As the month of Mary has come to an end, in the last prayer meeting Fr. Roy enlightened TOM community with some teachings about Our Mother and her calling for us as the women and men of God.
Mary is a woman.
Eve is a woman.
And some of us are women.
We believe that sometimes the world has not yet been entirely fair in treating women. In fact, some religions still do not believe that women are equal to men. Luckily, we are in the Catholic Church where everyone is equal – and as for women, the church accepts them completely… in like after 200 years. Yes, indeed the Church finally allows women to do some ministry – e.g. to be a special minister or mass readers.
But even so, they seem to remain labelled as incapable, useless and “to always serve” in wherever they are.
John and Stasi who wrote Captivating (2005) say the church emphasises a lot for women to serve in various places and to hold up the model of femininity in the church.
They will do the cleaning, cooking, and nursery, while men get to tell the women what to do.
So, the question is, do women suffer?
In the Book of Genesis, we see Eve – she was created in the image of God and truly beautiful as she was. Yet, she was tempted because she wanted to be like God – full of knowledge. And because she also dragged Adam with her to sin, God then spoke to her:
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)
So is this why women suffered more than men do – because we are ‘the temptation’?
The more important question is perhaps, why did the serpent tempted Eve and not Adam? That’s because Eve is a woman. The heart of a woman is one of the most beautiful gifts God has given – tender, loving, courageous, and compassion – women are the creatures of love, God’s heart. The devil knew that the heart also weak without knowledge, so he used it as a way for her to sin.
“Have you ever seen Mary’s statue?” asked Fr. Roy to break off the tension. “What do you see?” he continues.
Mary’s statue always has her feet stepping the serpent with the apple. Thus the Church sees Mary as the woman who can defeat the devil and free us from temptations because she knows how to conquer the serpent.
Praying the rosary helps us to meditate in the Mystery of Mary so we are able to listen to God’s will and becoming a better version of who we are. During the rosary it is important to ask why am I here? What should I do for God? What is His will for my life?
Because the Devotion of Mother Mary will always bring us closer to God, knowing our purpose in life, and strengthen our faith by helping to conquer the evil within us.
The original sin will always be there, but through Baptism we are renewed in the name of God, Son, and Holy Spirit.
So don’t think about what causes women to suffer is the original sin, rather, appreciate women as the creatures of love.
Women have a wonderful image of Mother Mary within them and they are as powerful as She is. Her tenderness reflects in the heart of a woman – and it should be treasured and cherish by men.
Men use their head – knowledge – to understand the world; and that is why it is important for men to stay with women because they both complete each other. The women need knowledge to do the right thing and men need a tender heart to act wisely, and with the help of God and the Holy Spirit, the two are truly blessed in bringing God back to the world.
Fr. Roy then concluded by telling us to pray the rosary every now and then and try to listen Mary’s voice.
Women are beautiful, charming, intelligence, loving creatures, as they are the women of Christ and the heir of Mother Mary. Women remain faithful, willing to serve whomever, and capable to hold together a family. Together, let us embrace Mother Mary and truly pray to always give us the strength and gifts to defeat the evils.
(Fr Roy Pereirra summarised by Nessya Santoso)