Endow Weekly

Letter to Women – Week 1

Week One: A Letter to All Women

When my friend Meg (who is also Editor in Chief of the fabulous Women’s Magazine Verily—check it out!) suggested Endow Weekly, the idea was to have a “busy woman’s” newsletter distilling the great content of the Endow studies while inspiring personal prayer and reflection time for those who are “in-between” Endow studies. 

I have hesitated to use the phrase “busy woman’s guide” because part of the Catholic worldview is to imbue a culture of leisure, not business. Alas, I do hope that this particular series will embody a spirit of brevity but not banality as we close out 2020 with this third and final series dedicated to Pope St. John Paul II’s Letter to Women. 

In the Holy Father’s own words: 

Taking up the themes I addressed in that document, I would now like to speak directly to every woman, to reflect with her on the problems and the prospects of what it means to be a woman in our time. In particular I wish to consider the essential issue of the dignity and rights of women, as seen in the light of the word of God.

When this letter was released only 25 years ago, it was an extraordinary moment for both the Church and the world as he was addressing every single woman—Catholic or not.

In reading and studying Chapter 1, I was struck by three thoughts:

  • The dignity of women is a value and a top priority of the Catholic Church—and sadly most Catholics don’t know it—yet! 
  • There is no organization (and of course the Church is more than just an organization) more pro-woman than the Catholic Church—and certainly the opposite is believed especially in the secular world!
  • The work of the New Evangelization will continue to be the work of telling women (and men!) the radical truth about human dignity!

Emily Stimpson Chapman writes in Chapter 1, “That worth has nothing to do with sex, age, health, appearance, education, social status, employment, or even the choices we make. Rather, we matter—we have dignity—because God made us, loves us, and desires a relationship with us.”

The “feminine vocation” begins with this fundamental fact of human dignity. For this fact to become faith (as in, to be recognized and realized) is the perpetual work for each of us as a responsibility toward ourselves and the other. 

Pray on it: Does my self-talk, inner-narrative, and actions manifest God’s glory? Do I really believe I am intrinsically valuable and unconditionally loved? If you struggle with your identity as a beloved daughter of God, pray this!