Friday, September 30, 2011

Covering the Pope: a guide for journalists

The Catholic Herald in the UK published a fantasticly scathing piece by Milo Yiannopoulos on Tuesday, who "sheds some light on the arcane world of Catholicism, for the benefit of befuddled mainstream reporters."

It begins:
Imagine you’re a newly minted BBC News intern. You bound into the office on your first day, your 2:1 in Media Studies and Digital Production from the University of Salford burning a hole in your pocket. 
You’ve made it! You’ve reached the dizzying heights of the state broadcaster’s newsroom. You’re ready to take over the world. 
But disaster strikes: your editor hands you the first assignment, and it’s a report on the Catholic Church. Pope Benewhatsit has gone to some place to give some speech about God and stuff. 
You’re eager to impress, but totally out of your depth. What are you to do? Who do you turn to? 
Well, here at the The Catholic Herald, we understand how peculiar and arcane the world of Catholicism must appear to reporters new to the beat. That’s why we’ve trawled the archives of the major broadcasters and newspapers to bring you the lessons learned by your senior colleagues. 
We hope that by sharing these best practice guidelines, we can help reporters to uphold the tradition of fair and balanced reporting on Catholic issues for which the British press is rightly famed. Here, then, are our top tips for success.
This. Is. Brillant. Read the whole thing here!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Gingko Leaves on Fourth Street

"Ode to the Workshop Poem" by Maureen Morehead

little blue shoes like birds
in a mulberry. big big alligator

your face on a billboard. but
the biggest alligator is older than

glaciers, than little blue shoes far
far from Louisville. far from

the boy who smells like old nickels
from hapless Cassandra

we watch from the sidelines.
we bend our heads over you

little ant on the windowsill.
we scribble and scribble.

we bend over backwards. each
and every one of us is biting

our fingernails. little blue shoes
you’re hurting my feelings.

lost little boy
alive in the rice paddies.

little big girl: where did the mold grow?
and the poems of Ashbery?

in the backseat of the galaxy?
little blue shoes

your breath is a drumbeat:
pretty yellow sweater: your yellow

is sunshine. pretty red coat,
what do you symbolize?

pretty big snake
we know what you symbolize.

big old-man shovel. hand to the mouth.
feet to the ground. keep it all in.

take it all out. when I say you
I’m talking to you,

little blue shoes on the feet
of our grandmothers.

and the man with the chaperone
and the vet with diseases

and the guy with his plastic doll
and the doll in the playhouse

whose brain can’t be fixed
a moment just a moment

and the body is occupied
the boy is alive in it.

it is Friday morning.
we’ve been here a lifetime.

the gingko on fourth street
has dropped all its leaves for us.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stand By Your Man

Ladies, what would you say if

…your boyfriend told you he masturbates?
…your husband confessed his struggles with pornography?
…your brother is actively unchaste?

I have come to the understanding that many females are blissfully unaware of the sexual (and, thus, spiritual) struggles men encounter in daily life.

If you think your special male is different, you may be right, and you may be wrong. A quick glance over the culture and conversations with male friends, however, give me the confidence to say that majority of men folk would side with me.

Ladies, for many of you, the first response to any of the above may be disgust. We may take it personally. We might see all three as a defilement of the men we love. We might turn away, and reject the person.

But how does God see it? Man’s steady struggle for grace and holiness; a want and need for authentic love; an aching to be fulfilled.

Society’s consensus on all of the above is that these men are exhibiting a healthy sexuality and should not be deterred from their efforts. Catholicism responds that these men are participating in faux love, which may hinder their very ability to truly love in the future. Even if the right person comes along, she may not be their desired fantasy. This is a difficult pill to swallow for girls who grow up dreaming of a strong man to guide them, only to realize that he too is human, and in need of strength to guide him.

Holden needed guidance too!
I’m not going to rely on statistics for this piece, and I’m going to put the Church’s teachings aside for now. These struggles are real and are happening to real people, most likely very close to you. This is a lesson in how to love. This is not a theoretical argument for chastity, this a battle cry. It is uncharitable not to talk about it, letting the subjects fester, allowing people to suffer from lack of fellowship in a time of need.

