Women Create Strong Communities


The Deposition from the Cross, by Fra Angelico


One of the most fascinating things I recall from a trip to Disney World was the difference that women can make. One of the attractions at Disney World displayed the wild west theme. There was no structure, no families, life was wild and untamed. Then we went to the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. The Treehouse offered a sense of togetherness in the midst of the jungle which brought me to appreciate how strong women can bring structure to wild places.

Women are responsible for keeping love alive in this world. They have an innate passion for connectedness and community. Women want to have a sense of belonging that men can often do without. Men excel in a competitive world whereas women often struggle to compete. Many of the women I have known and loved have wanted success for everyone. This interdependency is a holy thing. It represents community, compassion, care, and concern for one’s neighbor.

An interesting prayer activity might be to contemplate the following questions: How did Mary the Mother of Jesus live her life as a wife, mother, and servant of God? How would she have interacted within the social structures of her time? How did she treat her extended family members? When did she ask for help or accept support? What was life like for her after Jesus had died? There is such a richness lost to us women because so many of the details of her life were not recorded.

I value how so many women are sharing their lives by writing memoirs and blogs to encourage other women today. It is good to know we are never alone. It is good to know that someone else is familiar with our struggles. This is the whole meaning to being part of the Communion of Saints. For those of us Catholics, may Mary inspire and teach us how to live within our communities as she lived. “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.” (John 19:27).

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