What ever happened seeing the dignity and worth of the human person alone, and why are we still less focused on the content of one’s character than the character of one’s chromosomes?An absolutely wonderful piece by The Anchoress and the above is just a fraction of it.
The question can be applied in other instances, as well. I once asked a religious sister, who insisted on expunging as many male pronouns from the liturgy as she could get away with (she hit a wall when she tried to de-sex Jesus) why she was so manic on the subject. She kindly explained that “some women have been hurt by men, and they don’t have good feelings about fathers, so it’s important that we not perpetuate the idea of God-as-Father, or as having gender at all.”
I replied, “well I’m a woman, and I’ve been hurt by men and don’t have good feelings about my father; that’s one reason I’ve always been so grateful to have the idea of a Heavenly Father who is perfect; what about women who feel as I do? Why do we get short shrift? Why can’t we echo Jesus and say ‘Abba…’”
Sister was so taken aback that she actually took “a step back” from me and said — with wide-open-eyes — “you are the first woman I have ever heard express that sentiment.”
It is the fraction that spoke to me most, though, since my Catholic women's book club recently had a conversation about how our fathers helped or hindered our ability to see God as Father.
Two friends talked about how much they loved their fathers, gave them tribute, and then said that they thought it was why they could think so easily about God the Father. Another said that her father was extremely difficult to live with but that it was that very thing which made her long for God the Father ... and always think of Him as the "Abba" (Daddy) that she hadn't experienced on earth.
So we pull toward our Father in Heaven via different routes. But we all need that Father.