There is a deep chasm today between the cultural understanding of woman and the Church’s model of the ideal woman, the Virgin Mary. The gap between the two is so wide that it is almost laughable to suggest in secular circles that Mary isn’t an obstacle but a guide to true happiness. How, then, can we narrow this gulf? How can we recapture Mary as a model?
We women appreciate that others work hard to provide us new selections every season. What we may not realize, however, is that the marketplace of ideas works like the fashion industry. Instead of elite designers, the political and social elite—the matriarchy—provide the parameters about what we think. Instead of skirt lengths and eye-shadow hues, they suggest intellectual trends that we scarcely know are being dictated to us through every possible avenue, from women’s magazines to popular daytime television and, especially, mainstream media.
When pro-abortion rhetoric is replaced with pro-slavery concepts, it becomes quite clear that the arguments simply don’t hold water. Who among us would believe that you can both be for Black people and yet somehow think slavery is a good thing? And yet, millions each day are convinced that it is somehow okay to be pro-child and pro-choice while totally missing the logical inconsistency.
While it is tough to overlook real character flaws in men, a missing piece from these discussions is any consideration of the dramatic changes that have taken place in women over the last five decades. Perhaps females have become less marriageable? Women today are supposed to “be bold and assertive,” but could all this girl-power actually undermine our best efforts at finding marital bliss?
Treating the symptoms and not the cause, sadly, is all too common. There is an ongoing discussion about how to best help those with same-sex attraction (SSA). The popular consensus—even among many in the Church today—seems to be that the best thing to do is to accept them, let them live out their passions, and celebrate their diversity. Their lives are just like those of heterosexuals, or so the argument goes. What this position requires, however, it to overlook so many symptoms—depression, substance abuse, porn addiction, suicide, cancer—as well as the underlying cause.
The message, in a nutshell, is that Mary as our spiritual mother is anxious to help us with any problem, particularly through devotion to the rosary. While the book obviously has a lot more to it than that, it really boils down to something very simple. Like the handful of rocks that David picked up from the dirt to use against Goliath, the rosary is a weapon—a powerful weapon.
There is a great deal of buzz about this book and deservedly so. The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization in Crisis is a gorgeous book, both inside and out. (Seriously, online images cannot do the cover justice!) I heartily recommend picking up a copy and allowing the Lord to renew the fire to live your vocation.
In case we needed further evidence of how entrenched the antimary is, the recent news cycle features Planned Parenthood abortionists laughing about dismembering babies while Glamour Magazine gives instructions for DIY abortion pills that pair nicely with Chardonnay. (Okay, they didn’t add the wine, but it isn’t a stretch). Truly our zeitgeist is captivated (or captured) with distinctive antimary markings. This unprecedented movement of destruction, where a culture is led by female vice, not male brute force, has bled into every area of our culture — with no man, women, child (or fetus) left untouched.
To put Protestants at ease right way: Catholics do not worship Mary. Period. We venerate her because as the Mother of Jesus, Christ came to us through her. God could have done it any way he wanted, and yet this was how he chose to come to us. It is only fitting then, that the Mother should help us return to her Son.
The saga of the Charging Bull and the Fearless Girl is back in the news. It seems New York sculptor Alex Gardega objected to feminists’ appropriating the Wall Street icon. So he added something: a pug, relieving itself on the girl.
I couldn’t put my finger on it. But something about the Fearless Girl statue didn’t sit well with me. Social media fawned over the diminutive addition that bravely stood in front of Charging Bull in New York’s financial district. But the statue seemed like a cheap way to score political points. My cynicism grew the more I considered her underlying message.
There’s been a lot of buzz lately about Christian “options,” in the vein of Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option. The publication of The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization in Crisis during May, a month traditionally dedicated to Mary, adds to that conversation. The book might focus that conversation even further on the Incarnation, as well as the promises and mandates that Christ’s death and Resurrection present to Christians.
With the 100-year-anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima quickly approaching, many are wondering if it will be more than a simple anniversary, but that it might be connected to the world events we are watching unfold. The Fatima story is one that fascinates the mind and (hopefully) moves the heart, but there is much about it that remains unfinished.
How can Christians best deal with post-Christian America?
Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option is a book-long answer to that question. Dreher’s take is that St. Benedict offers a model that Christians can adopt to preserve their faith and culture in a world vastly hostile to it.