St. Basil the Great on the Dignity of Women


“And God made human being according to his image.” “The [masc.] human being,” says the woman, “What does that have to do with me? The man came to be, for it does not say the [fem.] human being,” she says, “but by setting forth the [masc.] human being, it implies the masculine.” But that nobody may ignorantly ascribe the name of human only to the man, it adds, “Male and female he created them” [Gen. 1:27]. The woman also possesses creation according to the image of God, as indeed does the man. The natures are alike in honor, the virtues are equal, the struggles equal, the judgement alike. Let her not say, “I am weak.” The weakness is in the flesh, in the soul is the power. Since indeed that which is according to God’s image is of equal honor, let the virtue be of equal honor, the showing forth of good works. There is no excuse for one who wishes to allege that the body is weak. And why is it simply delicate? But through compassion it is vigorous in patient endurance and earnest in vigils. When has the nature of man been able to match the nature of woman in patiently passing through her own life? When has man been able to imitate the vigor of women in fastings, the love of toil in prayers, the abundance in tears, the readiness for good works?

I have seen a woman secretly committing good thefts, doing good works apart from her husband for the sake of her husband, for the sake of the household’s growth, for the sake of the children’s long life. She gives and hides it from her husband’s knowledge, distributing alms for his sake and concealing it from him. For since the Creator sees the things that are hidden, she does not make public her well-doing.

The good woman has that which is according to the image. Do not cling to the outer human being, it is molded [like clay]. The soul is placed within, under the coverings and the delicate body. Soul indeed is equal in honor to soul; in the coverings is the difference.

Therefore you have become like God through kindness, through the endurance of evil, through communion, through love for one another and love for brethren, being a hater of evil, dominating the passions of sin, that to you may belong the rule.

-St. Basil the Great, part 18, On the origin of humanity, discourse 1


Blogging Through Amoris Laetitia: The Dignity of Work


POPE-FRANCIS-familyOn Friday, Pope Francis released his latest Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love. I’m still working on it. It’s over 250 pages! But I’d like to comment on it as I go. Here is the first of what I predict will be 12 reflections.

Amoris-1-256x300Of course someone with the religious name of Dorothy Day would highlight first the importance stressed on the dignity of work.

“It is clear from the very first pages of the Bible that work is an essential part of human dignity…”

– 23, Amoris Laetitia

What, you may ask, does this have to do with family? Frankly, everything! It is through work that the family is provided for. Everyone in the family works in one way or another toward the good of the family.

When paid work is hard to come by, the family suffers.

When work becomes inordinately important, the family suffers.

When unpaid work is disparaged, the family suffers.

When work is given the dignity it is due regardless of whether the work is well-paid or flashy, the family prospers.

When work is held in balance with leisure and family time, the family prospers.

When the unemployed get the jobs they need, the family prospers.

Work is a very important topic to discuss when discussing the current state of the family and I’m glad to see it in this Apostolic Exhortation.

I love the fact that the exhortation itself warns against speed-reading:

“Consequently, I do not recommend a rushed reading of the text.”- 7, Amoris Laetitia

So, please take with a grain of salt anything you’ve read about this document over the weekend, especially by the secular press on the hunt for clicks and sensationalism.

blogging through AL