On the wall in my living room is a framed poster of St. John Paul II, there are tickets to the Mass in Central Park and a t-shirt from being “ushers” in Yonkers. In the cabinet is a bottle of water blessed by him at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers. My husband saw the helicopter land, and was on the field when the Holy Father spoke that day. The next day Central Park was shrouded in cloud cover, that cleared shortly after everyone received the Eucharist.
During the Rite of Christian Initiation one of the other candidates gave me a copy of Mulieris Dignatatem, thank you Ruth. PJ’s pancake house in Princeton was a great place for breakfast and sharing what brought us to this moment in our lives where we were preparing for the Easter Vigil and reception into the Church. It would be a few years before I actually read On the Dignity and Vocation of Women however what a beautiful gift to women. This completely shifted my understanding of so many things. In the last couple of years I’ve learned more about the women we remember from the early Church, Perpetua and Felicity in particular and now I’m reading, among others, St Teresa of Avila, and rereading St. Therese of Lisieux and looking forward to reading St Catherine of Siena and St Hildegard of Bingen, all Doctors of the Church.
And then there is St Zelie Martin, St. Theresa’s mom, an astute business woman and we hear of Lydia in the Acts of the Apostles, seller of purple (the color of royalty in part because it was so difficult to make) and realize more and more the rich beauty of the Church, that, as St John Paul II puts it, the feminine genius is a gift to the Church one that is recognized from her beginnings.
I am keenly aware of how distorted and disproportionate this can look particularly in light of my own struggles as a businesswoman. I’m keenly aware that some of this is life happening, my own struggle with imposter syndrome and well, I’ll just say thinking less of myself as a woman and what I can bring both to the Church and to the world. I’ve also made choices in the last couple of years for my own family, meaning making the choice to be present here for personal reasons. And I have an annoying tendency of pulling into myself when things get stressful. Pray for me friends. Pray for me.
I am grateful to be a woman in the Church at this time. Is it easy, no. However I do see some really beautiful things. In a few weeks Our Lady of Hot Messes is being released and I couldn’t be happier for Leticia Ochoa Adams. The cover art is off the hook and I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing this book. Also friends, let’s support Leticia and buy the book. It’s going to be good. It’s going to be a hard read. Supporting her through buying the book and booking her as a speaker is a good thing.
Watching Leticia give witness to the messiness of life is a call to be a lot more open to the struggle of life. While I don’t paint a super rosy picture of how sweet life is, I don’t always share what’s going on. And there are somethings I’m not able to share because I’m not the only person involved and sharing their story isn’t mine to do.
I gotta tell ya that regular Confession and Spiritual direction are hard. Whew. It’s so worth going though. So Worth It.
And having either a cold or cedar fever has been so fun this last week. I love having open windows and now i’m not so sure this is a good idea. Particularly when I’m getting ready to go to Quilt Market and Festival. I have presentations to work on and this week yikes! Blech.
Happy Feast Day and God bless you,