Keep reading at Virtuous>>>>>>>

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Meet Muffy!

My sister Marianne is so cool! She has a vlog channel with other "Groundlings" (part of her high school Shakespeare acting group) called 5awesomegroundlings, which they started to keep in touch, since some of them are off at college now, and two of them are still in high school.

Watch her latest, starring all four Robison sisters plus Heidi! She is so great:

In other news, I'll be gone for the rest of the week. My bestie boo Julia is getting married and I am in her wedding!

The to-be-weds and me!

We laugh a lot together.
I love her!
Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

To See or Not To See

"You cannot go on 'seeing through' things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond it is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too? It is no use trying to 'see through' first principles. If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To 'see through' all things is the same as not to see."

--C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Germany; view from Neuschwanstein Castle

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beauty is its own excuse for being

"The Rhodora" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

On being asked, Whence is the flower?

In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals, fallen in the pool,
Made the black water with their beauty gay;
Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!
I never thought to ask, I never knew:
But, in my simple ignorance, suppose
The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.

Flowers are beautiful for the sake of beauty

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married

In a romantic rush of words, my boyfriend told me he loved me.

A week or so later, he had “an interesting conversation” with his mother, and she bought us a book.

BAM! Read it.
No, it wasn’t Three to Get Married by Fulton Sheen, Love and Responsibility by Blessed John Paul II or even poetry. It was 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married by Monica Mendez Leahy and it is literally all questions, along with commentary on how to approach the chapters and discuss responses.

If there is one adjective I keep hearing about marriage, it is the word “hard.” I don’t doubt it. I’ve seen the statistics. I grew up and continue to live with my big and boisterous family of two still-married parents and five siblings, and always feel grateful knowing my parents love each other and will never get divorced, even when they disagree.

There is, however, one thing I don’t want my marriage to be: hard. Life is difficult enough without problems creeping between my partner-in-life and me. There will be babies to feed, raise and catechize; bills to pay; prayers to be said; a Church to serve; jobs to do; books to read and write; and lots of little things to pop up unexpectedly.

What I’d like to avoid, for instance, are those problems which can be talked out reasonably before the “I Do.” When I hear of issues that come up in marriage, I tend to think, “Why was that not discussed earlier?”

Read more at Virtuous Planet >>>>>>>

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I have confidence in confidence alone!

TBM Topic 16: What is the distinction between being sexy and being desirable?

"I have confidence in confidence alone!" by Julie Robison
"Sensible, Courageous, and Very Beautiful" by Trista (a.k.a. Megan Fox) at Not a Minx, Moron, or a Parasite
"Revealing" by Elizabeth at Startling the Day

We three are from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. We're here to dispel the myths and misconceptions- please join us for the discussion!

Julie Andrews is dead sexy in The Sound of Music. Putting aside the obvious bias of sharing a name with said actress, her portrayal of Fraulein Maria showed us that life is worth embracing in any circumstances.

Her confidence, more than anything, is what drew people to her. She does not back down when the children play pranks on her, has the family say grace before dinner, and works within the boundaries she's given. She wore a heinous dress and didn't mind. It was her personality, positive outlook and amazing voice brings the children around and helps heal the loss of their mother.

Maria & the Captain minuettes in Salzburg
Captain Von Trapp picked Maria over Baroness Schroeder. I do not think this should be taken lightly- the Baroness was gorgeous, wealthy, powerful and had the right connections. Maria? Not so much.

In one of the many books the real Maria wrote about her life, I was always tickled by a story she recalled about being first married to the Captain, and trying to be like his first wife to please him. After the Captain teased her about how slowly she was knitting, he suggested they go for a bike ride instead. She refused, since his first wife had not been active. But what the Captain wanted is for Maria to love as selflessly as his first wife did, which she already did, and what he loved best about Maria was Maria herself. So off they rode!

Maria was no bombshell beauty. But can you imagine the Baroness crossing the Alps to escape the Nazis? If you don't believe me, then ask any male: survival skills are sexy. These skills may include killing bugs (small and large), making decisions, athletic ventures and standing up for yourself.

Sexiness is more often externally shown. A person's looks, confidence and general demeanor and personality can warrant a second look at a person one may usually scan over in a full room. Desire, then, is a deeper attraction.

