Monday, January 13, 2014

Noble Souls: Leading Others to Their Fulfillment in Christ

The highest elevation of this ministering love is found in the goal of becoming the bride of Christ, which means to put the love of Christ before all things, not merely by theoretical conviction but in the tug of the heart and in practical life.... This ministering love is not only the essence of maternity; in the love of Christ it must needs devote itself to all creatures who come into its ken. It is for this reason that the woman who is not wife and mother must also be true in thought and deed to this spiritual maternity.

No matter what work her individual vocation may call her to, the "professional ethos" of woman is to be a handmaid of the Lord, ready to serve, awaken, and foster life through a self-forgetting love. 

In Stein's view there are now two orders, creation and redemption, and the redemptive work of Christ places before us the triple goal of the recovery of our promise as adopted sons and daughters of God, "the expectancy of the eternal beatific vision, and the perfect restoration of nature.It is this eternal end which now calls woman to a harmonious development of all the powers of her soul.

Taken together, her essays on woman present an inclusive interpretation of woman's soul, one which comprehends both her sensible and her rational nature, and which shows her capacity to participate in the most noble and perfect form of philia: a ministering love which is offered in the service of Christ in order to lead other human souls to their fulfillment in God. 

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