Edith Stein on the Woman’s Soul

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“Just so, woman’s soul is designed to be subordinate to man in obedience and support; it is also fashioned to be shelter in which other souls may unfold.

“The soul of woman must therefore be expansive and open to all human beings; it must bequiet so that no small weak flame will be extinguished by stormy winds; warm so as to not benumb fragile buds; clear, so that no vermin will settle in dark corners and recesses; self-contained, so that no invasions from without can imperil the inner life; empty of itself, in order that extraneous life may have room in it; finally, mistress of itself and also of its body, so that the entire person is readily at the disposal of every call.”

-Edith Stein, Fundamental Principles of Women’s Education

I’ve noticed that you have all really liked my quotes from Edith Stein. I am pleased to announce that our next Ladies Night Out will feature a presentation by Anne Costa on Edith Stein!!!! 
 
Please join us on April 7th @ 7 PM at Stein’s Restaurant in Camillus!!! 
 
Please RSVP with Rita Condon at elizabethministryrita@gmail.com or (315) 673-9458.
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Believe Reflections: God Moments


A couple weeks ago, nearly 75 women came together at Two Talls Too to listen to Andrea L. Blair, DMHG, talk about her experiences with cancer and divorce. Her talk inspired a number of reflections from me, this being the third.

As I told you about last week, Mrs. Blair shared with us a moving story of a time when she heard the voice of God. She heard a voice outside of her self call her, “My daughter, My precious, My child.” Her voice cracked and tears fell as she told us about this experience. This was a life changing moment for her. This experience led to her suffix, DMHG, Daughter of the Most High God.

This makes me ask two (okay, maybe 3) questions, the second (and third) of which I’ll ask this week:


Don’t we all have God moments? Why are we so reluctant to share them?

Yes, Mrs. Blair’s experiences really touched her. It was exactly what she needed at the time, but don’t we all have such experiences? Let me share a couple of mine:

I’m a convert to the Catholic Church. I was a college student at the time. I was at home visiting my family for Thanksgiving about a month before I was scheduled to be baptized Catholic. For days I had been praying for God to give me a sign that I was on the right track. I knew that being initiated into the Catholic Church was a big deal and it was a decision I would never be able to take back. 

One day I was in the pew before Mass asking yet again for a sign. Then, a voice spoke to me. It was definitely outside of myself, I wasn’t making up these words myself. It said essentially that if He didn’t want me to be Catholic, He wouldn’t have put the people in my life who were so influential in my conversion. I would have never met my new Catholic friends if God didn’t want me to be Catholic. That was the sign I needed. 

But God moments don’t have to be that dramatic. That is the only time in my life I have ever heard a voice. It can be as simple as laying in bed with your child. 

Baby asleep in his own bed, not in his parents’ bed. Hint, hint.
One night a few months ago, my son and I were in our bed waiting for my husband to get done with whatever video game he was working on and join us. My son rolled around until he fell asleep. I was in one of those moods where I didn’t feel like doing anything. I didn’t want to read. I just wanted my husband to get his butt in bed so we could turn off the light and I could go to sleep. In the silence of the room, I could feel everything that was going on. I was aware of my breathing. I could feel my heartbeat and my son’s heartbeat. 

I could feel a heartbeat separate from ours. It was deeper and stronger. I felt like it must be the heartbeat of the Earth. It made me think about how interconnected we all are. It reminded me of all those paintings of Mary with all of the people of the Earth protected underneath her cloak. Ultimately, it made me think about the Sacred Heart. 



So, this leads me to my second question. Why was it so difficult for me to share with you my stories? In my last blog, it took me months to get up the courage to post my story of my experience with the devil. Why was that so hard? Why don’t we share these stories all of the time?

Maybe we are afraid people will think we’re nuts? We are taught that only things that are tangible and measurable are real. But that’s unreasonable. There’s a term for that, “scientism” and it’s been denounced by popes for generations. It’s the opposite extreme of Bible literalism, and the Truth is actually somewhere in between. In some sense, these God moments are more real than our everyday life and we need to take comfort in them and “comfort others with the comfort we have been given” (2 Corinthians 1:4).

Maybe we’re also afraid of coming across as prideful? “Look at me, I’m special. God talked to me. Nanny-nanny-boo-boo!” I still think if we were all honest with ourselves and with each other, we would discover that each and every one of us has had a least one God moment in our lives. God is always there and He cares about us deeply, why wouldn’t He at least attempt to communicate with us all every once in a while? We might not always be listening, but I’m sure He’s almost always talking.
I guess you need to test the spirits, but that’s a post for another time. (Source)

All readers: You are welcome to join us for the next Ladies Night Out, Food and Faith! Stay tuned. We have them every other month on a Monday evening. I’ll be posting the details once we have them. There will be an announcement very soon about who will be speaking in April!!!


