Last Tuesday I sat in a classroom with Colleen and presented to “baby Catholics”: little young women who are going to be making their confirmations in a few days.
We were supposed to be talking about the “Theology of the Body” but, again, they were merely baby Catholics so we kind of started by talking about God and how much He loves us. This must always be the basis for our faith. If it only becomes rules…then Catholicism is stupid and I’m finished with it. But if it’s about a God who daily seeks me and cares for me even more than I care for myself…well, then we’re getting somewhere.
And then we branched into the stories of Jesus and women.
“Can you think of any stories where Jesus ministered especially to women?” I asked.
They brought up the woman charged with adultery, the woman at the well, Martha and Mary. (One said “Noah’s Ark,” but prefaced by saying that she knew it wasn’t about Jesus. I told her that that was fine).
Then we reminded them that the story of Salvation is an ongoing story…one that started with the creation of the world, reached through the Old Testament, embraced us in the New Testament, and continues today. I asked the young women how they experienced God. A little one–feisty and wearing a soccer hoodie–explained that she experienced God while feeling the thrill of playing sports. Another felt His presence lying in her grandmother’s backyard.
Then I gave them the hardest question of that evening (I warned them, though). We were talking about God’s love and how God will never love us anymore or any less…and how He delights in us, and how He smiles with love as He thinks of us. I asked these young ladies: “What do you love about yourself?”
Ooooh. So hard to answer when you’re in middle school. So hard to answer when you’re older, too!
One young lady was able to answer. I made Colleen answer and I forced myself to answer as well…because women need other women who can demonstrate a life of faith.
The ones who couldn’t think of something I said, “Well, pray about it. Ask God to show you things that He loves about you.”
And Colleen added, “Because He will.”
There are many things I don’t understand. I don’t understand the Eucharist, for example. I don’t understand why lilacs come back every spring. I don’t understand why God keeps choosing me.
But, I know that He does…and I love Him back.