A call for both women and men not to be soft!

Most interesting article by Fr. James Mason about the vice of effeminacy that I found over at the New Advent site. He writes:

I have five sisters, and all are feminine, but I would describe none of them as effeminate or soft.  They are women; yet, they do not exhibit this particular vice.  So, it must be understood, I am not putting down women or speaking on homosexuality, (though effeminacy is often a sign of this sexual disorder) but rather on acting in an inappropriate manner that is often prevalent in seminaries.

When I was giving a retreat to some of Mother Teresa’s sisters in Washington, D.C.,  I briefly mentioned  this vice, and after the conference, the regional superior asked if I could give a more thorough conference on the matter.  I told her that this type of softness was certainly not something that I observed with the Missionaries of Charity, but she insisted on the topic.  I decided to use the example of St. Teresa of Avilla who when she went about with her reforms she immediately began to address this type of softness.  The Carmelites had become a soft group of social elites who would sit around and gossip in the parlor.  She told her sisters we need to be “con pantoloni” (with pants).  Many modern religious have taken a completely literal translation to these words, but she meant that they needed to roll up their sleeves, and get to work.  They could not be soft, delicate Southern belles but feminine women able to finish a job.  St. Teresa of Avila, observing the group of virgins around her stated:

What shall I do with them?  Ah, I shall employ them to destroy heresy, to bring forth Doctors of the Church, to make reparation for sins, to convert souls.  They will be solid walls, armed ramparts.  They will be living fountains of light and faith…

There is nothing soft about such a call.

I love that call!

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