Addie Darling just graduated from Princeton University and speaks a countercultural message of joy and authentic femininity as a Catholic Voice.
What does the Fortnight mean to you?
For me, the Fortnight is an opportunity to come together as the universal Church in America, and to educate ourselves and our fellow citizens on the importance of the free expression of our beliefs. This freedom to act upon the beliefs we hold most dear forms the backbone of the American Experiment. Thus, in participating in the Fortnight, we Catholics help to remember for ourselves and for society what our most precious liberty is: the freedom to believe and act in a manner consistent with what we hold to be true.
What are you doing to make these days different?
I am trying to engage friends — religious, secular, Catholic, and other people of goodwill — online; we have been discussing such questions as liberty and the continuing infringements upon the freedom of religion not only here in America against Catholics, but in Europe as well, against Christians, Muslims, and Jews. I am also trying to focus my prayer during the Fortnight on freedom and am spending time meditating on the saints such as St. Thomas Moore, St. Josemaria Escriva, and others who exemplify the courage and sacrifice of living a public Christian life.
Is there a war on women?
Yes, there is, and there is a war on men as well. By this I mean that our materialistic habits and attitudes have turned our bodies into nothing but a commodity — as something to be used and enjoyed, but that are not, on a fundamental level, us. The problem with that is that we experience life — and we come to be ourselves — through our bodies, both male and female. Thus this commodification and rejection of the importance of the body that we are for the entirety of our lives, is a self-directed, societally-sanctioned, war against ourselves.
These wounds not only are a war against ourselves, but they also mask the scars left by earlier generations.
What’s your reaction to what the bishops have been saying and doing?
I am proud that the bishops are speaking in a single voice. What’s more, while they have all come together to defend their ability to practice and live their faith as completely as they can, they have also asked the laity to come together in unison with them. They are defending the conscience rights of all Americans. There hasn’t been a time that I’ve been more proud to be a Catholic in America.
What do you wish everyone could know about your Church and why?
The Church does not impose its will on anyone. While the Church teaches the beliefs it has held to be true for millennia, as individuals, we are free to make our own choices. The Catholic Church asks that whether we accept or reject her teachings, we make our choice freely.