04 October 2011

That feminism should have originated in Protestant countries is to be explained by the fact that they have lost a precious pearl: the devotion to the Mother of the Savior. Sigrid Undset remarks that this terrible loss has the inevitable consequence that women, having lost their role model, will inevitably lose the particular dignity of the feminine. A similar thought is mentioned by John Saward (now Father Saward). He writes, "I suspect that the reason why the Protestant denominations have been so vulnerable to the taunts of feminism is that their religion refuses to acknowledge the unique role of woman, of the Woman, of our Lady, in the drama of redemption." It is in turning to her that we shall find a holy salve that will heal the festering wound of impurity.

The virtue of purity, today either ignored or trampled upon, is rooted in a trembling reverence before a mystery clearly related to God. It is to live in God's presence.... It is living in front of Him, rejoicing that He sees us, and grateful that He sees every single thought that we have, every single wish that arises in our hearts, and every single difficulty that we have in our ascent up the holy mountain. He who lives in this consciousness cannot possibly nurture impure thoughts, let alone commit impure acts. What an abyss yawns between any impure act that necessarily tries to "hide" and takes place in darkness, and the reverent, grateful self-donation of the spouses in front of Him Who has permitted them to give themselves to each other.

--Alice von Hildebrand, Man and Woman: A Divine Invention