Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Authentic Catholic Womanhood


Welcome to this first installment of "The Silent Canticle," where I give my favorite writers (you know who you are) the inside scoop on developments in the magazine, and other literary tidbits that cross my desk. This is for those who have already read the writer's guidelines as well as the actual magazine (bonus points if you subscribe!).

This is also the place that I invite you to offer your thoughts and other constructive input about the magazine -- what you like, what you don't, and what you'd like to see more of. Just as I try to offer my writers constructive criticism to help them grow as writers, I need your help in order to do my job better!

Last week I was in Florida, meeting with Johnnette's team, and we discussed the mission of the magazine. We also made a significant decision regarding format: Starting with the May issue, we will be going full color interior ... and will be reducing the page count to 32 pages. This means that there will be fewer articles in each magazine -- and that writers need to pay even closer attention to word count than previously.

However, today I'd like to share with you a short reflection that I put together for the meeting, in hopes that it inspires you. When we say Canticle's mission is to help women live out their vocations with authentic Catholic femininity, what does that mean? How are we most “authentic” (being most genuinely the person God created us to be)? Can we ever hope to emulate (that is, to “equal or excel”) the perfection of any other human person?

While the examples of holy men and women may inspire us to run the race with greater confidence, God is best glorified when we are most fully ourselves. “Let us run with endurance… fixing our eyes on JESUS, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Resolved: To be “authentic” in Catholic womanhood is to grow in perfection (that is, in love) according to the state in which we find ourselves, recognizing that this perfection must be attained both within ourselves and in relation to one another, particularly within the family (the domestic church) and the Church (both within our immediate faith community and by drawing from and applying the treasury of our faith). (See CCC 1368).

Authentic in our lives: Transparent yet humble and consistent in our witness, making progress in virtue, faithful to our families, and diligent in service to God and His Church.

Authentic in our praise:
Recognizing God as the Source of all we are and possess, and seeking to know, love, and understand that Source through every means He gives us.

Authentic in our sufferings: Allowing God to turn weakness and pain into empathy (bearing one another’s burdens) and holiness (replacing false securities with authentic virtue).

Authentic in our prayer: Like an iceberg, far more of the spiritual life transpires away from the public eye than is accomplished in it. As women, our ability to carry out the tasks entrusted to us depends upon the consistency with which we allow God to transform us from the inside out … through prayer.

Authentic in our work: Our task is not to compare our own progress or our individual accomplishments with those of other women. It is to discern and take up willingly what has been entrusted to us, confident that He will give us what is needed to carry it out. It is to recognize the seasons of life and of family, and offering ourselves wholeheartedly in the measure and manner appropriate to that time and season.

Let us all help one another to grow in perfect authenticity

Under the Mercy...


Janet LaPlante said...

Hi Heidi, Janet here from CWO. I was divorced over 25 years ago, and suffered through custody issues involving my three children with my ex-husband. Through faith, I was able to reach forgiveness of him before he passed away at an early age. The week of his funeral it was exposed that he had fathered a child with another woman while still married to me. I have written a story of this period in my life as well as the process of annulment and my later marriage to a devote Catholic man. I would love to share this with your Canticle readers. Take care, Janet LaPlante

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you for these truths,Heidi, especially the last stanza. We are all in this together.

I will spread the word of this great new blog and you are already on my sidebar!