Created to Relate!

The Feminine Genius. Pope St. John Paul II used a very interesting phrase when referring to the unique gifts, rights and dignity of all women, that of the “feminine genius”. But what does this mysterious phrase mean and what are the divine gifts bestowed upon each and every woman made in the very image of God? Today’s virtual pilgrimage will attempt to search for answers and also provide a personal invitation for you, or the important women in your life, to learn, first hand, about the feminine genius at work in W.I.N.E. (women in the new evangelization). W.I.N.E. is a national woman’s movement which helps women to grow spiritually, learn about the faith, and utilize their God given gifts to work in the Lord’s vineyard. Along the way, the women of W.I.N.E. develop a deeper relationship with Christ and other women who share a common love for the Lord. Continue reading as we further explore the “feminine genius” and how women are “Created To Relate,” (see the W.I.N.E. event flyer below).

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In Pope Saint John Paul II’s 1988 Apostolic Letter to women entitled, The Dignity of Woman, the spiritual leader of the world recognized and celebrated the beautiful design and unique vocation or mission of women. Referring to the “feminine genius”, John Paul II encouraged women to recognize their giftedness, fully engage, and offer their maternal comfort, support and love to a world in such desperate need of radical change or transformation. According to John Paul II, it is only when a woman loves sacrificially, in the true image of God, that she becomes fully alive. With her full dignity complete, she then becomes a true reflection of the love of Christ and a profound conduit of blessings to the community as a whole.

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Mary and Elizabeth at the Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem outside of Jerusalem. Located on the brick wall of the courtyard, just outside of the church, one finds over forty ceramic tablets bearing the Magnificat prayer in various languages from countries around the world.

As we search for the fullest understanding of the vocation of womanhood, we can turn to Mary, the Mother of God, as our ultimate role model. Pictured above, we find Mary and Elizabeth, both embodying the four crucial elements of the feminine genius: receptivity, sensitivity, generosity and maternity.

  • Receptivity: At the visitation, both Mary and Elizabeth exhibited feminine receptivity to life, which not only includes biological motherhood, but also its emotional and spiritual aspects as well. Mary, for her part, offered her humble submission to become the “theotokos” or “God bearer” for the world. Through her “fiat”, or freely given yes, she ultimately delivered the promised Offspring of God who “crushed the head of the serpent” and restored the full dignity of the human race, (Genesis 3:16). Upon her arrival at the house of Elizabeth, Mary sang the Lord’s praises (Magnificat) in recognition of the tremendous gift He had given to her and the entire world. Elizabeth, in return, recognized and received the blessings offered by Mary, “Blessed is the fruit of your womb,” (Genesis 1:42).

 

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The Wedding Church at Cana, built in 1901, sits atop the archaeological excavation site containing a 1st century synagogue and 4th century cross-shaped Christian Church. It is believed by many to be the wedding location mentioned in John 2:1-11, the site where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine.

 

  • Sensitivity is defined as the feminine discernment or alertness to the inner life and needs of others. The feminine ability to see with the heart, beyond the external, effectively exhibits God’s ability to meet the deepest needs of the human heart, mind and soul. Feminine sensitivity is beautifully demonstrated in the Gospel story  of the Wedding of Cana. There, we find Mary, fully aware of the needs of others, bringing these concerns to her Son for rectification. Son “they have no wine.” Jesus said in reply, “Woman, what has this to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” In response, Mary says to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you,” (John 2:3-5). Subsequently, Jesus performs His first miracle and turns the water into wine.
  • Generosity A woman’s heart is a generous heart. Generosity makes a woman attentive and responsive to the needs of her family, Church Parish, community and work associates. Welcoming a new life into the world is perhaps the best example of feminine generosity, however, there are many other aspects of feminine generosity on display in various Gospel accounts. An excellent example can be found in Martha and Mary’s constant care and concern for Jesus. In Mary and Martha’s example, contemporary women find a personal invitation to participate in the ongoing mission of Jesus. This is a mission of love, directed and guided by the orientation of the heart, for a generous and loving act of kindness can transform the world.
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The interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built atop Golgotha, which means Skull Place, where Jesus was crucified, (Matthew 27:32-38). Picture above is the location where Mary stood beneath her dying Son.

  • Maternity. In no other place is physical and spiritual motherhood on fuller display than at the foot of the Cross. There, we find a sorrowful mother offering her unconditional love and support to her dying Son, while simultaneously taking the lost disciple, John, as her own. When Christ said, “Woman behold your son, son behold your mother,” John, the Church and each of us gained a spiritual mother, (John 19:26). Filled with sorrow, love, hope and compassion, Mary became the ultimate symbol and living model of the “feminine genius”. She remains an eternal beacon of light reflecting the glory of God to a world in such desperate need of love. Each of us, as women, mothers, daughters, wives, and faithful Christians, are called to do the same.