Desire, however, can be good and bad.

For example: A girl walks into a room. Two guys see her. One thinks, wow. What a beautiful girl. I'd love to get to know her better. Second guy thinks, wow. What a beautiful girl. I want her.

As a female, I'd prefer the first guy. He's interested in the whole person, opposed to the second guy, who desires her body or action more than her personhood. Objectifying another person, male or female, is wrong. It puts worth in shallow qualities, and demeans the very person one claims to like.

Men and women want to be desired. Sexiness, then, can be a precursor to desire, rightly aligned. There is nothing wrong with being sexy or wanting to be desired. To make it one's purpose, and with a disregard for love or the other human beings who are present however, is a distortion of a person's inherent goodness. If one wants to be sexy by wearing the bare minimum, they are leading their brother or sister in Christ into tempting thought or actions. That is not loving behavior, and leads the desire away from goodness.

Look! Salzburg was expecting me!
Take Fraulein Maria again-- when the Baroness was insecure, she told Maria about how the Captain kept watching her. This made Maria uncomfortable- she was there for the children, but was having feelings for the Captain. It was this desire that drove her away and, eventually, brought her back.

Sexiness comes in all shapes and sizes, but desire dwells in all of us. Just as we desire a deeper relationship with God, so we desire another human to be our companion. As Blessed John Paul II wrote in Love and Responsibility, "The value of a person is always greater than the value of pleasure."

What do you think? Does sexiness leave something to be desired? How does one discern desire?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Struggle for Clarity

‎"I was having my first experience of what I was destined to come up against in all future attempts at writing: until I had come to some clarity in my own mind regarding the issue at hand, books were completely useless to me. This struggle for clarity went on amid great internal suffering which never gave me a moment's peace day or night."

-- from "Juedishe Familie" by St. Edith Stein

Courtesy of Emina at Illumination

A street shot from Berlin: "He who seeks the truth, seeks God, whether or not it it is clear." --Edith Stein (my translation, so a little rough)

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Constitution Day!

And now, a few words from Thomas Jefferson:

‎"On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probably one in which it was passed."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Books Don't Make Us Human

Can books make us human or are we born human?

I would like to re-word the thesis of this symposium, and present my list of books that are known to make people humane, and thus a be catalyst to make the reader an enlightened, knowledgeable, and truth-seeking missile of a human being.

People are homo sapiens, even if they lack a proper understanding of the human condition. Joseph Stalin and Mother Theresa were both human; the difference between them, however, was not the question of their biological classification, but their choices. Stalin demeaned and killed humans and Blessed Theresa cared for and defended them. For at "the Day of Judgment, we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done; not how well we have spoken, but how holy we have lived,” wrote St. Thomas a Kempis in The Imitation of Christ.

I am thus providing ten books which I believe best encapsulate and understand what it means to be a humane human; that is, sympathetic to the whole person, have a foundation in God, and outwardly show an ability to love transcendentally (opposed to hiding their candle beneath a bushel).

Furthermore, I’ve resisted including books-I-like or books-everyone-should-read if they do not fit the prompt. Aquinas’ brilliant Summa Theologica is a perfect example of this; as are Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One and Vile Bodies, and Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter (my three favorite books). They do address aspects of humanity, but not to the degree to which this symposium prompts me to choose.

I also did not comment on any of my book selections. This was intentional. For those who know me, I am quite chatty. For those who read me, I enjoy explaining and diving into ideas. For this symposium, however, I thought it much more apt to let the books and their authors speak for themselves. Too much commentary can set up unintentional expectations, and perhaps ruin the experience of diving into a new read. All of these books have profoundly affected my character, challenged my thinking, and have prompted me to act accordingly.

All books selected were written in the not-so-distant 20th century, and remind me of something Tom Bombadil said to the hobbits: "You've found yourselves again, out of the deep water. Clothes are but little loss, if you escape from drowning."

