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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
Learn More: Tobias & Sarah as led by Saint Raphael

Oct 29th 2013 new
Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you! St. Catherine of Sienna most definitely belongs on any short list, when you need a great lady in history with a big boot that can knock some Papal sense into those dithering during the Avignon papal period.

I could go so many directions with your contribution, but two reflections came to mind. First, I think there has been a long line of "Catherines" (Powerful Jebirahs --- Queen Mothers) in the Church. Even as there has been in the Old Testament with Deborah, Ruth, Sarah, and Bathsheba (who is often maligned, but was the Queen Mother beside Solomon to whom he rose out of his chair, bowed to, and had sit as his symbolic right hand side). I am convinced that for every Papa, God raises up a complementary Mama in the Church. Scholarly JPII and down-to-earth Mother Teresa. Excruciatingly shy Pope Benedict XVI and exuberant Mother Angelica. I would not be surprised if this is a historic pattern.

Second, not suggesting you are, but I believe many people seem confused about the Kingdom of God and visible versus invisible power. A quote that is attributed to Ronald Reagan observes that "there is no limit to the good a person can do if they do not mind who gets the credit.". The greatest in the Kingdom are the lowliest on earth who secretly store up all of their reward and recognition later for Heaven. They truly dislike weilding power like George Wasington and Cinncinatus. Anyone who understands Pope Benedict XVI knows he wanted to be a contemplative writer and professor. Anything but a Prefect and Pope! True influence is most often "perfectly hidden, perfectly revealed." Most of the women who have ruled the Church are "eminence grises", powerful advisors behind the scenes or powerful intercessors who are co-redeemers. Truly equally influential, if not more, with respect to Mary, as Pope Francis and Cardinal Hans Ur von Balthasar suggest.

Just like in any holy family...



Oct 29th 2013 new
(quote) David-174079 said: "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship..." - C.S. Lewis
Pope Francis, several times now, has suggested our Church develop a deeper Theology of Woman. Without a doubt, the ladies on CM would be expert authors and consultants on such a venture. I pray that this Theology acknowledges Mary as Co-Redemptrix and recognizes the insights of the female mystics and doctors of the Church, including St. Faustina, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, and Blessed Mother Teresa. One must certainly not forget St. Therese, the Little Flower! Women are stronger in their ability to suffer (if for no other reason than men require from you so much more practice!) You may have once been told that the angels only 'envy' humans for two reasons: our ability to suffer and the Eucharist.
It should go without saying that women are the more refined, beautiful and loving gender. After all, the order of creation is one of ascension, from chaos to cosmos, from beasts to beauty. Women are God's grand finale, the crown of creation. Beauty will save the world, so said Dostoyevsky. Love alone is credible, as Hans urs Von Balthasar reminds us.
We began this reflection by quoting C.S. Lewis. He ends his quote with an ominous note, "...or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare." Feminine beauty, loving kindness, and fruitfulness are powerfully alluring mysteries. God may hide from women, for good reason, their true Eternal splendor. I live in a New Age town replete with Mother Earth (Avatar "Eywa", Gaia, Mago, etc.) worshippers, radical feminists, belly dancers and same sex couples. They seemingly have turned their imaginations inward toward navel gazing and grasping vainly at their elusively elevated gender; thereby closing themselves off from receiving the fulfillment of their heart's deepest desires. (The unmerited gifts of grace and glory, life and love, of God). One version of Mary's Magnificat reads, "He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts."
This may be my Romanticist bias, but I still believe that women have an angelic fire of desire in their hearts most men simply do not. I can only speak for myself. Is the word 'match' in Catholic Match mean 'complementarity' or that missing rib with which women alone can ignite a blazing fire? On the day of victory, Mary showed her Seraphic speed off by beating the boy John and man Peter to our Lord's tomb. Women seem better able to see Jesus in the poorest of the poor, bestowing God's love on the lowly with compassion; the pitying womb-like mercy the Old Testament calls 'Rachamim'. Pope Francis has suggested several times how this profound maternal love sheds light into the very nature of God's love Why else would we have phrases such as "someone only a mother could love" and "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world"? Of course, no one holds a candle to Our Lady's Immaculate maternal love. Pope Francis has said that Mary is more important than all of the Apostles combined, echoing von Balthasar's insight that the "Marian dimension precedes the Petrine" (CCC 773). The order of holy love precedes the love of holy order.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom...Pray for us!
That was amazing! rosary theheart rose rose rose rose rose
Oct 29th 2013 new
Hi Kerry!

i only have been introduced to Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity in a recent Christian spirituality class. But I did a cheap cliff note climb to Wikipedia. Oh my! If women can call some priests "What a waste", she was fine, to be sure.
Blinded by love Wow! She had a terrible temper that was largely cured by the Eucharist? A discalced Carmelite! And, also, she is the patron for the sick and lost parents. Which was timely to learn with respect to today's postings on this thread....

