Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 24 November |
Saint of the Day: St. Andrew Dung-Lac and the Martyrs of Vietnam
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Who Has the Answer to What Women Need?


Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ - published on 02/05/15

Burleigh makes the observation that the feminine capacity for self-donation is a root cause of their vulnerability, and that part of female maturity is learning how to give wisely and well, as she said, “the right thing, the right person, the right circumstances.” It is here that Catholics can gladly turn to the example of Our Lady. She is the model for women; she is the beacon to be followed out of the present (and in fact ancient) tangle that women find themselves in.

In my columns about men, I wrote that Satan hates God and all that God created. Satan schemes to destroy what is human—which is the crown of God’s creation. Satan hates authentic masculinity, and so seeks to undermine it and replace it with something that is unnatural and therefore ungodly. Satan’s hatred for the human (and hence the masculine) is also seen in his hatred of the feminine. Pope Saint John Paul II notes in his ”Mulieris Dignitatem” (30):

The “ancient serpent” wishes to devour “the child.” While we see in this text an echo of the Infancy Narrative (cf. Mt 2:13, 16), we can also see that the struggle with evil and the Evil One marks the biblical exemplar of the “woman” from the beginning to the end of history. It is also a struggle for man, for his true good, for his salvation. Is not the Bible trying to tell us that it is precisely in the “woman” — Eve-Mary — that history witnesses a dramatic struggle for every human being, the struggle for his or her fundamental “yes” or “no” to God and God’s eternal plan for humanity?

We see in Genesis 3 that the serpent sows mistrust in the heart of Eve. Her failure to trust God and His covenant (along with the failure of Adam) bring about catastrophe. God’s plan for humanity seems undone almost at its inception. But God speaks with the firm determination of a most stubborn love in Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” In the divine plan, the rift caused by the lies of the serpent and the mistrust of Eve will be undone by truth and trust. Here we can turn to a book that deserves to be reprinted by its publisher.

Joyce Little, in her marvelous work, “The Church and the Culture War: Secular Anarchy or Sacred Order,” writes:

Mary is our most reliable guide to Christ, the person in the best position to attest to the truth of Christ, precisely because she is his mother. She knows this Son of hers as no one else among us possibly can. And because God was able to entrust his only Son to her, her Son has been able to entrust us to her guidance. When Mary counsels every one of us to “Do whatever he tells you”, she is assuring us that we can entrust ourselves to him. By so doing, she invites every one of us to do what is, in the created order, the supremely female thing, namely, to surrender ourselves to another… If Christ is the truth, Mary is the trust. And the truth, because personal and material, cannot be efficacious in our world unless we entrust ourselves to him. For that reason Christ requires the female mediation of his mother, for only a mother can offer us the assurance of this woman who is uniquely the mother of God.

Christ is the truth—Mary is the trust. The liberating and healing power of Mary’s “fiat” to the Truth Who is her son and the Son of God is the remedy for the schemes of Satan, the mistrust of Eve and the failure of Adam.

“Why do women seem so unhappy today?” If they are unhappy, it may well be because they have answered poorly the questions, “What do women want?” “What do women need?” The shining and lived answer to those questions is found in Mary, Virgin and Mother. When I write next, I will consider how the example of Mary as the answer to these perennial questions can be applied to our times. Until then, let’s keep each other in prayer.

Father Robert McTeigue, S.J. is a member of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. A professor of philosophy and theology, he has long experience in spiritual direction, retreat ministry, and religious formation. He teaches philosophy at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, FL, and is known for his classes in both Rhetoric and in Medical Ethics.

  • 1
  • 2
Virgin Mary
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Theresa Civantos Barber
5 Quotes from the saints to help you deal wit...
Giuseppe Moscati
Larry Peterson
A volcano, a plague, a war: This doctor-saint...
Luz Ivonne Ream
What’s the secret of this couple’s 64 years o...
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio's favorite prayer of petition
J-P Mauro
Cardinal calls Catholics to attend global Euc...
Why do we say that "Christ is King"?
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.