Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

March 7, 2014

What the world needs now

(Continued)

“I realized that there was not some gulf between me and this homeless woman,” Reichert shares.

It has been made clear that the “war on women” rhetoric will be employed yet again by the Democrats during the upcoming months as we near midterm elections. However well-intentioned, it’s a patronizing, ideological manipulation. It’s drenched in an understanding of women and men that is driven by the changed expectations that the sexual revolution imposed. But do we consider that there is something about our very bodies and the structure of the family itself that has been grievously injured by this worldview?

This isn’t a screed about the current state of our politics, believe it or not. It’s a proposal: Perhaps there is something about human dignity that can only be found in the lives of the most vulnerable — the unborn, the elderly, the child with Down Syndrome, the woman who has been abused, the woman who thinks she has no option but prostitution ... the list goes on. Maybe there is something about their desire for and response to tenderness, which can teach us about our responsibilities to one another.

Listening to Reichert speak, I am reminded of the words of Edith Stein, a martyr of the last century, who was among those murdered at Auschwitz. “Everywhere, the need exists for maternal sympathy and help, and thus we are able to recapitulate in the one word ‘motherliness’ that which we have developed as the characteristic value of woman. Only, the motherliness must be that which does not remain within the narrow circle of blood relations or of personal friends; but in accordance with the model of the Mother of Mercy, it must have its root in universal divine love for all who are there, belabored and burdened.”

The world needs mothers and fathers. You may not be a biological parent, but you can mentor, you can model responsibility and self-sacrificial love to someone.

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