Dear Friends and Benefactors,
As the system of Christian dogma is ever more abandoned by the “civilized”
world, it should not surprise us that morals have also rapidly disintegrated.
Truth is the life of the mind and when it is abandoned the mind becomes diseased
and decays. The modern mind, by throwing aside Christian principles, has opened
itself to the disease of false principles and therefore is unable to think
clearly or coherently in the metaphysical or spiritual spheres. With the decay
of thought values there soon follows the decay of moral values.
It is, however, surprising to see that many, who strive to cling to the
Christian faith and its practice, are also affected by this dissolution of faith
and morals. Christian principles, which alone can give stability to all elements
of society, are put aside or at least watered down to avoid the conflict caused
by going against the modern trend of “political correctness”. This causes a
dulling of minds with the result that things which ought to shock peoples’
tastes and feelings no longer do so.
The change produced in society would be bad enough if man alone was affected,
but the effect is much more disastrous when woman comes under the influence of
false principles, for she remains the fountain of life, not only in a physical,
but more importantly in a moral and spiritual sense. Because of her sensibility
and adaptability, the danger of being swayed by fashions of thought or
thoughtlessness is greater for her.
When fundamental principles are not clearly defined and those disputing have
unsound or incorrect views regarding the ultimate values of life, such
controversies are difficult to settle mainly because there are some elements of
truth on both sides. In order to define these fundamental principles we must
first clearly understand the end to be aimed at in this life. Any discussion
would be fruitless unless we understand rightly the function that woman, by her
nature, with all its physical, moral and mental gifts, is called on to fulfill
in the world and what contribution to the good of the human race she has been
aptly fit for.
To understand the true role woman has to play in the world we must go back to
the origin of things to see what Almighty God, the Author of Nature, has
destined her for. The book of Genesis tells us that God made woman to be a
helpmate for man. This being so, it is unnatural and therefore bad for her to be
a rival of or an echo of man. As a helpmate, she should be able to have an
intelligent and sympathetic interest in his work and the difficulties to which
it gives rise, without usurping his place. For this reason she may and ought to
have knowledge of all the subjects that ordinarily enter into the intellectual
formation of men. But, while studying the same subjects, her study should be in
a different way and for another purpose. It must be more cultural than
competitive, with a bias towards the practical arts and accomplishments needed
for the management of the home.
We also read in Genesis that Almighty God has said that women shall be saved by
childbearing. Here we see an indication of the maternal instinct that is present
in all women. Not all women will be married, but even in the virgin this
maternal instinct exists and therefore must be fostered, not stifled, in her
education, and directed toward the care of the weak, the suffering, the wayward
and all who are in need of sympathy, insight and understanding. The maternal
instinct is not just for the care of children, it also moves a woman to
stimulate the fading energies in the man whose courage in life’s struggles is
failing, or to encourage to high endeavors one whose lack of confidence in his
own powers threatens to make him a traitor to himself and to his destiny. The
motherly instinct will cause a woman to cherish greatness of an intellectual,
moral or artistic kind in those entrusted to her, and move her to stir in them
the efforts that are needed for success. Thus she must possess dignity,
sweetness, self-restraint, objectivity and the power of giving.
Man’s greatness is always of a conquering nature —it lies in acquisition.
Woman’s greatness lies in giving and securing around her life and its expansion.
She grows by inspiring vitality. In contact with her, things take life, for she
is, in the design of Providence, the source of life. From this the virgin finds
her motherhood. The true woman must have the grace, modesty and restraint of the
virgin combined with the dignity, tenderness and devotedness of the mother. Here
lies her perfection and her true beauty. How significant it is that the Blessed
Virgin Mary, the ideal woman, was both Virgin and Mother.
But today this beauty is no longer coveted by modern woman. Spurred on by false
economic principles and fostered by the modern educational system, she has
become selfish. Selfishness ruins her nature, because it conflicts with her
natural disposition of self-sacrifice. Her role in life calls upon her to be a
universalist. Because every woman has the nature of mother in her, she must be
an educationist, an economist, a doctor, a nurse and a hundred other things to
be truly successful. Specialized study does not equip her for her task. She must
study to be wise. She must be ready to concretely handle all the different
problems of life, whether physical, mental, moral or religious, through the
exercise of practical and rapid intuitions. Man studies to be learned and
dominates by force and intelligence, a woman by tenderness and devotedness.
Initiative suits the man: adaptability is called for in the woman. Her
universality, her concrete logic, her practical common-sense and dislike for
abstraction, are required to maintain the equilibrium which could easily be lost
by the specialization, and therefore narrowness, in any given department of
The modern educational system has been consciously set up to educate girls the
same way as boys. The intent is to eliminate as much as possible the
psychological and physiological differences between the two sexes. Their studies
are given the same objective; their games take on the same selfish and violent
spirit, with the passions they engender. Such keen competition helps boys to
gain the qualities they will need to succeed in the battle of life, but is
unsuited for girls as it tends to rob them of that modesty, reserve, dignity,
grace, tenderness, sensibility and devotedness which is proper to their
formation as women. A girl should aim at the acquisition of that strength and
grace which becomes the woman. Games for her should be for the proper and
harmonious development of her physique as a woman and not for the fierce joy of
overcoming a rival. It is good to develop in boys the spirit that makes for
conquest, but for girls, it should be the spirit of helpfulness. Education is
training for life, which in nature’s scheme is different for men and women. The
harmony of the world is lost when it is composed of men and would-be men.
Behind this false trend in education is also the false notion asserting equality
between men and women. There is only one sense in which they are equal and that
is found in their calling to the same destiny —the Beatific Vision. Here there
is a common standard —sanctifying grace. Woman is greater, less than or equal to
man according to the measure of grace in the soul. Men and women are not meant
to be equal in any other sense of the word. It would be a pity if they were. For
the good of the human race, it is quite necessary that they should be different
and equipped with complimentary qualities. There is no common standard of
measurement as reference. Apples are not equal to oranges or to plums.
Intellectually, women are endowed otherwise than men. Generally, as a rule,
man’s intellect works to conclusions by a process of reasoning, whereas woman’s
works more by intuition. Man excels at seizing principles and making abstract
conclusions, while woman excels more in attention to detail and concrete
conclusions. Man as a rule excels in invention, woman in arrangement and
adaptation. Man looks to the building of the city, while woman looks to the
building of the home. Which is the more important work? The feminist will say: “the
work that man claims for himself —the building of the city.” Yet the
city is there for the interests of the home and not vice-a-versa. How dull the
world would be if there were a simple, clear cut, mathematical equality in the
physical and mental endowments of men and women. From the dissimilarity of the
sexes there is derived the richness, variety and mystery of human life.
The truly great woman is the one who diffuses light in the home, who calls forth
worth and goodness in those around her, who is the inspiration of brave
undertakings, who fosters idealism, who sustains the weakening arms, who takes
away tears or dries them, who creates high moral tradition, who civilizes
society and increases the sum of happiness in the world; who, in a word,
dominates by wisdom, goodness and sound vision, not by force and by rivaling men
in the domains where they are expected to excel. The true woman strives for the
ideal of womanhood, not that of manhood.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, stands as the perfect model of womanly achievement,
of gracious motherhood, and of fruitful virginity. Girls should be trained and
educated so as to help them mirror in themselves the excellence of her womanly
character. It is only to the degree that they do so that they can truly become
the great women that today’s world needs.
Sincerely in Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother Mary,
Fr. John D. Fullerton