Have you ever had a single word, an inspiring quote, a thought, or the mention of a person keep coming up in your life? Because it happens to me all the time… to the point that it’s almost inevitable to escape. I like to think that it’s God’s way of calling our attention to something. A “God-wink,” per say… that is, God “winking” and telling us “Go. Do something about this, already.”
For example, just this past week the thought of femininity has surfaced about 755.984 times in my life. First, when I was writing my grad school essay, I was brought back to what I envision as “my picture-perfect future”: a feminine ideal that serves of a reminder of who I am and where I want to be someday. In essence, my picture depicts a road leading to TeawithV. Along the road my significant other stands, greeting me with a bouquet of flowers. I imagine us as successful professionals pursuing careers where we use our talents to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Featured in the background, is our loving home with a cross in the sky to represent God’s grace manifesting in our lives.
The second time the thought of femininity crossed my mind was when I read Pope Francis’ homily delivered at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on February 9, 2017. In his homily, the pope described woman as “harmony, poetry, and beauty.” He brought to light that “In order to understand the woman, it is necessary first to dream of her”. When I first read it, I didn’t understand what he meant. But after taking some time for reflection (i.e. right now), I realize that “to dream of her,” means “to desire her”. To understand the value of a woman, man must realize the void in his life without her… Just like Adam dreamed of (desired) Eve, a suitable partner to take on life with, so too, must men dream (desire) a woman in this day in age. By doing so, he recognizes a woman’s worth and the joy and happiness that she (not his gaming buddies or his dog) can, in fact, bring to his life.
A third time I encountered femininity was when I was talking to my sister, Krista… which, let’s just take a moment to reflect on what a blessing she is to this world! She is like the ultimate go-to when it comes to all things girl…Just ask her students. There is a reason why so many college-aged girls flock to her during office hours on campus to ask for advice and talk about life’s more intricate matters. She is all-around beautiful, a great listener, and a wonderful example of how one can balance having a family and career at the same time. She and I talk (or should I say vent?) on the phone at least 3 times a day about anything and everything…and really, I do not know what I would do without her.
Anyways…when she and I were talking this past week, she mentioned how she recently read a letter written by a fellow, very knowledgeable and respected Catholic on femininity. The letter described how in this day in age, the term has become mangled and confused by some, a sort of catchall phrase and cover-up, for the dysfunctional and broken lifestyles held by many contemporary women- many whose views were broadcasted at the Women’s March this past January in Washington D.C.
In essence, this faux femininity is ironic. Those in support of it feel as though they are fighting to make women’s lives better, when in reality, they are only deteriorating their own and others’ quality of life. Take into consideration how many innocent lives have been tarnished as a result of women exercising their “reproductive rights”–a core value held by many of those at the Women’s March–through the use of emergency contraception and abortion. It is over 3,000 abortions/ day in the U.S. alone.
Then take into consideration the lives that are affected by marriages that end in divorce (which compromises 50% of marriages now)–both husband, wife, children, and extended family are all affected. Why is this happening? Is this not enough to make you realize there is something seriously messed up with the way things are going?
I’ve come to the conclusion that in order for things to get better, women need to scrap faux femininity and embrace true femininity. For our men to start acting like men, our women need to start acting more like women. Like Pope Francis observed, “Women bring harmony that makes the world beautiful.” It is up to us…It is in our beautiful, delicate, but strong-minded nature that we can save innocent lives being destroyed by abortion, make our marriages last, and raise our sons to be respectful, protectors of women’s hearts and souls.
While I can’t say exactly how to accomplish such a feat, I can live by example and urge you to do the same.
1. Taking time for reflection in areas where our lives have led astray from our vocations in life… acknowledging and fixing our voids and mistakes.
2. Seeking a spiritual mentor (priest, religious sister, other knowledgeable Catholic, like my sister) who can bring to light solutions to difficult situations you are dealing with.
3. Reading Saint Pope John Paul II’s letter to women:
4. Listening to Catholic Lighthouse Media any chance you have. I highly recommend “Feminism Misunderstood: One Woman’s Journey to Peace”:
5. Researching your personality type…know what you are and find out what your significant other is (maybe don’t mention it on a first date…you might weird him out) but knowing both your and his type it is a good indicator whether you two are compatible. It can also offer insight into the way each of you deals with conflict so that if you do end up together, your fights lead to reconciliation with each other rather than splitting…(btw, if you are attractive and reading this, I am ISFP):