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Selections from Edith Stein’s Essays on Women

Greetings! This is a narration of Chapter 3: “Spirituality of the Christian Woman, Part I: Woman’s Soul.”

Please feel free to read along with EWTN’s generous online edition. A passage of pure gold (and could very well be a morning prayer, yes?):

The soul of woman must therefore be expansive and open to all human beings; it must be quiet so that no small weak flame will be extinguished by stormy winds; warm so as to not benumb fragile buds; clear, so that no vermin will settle in dark corners and recesses; self-contained, so that no invasions from without can imperil the inner life; empty of itself, in order that extraneous life may have room in it; finally, mistress of itself and also of its body, so that the entire person is readily at the disposal of every call.

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Selections from G.K. Chesterton’s What’s Wrong with the World

Greetings! This recording features three chapters (“The Emancipation of Domesticity,” “The Free Family,” and “The Wildness of Domesticity”) from What’s Wrong with the World by G.K. Chesterton. I’ve selected these passages not because I agree with Chesterton’s words in the literal sense (I don’t, in a few instances), but rather because I think he ushers forth a profound spirit. He refuses to let historical housewives be victimized by those men and women in power who would seek to treat them as disadvantaged children. In a sense, Chesterton offers a poetic answer to a question I’ve recently become familiar with in economic literature: Why are “liberated” women so unhappy?

Please feel free to read along, or enjoy the entire book, here.

My favorite quote:

To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets, cakes and books, to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness (“The Emancipation of Domesticity”).

Pope John Paul II’s “Letter to Women”

Greetings! This is the first narration for this library– a quick read by my intellectual hero, St. Pope John Paul II the Great (I’m sure he’s chuckling at such a long name now!). It offers an excellent introduction to the Church’s teaching on women and will surely spark some interesting thought and conversation.

For reading along, the printable version can be found at EWTN’s website.

My favorite quote:

The church sees in Mary the highest expression of the “feminine genius,” and she finds in her a source of constant inspiration. Mary called herself the “handmaid of the Lord” (Lk 1:38). Through obedience to the word of God she accepted her lofty yet not easy vocation as wife and mother in the family of Nazareth. Putting herself at God’s service, she also put herself at the service of others: a service of love. Precisely through this service Mary wasable to experience in her life a mysterious, but authentic “reign.” It is not by chance that she is invoked as “queen of heaven and earth.” The entire community of believers thus invokes her; many nations and peoples call upon her as their “queen.” For her, “to reign” is to serve! Her service is “to reign!”