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Fount Of Authentic Femininity

By: Michele Lynn

Date: February 13, 2024

I have loved Jesus all my life, and sought for a closer relationship with Him. I thought I was seeking Him in all the right places, but was misdirected through the youth organization I was involved in and was even lied to by a priest in confession. The 70’s followed the “Swinging Sixties” where previous social taboos were relaxed and the age of feminism was in full swing. 

Feminism was originally a response to cultural and political oppression against women. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the suffragette movement was successful in changing the unfair laws which didn’t allow women to vote. Then because of both World Wars, women had to leave their homes to supply the workforce which was depleted of men who were conscripted to serve in the military. Of course, as things progressed and the wars were over, women continued to work and so began the push for equal benefits and wages for women, which is as it should have been, and still should be.  Unfortunately, it also began the corrupted impetus of seeking equality in every way where feminism took on a life of its own in demanding that women and men should be virtually interchangeable, which we especially see the results of in our culture today.

The Church had also undergone a radical change with Vatican II being misinterpreted by many, changing the way we worshipped and engaged in ministry. This was the culture I grew up in as a teenager and young adult. I continued to search for the Lord I knew existed because my mother loved Him so much and I desired to know Him as she did, but it was hard to wade through the misinformation and even disinformation of the times.  

In 1984, my husband, Sean, and I were married. He had started to go to church because I played guitar in folk choirs that had sprung up in most parishes. We had three children and most weekends, we would attend mass unless it was a nice day and going to the mountains was more important. Not really knowing the true teaching of the Church on the matter of family planning (and honestly not really caring to know), we chose to have a vasectomy. We were cafeteria Catholics, taking what we liked while leaving the rest.  

My re-version (a phrase coined by Jeff Cavins for Catholics who fell away, but came home to the Church) coincided with Sean’s through very different journeys. Sean was a police officer who saw the degradation of the family, and in particular the absence in the home of a father/proper male role model. He was being challenged by his devout protestant partner on what he believed as a Catholic and why. He realized he didn’t have answers to many of the inquiries, so he began a journey to find out. He went to a retreat for men called Saint Joseph’s Covenant Keepers in Edmonton in 1997. He was so impacted by this experience, he decided to bring it to Calgary. Eventually, this became "God Squad Canada." 

Meanwhile, I was part of a mothers prayer group at the Catholic School my children attended. I was the only Catholic. Our prayers excluded requests to pray for departed souls. I began to look for what the Church actually taught on this. I also had a friend who lived across the street who was also searching for grounding and a church to belong to. This all led me deeper into faith while seeking the true Church teachings. This was around the same time that the first version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church was printed and distributed. 

There were many converts to Catholisicm at that time by protestant ministers.  EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network)  had a show called, “The Journey Home” hosted by Marcus Grodi who was formerly a protestant minister who converted because the truth he sought for through Scripture led him home to the Catholic Church. There were others featured on EWTN who had a direct and deep effect on us;  Jeff Cavins and Scott Hahn in particular. We spent our 10th anniversary watching many videos and listening to talks on cassette tape. Our conversion was complete. We both went back to the sacrament of confession, then renewed our vows and received a special blessing. 

We recognized our sin in not being open to new life in our marriage, so Sean had a vasectomy reversal, and we welcomed 5 more children into our family over the next few years.

After my re-version, at first I worried about praying to Mary as an intercessor. I didn’t understand her role in the Church, thinking I didn’t want to go around Jesus as THE intercessor for us. I was challenged by the mother’s prayer group about praying to Mary in the rosary. The Holy Spirit helped me at that time because I hadn’t done much research about Mary yet. I replied it’s simply asking her, who is very much alive in Christ, to pray for me. 

I knew from all the  media we were consuming like starving people that Mary had a different place in the Church and in our lives than other Saints, but I couldn’t quite grasp it.

Here is what Scripture tells us about men and women: 

Genesis 1: 27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 

Galatians 3: 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Notice that God created both man and woman in his own image. God doesn’t set Adam apart as having dominion over Eve, or vice versa. Equality doesn’t mean being the same. It means that we have equal dignity and worth as beloved children of God.