Is there something particular you had in mind that bespeaks what she might shed light on in a Theology of Woman? This is just pure conjecture, but her name "of the Trinity" suggests the divination of her maternal, daughter, and spousal dimensions. You may know that S.O.L.T., the new priestly order, the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity is based on this type of charism.
Oct 29th 2013 new
David,
Good points, good reminders and I agree with you. I think in difficult times there are saints both seen and unseen. I just wish I would start seeing more of them. We definitely need them in this day and age. I also know that it is up to us each individually to follow the will of God in our lives which is not always easy. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Elizabeth
Oct 29th 2013 new
Thank you for your sympathies, Jerry and David.

Two things about mom's untimely death bring me comfort. First, not only was she wearing her old worn, faded scapular (the first thing I checked for after I realized she was gone), but ALSO the new one I gave her the week before. She was waked on All Saints Feast Day and buried on All Sous Day.

Secondly, our last conversation we had that morning was her insistence that I watch Mass on EWTN that day. Fr. Frank Pavone said he was giving the most important homily of his life and mom told me NOT to miss it. This was the Friday before Election Day 2004. I assured her that I would catch the noon Mass because I was getting the kids ready for school at the time. She repeated her concern that I hear his homily and I answered, "OOOKKKKK, Mom! I will. I gotta get the kids to school right now. See ya."

Just hours before her death, she displayed her typical concern for others, especially for the unborn and for our country.

Pray for us, Mary Ann (mom)

Now, praying for the grace to get through the next few days as we observe the one year anniversary of my late husband's death Nov. 3. Lord, have mercy!

Oct 30th 2013 new
David, Thank you for bringing up a topic that can be quite controversial. It's interesting that more women responded; I would be very interested to see more comments from men, simply because it's easy for me to imagine a woman's response, on either side of the fence. But men will always be a mystery to us, as we are to them, and I say that's a blessing God planned. We must always be searching to understand an experience outside of ourselves. I have two questions I'd like to present: One, how does a husband-wife/father-mother role truly differ? This is a question I've been pursuing for several weeks now. Men can nurture, women can have successful careers-the 'old' definitions may not be so clear-cut anymore. I've asked many; most cannot articulate their feelings ('There's just something different about being with your dad, than mom...'), but have heard two clear positions. One is that fathers will push their sons out to fix it-conquer it-meet it-beat it-master it, and protect their daughters at all costs, and mothers will gather all in the home to grow in love. The second is that fathers can teach their sons how to understand women from a man's point of view, and women teach their daughters how to understand men from a woman's point of view. This second one I thought to be pretty potent. I'd bet you have some interesting insights that, if you're willing to share, I'd love to ponder. The second question involves your reference to Ayn Rand. She's one of my favorite authors, but frankly, I'm surprised to see her name on this sight. Her atheism offends many, and she is unapologetic on any of her viewpoints, which also can put people off. I'm lucky enough to not let those issues stop me from appreciating her work. Did you reference her, thinking about her portrayal of the Marxist state, or perhaps, that she didn't believe in traditional limits in gender-but believed that the most feminine thing a woman can do is desire a man? Or something else? Again, thanks for introducing a subject that seems to bring out the many varied extremes in people. I love to see all the different opinions, and often learn much in the process. Catherine
Oct 30th 2013 new
(quote) CatherineRose-996317 said: David, Thank you for bringing up a topic that can be quite controversial. It's interesting that more women responded; I would be very interested to see more comments from men, simply because it's easy for me to imagine a woman's response, on either side of the fence. But men will always be a mystery to us, as we are to them, and I say that's a blessing God planned. We must always be searching to understand an experience outside of ourselves. I have two questions I'd like to present: One, how does a husband-wife/father-mother role truly differ? This is a question I've been pursuing for several weeks now. Men can nurture, women can have successful careers-the 'old' definitions may not be so clear-cut anymore. I've asked many; most cannot articulate their feelings ('There's just something different about being with your dad, than mom...'), but have heard two clear positions. One is that fathers will push their sons out to fix it-conquer it-meet it-beat it-master it, and protect their daughters at all costs, and mothers will gather all in the home to grow in love. The second is that fathers can teach their sons how to understand women from a man's point of view, and women teach their daughters how to understand men from a woman's point of view. This second one I thought to be pretty potent. I'd bet you have some interesting insights that, if you're willing to share, I'd love to ponder. The second question involves your reference to Ayn Rand. She's one of my favorite authors, but frankly, I'm surprised to see her name on this sight. Her atheism offends many, and she is unapologetic on any of her viewpoints, which also can put people off. I'm lucky enough to not let those issues stop me from appreciating her work. Did you reference her, thinking about her portrayal of the Marxist state, or perhaps, that she didn't believe in traditional limits in gender-but believed that the most feminine thing a woman can do is desire a man? Or something else? Again, thanks for introducing a subject that seems to bring out the many varied extremes in people. I love to see all the different opinions, and often learn much in the process. Catherine
Hi Catherine Ro!

