Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Respecting Women is Respecting LIfe

I'm currently reading an advanced copy of Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood by my friend and colleague Pat Gohn and was excited to see an article by her on the Washington Post website: Respecting Women is Respecting Life. Sadly, some of the comments are quite angry, especially in light of the fact that Pat advocates respect for women.

Here is a brief excerpt:

A woman’s womb, her uterus, signals that she is made for something and someone more than herself. This reality touches a woman at her very core -- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The womb’s raison d’etre illuminates this gift that welcomes and receives the life of a child, sheltering and nurturing it, until finally, a woman gives birth. We even use the expression -- giving birth -- denoting the gift that it is. The maternal gift ought to be honored and celebrated.

What’s more, a pregnant mother is entrusted with carrying an immortal soul besides her own -- a soul that is destined for eternity. That’s why a woman really needs to be aware of the dignity of her feminine creation, and the sublime gift of her maternity, so she can confer that dignity on her child, and upon others through her love of life. 

The gift of maternity is inherent in all women. They are predisposed to motherhood by their design. Yet, as we know, not all women bear children. Even if a woman never gives birth, a woman’s life is still inclined toward mothering. All women are entrusted with the call to care for the people within their sphere of influence. This broadens our ideas of maternity beyond gestation and lactation. 

A woman’s relationships with others, even though they may not be fruitful biologically, can be fruitful spiritually. Therefore a woman’s life--her feminine genius--is characterized by physical and/or spiritual motherhood. 

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