“The world in which we now live is a world whose outlook is so distorted that we absolutize what is relative (money-making, power, success) and relativise what is absolute (truth, moral values, and God).” –Alice Von Hildebrand (emphasis mine)
How is a young woman today supposed to know how to go out in the world and truly become a woman of God? Re-read the above quote and let it sink in. First, what is relativism? You may already know this, but simply put, it is the concept that your personal beliefs are all dependent on external conditions. Basically, there is no truth beyond what I make or what I claim. For example, a “good” catholic may believe against abortion but finds out they are pregnant with a child who has birth defects and justifies by saying this is my situation and this child will not have a good life so I will end their life. As terrible as this may sound, many people have bought into the belief that there are no absolute truths or everything is situational to each individual. Unfortunately we encounter this culture day in and day out, as we watch TV, as we go to school, in our families.
Lets move on to define absolute. Absolute, according to Webester’s dictionary is defined as: free from imperfection; complete; perfect. God is absolute, perfection itself. Your femininity is a unique participation in the very perfection of God Himself.
So as Alice Von Hidlebrand expressed, our world has become distorted. Our culture tells us money, superficial beauty, success and power are absolutes. And morals, values, and God are relative to each individual. Over the course of the next few months, I am going to reveal how to become a woman of God in order to combat the distortions of our culture.
The foundation to becoming a woman of God is a life rooted in prayer. Oh, how many times I have heard this and you probably have too. And yet, there is always an opportunity to dig deeper and find ways to be in conversation with Christ more than we do. How do holy women pray? God has given us an extremely unique gift as female. Did you know that studies have actually proven that women contain more folds and cross-connections in their brains compared to men, hence the reason why we can have an emotional connection to any and every situation. Things become personal to us because God made us to be that way for very specific reasons. I will go into more detail about this later.
So back to how holy women pray; the first woman to look to is Mary, recalling what Emily talked about Mother Mary last Saturday. Mary is with out sin. She is the absolute example of femininity. She embraced her mission as woman to serve others. She said yes to hold the Christ Child in her womb, raise him tenderly, and watch her only son be tortured to death and die in front of her. As Christ says, “I have not come to be served but to serve.” Gregory VII introduced the most glorious title of the Holy Father who called him servus servorum Dei (the servant of the servants of God). Mother Mary embraced and fully lived out this trait of womanhood. Naturally, our femininity points to serve others. This in fact is seen as a great weakness in our culture. Humility is a virtue that finds little favor in our secular world today.
Second, we must become humble. A life rooted in prayer begins with a committed habit to frequent confession. Further, a commitment to nightly examining our day and work on our vices or struggles can build true humility. Through recognizing our own faults, a life of prayer has room to blossom within our souls. When I was first coming back to the faith, I really struggled with going to confession. Many times I just told God I was sorry. But the more I grew in my faith I realized that by doing so I was making myself the judge of my own contrition. The Church has given us confession so we don’t have to be the judge but God will. And to receive the words from another ” Your sins are forgiven, go in peace” gives you a deep sense of renewal and freedom. This enables you to have room to pray, hear God, and ultimately choose to love.
Prayer alone can drive our true feminine nature to naturally spring forth a servant attitude towards others. As I reflect on my own daily shortcomings, it is difficult for me many times to even feel worthy to talk to God because how could he love someone like me. But I realize by thinking that way, it is quite selfish, since he created me in the first place; God desires so much for us to converse and share all our inner struggles and thoughts with him. Women especially have the capability to do this easily and it’s rooted in science, as noted above. God wants all of us, especially our daily thoughts and emotions. The surest way to God is the “humble acceptance of one’s helplessness: “Come to my aid, O Lord, hasten to help me””. –Alice Von Hildebrand