Friday, May 9, 2014

Woman at the heart of Christianity

This quote from Pope Benedict XVI captures something important about the vocation of Spiritual Motherhood.  It is not simply a pious exercise or individual commitment but "an essential part of the Christian picture."  Only when the feminine element stands at that center of Christianity do we begin to grasp in its fullness the profound kind of intimacy God has established and desires with us in Christ.  Only through holy women do we fully understand what it is to be human and who God is for us.

Nowadays Protestants are making some timid efforts to recapture the figure of Mary. People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity.  Through Mary, and the other holy women, the feminine element stands at the heart of the Christian religion. And this is not in competition with Christ. To think of Christ and Mary as being in competition means ignoring the essential distinction between the two figures. Christ gives John, and through John all of us, the Mother. That is not competition, but a most profound kind of intimacy. The Mother and Virgin forms an essential part of the Christian picture of man.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, God and the World, 2002