The Catholic Woman: local, organic, sustainable.

Local, Organic & Sustainable.

We have all heard these words applied to everything from food to textiles. I have been known to visit the local farmers market or the certified organic grocer. I try to purchase items friendly to the environment and attempt to reduce my household waste. I understand the importance of supporting local merchants, putting chemical free foods into my body, and sustaining our environmental resources. I get it (most of the time).

Local, Organic & Sustainable. These three words have been used for so many different products and practices; their meaning is in danger of being lost. My mother, while having her hair colored at a salon, was informed by the stylist that the hair dye was not only organic and environmentally friendly, but vegan. Hair color so harmless that it is edible.

My husband and I were talking about this phenomenon.  We have come to expect these words when describing our purchases or lifestyles, but have become numb to their meaning. Through our discussion it occurred to me that outside the Catholic Church there is nothing more Local, Organic or Sustainable than the Catholic Woman.

Local

Adjective: belonging or relating to a particular area or neighborhood, typically exclusively so.

Noun: a local person or thing, in particular. (Miriam-Webster)

“Don’t allow your mind to be in the world. Your body is here, but your mind should be with the Lord as if nothing else mattered.” –  Mother Angelica

Women by nature are active in our local communities through children, professions and social engagements.  Christian woman strive to take our local presence a step further. We attempt to follow the example of the two Marys who remained at the tomb of our Lord weeping and praying. Can you imagine the fearlessness and strength of Mary the mother of Jesus? Let us not even focus here on her faith in Gods will to allow her son to be crucified – what mother do you know with such faith? Not only did Mary not attempt to stop the crucifixion, she remained there, present suffering in silence. We take the Good News of the Gospel to the local communities in which we live. Sometime we deliver the Good News locally with joy; other times in sorrow.

Organic

Of relating to or derived from living matter. (Miriam-Webster)

Derived from life… I instantly think of the Eucharist; where Jesus offers himself as the living bread to a hungry world. I feel women have a uniquely feminine understanding of the Eucharist; empathy for Mary the mother of God who watched the annihilation of her Son because she had faith in him as Lord. We feed ourselves and our families with this living bread.  I can say with complete confidence that there is nothing more Organic than the Eucharist or our devotion to It. (This of course is the largest understatement of all time!)

“‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:51).

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:53–56).

Sustainable

Adjective: able to be maintained at a certain rate or level; able to be upheld or defended. (Miriam-Webster)

Have you ever been dismissed as a “silly woman?” There is nothing more infuriating than to be dismissed because the expressions of our thoughts often include emotion and passion! This erroneously concludes that emotion and reason and incompatible.

The same happens with our faith in the secular world. Faith is often thought to be devoid of reason. Because we are talking about God, as Christians we understand that some things will remain a mystery. There is no way we can understand everything about the Lord; we are talking about God here folks. It would be terribly arrogant to assume that we should understand the world the same way as our Lord. This does not mean that we check our brains at the door as we head into Church. A mystery, as it relates to the Church, is not something about which can’t know anything, but something about which we can’t know everything.

Theology is the study of God and religious belief. God gave us brains and expects us to use them to understand the mysteries of faith; to the extent such understanding is possible. Faith and reason are not mutually exclusive. Faith tells us more than reason alone; but faith does not contradict reason. Faith is to have complete confidence in someone or something; for the Catholic Woman that is Christ and His Church. This faith as sustained for over 2000 years; and this blog with defend!

 

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