Thank you for writing. I am sure there is a boatload of wiser CMers that can discuss your questions from the behavioral sciences, common sense, personal experience and pop culture (music, movies, etc...which can be fun and insightful too!) My interest is to attain additional insight in the light of our Faith according to Divine Revelation. I am partial to the female mystics and doctors of the Church, even though John Paul II has written eloquently on womanhood.

I would just find it odd, external, second hand at best, if one or a group of women started telling me what and who I am as a man. Our shared humanity does not necessarily get at the endless mystery of our differences. The old joke is the book found in stores entitled, "Everything Men know About Women". Open it up and there are blank pages. laughing However, most every post on CM is a self disclosure of gender differences.

With respect to your question on various gender roles I can offer only my own view: Whatever it takes to foster greater union in love and raise holy, healthy children. Unconditional Love, it seems to me, leads us toward imaging God's humble, merciful love and transcending gender stereotypes. The Theological and cardinal virtues are not reducible to either the masculine or feminine. Jesus, Mary, most all the saints evidence the full range of virtues. Jesus washed feet and cried. While pregnant, Mary traveled to serve Elizabeth. Nonetheless, I am still fascinated by any incommunicable and "non-convertible" differences of the genders. Women mystics seem to have a natural superiority toward Rachamim, womb-like love, redemptive suffering, and a contemplative interior life. It appears, like the "Chicken and Pig Story" that men are commanded in Ephesians 5 to not just "donate their eggs" but sacrifice their very lives for their wives, if called upon to do so.

Please do not give too much scope to any of my references to Ayn Rand. It sounds like you know more about her thought and life. I simply view her philosophy of Objectivism, which I understand she credits Aristotle (correct me if I am wrong), as a moderate metaphysical and epistemological realism. Her metaphysics holds that forms inhere in matter (not German Idealism, Nominalism) and epistemology is that the truth and goodness are objectively external to our minds (not relativism or social constructivism which undergirds so many modern ideologies) are invaluable insights. However, I find her political philosophy, in light of the Beatitudes, Works of Mercy, "Communio" (Catholic Trinitarian Incarnational Ecclesiology) and Catholic Social Teaching, especially the principles of solidarity, common good, and universal destination of goods to be highly problematic. Don't I sound all stuffy and scholarly? laughing That pretty much exhausts my reflection on Ayn Rand other than reading Atlas Shrugged in college and still wanting to catch part II on Netflix.

Would she even have a clue why Jesus hung on the Cross and Mary obediently complied with His sacrifice? The Paschal Mystery makes little sense in a purely objectivistic system. Or, so it appears on face value.


