“ ‘He pursued the woman’ but had no hold on her: the new Eve.”
This quote within a quote, first from the book of Revelation then from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is both eloquent and thought provoking with regard to its source.
It is rooted in the book of Revelation wherein the vision of John the Evangelist is recalled through graphic imagery and symbolism. Yet, within this context it becomes more than symbolic of Mary’s conquest over sin. In this phrasing from the Catechism, it could be interpreted as a universal statement about the power and spirit of all women, and especially women who, for centuries on end have existed and often triumphed within a male dominated culture, the Institutional Church.
Over the course of the next few weeks, this Examiner will feature stories of such women whose strength of purpose was such that the restraints of the hierarchy could not hold them back. Their stories are testimonies to the truth that the Holy Spirit is alive and well, and that Spirit does not discriminate according to gender.
Hence these “new Eve’s, full of grace,” unleashed upon a waiting and needy world that maternal fertility whereby great things take root and grow.
One need only to consider the marvelous accomplishments of Mother Teresa to understand the reality of the power of the maternal spirit set free upon the world. Yet there are countless others, more obscure, who deserve to be recognized as examples of courage, perseverance and true piety.
To name a few, Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz, a 17th century feminist nun and genius, Catherine McAuley, an heiress and foundress, or Katharine Drexel, a visionary.
In the Evangelist’s telling, the woman breaks free from the grasp of the dragon, and from her womb is born the Savior of the world. It is a message which should both intimidate and inspire. For, without a doubt, women possessed and impassioned by the Holy Spirit are powerful forces to be reckoned with.
Ideas or comments? Contact Patricia at email@example.com