Allie Livingston
August 1, 2017
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Allie Livingston
August 1, 2017
0

The World Needs Your Femininity

+JMJ+

The World Needs Your Femininity

“The world does not need what women have. It needs what women are.” Edith Stein

Ladies, the world is thirsting for your femininity. Our culture’s attempt to dive into the mystery that is womanhood has led to an understanding of femininity that is deeply impoverished.

You are a gift, and both our culture and the Church are in dire need of you.

We can learn about the gift we are and the purpose of our existence through the beloved Pope St. John Paul II, and the many ways he reverenced and loved women. He often used the phrase “feminine genius,” to describe the unique mystique women possess. The feminine soul is primarily receptive, and has an ability to nurture and share life with the world. The woman has a great capacity to see good and invite others to flourish. This feminine genius is precisely the characteristics that make a woman an individual. I have heard it said that when John Paul was questioned what “genius” was, he would appear astounded and respond “…..You don’t see it?”

The sad thing is we don’t see it. We don’t see it, because we are preoccupied. Whether with deciding on a career path, the number on the scale, our relationship status, comparing ourselves to other women, the number of likes we receive on Instagram, or proving we are feminine–y’all, we have forgotten who we are.

From the beginning we were called woman. Imprinted in our bodies and our souls is the unique gift of femininity. But, this Culture of Death that we are living in attempts to kill, steal, and destroy the life that is within us, both physically and spiritually. We must not be numbed to this reality. There is a battle going on for our body, our heart, our mind, and our soul. We need renewed strength to enter this spiritual battle and fight effectively. Now, more than ever, we need to be bold in recognizing and reclaiming who we are and Whose we are.

In order to truly understand what it means to be woman, we must go back to the beginning, prior to the Fall.

So, let’s briefly run through our origin. Man is created in the image and likeness of God. Adam (Man) explores creation searching for something, or rather someone, to love. God reminds Adam it is not good for him to be alone, and promises to make a helper fit for Adam. He puts Adam into a deep sleep, and from man’s rib, woman is created. Adam wakes to Eve and joyfully shouts, “AT LAST!” Adam encounters God through the gift of Eve. Adam discovers that he was made to love.

Through the gift of Eve, Adam was able to have a deeper understanding of who he was and his call to be a sincere gift. Woman was an invitation for man to love.

This is one of the most essential truths for us, women, to understand. Adam better understood himself and his whole purpose in light of woman. Likewise, we are called to create space that reveals to others they are known and loved. The world is thirsting for our love, because, in all honesty, the majority of this world does not know Love.

By the nature of our bodies, we are a place or a house, if you will, for human life to grow and be nurtured. To be a woman is to be a home. Homes are meant to be a safe place that shelter people as

they journey through their lives. Similarly, our hearts should be a refuge for others to experience the freedom and love they need to become holy men and women. Souls who encounter a woman authentically living out her femininity will become richer by her very presence.

We can witness the fulfillment of feminine virtue as we turn our eyes to Our Lady, the model of our identity. We need more women who humbly proclaim, “My soul magnifies the Lord” (Luke 1:46), and strive for the same interior posture of receptivity that she remained in. When we live out her words, “Let it be done unto me” (Luke 1:38), we open wide our hearts for the Lord to use us to better His world. The course of salvation history was changed by the “yes” of a woman, and we, too, are being invited to change the course of the current history by our “yes”.

It’s important to remember that Our Lady received Christ in her heart before she received Him in her womb. Before we can bear Christ to the world, we have to allow him to reside in our hearts. We have inherent, distinct gifts that have power to imbue beauty into the world, but we must recognize that this uniqueness flows from the heart of a Father who calls us His own. For us to embrace who we are, we must be in relationship with the One who created us this way. We have to lead and love from knowing we are His daughters. We are called to radiate God’s love, but we cannot build a civilization of love without Him, who is Love (1 John 4:8), at the center of who we are.

I know this to be true in my own life. In my earlier years of high school, I spent a lot of time seeking validation and acceptance through the things that I invested my time and energy in, the people I hung out with, and even through the way that I dressed. I encountered Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament as a junior in high school, and I knew I was made for more than the life that I was living. Naturally, certain aspects of my life began to change as I allowed Jesus the space to heal and transform me. One thing specific was my clothing choices. I grew to better understand the gift that I am and the beauty that is the woman’s body, and this knowledge was now reflected in the way that I dressed.

A specific instance, a few years later, confirmed that Jesus was indeed taking root in my heart and was allowing me to be used as His tiny vessel of love. I was on retreat, about to sit down to eat lunch, when a young man walk passed me said, “Thank you for your skirt!” I immediately thought, “What did he just say? … Thank you for your skirt?” So, I asked him what he had said, to which he responded, “Thank you for your skirt. Your modesty is beautiful!” And for the first time, I felt seen. In all of these years of trying to be acknowledged, I realized I had just been looked at or merely glanced at; but this feeling of being seen, not as an object to be used, but as a human person made for authentic love, was empowering. Because Jesus is present in my heart, my body and my soul are now able to be an icon of His love rather than the distraction that they once were. When we allow Jesus to show us who we are, we, too, have the incredible gift of showing other people who He is and who they are.

When we understand who we are, our very presence will radiate a Truth to the world. Ladies, today I invite you to pour your gifts into the world! Together, let us be a holy force that invites a Culture of Life to arise! The Power is within, if we have the humility and courage to receive and respond.

“Some women fear the fire. Some women become it.” R.H. Sin

You are good. You are loved. You are beautiful.

– Brandi Bellard