“A woman is made to give life at the cost of her own life and blood. It is there that she is fulfilled; only there is she freed of her limitations, fears, selfishness, inability to communicate, and timidity, which are nothing more than a distortion of who she truly is. To feel completely fulfilled, a woman must bring life into the world. The Lord has put into her heart, mind and body the life of humanity.” -Mother Elvira Petrozzi
These are fighting words. A woman made to give life at the cost of her own life? Only there will she be free and truly fulfilled? In present-day America I am confident that these words would make the blood of most females boil.
I (like the rest of Generation X and all the Millennials) was raised with the Apple. All those machines marked with “i” which have contributed to our own narcissism, and consequently our own misery. Eve, the first woman, also bit into the apple, turned away from God, from the fullness of love and life, and inward toward herself. Fixed on her own shame, it became all about “I.” Thousands of years later we are doing the same thing.
Yet somewhere in our hearts, we women know we were not created for just “I.” We bump up against the wall of our own despair every time we try to fight this truth. We are created for God. We are created for others. We are created for love, and we are created for life.
Even written into the very nature of our feminine bodies is that profound, amazing and mysterious reality: “I was made to receive love, give love and bring forth life.” And this is the greatest witness to the world because it proclaims the calling of every human person.
Bringing forth life goes far beyond physical motherhood. I myself have no children, but God still “put into my heart, mind and body the life of humanity.” And it is my calling and my duty to embrace that with great joy!
I see this play out all the time in my daily life: when I reject the life of humanity around me, when I am caught in my own selfishness, avoid serving others, sink into my own vanity. It’s a steady road to my own despair.
But when I give life “at the cost of my own life and blood,” when I put others before myself, receive those around me with open arms, see and love them for who they truly are, give and serve as I am able, my heart is full. Because, as Pope Benedict XVI says: I “was not made for comfort. I was made for greatness.” I was born to love. And in case this world has forgotten, life and love go hand in hand.
Beautiful women, we were born to love! At every age and in every stage! Even at the cost of ourselves. It’s a hard road to walk I know, and many times a frightening one, but one I want to strive for day by day because I know it is the road to joy. Who’s with me?