Friday, November 11, 2016

On the Dignity and Vocation of Women (Pauline Books and Media)

In August 1988, the Pope released an Apostolic Letter entitled On the Dignity and Vocation of Women. It was revolutionary at the time, because it was the first papal document that addressed women and their unique role, not only in the Church, but in the world. Now, almost 30 years later, this document is just as relevant, if not more so.

The document begins by talking about the timeliness of this Apostolic Letter. Pope John Paul II then explains how this topic was brought to light both in and before Vatican II. He reflects on the recent female Doctors of the Church and discusses his encyclical Redemptoris Mater. Part II reflects on Mary the Mother of God (Theotokos). In this section, he reflects on the fact that a woman (Mary) was at the center of salvation, because it was through her Fiat that Jesus came into the world. He also talks about how Mary is the ultimate example of a woman and her vocation. Part III takes us back to Genesis and man being made in God's Image. Part IV compares Eve and Mary. Part V focuses on Jesus Christ and His interaction with women. This is the most fascinating section as it discusses the value which He placed on them, how it was uncommon for that time, and how they were the first witnesses to the Resurrection. Part VI addresses motherhood and virginity, which are mentioned hand in hand in Christ's teaching, but share a distinctness to them as well. Part VII and VIII talk about the Bride of Christ and love.

There has been a lot of talk about feminism lately, but that is false feminism. If you want to understand the true beauty of women and their vocation, I highly recommend this book. It not only contains the Pope's words, but reflections and points to ponder as well. Be sure to check out this book and other anniversary editions of Pope John Paul II's writings.

This book was provided to me for free by Pauline Books and Media in exchange for an honest review.