Saturday, February 12, 2011

The True Value of a Woman: Self-Esteem vs. Self-Worth

Editor's note: This week, it was brought to the attention of the Little Flowers Leaders who are members of the Leader's Yahoogroup that Girl Scouts have recently released new educational material that brings their agenda to a whole new level. A 15-year old girl, herself a Girl Scout until these materials were released, is fighting the battle to make diocesan youth ministers and others aware of these new materials' anti-Catholic and anti-family bias. If you wish more on this topic, please sign onto the Leader's list here: www.eccehomopress.com/lfgc-support.html Scroll down and type your email into the yahoogroup box and search recent messages for details. As a result of this discussion, our Little Flower's creator, Rachel Watkins wanted to remind us of our Catholic doctrine and how important the Church's teaching is in analyzing the world around us and our unique and vital roles as women.

Like some of you, I was raised 'as one of the guys', having six brothers and my three sisters being much older. I found more comfort playing sports than shopping any day - still do - and my husband will attest that while I love cooking, the cleaning is whole 'nother story (as they say). When God called me to be a at-home mother, and homeschool to boot, I balked at the seemingly unimportance of these roles. I was giving up an exciting career and 'my own money' when God started calling me home and I didn't go easily. Needless to say, my dh and eleven kids have taught me a lot over that past 25+ years about the importance I hold in their lives. More importantly, Christ has affirmed time and again that my being home was the 'better part' for my life.


Along the way, I needed to learn (re-teach myself, so to speak) that there are many paths to holiness and many ways to transform the world. God was just asking me to embrace His plan over my own (always a good idea). The Church's document on women, Mulieras Dignitatem, states as much.

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.

I love being called to discover my 'feminine genius' and am a bit humbled that I am called to help all of my daughters discover theirs. But, I will say, they won't be doing it in an organization that espouses openly mocking one of the sacraments of the Church as this play does.

The parents in the play were wrong to attempt to force their daughter into one path, this should not be overlooked or denied. But the play belittles women for whom these more 'traditional' roles are their vocation (not to mention really enjoyable). Rather than striving to place the onus of the situation Maria is enduring on the poor parenting skills or the lousy marriage, the author is using her play as an opportunity to bash the Catholic Church.

In particular was the author's decision to rewrite the vows of the sacrament so viciously:

(This is an exerpt of the play Simply Maria by Josephina Lopez that is referred to in the Girl Scout Junior Level Journeys book. --ed.) PRIEST. Dearly beloved, we are gathered here, under the Catholic church, in the holy house of God, to unite these two people in holy matrimony. Marriage is sacred. It is the unification of a man and a woman, their love and commitment, forever, and ever, and ever, no matter what! Well, then let's begin.María, do you accept José Juan Gonzalez García López as your lawfully wedded husband to love cherish, serve, cook for, clean for, sacrifice for, have his children, keep house, love him, even if he beats you, commits adultery, gets drunk, rapes you, lawfully, denies your identity, money, and in return ask for nothing? (MARIA thinks about it and then turns to her parents who mouth to her "I do.")"

The Church's view of marriage is nothing as suggested and it is offensive for someone to imply it does.

LFGC strives to be an organization that seeks the same thing for our daughters as described by Mulieras Dignitatem. We want our girls will discover their own 'fruits of feminine holiness'. We want to be a part of helping that garden (or perhaps we should say orchard) grow.

Our daughters will be one day have a chance to change the world. Perhaps some will do it as St. Therese of Lisieux did - without leaving the convent and dying before she was 30 yrs. old, they may be called by being more like St. Margaret of Scotland who transformed a country while finding time for 8 kids or perhaps as Dorothy Day who taught us the dignity of the forgotten!

However, most of our daughters will do it anonymously as we are doing it - - one carpool at a time, one box of macaroni and cheese at a time or one paycheck at a time. What we do in our homes is no less valid to God as what occurs in a public arena - holiness is not reserved to any single person, place or time. We can affect change in our world and God expects us to! I am grateful to the Holy Spirit that LFGC can be a part of it for your family - for as long as we are needed.

God Bless,
Rachel Watkins

1 comment:

christyv said...

Beautifully done Rachel. Many thanks!
Christy Volanski