Oct 30th 2013 new
(quote) David-174079 said: "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship..." - C.S. Lewis
Pope Francis, several times now, has suggested our Church develop a deeper Theology of Woman. Without a doubt, the ladies on CM would be expert authors and consultants on such a venture. I pray that this Theology acknowledges Mary as Co-Redemptrix and recognizes the insights of the female mystics and doctors of the Church, including St. Faustina, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, and Blessed Mother Teresa. One must certainly not forget St. Therese, the Little Flower! Women are stronger in their ability to suffer (if for no other reason than men require from you so much more practice!) You may have once been told that the angels only 'envy' humans for two reasons: our ability to suffer and the Eucharist.
It should go without saying that women are the more refined, beautiful and loving gender. After all, the order of creation is one of ascension, from chaos to cosmos, from beasts to beauty. Women are God's grand finale, the crown of creation. Beauty will save the world, so said Dostoyevsky. Love alone is credible, as Hans urs Von Balthasar reminds us.
We began this reflection by quoting C.S. Lewis. He ends his quote with an ominous note, "...or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare." Feminine beauty, loving kindness, and fruitfulness are powerfully alluring mysteries. God may hide from women, for good reason, their true Eternal splendor. I live in a New Age town replete with Mother Earth (Avatar "Eywa", Gaia, Mago, etc.) worshippers, radical feminists, belly dancers and same sex couples. They seemingly have turned their imaginations inward toward navel gazing and grasping vainly at their elusively elevated gender; thereby closing themselves off from receiving the fulfillment of their heart's deepest desires. (The unmerited gifts of grace and glory, life and love, of God). One version of Mary's Magnificat reads, "He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts."
This may be my Romanticist bias, but I still believe that women have an angelic fire of desire in their hearts most men simply do not. I can only speak for myself. Is the word 'match' in Catholic Match mean 'complementarity' or that missing rib with which women alone can ignite a blazing fire? On the day of victory, Mary showed her Seraphic speed off by beating the boy John and man Peter to our Lord's tomb. Women seem better able to see Jesus in the poorest of the poor, bestowing God's love on the lowly with compassion; the pitying womb-like mercy the Old Testament calls 'Rachamim'. Pope Francis has suggested several times how this profound maternal love sheds light into the very nature of God's love Why else would we have phrases such as "someone only a mother could love" and "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world"? Of course, no one holds a candle to Our Lady's Immaculate maternal love. Pope Francis has said that Mary is more important than all of the Apostles combined, echoing von Balthasar's insight that the "Marian dimension precedes the Petrine" (CCC 773). The order of holy love precedes the love of holy order.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom...Pray for us!
Hi David et alia,

Since you want to go so far as to consider St. Mary a Co-Redemptrix., would you consider women cardinals?

James ☺
Oct 30th 2013 new
Hi James,

I had never read any article connecting Mary as Co-Redemptrix to The Sacrament of Holy Orders and Apostolic Succession; much less, the senior position of Cardinal (sanctae romanae ecclesiae cardinalis) and Petrine ministry. The latter are all official ecclesiastical positions open only to men in the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church.

Is Mary in "persona Christi capitas"? Apples and lawnmower...

If anyone has written such an article they have no concept of what is meant by Mary as Advocate, Co-Redemptrix, and Mediatrix of All Graces. It is a personal-relational role not an organizational one. Children do not appoint ther mother... This is obviously a controversial topic for another forum. I was simply stating a preference. For some, this doctrine follows in the line of the dogmas of Mary's Perpetual Virginity, Maternity of God (Theotokos), Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.
Oct 30th 2013 new
(quote) David-174079 said: Hi James,

I had never read any article connecting Mary as Co-Redemptrix to The Sacrament of Holy Orders and Apostolic Succession; much less, the senior position of Cardinal (sanctae romanae ecclesiae cardinalis) and Petrine ministry. The latter are all official ecclesiastical positions open only to men in the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church.

Is Mary in "persona Christi capitas"? Apples and lawnmower...
If anyone has written such an article they have no concept of what is meant by Mary as Advocate, Co-Redemptrix, and Mediatrix of All Graces. It is a personal-relational role not an organizational one. Children do not appoint ther mother... This is obviously a controversial topic for another forum. I was simply stating a preference. For some, this doctrine follows in the line of the dogmas of Mary's Perpetual Virginity, Maternity of God (Theotokos), Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.
Hi David,

I'm talking about cardinals. Cardinals do not have to be ordained men. This was true until the 1800s.

It is true that nowadays Cardinals have to be ordained men, but this was not true in the past.

Can you give me a theological reason why a woman cannot be a cardinal, since there is no theological reason why cardinals have to be ordained?

James ☺
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