Imagine a man. He notices a woman. This woman is tired, overwhelmed, grief- stricken, and alone. She’s been used. She’s been tossed aside. Her dignity has been stripped away. Something stirs within the man who gazes at this woman.
He says, “You have ravished my heart my sister, my bride” (Song of Songs 4). He knows that she is worth so much more.
Suddenly, other men begin to surround her again. They pass money back and forth, vying for a turn with her. They try to offer her glittery things. They try to bribe her with charms and compliments. They try to guess who will get her first or second or third. They love her body but do not know that she is worth so much more.
The man who sees this transpire has had enough. He cannot stand how they are treating her. They treat her like she is a marketplace when really she is something sacred. He cries as he goes to clear them away, “Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace” (John 2:13-22).
The men look surprised. They don’t believe she is worth that much, but they know this man speaks with authority. They walk away as he begins to help her up.
He tells her now, “You must stand fast with courage, for I have paid the ultimate price for this temple that is you.”
She realizes that she has nothing to give him in return but the dirt in her hands. She feels that all she has to offer is worthless. Will he take her pathetic gift?
She lifts her hands to him.
He wipes them off and smiles. He says, “Thank you,” and pulls her up onto her feet, makes sure that she has her balance, and informs her inner spirit that authentic love, that which lends “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control,” stands fast (Galatians 5:22-23).
She decides that she wants to give authentic love to her children and to the world, so she listens.
STANDING FAST, A DISCERNMENT TO FIND WHAT IS AUTHENTIC
It means to take the initiative and to make a resolution to stand fast in your own personal, feminine dignity. It is not easy to be an authentic woman. For this undertaking, a woman will need both feet firmly planted in the ground, which requires determination, integrity, strength, and courage.
Stand fast–have courage and be committed in motherhood, sisterhood, and daughterhood.
- Hearts know through diligent prayer what it means to be a good mother–one who accepts love and life, who nourishes and comforts life, not only the lives of our own children but also the lives of other people as well (Mary was there from beginning to end, accepting and nourishing Jesus, comforting Him in His passion).
- Hearts know through courageous prayer what it means to be a good sister–one who listens, encourages, and recommends, not only our real sisters but also our peers. (Mary intercedes when and wherever it is necessary, John 2).
- Hearts search for authentic wisdom through humble prayer as would a determined daughter. (Mary observed these things [about Jesus] and kept them in her heart; she listened to Elizabeth, the Prophetess Anna, and Simeon in Luke 1 and 2). She listened so that she could teach as a Mother.
Mary, our feminine model for standing fast, who held Jesus in her body, became the first temple of His flesh. She stood fast in authentic womanhood, being a devoted daughter, sister, and mother. Like her, all women can be temples, too.
STANDING FAST is the first armor of God that an authentic woman needs—authentic feminine nature contains profound dignity, a beauty worthy of expression, and has the potential to share tremendous gifts, gifts of the Spirit. I ask for this first piece armament, standing fast, from THE DIVINE MAN so that I can express truly beautiful womanhood in this battle that is shared by HIM. HE knows I have the potential; he wonders if I agree.
O good Jesus, most passionate and pure,
grant that I may hear and follow,
be sober in my joy,
and hopeful in my sorrow,
and with Thy love and mercy,
amend and sow.
Suggested Mentors: Mary, the Mother of God, and St. Paul