You’ve probably heard about the New York Times best-seller 50 Shades of Grey. It’s absolutely unreal that a story about the abuse of a woman has become sought-after entertainment. I haven’t read it, won’t read it, and actually never planned to write about it, but the popularity surrounding this trilogy and the trend toward books such as this one presents an open door to talk about a much more important issue, the dignity of women and the beautiful gifts they bring to relationships and the society. Allow me to illustrate with a brief story:
When my oldest daughter was baptized, the officiating priest, Father John, imparted his wisdom to us in a sermon before the baptism took place. He was holding my baby girl in his arms and he announced that she was a princess. Not a princess in the prissy, selfish sense, but she was a princess because she was a daughter of the King, Christ the King. He said, “It is her parents’ responsibility now to raise her in the Catholic faith and instill in her the recognition and understanding of her inherent nobility, received through the sacrament of baptism. Never let her forget that she is a daughter of the King.”
I have done my best so far to instill this in both my daughters, and I would like to pass Father John’s wonderful words on to you, as well.
All women should recognize themselves as daughters of the King and this is my primary issue with modern fiction written for bored housewives and business women alike. Stories like these steal the ideas of nobility and honor and replace them with the thoughts that we’re no better than animals. That happiness is all about how deviant you can be instead of how grace-filled you can be. They undermine the truth that people in general and women in particular have dignity and self-worth that are gifts and meant to be used for great things.
As God’s creations, we are all precious and beautiful in His eyes and we should live our lives using the gifts He gave us. For this reason, I wish the world would wake up from this erotic delusion. People need to recognize their beauty, strength and dignity that are all God-given gifts.
If They Knew The Gift of God!
In Blessed John Paul ll’s Mulieris dignitatem, he wrote:
“If you knew the gift of God” (Jn 4:10), Jesus says to the Samaritan woman during one of those remarkable conversations which show his great esteem for the dignity of women and for the vocation which enables them to share in his messianic mission.
The present reflections . . . 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 (Mulieris dignitatem, Pt. IX, #31).
The dignity of women and for that matter, of every human person needs to be upheld and recognized for the great gift that it is.
As I watch women of all ages flocking to stores and libraries to get their hands on a copy, knowing that they will pass down these attitudes to their daughters, I wonder what kind of girls will be making friends with my daughters? What kind of girls will be out there when my son begins dating?
We Christians have a tremendous task in front of us – to live according to our faith in a society that wants to take that away. So, fight the good fight and let the world witness in your personal life and your dating relationships what it means to have dignity and honor.
So, instead of 50 shades of grey, let’s separate the light from the dark and live our lives in the light of Christ.
Feel free to send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter @lisaduffy.