To learn more about the “feminine genius” and God’s design for peace and joy, please join us at the Women, Wine and Wisdom Event detailed in the flyer above. Hope to see you there, but if not, please consider sharing this flyer and blog with all the special women in your life! Additionally, I suggest that you give each of them a great big hug as you tell them just how much you appreciate their “feminine genius.” I am quite sure that this gesture will simply make their day!

Closing 3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.

Eternal Father, I offer You, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the entire world.

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).

Jesus, I trust in You.

Please click on the link below to learn more about my non-for-profit company, The Healing Eyes of Mercy, make a donation for the people of Haiti, Rwanda, or the Holy Land, shop, or read about my upcoming book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. Thank you and God Bless!

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com

 

 

The Glory of Unanswered Prayers.

How do we find the peace, joy and hope of Christ amidst our prolonged, and often heartbreaking, unanswered prayers? Please join me on a virtual pilgrimage to Ein Karem, Israel, the location where Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth, as we search for reassurance and understanding. No passport necessary.

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The Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem, Israel.

Book Excerpt. Chapter Eighteen: A House Built on Rock. (The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. By: Karen Sheehy)

Remembering the darkness of her first marriage, the newlywed cherished every moment with her loving spouse. Realizing that God indeed had a wonderful plan for her life, she decided it was time to add a child to their family. She stopped her prescribed birth control pills, despite the risk of an endometriosis flare up, and embraced her plans with great hope. Aware of her probable infertility, she remained confident that God would send them the child of her dreams. Three months, six months and finally twelve months later, no gift of life was given. The wife, failing to remember the wisdom in asking, continued to impatiently plead for God’s divine intervention, wanting Him to provide all that she desired. How quickly she had fallen back into self-reliance, pride and arrogance towards her heavenly  Father. Heartbroken and angry at His silence, she turned to medical professionals for answers.

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On the facade of the upper church, one finds a beautiful mosaic depicting the Visitation, where Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth who was with child.

The Church of the Visitation, located just outside of Jerusalem in the city of Ein Karem, is believed to have been constructed by St. Helena, the mother of the first Christian Emperor, Constantine I. In 1937, the Franciscans purchased this ancient two-story church, and subsequently, excavated, restored, and expanded it to it’s current form. Tradition tells us that this holy site, built atop the home of Elizabeth and her husband, Zachariah, is where Mary, the mother of Jesus, greeted her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist. John, upon hearing the voice of Mary, leapt with joy in his mother’s womb. Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out, “Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb,” (Luke 1:41-42). In response, Mary recited her glorious song of praise to God, known today as the Magnificat, “God who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is his name, His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him, (Luke 1:49-50).

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Located on the brick wall of the courtyard, just outside of the church, one finds over forty ceramic tablets bearing the Magnificat prayer in various languages from countries around the world.

John the Baptist was born through the intercession of God to Zachariah and Elizabeth, who were childless, “for Elizabeth was sterile and both were advanced in years,” (Luke 1:7). According to scriptures, the Angel Gabriel visited Elizabeth and Zachariah to tell them they would have a son and that they should name him John. Zachariah was rendered mute, due to his skepticism, until his son was born and named, all according to God’s will, (Luke 1:13, 20, 63-64). The lower church of the Visitation contains several Italian frescoes depicting this announcement, as well as Mary’s visit with Elizabeth, and Elizabeth’s hiding of her son during the Massacre of the Innocents in nearby Bethlehem.

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Mosaic depicting the Visitation and descent of the Holy Spirit upon Elizabeth and her son, John the Baptist.

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Mosaic depicting the saving of John the Baptist from the swords of Herod’s soldiers during the Massacre of the Innocents.

So here, at the site of the Visitation, do we find the answer to our unanswered prayers, as we witness:

  • Elizabeth’s faithful perseverance and subsequent gift of life,
  • Zachariah’s miraculous healing, as skepticism is replaced by faithfulness and doubt by obedient surrender to God’s will,
  • Elizabeth’s filling with the Holy Spirit and recognition of Mary as the Mother of God and Jesus as the promised Messiah,
  • Mary’s deliverance of the joy and promised glory of Christ to those in need, and
  • Elizabeth’s unwavering faith and protection of her child, John, even amidst grave danger and intense uncertainty.

In closing, let us prayer, that we too, may call upon our spiritual mother, Mary, to bring the peace, joy and hope of Christ into our lives. That, like Elizabeth, we may be filled with the Holy Spirit and find the courage to hope for the impossible. Finally, like Zachariah, that we may learn to surrender our uncertainties and doubt to God, trusting that all things are possible when done according to His will. Amen

Closing 3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.

Eternal Father, I offer You, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the entire world.

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).

Jesus, I trust in You.

Please click on the link below to learn more about my non-for-profit company, The Healing Eyes of Mercy, make a donation for the people of Haiti, Rwanda, or the Holy Land, shop, or read about my upcoming book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. Thank you and God Bless!

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com