I was taught from a very young age that you either loved Jesus and did what he said and would go to heaven, otherwise you would go to hell; there was no middle ground. I struggled with this from an early age because it made me think I had to be perfect, even though Jesus was the only perfect human.
In the summer of 2004 I toured Europe. The Catholic churches, art, and beauty called to my artistic soul. I had no idea that boarding a train to Rome would start my headlong fall into the Catholic Church. But it wasn’t Rome that pushed me there. I met a guy. A sandy haired, enthusiastic, charismatic guy. The first thing he asked me was “are you Catholic?” That’s a pretty lousy pick up line, but it still worked.
Growing up in Baptist churches where the Bible was read regularly, I was always confused by the many stories of Jesus giving blind men their sight or lepers being instantly healed as a sign of their faith. I’d often hear that illness and disability were a punishment for sin and that real faith could cure disease.
Femininity is not an affinity for pink, puppies, or frills and the like. Authentic femininity is quite something to behold. It pierces through a world that is thick in efficiency, that has forgotten the dignity possessed by every person.
I definitely believe women make unique contributions to family and society, but I also think the Church has a long way to go in communicating the implications of this reality. What does it really mean to be a woman in today’s world? What does it mean to be a man? The Church seems to be in the process of articulating answers to these questions in light of today’s gender-related issues.