Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

May 11, 2009

Women of the East

I have already expressed to my sisters my great love for Our Holy Father. What I've never explained to you before is my great love for the people of the East, especially for the people of the Holy Land. And seriously, the women of the East -- how gorgeous are they!! And I think the veil, though controversial in today's society, can be so incredibly beautiful. One of my dear friends is a gorgeous Muslim woman from Lebanon who is just the most beautiful veiled woman. And she is happy to share with others her reasons for wearing the veil. I guess that's a conversation for another post...

I feel especially called to pray especially for the Muslims, Jews, and Christians in the Holy Land, and for peace in the Middle East and the surrounding regions. I myself will be spending the summer in North Africa (Tunisia) this summer studying the Arabic language and culture.

So, it should come as no surprise that I have been closely following Benedict XVI's trip to the Holy Land. I was so heartened by his Sunday homily (May 10) in Ammam, Jordan when the Holy Father highlighted the importance of women in reforming society. He explains:
The strong Christian families of these lands are a great legacy handed down from earlier generations. May today’s families be faithful to that impressive heritage, and never lack the material and moral assistance they need to carry out their irreplaceable role in service to society. An important aspect of your reflection during this Year of the Family has been the particular dignity, vocation and mission of women in God’s plan. How much the Church in these lands owes to the patient, loving and faithful witness of countless Christian mothers, religious Sisters, teachers, doctors and nurses! How much your society owes to all those women who in different and at times courageous ways have devoted their lives to building peace and fostering love! From the very first pages of the Bible, we see how man and woman, created in the image of God, are meant to complement one another as stewards of God’s gifts and partners in communicating his gift of life, both physical and spiritual, to our world. Sadly, this God-given dignity and role of women has not always been sufficiently understood and esteemed. The Church, and society as a whole, has come to realize how urgently we need what the late Pope John Paul II called the "prophetic charism" of women (cf. Mulieris Dignitatem, 29) as bearers of love, teachers of mercy and artisans of peace, bringing warmth and humanity to a world that all too often judges the value of a person by the cold criteria of usefulness and profit. By its public witness of respect for women, and its defence of the innate dignity of every human person, the Church in the Holy Land can make an important contribution to the advancement of a culture of true humanity and the building of the civilization of love.
Let us pray with the Holy Father for peace in the Holy Land, a peace that will be the foundation for 'building a civilization of love.' God bless the women of the East!

Photo found here.

1 comment:

Julian said...

This is SO beautiful. I love how specific your vocation is: to work with the subject of the people (especially women) in the East. It's truly a calling.

P.S. How much do you love the phrase "artisans of peace"?!?!

P.P.S. Don't you love how the pope's addresses to women are both universal but also unique the regions he is visiting? His trips to America, Africa, and the Holy Land all call us to do different (yet similiar) things for the cultures that we live in. Really cool.

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