One of the great pleasures and challenges of assembling the Catholic channel at Patheos has been presenting a broad-but-balanced-view of Catholicism — one that is not-too-conservative, nor too-progressive in scope, but finds the more common middle area between those extremes, wherein most Catholics reside.
For most Catholics, in fact, arriving at Catholic Orthodoxy is a process. Our faith is difficult, sometimes; that’s what makes it great.
Catholicism demands not “blind obedience” but the application of reason-to-faith, even as it allows for wondering. Often as not, we Catholics will chomp at the bit as we puzzle things out for ourselves, simultaneously working our consciences, praying and striving to conform, not merely for conformity’s sake, but because our God-given intellect demands its use in the life of faith. And because, as Saint Gregory of Nyssa wrote, “only wonder leads to knowing.” We seek our faith through the depth-sounder of our reason and in this way we come to develop fresh insights; to comprehend with clarity; to refine our understanding.
[In The Passion of the Christ] Christ is being flogged, the character of the devil enters in a figure that mocks Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the birth of the Christ himself. That image stuck with me and then I realized that there’s a sense in which all violence against women mocks the Incarnation.
Hear me out. You can have your say in the com boxes below.
Each act of violence against a woman makes it harder to believe that God could be born of something so apparently worthless.
There’s a reason why the concept of courtly love developed in a Christian culture; it was a culture that deeply loved Mary and women were seen to mirror her.
There’s a reason why Christianity was the first major religion to have the same initiation rite for women and men, namely baptism, and why it was the first religion to allow women to have a say in whether or not they married, even whom they married. That reason is twofold: Mary and the Incarnation.
Read the whole thing. This is wondering that leads to knowing — and to fresh insights — and it perfectly explains why we are so happy to announce that ethicist and theologian Pia de Solenni has brought her blog to Patheos.
Foundress of Diotima Consulting, de Solenni is an expert in issues relating to women’s health, life issues, the new feminism, Catholicism, and culture. Her work has appeared in various publications including The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor, and National Review Online. She received her doctorate in sacred theology summa cum laude from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome. Her dissertation was published in the university series Dissertationes. On November 8, 2001, she received the 2001 Award of the Pontifical Academies for her doctoral work. The award was presented by Saint John Paul II.
Not too shabby to get an award from the hands of a saint who wrote so brilliantly on Faith and Reason. We are very excited that Dr. deSolenni has added her gifts to the Patheos mix. You’ll want to subscribe to her page, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.