Believe Reflections: "My Daughter, My Precious, My Child"

A couple weeks ago, nearly 75 women came together at Two Talls Too to listen to Andrea L. Blair, DMHG, talk about her experiences with cancer and divorce. Her talk inspired a number of reflections from me, this being the second.

“My Daughter, My Precious, My Child”

Mrs. Blair shared with us a moving story of a time when she heard the voice of God. She heard a voice outside of her self call her, “My daughter, My precious, My child.” Her voice cracked and tears fell as she told us about this experience. This was a life changing moment for her. This experience led to her suffix, DMHG, Daughter of the Most High God.

This makes me ask two questions, the first of which I’ll ask this week.

Why can’t we consider ourselves God’s daughters?

We know God loves us (John 3:16). We know we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27). Why is it so hard to claim that for ourselves personally? I can think of only three answers: sin, self-esteem, and suffering.

Sin

One meaning of the word “sin” is to “miss the mark.” Now, who has never made a mistake? I don’t think such a person exists. And God will always take us back. He rejoices in taking us back (Luke 15:7). As Catholics, we have a very tangible tool in which we can come back to God. We can talk to the priest, acting in the place of Christ, and receive absolution. We can even feel his hands on our head, if we choose to confess face to face with the priest. Here are a couple short videos from a great website, Busted Halo, that discuss issues with going to confession and how to do it:

Source


Self-esteem

We are told by the media all of the time: “You are not pretty enough,” “You are not smart enough,” “You are not rich enough.” It’s hard to keep in mind what God says: “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) This video made the rounds on social media a couple months ago, but it might be worth another visit. This is a video of real women being photoshopped and their surprising reactions:

Suffering

Sometimes I just don’t feel like a beloved daughter of God. I don’t think I’m alone. Things happen in life and we wonder, “Where was God?” I can’t give you a magical answer. It’s one of those questions each and every believer has to answer for themselves. My answer won’t necessarily work for you. Your answer probably won’t work for me.

All I can do is offer examples. A quote I take comfort in is: “God has a will in everything, but not everything is His will.” A lot of the world’s suffering boils down to somebody’s mistake or somebody’s sin. My suffering is not God’s fault, but God can be present with me in my suffering.

Another example I’ve heard a lot over the years, even though I don’t find much comfort in it personally, isn’t really an answer at all. It’s advice to lift up our suffering to the Lord. Some people find a lot of comfort in uniting their suffering with the suffering Christ endured on the cross.

Our speaker, Mrs. Blair, I think would take comfort in the opposite of my quote above. Some people can definitely take comfort in the belief that everything happens for a reason and God is ultimately in control.

Source

All readers: You are welcome to join us for the next Ladies Night Out, Food and Faith! Stay tuned. We have them every other month on a Monday evening. I’ll be posting the details once we have them.

Believe Reflections: What is Love?

Last Monday, nearly 75 women came together at Two Talls Too to listen to Andrea L. Blair, DMHG, talk about her experiences with cancer and divorce. Her talk inspired a number of reflections from me, this being the first.

What is love?

Her husband came home after a long night of drinking and told her he wanted a divorce. He said, “I just don’t feel anything when I look at you anymore.”

This really makes me angry. Love is not a feeling. Far too many people just don’t understand that.

Anyone who has been married or in a long-term relationship can tell you, you don’t always feel that warm fuzzy feeling when you are with your significant other. Frankly, that warm fuzzy feeling has a name and it is not love. It is lust. Love is so much more than that.

Primarily, love is a decision. You have to decide to stand by your significant other through thick and thin. You have to decide to treat your loved one with affection.

Now, that might not sound all that romantic. What is romantic about a decision? What about the candle-light dinners? Later this week, we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. The average person celebrating Valentine’s Day will be spending almost 134 dollars on their loved one. We are told by the greeting card industry that we have to give cards to everyone. Men, in particular, are told that if they really love the special woman in his life, he would give her diamonds.

I would ask everyone, instead of thinking about the gifts and the sex, think about real love. Think about sticking with that one person for the rest of your life. Think about how Jesus gave us an example of real love in dying for us. Real love is sacrificial love.

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” 

– John 15:13

This isn’t the first time I’ve ranted about this topic. I wrote about it for teens at YOUCATholic.com here.

Source.

You are welcome to join us for the next Ladies Night Out, Food and Faith. Stay tuned. We have them every other month on a Monday evening. I’ll be posting the details once we have them.