Solemnity of the Annunciation
4 weeks ago
All I want is affirmation and love-bombs about every little thing I do -- Look, honey, I am presentable today! Look, I neatened up this corner! Look, we have dinner! Instead I get the smackdown from God Almighty: You're only doing what you are supposed to be doing -- don't be such a baby.And since this is something that I've been mulling over myself, I was very excited to see her go on to say....
And you know, the truth is that all those things are simply background for the real business of loving each other and getting to heaven.
I want to talk about a serious question that comes up, and its answer underlies the whole purpose of what we do, blog-wise, family-wise, life-wise...
It's this: Why should *I* have to do all this? Why is all this the woman's lot to preside over? Am I not good enough for the world to recognize my work with something tangible, like a paycheck? How can I explain my home to someone else? To myself? What about someone who isn't Christian?
....to answer the question in an orderly, satisfying way, you might want to do some reading....
Rooting the family in the liturgical year helps to produce lives which are God-centred and continues the formation and sanctification of the Catholic family that flows from the sacred liturgy. This in turn can then be more readily carried into one's adult life, whether as a priest, religious or as a layman, to be fostered yet further in ourselves and in others. Evidently, everyone has an important part to play in the new liturgical movement, but as it relates to the "domestic church," to bringing the liturgical life into the home, it seems to be the case that in most homes it is the mother who plans and organizes the special celebrations, foods, crafts, songs, stories and prayers, along with appropriate catechesis, for her family in accordance with the Church's liturgical calendar. This is why the Catholic mother's role can be understood as so important and vital for the new liturgical movement, for it is in the home that the formative seeds of the liturgical life can be planted and nurtured.
"If you knew the gift of God" (Jn 4:10), Jesus says to the Samaritan woman during one of those remarkable conversations which allow his great esteem for the dignity of women and for the vocation which enables them to share in his messianic mission.
The present reflections, now at an end, have sought to recognize, within the "gift of God," what he, as Creator and Redeemer, entrusts to women, to every woman. In the Spirit of Christ, in fact, women can discover the entire meaning of their femininity and thus be disposed to making a "sincere gift of self" to others, thereby finding themselves.
During the Marian Year the Church desires to give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity for the "mystery of woman" and for every woman-for that which constitutes the eternal measure of her feminine dignity, for the "great works of God," which throughout human history have been accomplished in and through her. After all, was it not in and through her that the greatest event in human history-the incarnation of God himself-was accomplished?
Therefore the Church gives thanks for each and every woman: for mothers, for sisters, for wives; for women consecrated to God in virginity; for women dedicated to the many human beings who await the gratuitous love of another person; for women who watch over the human persons in the family, which is the fundamental sign of the human community; for women who work professionally, and who at times are burdened by a great social responsibility; for "perfect" women and for "weak" women-for all women as they have come forth from the heart of God in all the beauty and richness of their femininity; as they have been embraced by his eternal love; as, together with men, they are pilgrims on this earth, which is the temporal "homeland" of all people and is transformed sometimes into a "valley of tears"; as they assume, together with men, a common responsibility for the destiny of humanity according to daily necessities and according to that definitive destiny which the human family has in God himself, in the bosom of the ineffable Trinity.
The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine "genius" which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations, she gives thanks for all the charisms which the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness.
The Church asks at the same time that these invaluable "manifestations of the Spirit" (cf. 1 Cor 12:4ff.), which with great generosity are poured forth upon the "daughters" of the eternal Jerusalem, may be attentively recognized and appreciated so that they may return for the common good of the Church and of humanity, especially in our times. Meditating on the biblical mystery of the "woman," the Church prays that in this mystery all women may discover themselves and their "supreme vocation."
May Mary, who "is a model of the Church in the matter of faith, charity, and perfect union with Christ," (63) obtain for all of us this same race," in the Year which we have dedicated to her as we approach the third millennium from the coming of Christ.
With these sentiments, I impart the Apostolic Blessing to all the faithful, and in a special way to women, my sisters in Christ. (MD, 31)