On Saturday morning, February 29, Rockhurst High School will host the annual Women’s Day of Reflection to inaugurate the Lenten Season. This year’s theme is Vision. It’s a perfect focus for 20-20 as we desire to be nearsighted enough to see today and farsighted enough to envision the future, farsighted enough to think globally and nearsighted enough to act locally, nearsighted enough to care for our families and farsighted enough to reach out to the stranger or those different from us. I invite women to enter into Lent by joining in this Day of Reflection with the hope of gaining clearer spiritual vision.
In our patriarchal society, women have, in notable ways, been given belittled roles. Historically, they were considered possessions of their fathers and then their husbands. Even great intellects and saints of past centuries taught that female brains were smaller than those of males and that souls were infused into baby boy fetuses significantly before those of baby girls. Yet, in spite of being second-class citizens barred from certain positions in government and church, they have always been the backbone of family, religion, and society. As Louisa May Alcott and Gretta Gerwig proclaim in the story, Little Women, through humility, encouragement, enthusiasm, drive, sacrifice, and compassion, females possess an innate capacity to rise from littleness to greatness. As Jo Marsh, the story’s central figure, exclaimed: “Women have minds and souls as well as hearts; they’ve ambition and talents as well as beauty; we want to live and learn as well as love and be loved.” Consider entering Lent by exploring, acknowledging, and celebrating the greatness.
At this Day of Reflection, we will review the generations into which women were born in the last century and how each group has impacted societal and ecclesial roles. We will also reflect upon the spiritual shifts that take place through the first and second halves of life and how those shifts advance a woman’s life in this world and offer her legacy from the future world. In Gerwig’s film, the death of Jo’s younger sister, Beth, is portrayed as a bridge from this world to the next upon which their relationship is strengthened as they surrender to eternity’s mystery. In this spiritual realm where mind, soul, and heart touch, like the waves of an ocean touching land’s shores, they reach toward each other. During Lent, we are beckoned to reach toward divine and heavenly things in a similar manner.
The 2020 Women’s Day of Reflection will begin with a registration at 8:30 and Mass at 9:00 in The Rose Theatre; it will continue with presentations and discussions before concluding at 12:00. This event, sponsored by the RHS Spirituality Committee and Parent Club, brought together about 400 ladies, last year, who value the spiritual companionship of others to enlighten the journey of faith. For more information and to register online, click here. Though only a few hours long, this Day of Reflection may help you to more clearly perceive your earthly purpose, impact your heavenly desire and destination, and strengthen your connection to all that you love and treasure.