I couldn’t understand how Mary had been conceived without sin, but Jesus was still her Saviour. How did He save her before He was crucified? Steven Ray, a convert from evangelical protestantism, in a video demonstrated in a practical way how this could be. He explains that we walk on a road with deep mud pits that we fall into and must be rescued from by the Lord. Mary, he explains, walked the same road, but Jesus stops and rescues her before she falls into the mud. We all need our Saviour, including Mary, but she was saved from original sin at her conception. 

I knew in my mind that I should be closer to Mary, but I didn’t know how. In my mind, yes, Mary was a mother like me, but her Son was sinless and perfect!  SHE was perfect! THAT’s something I couldn’t relate to.  I was up to my armpits with little children and they were definitely not perfect, and neither was I!  

I developed a devotion to the Holy Family, because it included St. Joseph, who I could more easily relate to. That was how I pictured all of them; Joseph as provider and protector, Jesus as The Word incarnate, and Mary, a loving mother.  I could understand better what it felt like to be a family who had to live through the trials of life together. It was easier for me to ask Jesus, Mary and Joseph to pray for me. I read the book, “True Devotion to Mary” by St. Louis De Montfort, which really spoke to me, but I still couldn’t get the information about Mary from my head to my heart. 

Over time I began to see that feminism had become about more than equality for women in matters of financial compensation, or being able to elect politicians. Part of my journey as a young adult put me in a situation where I was literally surrounded by friends choosing to be homosexual. My female friends took feminism to a new level. They wanted to dominate men.  

I chose femininity by choosing to be open to having children. I wanted to be a mother. I had a loving, nurturing mother, and that’s what I wanted for my family. After our reversion I felt sad that women had begun to reject motherhood as being burdensome and was perceived as oppressive. Abortion became freely available. I knew women who chose to have abortions to “rescue” them from their perceived oppression. I knew of one woman who used abortion as birth control. 

Feminism (as our culture understands it today) is the opposite of authentic femininity. Here is what I believe about femininity: We were created as equal by God in His own image. This means that we share His heart in that we give and receive love. We are created by Love in Love for Love. God created man and woman for each other; made equal and valued for the unique traits and characteristics we received from Him.

Now that I had looked at femininity from another perspective, I could begin to really see what true femininity is. Only a woman can give birth. Is there anything more incredible than this? I chose, as part of the title for this article the tag line: Fount of Authentic Femininity. When we think of a fount, or font, what is the image we picture? I see water flowing out, giving life to all things. What is a mother? She who gives life, then pours forth love. She nurtures the new life she has cooperated with God in creating through the love between spouses. 

Once I really began to understand just how precious new life was and that I was a vessel created to nurture and bring forth, I began to finally understand Our Blessed Mother. It is Our Lady’s virginal Motherhood that has made her so venerated. When the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was the chosen one, his greeting is the very same as the beginning of the Hail Mary that we pray in our rosary. “Hail, O favoured one, the Lord is with you!”  Luke 1: 28

The day came when our pastor offered the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, using the formula from St. Louis De Monfort. I faithfully prayed all the prayers associated with the devotion. Then the day came when we were called to consecrate ourselves to Mary. I signed a document stating this intention. Once I did this, my understanding of Mary finally went from my head to my heart. I fell in love with her for all the right reasons. 

Shortly after this, we had the opportunity to go to Israel with Jeff Cavins. On our way back, we stopped in Rome for a few days. I found a simple rosary ring in one of the Vatican gift shops. They had it taken to be blessed at the Vatican. I put that ring on and have never taken it off.  My heart belongs to Mary. I know her place in salvation history, in the Church, and in my life. I remembered how I was given a way to answer the other mothers in the prayer group I belonged to so long ago when they questioned asking Mary to intercede for us. Mary has a very elevated status as Co-Mediatrix. We don’t go around Jesus, we go straight to him through His loving Mother. Everything Mary is credited as saying in Scripture points directly to her Divine Son. She always leads us to Him, never pointing to herself. 

Authentic femininity values motherhood as unique and beautiful. Our culture still tells us that motherhood is oppressive. If we valued motherhood as we should for the beautiful gift that it is, our culture would be very different. 


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