March is Women's History Month and yesterday was International Women's Day. It's time to celebrate the irreplaceable role of a sister in Christ.
"The soul of woman must be expansive and open to all human beings, it must be quiet so that no small weak flame will be extinguished by stormy winds; warm so as not to benumb fragile buds … empty of itself, in order that extraneous life may have room in it; finally, mistress of itself and also of its body, so that the entire person is readily at the disposal of every call." - Edith Stein
A woman's soul is a beautiful mystery that leads our world into a fuller expression of the human heart. She calls others out of themselves to be stretched beyond a presumed capacity to love deeply, sacrificially, and endlessly.
When I recall the progression of my faith journey, every milestone has a face, of at least one woman, if not many, who played an incremental role in mothering me forward to fall deeper in love with Jesus.
Their presence changes me. Eyes welling over with grace. A smile spread wide bubbling over with compassion. Arms reaching out to embrace. Blonde, brunette, red, black, streaks of purple. Each full of life. Each calls me to holiness. Each unique, unrepeatable.
We pray together.
Possibly the most important dynamic of each of these relationships is that we pray for each other and with each other, with persistence.
Blessings, novenas, intense intercession, laying on of hands, weeping, defending, thanking, praising, confessing, begging... Every kind of prayer.
If our prayers could be recited back to us, they would tell the story of our souls. A story of sisters who relentlessly go to battle for one another. We fight for goodness, beauty, and truth.
What a gift.
To all the women who have gone to battle with me and for me, thank you.
To the women who have given me the privilege of entering into their battles, I love you.
It's sacred ground, entering into one's prayers. Ground that for so many has not been shared. We must share this ground with each other. The brokenness of our world will be remedied through the persistence and fervor of our prayer to our God who longs to rescue his beloved.
Sisters, our covenant is prayer.
"For me, prayer means launching out from the heart toward God; a cry of grateful love from the crest of joy or through the trough of despair. It is a vast supernatural force that opens my heart and binds me close to Jesus." - St. Therese of Lisieux