I would just like to share with you a little bit about my Lenten journey that I am going on during this liturgical season. I mention it for two reasons:
1. It will keep me accountable. I tend to get a little bit lazy as Lent goes on, but I don’t want that to happen this year.
2. This message is important for all my sisters in Christ.
The days of giving up only television or sweets are over for me as far as Lent is concerned. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these penitential practices, but I feel like we can really use Lent to go even deeper than that. And so I am approaching Lent a little bit differently now. I am focusing on a theme, and one that I really need to dive deeper in.
That’s right, I’m becoming a feminist for Lent! But not in the sense that is typical of our society these days. I’m becoming a feminist in that I am going on a journey; to discover true and authentic femininity. I am a woman, and I don’t think I can truly live out my dignity as a woman to the fullest extent if I don’t take time to dive into what authentic femininity actually means. I refuse to accept the definition of woman that our society hurls at us. I am not liberated by my “independence” and “choices.” No, my only freedom – freedom to love – comes from the truth of Christ. The freedom to love and live according to the dignity of womanhood that God has given me. And that is the freedom that I claim today.
When I think of a woman who is truly feminine, I instantly think of the Blessed Mother. Mary is SUCH a BABE! But it occurred to me, she can TEACH us what true femininity is. There is truly no better model of what it means to be a true woman, why wouldn’t we try to learn from her?
And this, my friends, is where my Lenten journey comes in. I have embarked upon a journey to attempt to learn this true femininity from Mary. Through reflecting on the mysteries of Christ’s life from Mary’s perspective in the Rosary, I hope to learn a little bit more about what it means to truly live my dignity as a woman. To not settle for what society tells me about womanhood. To learn what it means to be a daughter of Mary instead of a daughter of Eve. To radically choose a different path.
But the thing is, I think all internal changes involve the external as well. We are body and soul. I feel that my internal journey should have an external manifestation. So as I journey with Mary, I am going to daily express my femininity in ways such as wearing skirts or accessorizing. When wearing a skirt rather than a pair of jeans, you act differently. If I am serious about this journey, I need to dive into it.
In the coming weeks, expect to hear little nuggets of truth or insights I gain from this journey.
Mother Mary, teach me what it means to truly be a woman.