love, of relation: first of all in the mother-child relationship.

A few years ago I did a talk at a Catholic law school to would-be women lawyers. They wanted to hear about John Paul II's new feminism. I brought in the Icon of Our Lady of the New Advent. If you want to know what feminity is all about: here it is. The woman guards the mystery of life. She bears it within her. Her being is realized in relation to that mystery. So, she is linked, physically, with nourishment, protection, care of the smallest ones.

But we cannot reduce this to the biological. Because man is destined for an eternal destiny, nothing "biological" is simply that. Biblically, theologically, a woman is linked to what it is that builds up, protects, nourishes the child in relation to God. And so a woman is linked to "stillness," contemplation: for if a child can only grown in the quiet of the womb, so that child cannot encounter God outside of a sphere that is protected, contemplative. A woman preserves these spaces--the home, the garden. She protects these spaces--and so she must be a guardian of the media--TV, phone, computer, that threaten the psychological and spiritual growth for the child.

Next, on wisdom...

2 Comments:

Anonymous AnotherCoward said...

Actually, this is where my original "Good stuff, keep it up!" comment was meant to be ... but alas, I'm clumsy.

My wife and I have been reading Chris West's theology of the body for beginners. We have really enjoyed it. I daresay it has deepened our appreciation for each other and our ministry as husband and wife, father and mother.

I was planning on tackling Chris West's Theology of the Body Explained next ... would you recommend this or is there perhaps something more intermediate and better for us?

9:21 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hm, if you have read one Chris West commentary, then why not try the real thing? I love JPII--slow and prayerful reading is key.

6:36 PM  

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