Woman According to Saint Bonaventure

Woman According to Saint Bonaventure

Woman According to Saint Bonaventure

Woman According to Saint Bonaventure

Excerpt

Since the gates of Paradise Lost clanged behind her and her hapless spouse, Woman has been the most controversial figure in the history of the world,--the perennial theme of poets, philosophers, and theologians. To some she is an angel in the flesh; to others, the only mistake God ever made. It was at the suggestion of the late Reverend Philotheus Boehner, a fervent son of St. Francis, and now, we trust, associated with him in heaven, that I have attempted to set forth in this book the Seraphic Doctor's ideas about this most revered and most reviled of God's creatures. To Father Philotheus I am indebted not only for directing my attention to the subject but also for valuable suggestions as to the present text. When the sudden death of Ockham's learned expositor left the Franciscan Order mourning and me without the stamp of approval on my efforts, I instinctively turned to the Very Reverend Thomas Plassmann, the well-known Franciscan scholar and writer, and he did not fail me. Not only did the distinguished Rector of Christ the King Seminary graciously read the manuscript, as I knew he would, but he took time out of a busy day to grace the book with his Foreword. To Father Thomas, my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

Now, to get back to Woman. Actually, the status of Woman in any age is a concrete expression of the philosophy which dominates the age in which she lives. Though the prejudice of the past has in some respect obscured the teachings of God's Word concerning the status of Woman and her rightful place in the divine plan, women themselves are not without blame in furthering the low esteem to which they have fallen. No longer the victim of an animal philosophy which looks upon her as a toy, a domestic instrument, or a necessary nuisance, but the exponent rather of a romantic philosophy of life which glorifies her youth and beauty, modern woman herself, by flaunting and glamourizing her physical attractions to the utter disregard of spiritual qualities, has given no little justification to Rudyard Kipling's evaluation of her as "a rag, a bone, and a hank of hair." Utterly unmindful of the designs of God in the essential and radical dissimilarities between the two sexes and attempting, in the words of Tennyson, "to lift woman's fallen divinity upon an equal pedestal with man," Woman herself has stepped down from the divine plane where she belongs as a daughter of the Mother of God and a member of the Mystical Body of Christ.

This is the Age of Mary,--an appropriate time for Woman to recapture . . .

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