On December 5, 2009, Michele Coldiron of the CCWF gave a talk in Oakland, California on Life, Truth and the Feminine Genius - a report on modern Feminism. The following is an excerpt. Stay tuned to this blog for additional serials. . .
"In transforming culture so that it supports LIFE, women occupy a place in thought and action which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a "new feminism" which rejects the temptation of imitating models of 'male domination', in order to acknowledge and affirm the TRUE GENIUS in every aspect of the life of society." (JP II Evangelium Vitae, March 25, 1995)
This document is the call to action for the New Feminism, of which OSV recently labelled CCWF a "model of grassroots New Feminism". The theme of this talk is encapsulated in the following phrase: "Christ is Truth and Christ gives us life and and through our feminine genius we can bring others to Life through Truth."
I want to take a few minutes first and tell you who I am and let you know that I am on a learning curve as well as you and that together we can change the culture in this Bay Area to a culture of life. Why? Because God wants it, and is bringing to bear the means to achieve it, through the Holy Spirit in the New Evangelization. Authentic Feminism is a very important part of this. These last few decades have sorely lacked in understanding of our faith and the beauty that lies in its heart, the beauty that is the Word of Christ. I am certainly a product of this. Together, by learning the truth of the Church and spreading that Truth, we will be able to turn the culture back to life.
Earlier in 2004 I joined a group of women as we debated ways to put on a conference for women about who women are called to be. I had never heard the word Mulieris Dignitatem until that time. Perhaps I was not as astute a Catholic as I could have been, but I was the product of new math, new English and new religion and in the era our children grew up in things were no better. The siren song of the evangelical movement through the 80's and 90's rang strong in my ears, but to leave such a sick child as was the Catholic Church I knew would have been plain wrong, especially in my witness to my kids. I knew there was truth in the Roman Catholic Church, the truth that is Christ. Where was Christ? His Truth was battered and bleeding, lying on a roadside waiting for the Good Samaritan. And who is the Good Sam? You and I, in the New Evangelization are the Samaritans who have been called to rebuild the Church.
Truth is Christ. I am the way and the truth and the life, He said. Come, follow me, and I will give you an abundant life. These are not just words. There is a reality to them, and the peace that comes from knowing Christ and the joy that percolates in my heart gives me the courage to go out and try to imbue in everyone I meet that same love. For God is love.
God created us out of love, and he created us for love. When we do love, in an unselfish way, with no expectation of a return or a profit, God blesses us. He blessed me and he will bless each and every one of you and your children and your friends if you follow in his footsteps, whether or not you think you are. This is mercy for God is also mercy. His love and his mercy are inextricably intertwined – one cannot exist without the other, and the blessings that come from this knowledge – the ability to forgive over and over and over – is as close to knowing heaven on earth as we on this side of life can get. This is the genius of women – born to relate and born to forgive as Christ did and it is the essence of authentic feminism.
So you see, I have laid a bit of a groundwork – in the next excerpt I will look at the feminist movement in its beginnings, and then juxtapose that to the call Christians have to right the concept of the feminine person.