A reflection on womanhood :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

A reflection on womanhood

Maggie Lawson

Mary And Jesus by Petr Kratochvil (CC0 1.0)

"Certainly what God gave to Eve, He would not refuse His own Mother…"

Coming off of Mary’s month of May, and freshly venturing into June, there are countless lessons that we can learn from Our Mother, which seem too various to limit to one month. Bishop Fulton Sheen’s book, The World’s First Lover, offers an insightful understanding for Mary’s sinless nature.

First, he discusses her necessity of being, and then recognizes Mary as a part of the original goodness of mankind, symbolizing the state of womanhood before the fall.

He says: “There had to be some such creature as Mary – otherwise, God would have found no one in whom He could fittingly have taken His human origin. An honest politician seeking civic reforms looks about for honest assistants. The Son of God beginning a new creation searched for some of that Goodness which existed before sin took over. There would have been, in some minds, a doubt about the power of God if He had not shown special favor to the woman who was to be His Mother. Certainly what God gave to Eve, He would not refuse Hisown Mother.” (1)

Mary, embracing Christ through her fiat, symbolizes the self-surrender and obedience that Christ asks of every one of his creatures.

This is the essence of our feminine call, as epitomized in Mary’s submission. Her example paves the way for all woman, as Gertrud von le Fort states: “Woman’s most amazing achievement, which is charismatic, lies entirely within the boundaries of the feminine, along the line of mere cooperation, along the path of Mary.” (2) She mysteriously is the essence of motherhood and virginity, giving women the not only the ultimate example of acceptance and receptivity, but also a higher call to holy womanhood; for as Leon Bloy says: “The holier a woman is, the more she is a woman.” (3)

Mary, as our leader in womanhood, not only exemplifies femininity and motherhood, but also constitutes the pathway to our salvation through obedience.

I am the Mother of fair love, of fear, of knowledge, and of holy hope. Come to me, you who desire me, and eat your fill of my produce. For the remembrance of me is sweeter than honey and my inheritance sweeter than the honeycomb. (Sirach 24:19-20)


(1)The World’s First Lover, Bishop Fulton Sheen

(2) The Eternal Woman: The Timeless Meaning of the Feminine, Gertrud von le Fort. pg.35

(3)Leon Bloy

Topics: Saints , Scripture

Maggie Lawson is a recent graduate of Ave Maria University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Theology. Maggie is a Colorado native, and is interested in writing about current issues, Catholicism, and politics.

View all articles by Maggie Lawson

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