Hello dear moms. Easter and Divine Mercy and spring blessings upon you and yours. I am so delighted to be with you this way again…. You probably wouldn’t believe how many times we’ve been together (in prayer)! I carry you moms in my heart. And, I have you listed on my weekly list of prayer intentions – this is found on a three column sheet folded and kept inside my Liturgy of the Hours ‘book.’ And so, if I happen to be distracted or have other intentions coming to mind – the prepared list of prayer intentions reminds me of you and your children and of course, your husband.
So what’s with the title, The Stronger Sex? Well – I have a page saved from the Pew Forum – an organization that tracks religion and spirituality issues in the United States. The page that I have is called The Stronger Sex – Spiritually Speaking. This Pew study looks at religious differences between women and men.
So let me use some of their ‘categories’ and ask how it would be in your house if we ask about the man in your life versus yourself:
1. Are affiliated with a religion (79-86)
2. Have an absolutely certain belief in God or a Universal Spirit (65-77)
3. Pray at least daily (49-66)
4. Say religion is very important in their lives (49-63)
5. Have absolutely certain belief in a personal God (45-58)
6. Attend worship services at least weekly (34-44)
Well – you moms are smart: of the numbers in the parentheses above – which are men and which are ladies? The last or second figure is the women or moms in the Pew Study.
And perhaps there is nothing – absolutely nothing surprising about affirming that WOMEN are the STRONGER SEX when it comes to faith matters. Moms have always and statistically been in the lead – out the door with young ones going to church.
I have a good friend named Dr. Tom Collingwood – he’s a PhD doctor who wrote the story of his study, and of his finding of faith – a journey that led to the Catholic Church. This story began with an experience that happened in his family life.
For years – Tom’s wife (Hi, Gretchen!) used to take their daughter to Sunday Mass – leaving Tom and his son Andy at home. The ‘men’ never went to church. Sadly, this is an all too common experience. One day at the dinner table, son Andy – about 5 or 6 years of age asked if ‘church was just for women.’ Ahhh… and a little child will lead them. Thus began Dr. Tom’s extensive (and doctoral-like) studies of religions and his eventual destination in Catholicism.
As a deacon – I’ve seen variations on this story many times over… by that I mean the story of women… wives and mothers leading the faith movement in families. They are definitely the ‘stronger sex,’ although certainly this is not a categorical statement.
You moms carry such a load in these times. I don’t want to add to it – but you must… you absolutely must give the spiritual leadership and faith example necessary to ultimately bring your children before the throne of Almighty God. That is your assignment for the gift of your children.
Evening prayers, grace before meals, and a few holy pictures in their rooms, CCD or similar classes, occasional videos on the lives of saints… these are the seeds of a future generation of strong, practicing Catholics.
Some day I’ll retell the story of my wife and I going from virtual non-practice of religion to fairly active Catholics. It started with one little step – and gradually we grew into people in love with the Church – an ultimately to my applying to become a deacon.
Down deep inside – even though we had been away from the practice of the faith for many years – I now believe my wife was hungering for God in her life. It has been beautiful to see the fruits in her life and in mine.
This Easter season – I ask you to pray about this. And if you happen to be a woman who has been away from the Church… away from your faith… if you have any issues or areas of confusion about how or if you can fit in with the Church… please seek out a priest or a deacon. Contact me on my website – anonymously. I’ll try to help you. You’d be amazed at the numbers and types of questions I’ve handled over the internet.
God be with you. You are the stronger sex in so many ways… let your leading strength be with regard to the faith. Blessings. Deacon Tom.
Copyright 2009 Deacon Tom Fox