I will continue to do this series on men and women using the book by Fr. Karl Stehlin with my own thoughts added.
Virginity and the body are sacred and precious and not to be made into objects of pleasure. So these precious possessions of ours are not to be left out where everyone can see them and desire to steal them. We would not put our money outside where everyone can know that you have a lot of cash around to come and steal? For the same reason we do not put our bodies out in immodest dress to be objects of male lust? Our body is sacred.
Throughout the traditional Catholic Church, virgins, and especially virgin martyrs, are venerated with great devotion. Some examples are Saints Agnes, Cecilia, Lucy, Anastasia, Agatha whom we even find included in the canon of the “Mass of All Ages”. Many of these martyrs were objects of pagan men trying to marry them or seduce them when they had already dedicated themselves to their Groom Jesus. They died rather than give up their purity. Recent we have St. Maria Goretti who gave up her life rather than her purity.
Another less know saint, St. Charles Lwanga was cruelly martyred by a homosexual king in Uganda because he and his companions would not give in to the kings sexual advances. This saint flies in the face of those who are supporters of homosexual unions because they love each other.
From the beginning of early christianity, as described by St. Paul, virgins began making communities where they lived lives dedicated to Jesus only. Unlike what some historians may say, Catholicism has alway exalted the virginal life and many women were abbesses with great influence.
So many of the great men saints had a woman disciple who dedicated their lives in prayer and support of the mission the man saint had. St. Francis had St. Clare, St. John of the Cross had St. Theresa of Avila, St. Francis de Salle had St. Jane d Chantal, St. Vincent de Paul had St. Louise de Marillac and St. John Bosco had St. Mary Mazzarello.
The greatest masterpiece of God is a woman, Mary. So all woman, and especially virgins, should conform to and share in her purity, strength and beauty. Mary allowed God to form her. So now God, with Mary’s help, continues to form women who are totally (that means giving a 100% of your life) given over to God and to doing His will in their lives. We see this conformity to God in the lives saints like St. Catherine of Siena, St. Joan of Arc and St. Therese of the Child Jesus.
Whenever Mary has appeared, she is always described as “full of light”, beautiful beyond words, and one who attracts the seers to want to be with her as much as possible. Mary is so attractive because she lived in her virginal perfection a life of fidelity to God, trust in God and above all faith in God. This faith in God was blind faith. She had this blind faith from the first minute the Angel Gabriel told her that she would become the Mother of God (without loosing her virginity). Then again when she gave birth to a tiny child who was God. But the ultimate test of her faith was as her beloved Son was hanging on the cross.
Mary and all virgins consecrated to God, do not waste their spiritual energies on the the things of this world but rather spend them on the eternal union with their Beloved. From this they become great instruments in God’s kingdom, as contemplatives nuns and teachers, to nurses running hospitals and nursing homes.
When a virgin is totally oriented to God, her virginal heart is oriented to “Other” and can thus enter into the mystical marriage with Jesus. This is what completes her. Just as in the married vocation, man needs woman because she is his other half that completes him. Woman needs man because she is made to giver herself to man. She does this when she loves him with all her strength and power. Thus united in a holy marriage they become a single flame of love and return to God from whom they came. There is order and harmony.
Boys love to run around and shoot guns and make forts. Girls like to play house with their friends and dolls. Girls like to dream about the perfect prince who will make them happy. And this comes from the wonderful Catholic chivalry of the middle ages when troubadours fought for a woman’s heart and hand. He is the king and she is the queen. Love impels her to want to make a warm castle for her king, to cook the finest dishes and have an orderly family. She wants to look, act and dress with nobility for herself and her king. This castle filled with a woman’s love and security sends the king out to fight the crusades against the enemies of Jesus’ kingdom.
For this reason boys experience Jesus as the King, the Lord of the Christian army. For girls they see God as their loving Father. Men tend to meditate on the mission of the apostles while women meditate on the interior aspect of their Bridegroom. We see this in the apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to various religious sisters. They would like to sit at His feet like Mary in the Gospel, Mary Magdalene and the Samaritan woman.
Women are made for their man. Men are more promiscuous than women who are more faithful and dedicated to their man. So many woman stick with a drug addict or alcoholic or a criminal in prison because they are made for their man. I am not saying it is good to stay in these relationships. Mothers never give up on their children no matter if they are in prison, addicts or fallen away from the Catholic Church. This of course has its good side and bad side since the fall of Adam and Eve.
But when united in Christ, male and female fulfill each other mutually and are complementary to each other like two sides of one coin. Man is active and woman is passive. Man builds up, farms, organizes, orders and governs the world. That is why he is usually the builder, farmer, artist, lawmaker, inventor, leader and judge. Woman is the one who receives and conceives the children like Mary who passively said, “let it be done according to Thy word”. Women give themselves to a husband, a friend, children, and as consecrated virgins, totally to Christ.
An example of this is from the two parables in the New Testament, an man plants the mustard seed and the woman adds the yeast to the dough. The man is the tiny seed that grows and matures into a outward life of a tree that gives shelter and security. The woman is the unseen leaven working to make things into what they should be like taking plain flour and making it into delicious bread that everyone enjoys.
Here are some more examples of active and passive. The man is as the spring of water and the woman is as the pool that receives the water and refreshes. Man is the shaper of clay and woman is the clay. Man builds the castle and woman fills it with light and love. Man provides the seed and the woman receives the life and enables it to grow. Man is the unsettled wanderer alway off to do projects, woman makes the home that welcomes and gives man rest. Man is fulfilled in his work and his family, while the woman is fulfilled by her husband and children.
Now many of you who will read this will have a hard time relating or agreeing with it because we have been so conditioned by our secular and modern “religious” education. But that does not make your opinion true. Since women’s liberation we have a way greater number of single mothers and single fathers. I just read today that most young people are abusing marijuana and alcohol. Most men and women are no longer getting married and of those who do, more get divorced than stay together. More and more young men and women are opting for the homosexual lifestyle. There is a high use of anti-depressants and anti-panic medicine. There is a high addiction to prescription drugs like Vicodin. In general we are not happy as God intended us to be. So we need to be honest and rediscover God’s plan for man and woman and live it. We are so fortunate to have the 1980 years of Catholic Tradition to learn from.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.