Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 23 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Pio of Pietrelcina

WWMD

Simcha Fisher - published on 09/17/10

Thanks to all the linky love (oh sheesh, did I just say that?) from real websites like Mark Shea’s, Bearing, Betty Beguiles, And Sometimes Tea, New Advent, Betty Duffy,Darwin Catholic, Korrektiv, Alexandria, and others, I got a lot more attention than I’m used to for all thispants stuff.  And, as Mark Shea’s readers pointed out, with great pants comes great responsibility.  Which is to say that with a bigger audience comes many more misunderstandings.

Some of that is my fault, because I dwell in the land of hyperbole.

Some of that is their fault, because they are stupid.

Some of that is  no one’s fault, exactly — it’s just that it’s human nature to hear what you think you’re going to hear, rather than what the writer is actually saying.

Danielle Bean once shared a quote from St. Therese of Liseiux:

Why should we defend ourselves when we are misunderstood  and misjudged? Let us leave that aside. Let us not say anything. It is so sweet to let others judge us in any way they like. O blessed silence, which gives so much peace to the soul!

And so, even though I heard all kinds of foolish and outlandish statements attributed to me, I really didn’t get all that upset.  I heard, for instance, that:

  • I never wear skirts (false – I do)
  • I think women who wear skirts are married to monsters (false – some are, some aren’t, just like us two-legs)
  • I think it’s stupid to try and look feminine (false – I try hard)
  • I think it’s impossible for any busy woman to do her work in skirts (false – I  happen to be a hypothyroid clod with fat, chafe-y thighs, but maybe you’re not)
  • and also that I think women should be able to wear whatever the hell they want (false – I believe it’s a matter of charity to dress modestly)
  • and that men should just use some self-control, and then it won’t matter what women wear (false – blame Adam).

Weirdly, none of that bothered me very much.  Usually nothing upsets me more than to be misunderstood, but there were so many smart and funny people who saw what I was saying, it was like being at a fantastic party with all your friends — and a couple of drunks.  Annoying, but not enough to spoil a great evening.

But I got really worked up when they started saying stuff about Mary.  I have always felt an uncomfortable distance from Mary.  I teach my children to call her “Mama Mary” in hopes that they would feel a closeness and affection to her that I never did.  Every once in a while, though, she breaks through to me.  This was one of those times.

A few women in various comment boxes said that we must wear skirts because Mary did — that even if Mary were on earth today, she would never wear pants.  They KNOW this.

Okay, you ladies who know what Mary would do.  If you can’t imagine Mary wearing pants, then try this:   imagine Mary wiping her nose, or yawning, or having heartburn.  Imagine her giving birth.  Or heck, imagine her having to go to the bathroom, but not being able to get up yet because she didn’t want to wake up the baby, who was nursing and allllmost asleep. .  . and then He bit her!  He always does that just as He’s falling asleep.  Oh, and now He’s poopy again, and she still has to go to the bathroom.

Weird, eh?  Not used to it, are you?  But there’s nothing immoral about these images.  If they bother you, because it’s not what you’re used to.  It’s not what you’re surrounded with.  Just like you’re surrounded with earnest, hard-working, kind, sincere women who have chosen to wear skirts, and so it seems utterly natural and obvious that Mary, too, would wear skirts.

How about this:  when Mary said “Fiat” to the angel, she wasn’t doing what everyone else was doing.  She wasn’t following the norm.  She wasn’t doing what all the other holy ladies in her circle were doing.  She was doing something that made her stand apart — she was responding directly to God’s will.  Mary was a BIG WEIRDO, don’t you see?  She was courageous and outlandish and incredibly tough.  She didn’t long for olden times.  She did something new.

I know it sounds like I’m equating the wearing of pants with the eternal Yes of the Mother of God.  Sorry about that!  That’s not what I mean.  I just mean that sometimes we can be blinded by what we’re used to — and that’s not a good thing, even when what we’re used to (say, good women always wearing skirts) is a good thing.

So would Mary wear pants?  I don’t know, and neither do you — she was a strange and unpredictable woman, like no other.  But she was a real woman.  If you think that Mary actually always wore blue, always had a look of fond melancholy on her face, and always held her arms at a 45-degree angle from her sides, then you are paying homage to a statue, and not to God’s real-life Mama.  And if there’s anything worse than a woman in pants, it’s an idolator.  That’s in the Old and the New Testament.

O real life Mama of God, intercede for us.  Help us to understand each other.  And if I ever sit down to write another post about pants, please make the roof fall in on me before I hit “publish.”

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 Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, 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
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
3
OUR LADY
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
4
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
5
SLEEPING
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
6
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
7
ORTHODOX COMMUNION
Philip Kosloski
Why do some Eastern Catholics use spoons for Holy Communion?
See More