I am Woman
Society has objectified the woman while still claiming to encourage her to live freely. The freedom projected, however, is a false freedom. For example, women are shown almost nude in advertisements to show a sex appeal to the viewer. It isn’t the clothes, the perfumes, the shoes, or the lingerie that are coveted, but it is her. Many women can now ‘take control’ of their own fertility and abuse it as much as they desire in order to live ‘freely’, or ‘safely’. Is freedom to be associated with good looks, sex, and power over nature? And in this kind of freedom, can we find the definition for what it means to actually be woman?
Lately, I have been thinking about what it means to be a woman. Some might say that it means knowing if your soul is feminine. To others it lies solely in the body. To others it’s just a social construct and we can be whatever gender we want to be depending on where our sexual urges pull us to or push us from. None of these statements are true. It is in the beginning that we can find the truth. We need only to read Genesis to see how things really began in terms of our sexuality.
Genesis 2:18-25 is a powerful demonstration of beauty. God has just created the universe, earth, light, and life. He creates man, and when He sees that man shouldn’t be on his own, He creates animals for the man to name. It’s not enough though. Man has a longing for something greater. This greater something is Woman. Woman was created last, and she was created last because she is the pinnacle of creation, and she is to be loved and desired in a holy way. Women truly were the last to be created not because they were the least, but because they were to be loved and cherished. She was fashioned from man’s rib, close to his heart and to be protected. When man first saw her, he instantly knew that she was what was missing from his life.
Things take a turn for the worse, though. Satan attacks her first. He tricks her to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, and man, who was also there, doesn’t do anything to stop it. In the end, they lose their innocence, and there we see the first instance of sin, shame, and the ultimate fall of man. While the woman will desire for her husband, childbirth will now be painful. There will now be enmity between woman and Satan, between his offspring and hers.
Woman does become new and changed. This change is in Mary. Mary is the new Eve. She is the Immaculate Conception, born without sin. She is the ultimate woman. She is true in love, in all virtues, and in her devotion to all that is good. Her perfection was planned. Only a perfect being could be the Mother of our Savior. As followers of Christ, we must imitate the virtues of His mother, Our Lady, and with her aid, we can be better children of God.
Sadly, women are targets in these times. Since the fall, we’ve had it hard. Labor pains, attacks on our sexuality, and attempts to take away what makes us women in the first place fill our history. Sin attacks woman with unrelenting force. Pornography uses women as tools and sends countless souls in a downward spiral. Birth Control and abortion allow women to have the feeling of being a master of themselves, but actually enslave them to fear and sin. By many, the gift of motherhood is seen as a burden, as something that should be avoided until it is easy or convenient. Society demeans motherhood as an undesirable burden, and tells women that if we don’t want it, it can be disposed of the as soon as the opportunity should present itself. People will fight for the ‘right’ to not be mothers. Motherhood, however, be it physical or spiritual, is a gift, and we must be open to accept it lovingly and with gratitude.
Physically, we are built for motherhood. Within our bodies, thanks to God’s creative genius, we are able to have life grow within us, be delivered through us, and be fed from us. How amazing is that! We are given such an amazing and beautiful part of God’s plan. The woman’s body is meant to bring things close. It is meant to care, nurture, cradle, and soothe. We can see this when a mother sees her baby for the first time after they are born. When she holds that baby close for the first time and sees what has been within her for 9 months is there in her arms, looking back at her, it is enough to make anyone cry with joy.
The issue of a soul is one that is so incredibly flawed in our world today. So many see the soul as something that is trapped within a body, that it is possible to be a woman with a man’s soul or vice versa. This is false. With the creation of our unique bodies is the attached unique soul. The body is a reflection of the soul. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
“In Sacred Scripture, the term “soul” often refers to human life or the entire human person. But “soul” also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him, that by which he is most especially in God’s image: “soul” signifies the spiritual principle in man.
The human body shares in the dignity of “the image of God”: it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit:Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day.
The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the “form” of the body: i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.”
( CCC 363-365)
Essentially, the body and the soul are completely unified. “Man and woman, He created them”, and He makes no mistake in forming us as Man or Woman. To assume that there was a mistake instantly points the finger at God saying that He made a mistake. This, of course, is impossible.
Sin attempts to separate us from God. He wants more than anything to take us away from him to feed his own hatred. Attacking our sexuality is the easiest way. Lust and envy are the obvious examples. Satan really, truly wants to distort our already natural beauty and replace it with something else. Sin muddies our beauty. True beauty is only found when we allow Christ to form it within us.
We must glorify God through our bodies, through our hearts and minds, and be thankful for his love and mercy when we fall. Only He can raise us up. To be a woman is to be fully created as a woman. My soul, my mind, and my body are all feminine. My body is female, therefore every part of me is female and uniquely my own, formed by God and made to love God. He formed woman to love Him and to love man and be a companion, an Ezer Kenegdo, which means ‘help meet’ or ‘counterpart’. We must pray to him to help us in the discernment of our vocations, be it the single life, the married life, or the religious life, so that we can love Him better. We must seek Christ so that we can know the will of God. We must come to Him as we are, and offer it all up to Him.
Posted on July 6, 2013, in abortion, Beauty, Blessed Virgin Mary, Catechism, Catholic, child, contraception, family, Love, lust, marriage, mother, Pornography, Sexuality, Vocations and tagged Abortion, Blessed Virgin Mary, gender, love, motherhood, sexuality, soul, virtue, women. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.