Keep reading at The Imaginative Conservative >>>>>>>

Thursday, September 15, 2011


"The Need of Being Versed in Country Things" by Robert Frost

The house had gone to bring again
To the midnight sky a sunset glow.
Now the chimney was all of the house that stood,
Like a pistil after the petals go.
The barn opposed across the way,
That would have joined the house in flame
Had it been the will of the wind, was left
To bear forsaken the place's name.
No more it opened with all one end
For teams that came by the stony road
To drum on the floor with scurrying hoofs
And brush the mow with the summer load.
The birds that came to it through the air
At broken windows flew out and in,
Their murmur more like the sigh we sigh
From too much dwelling on what has been.
Yet for them the lilac renewed its leaf,
And the aged elm, though touched with fire;
And the dry pump flung up an awkward arm;
And the fence post carried a strand of wire.
For them there was really nothing sad.
But though they rejoiced in the nest they kept,
One had to be versed in country things
Not to believe the phoebes wept.

Germany - photo by K. Robison

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Man Your Man Could Be Like

One of the best things we women can do is show respect for and support men to be good, virtuous and moral men. Men can, in turn, be role models for each other and respect women and the dignity of life. In these acts of love and fellowship, we can all better live our lives for and in imitation of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Speaking of which, this video is awesome:

h/t Aggie Catholics

God bless you today and always!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Next Bright Maidens Post Will Be...

Topic number 16 will be "What is the distinction between being sexy vs. being desirable?"

Let's get those posts in next Tuesday, folks! Post on (and LIKE!) our TBM Facebook page and tweet the Bright Maidens too!

Do y'all have any topics you'd like to see us write on? Leave a comment or send an e-mail!

I'll post about Germany soon too. It was an amazing trip and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to travel with my sister. We stayed in Munich and Berlin in Germany, and went to Neuschwanstein Castle and Salzburg, Austria in the week we were together. I spent six hours in the Frankfurt airport too, which was a trip in itself.

If y'all could keep my part-time job search in your prayers too, that would be great. I have tons of writing and reading to do for work, and I'm trying to keep that happy balance of work, looking for more work and sleep. I also have an interview with Pat Gohn for her Among Women podcast on Thursday-- I'll post it here when it goes up!

RCIA started up again last night! I am the youngest team member. We have a new priest in charge, too, who knew my last name was pronounced like Robinson, but without the "n" in the middle. I think that means we are going to be best friends. Please keep all inquirers into the faith in your prayers!

Busy week, but blessed to be able to keep up. Have a great Tuesday, folks!

UPDATE: See Bryan Kemper's blog for Fr. Pavone's statement! Sports Illustrated published a perfectly wonderful and inspirational story about a guy who got shot in the head and forgave his aggressor. Oh, here are the all-time worst accents in movies.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You?

I'm watching the 9/11 Remembering Memorial right now, and it is very moving. Right now, the commenters  are talking about details and small decisions which changed the course of people's lives, dead and alive, as family members read off the names of the nearly 3,000 innocent dead, which will take several hours.

September 11, 2011: I was in my 8th grade English class when my civics teacher came running in; he turned on the t.v., and we saw the second plane crash into the WTC.

Where were you?

9:03 AM

TWT's Jim Robbins' eye-witness account, and this year's reminder rebuttal:

"I went back to my office around 9:20. A short time later a friend of mine called, an Air Force officer, and we spoke awhile about the strikes in New York. I was standing, looking out my large office window, which faces west and from six stories up has a commanding view of the Potomac and the Virginia heights. (When I hired on my boss said we had the best view in town. True, most days.) The Pentagon is about a mile and half distant in the center of the tableau. I was looking directly at it when the aircraft struck. The sight of the 757 diving in at an unrecoverable angle is frozen in my memory, but at the time, I did not immediately comprehend what I was witnessing. There was a silvery flash, an explosion, and a dark, mushroom shaped cloud rose over the building. I froze, gaping for a second until the sound of the detonation, a sharp pop at that distance, shook me out of it. I shouted something both extremely profane and sacrilegious and told my friend, ‘They hit the Pentagon. We're under attack. Gotta go.’

