January 8, 2012

                                                                                                  Picture Credit

I just finished watching the third installment of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and I must say was taken very much with one particular scene.  For anyone out there who is not an LOTR geek like me, I’ll lay the scene out for you.  One of the final battles has Eowyn, the niece of the King of Rohan, standing up to the Witch King, the head of the 9 evil Nazgul, and fiercely protecting her uncle from being torn apart by him.  The Witch King says,  “You fool, no man can kill me”, to which she responds, “I am no man” and slays him. 

The scene gave me chills.  It put me in mind of all the mothers I know out there that have watched their children being hurt and in righteous anger, rode in guns blazing.  Or of all the nurses during the world wars who volunteered to be sent to the front lines of battle to care for the most seriously wounded.  They risked their lives every minute for their fellow men and women and their country.  I thought about women like Laura Secord, Dorothy Day, Catherine Doherty and St. Catherine of Siena who stepped into the fray of their time and changed the course of many lives.   These women were, and indeed all women are gifted with an intense power to be fierce when needed – much like a lioness.  We are no pushovers.  We are forces to be reckoned with, like the poet William Congreve described in 1697, “…Heaven has no Rage, like love to Hatred turn’d, Nor hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.”

But, lest I sound like the heralds of our time that tout slogans like “I am woman, hear me roar”, women are not called to this intensity day after day.  That fierceness is a naturally hidden characteristic in women that should appear just as quickly as it disappears. It is not like the media portrayal of women these days, with more and more shows featuring hard, aggressive, violent women who stop at nothing to ‘do the job’.  I wouldn’t call this innate fierceness violence or aggression, although at times we may be called to do violent or aggressive things (think Judith in the Old Testament, who put on her ‘feminine wiles’ in order to seduce the head of the enemy army and sever his head from his body to save her people).  It’s rather an appropriate response to a profound injustice, witnessed or not, called out by either our state in life or our sense of charity.  

And when that righteous fire takes hold of a woman, and it is the right circumstances, it is truly inspiring and beautiful to behold.  It is St. Catherine working relentlessly to achieve peace between cities while murders and robberies were taking place all around her.  It’s Laura Secord walking 30 kilometers on foot through many dangers to inform the British troops of an impending surprise attack by the Americans and for which she received no recognition in her lifetime.  It’s Eowyn from Lord of the Rings, dressing up as a man in order to fight in a war that threatens her whole world’s existence, and in the process saving her uncle from the Witch King.

But this fierceness isn’t always shown outwardly.  We women are interiorly-minded creatures.  For every one time we are called to act externally, there are probably ten times we are asked to be inwardly fierce.  How many times have we had to fight to protect our men’s dignity at the water cooler…choosing not to share the intimate details of the fight last night.  Or how many times have we been called to keep silence in order to uphold the greater good, just as the Blessed Mother kept silent about the origin of her pregnancy at the risk of being stoned in order for God to work greater miracles in Joseph.  We women are called to be courageous in our own way.  Sometimes that means fighting the sinful urges within ourselves, and sometimes it means putting down the broom and picking up the sword. 

Picture Credit


Post a Comment


What is a woman? What does it mean to be feminine? There is softness and hardness, compassion and ferocity. There is contentment and adventure, freedom and service. We're conundrums, especially to ourselves, but we all, in some way, possess beauty, creativity, intuition and love. We were made for love, and we are loved, cellulite and all. Here we aim to show every woman the richness and beauty of her own femininity and explore current issues relating to women in our world. We also wish to share our own experiences - exploring the joys and challenges of stay-at-home moms and single professionals and everyone in between. Welcome! So glad you're here!


Follow by Email


Popular Posts

Powered by Blogger.