Saturday, November 26, 2011

Take courage and Be a Man! (you too, ladies.)




Thus we are exhorted in the reading of Midday Prayer, which is taken from the book of Kings. The dying King David is exhorting the young King Solomon. But in placing this short reading in the Liturgy of the Hours, the Church is exhorting us to courage in obeying God and following His will.

What do politically correct or hyper-feminist women do with such a a reading? "Take courage and be a person!" doesn't have the same ring to it. Nor the same meaning. No woman should be offended at this verse. Men are physically stronger than we are. In addition--at least this is true of the men in my life--they have less of a tendency to cavil about doing something on petty grounds such as "it's too hot! it's too cold" it's raining, I don't want to get wet!"  No one tells little boys to dare each other to feats of daring or pain endurance. They like that kind of stuff by nature.

I know, I know, women have a different kind of strength that make them better able to endure long term hardships, childbirth, etc. But men still own the standard for sheer physical strength and willingness to fight.

In the liturgy, then, we women are being told to exercise a strength of virtue (you know the Latin root of virtue,don't you? it means manliness.) that mirrors the physical strength of men.

St. Teresa of Avila similarly exhorted her sisters: "I want you to be strong men!  If you do all that is in you the Lord will make you so manly that men themselves will be amazed."

Advent starts tonight. This reading is appropriate as we begin what is on the one hand, a season of penance (or at least, spiritual preparation), and also, especially for us women--A LOT OF HARD WORK. So ladies, let's not whine about making ten thousand cookies (of 8 varieties), purchasing 100 gifts, getting the house cleaned, making a wise man costume after being informed the night before it's needed, etc. etc. etc. Enter into the joy of it all and Be a man!


2 comments:

  1. I very much needed this. Normally, I'm thrilled about the Advent season, but with a newish baby in my arms I've just been feeling overwhelmed. But I'm ready to take the season like a man, thanks to your pep talk! Besides, this season isn't really about peace on earth or even peace in my home; it's about peace WITH God.

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  2. Well, wait a minute, Kate. Thomas is what, 3 months old? Don't go overboard on the man thing if you're still nursing around the clock. Or so say I, who have had newish babies during advent, let's see...four times. I mean, I'm glad I've inspired you, but...all cookies must be bar cookies unless someone else makes them, okay?

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