I hung up the phone and turned back to the window to see the dark cloud spreading. I yelled down the hall, ‘Look out the window!’ I heard gasps outside, and a researcher dashed into my office and stared. I grabbed my bags and said I was getting out of the building and invited others to do the same. I took the elevator down and walked to the edge of the greensward, in easy view of the Pentagon across the river. I set down my bags and stood in the dew soaked grass, seeing the brilliant blue sky filling with rolling clouds of smoke. The blackness stretched south the length of the horizon. The adrenaline of the initial shock had worn off a bit, and I was able to take in the enormity of the event. Even more than witnessing the plane crash, I remember those long helpless minutes standing in the grass.”

WSJ's Peggy Noonan:

‎"They tell us to get over it, they say to move on, and they mean it well: We can't bring an air of tragedy into the future. But I will never get over it. To get over it is to get over the guy who stayed behind on a high floor with his friend who was in a wheelchair."

A letter from Pope Benedict XVI to Archbishop Dolan:

h/t Always Catholic

President Bush just read this historic letter:

Executive Mansion
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864

To Mrs. Bixby, Boston, Mass.

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln

George Friedman at MercatorNet:

"The first mission of the war that followed 9/11 was to prevent any further attacks. That mission was accomplished. That is a fact often forgotten."

More good articles at Insight ScoopCreative Minority Report and Air Force Times.

Also, though many have expressed concern about prayer being excluded from the commemoration, President Obama's speech was moving and used mostly Old Testament language. It was a lovely, short speech.

Blessings on your Sunday, on this country and all her citizens.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

There is joy in all

"Welcome Morning" by Anne Sexton

There is joy in all:
In the hair I brush each morning,
In the Cannon towel, newly washed,
That I rub my body with each morning,
In the chapel of eggs I cook each morning,
In the outcry from the kettle
That heats my coffee each morning,
In the spoon and the chair
That cry “hello there, Anne”
Each morning,
In the godhead of the table
That I set my silver, plate, cup upon
Each morning.
All this is God,
Right here in my pea-green house
Each morning,
And I mean, though often forget,
To give thanks,
To faint down by the kitchen table in
A prayer of rejoicing
As the holy birds at the kitchen window
Peck into their marriage of seeds.
So while I think of it,
Let me paint a thank-you on my palm
For this God, this laughter of the morning,
Lest it go unspoken.
The joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard, dies young.

We're being rained on, but we were happy to be in Germany!

H/T Sarah Babbs

Also, to add to this joy-themed post, one of my best friends had her baby girl last night! Hooray!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

God Needs You!

Last month, my boyfriend’s grandfather died. The beauty of our Catholic faith never felt more exposed to me than with the passing of another believing soul from earth into eternity. I could not turn a corner in the grandfather’s house without seeing a crucifix. The family physically came together in fellowship- to eat meals, participate in the sacraments together, laugh, mourn and celebrate the now-deceased and beloved man’s full life.

I felt blessed to be there, blessed to know him, and hope at his passing. When people say he is in a better place now, my boyfriend observed, how can they know? We cannot, and do not, though suspicions abound. It is in God’s mercy that we trust; it is in faith that we pray for his soul to find its eventual and eternal rest in Heaven.

At the funeral home, before the Mass, I sat next to my boyfriend’s mother. I asked her if she would like me to sit with their family or with my own. I’ll never forget the way she looked at me, and with her kind smile she said, “Oh, you should sit with us. [He] needs you. He needs you next to him. Isn’t it nice to be needed?”

Padre Pio said, “Pray, pray to the Lord with me, because the whole world needs prayer. And every day, when your heart especially feels the loneliness of life, pray. Pray to the Lord, because even God needs our prayers.”

I always wondered at that line: God needs our prayers? God needs us?

Read more at Virtuous Planet. >>>>>>>>

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Made in the Image of God?

TBM Topic 15: Feminine Genius – The Interior Edition

"Made in the Image of God?" by Julie Robison
"Peace Within" by Trista at Not a Minx, Moron, or a Parasite
"She reigns" by Elizabeth at Startling the Day

We three are from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. We're here to dispel the myths and misconceptions- please join us for the discussion!

[Second disclaimer: I wrote this in the wee, dark hours of the morning on a train to Berlin while drinking a wee, not-as-dark cup of coffee. Enjoy! I’ll be back in the country soon.]

A stumbling block for many people is the notion that women are made in the image and likeness of
God. How can this be? We’ve seen God; Paul wrote in 1 Colossians 1:15, “Brothers and Sisters, Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God.”

Hm. Well, there goes my “God-showed-himself-as-a-burning-bush-ergo-women-are-made-to-be-smokin’-hot” theory.

Then the question is raised: how is it then that the world’s population do not look more like the bearded man from Nazareth?

Only a small percentage of people come from the tiny town of Nazareth and, besides, I’ve been to Asia—the men there can’t grow facial hair. Despite what a former professor at my college liked to quip, God is neither black nor a woman either. The wrench in this whole matter is that God the Father has never seen in toto.

In the Old Testament, the litmus test for God’s calling card was usually clear:
Did you see a physical sign (i.e. oversized finger writing on stone tablets, wall falling down because of trumpets, a large body of water parting down the middle, a relative turning into a pillar of salt, the world flooding, etc.) and/ or hear a booming voice?
Were you visited by an angel?
Did your prayers and faithfulness to the God of Israel result in a child/ a victory/ not dying?

If you can answer YES to any of the above, the invisible-to-us God the Father was more than likely involved.

What does this have to do with women? Everything, if we truly believe that the God of one is the God of all. If women do not superficially look like God, then they must interiorly look like God.

Our very soul mirrors God! The genius of our femininity is not encapsulated by our charm, curves or womanly ways, but the way we yearn for communion with God, to love and be loved, and are given equal and indiscriminate dignity. These manifest both spiritually and physically; the body plays a distinctive role, as does the mind. We women are not amorphous beings for a reason!

Here to fulfill our purpose in God's plan!
Women are good because they are part of God’s creation; gender is the primary indicator of their role and purpose in this world. It is the first objective a person is given to discern one’s relationship to self, God, and other humans. There is no room for a “better than” comparison between the genders. God made the two to complement, not compete.

Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk from the 20th century, wrote, “Life is more than submission: it is creation.” Man and woman together can create a new life, in marriage and having children, as well as participating in the community, in communion with the Church and individual participation in the sacraments.

The criticism of St. Paul’s instruction for women to submit to their husbands overlooks his next point: husbands, love your wives, as Christ loves his Church. Submission, whether it be to one’s husband or one’s God, is never intended to be a controlling mechanism. Rather, submission is the greatest act of love. Jesus himself submitted himself to false accusations, horrible suffering and even death in order to save us from the heavy weight of sin and open Heaven’s gates. So, too, must women overcome such growing pains.

The genius of this instruction is even more marveling than a once-over read: St. Paul understands women’s importance in the Kingdom of Heaven, and thus urges them to model Christ for their husbands, and any others watching. St. Monica’s goodness, prayers and pious submissiveness, for example, helped convert the heart and mind of her pagan husband and famous son, St. Augustine.

It stands, of course, that any misuse of the term “submit” mangles the loving objective and devalues any expression freely given. Nonetheless, this easily tossed about and abused verb is another opportunity for women to lovingly correct any misinterpretation, if the occasion arises.

Women have a great role to play in this world, whether their vocation is religious, single or married. To shirk one’s purpose to evade happiness. Too many women today see the need for emancipation in order to thus prove their worth and equal standing among men.

The message of woman’s feminine genius is that such a worth is intrinsic to our very female personhood, and our equal standing is not determined by a side-by-side salary comparison, but the confirmation of what women actually want: to be loved and respected, encouraged in our work and cherished as ourselves, just the way God made us.

The heresy of modern womanhood is the false claims that freedom can only be achieved through our own-will-be-done, lipstick, contraception, a satisfying career and an individualism that oftentimes denies males the chance to step up into manhood; instead, the modern woman’s view of love infantilizes man through an accessorizing attitude (“Aaaaand I’ll take one of you!”).

I think this about sums up the modern womanhood ideal.

For women to experience the very revelation of the feminine genius, they must first want to reject the temptation to bite the apple, and not just avoid the tree or company of snakes.

Woman is made in the image of God in her humanity; she has the likeness of God through the logos. The divine nature of womanhood is sweet, filled with joy and sorrow, which are merely accidents of the human life, like tasting bread when consuming the Eucharist.

Women have an equal share in the Kingdom, and are thus given their feminine genius in order to claim it.