I wrote that after reading Maureen Mullarkey's ridiculous essay on Divine Mercy as an effeminate devotion. The very manly gun-toting Fr. Z chimed in with his two cents which didn't help. Another feminist lady took offense to Fr. Z's POV, but pretty much gave Mullarkey a free pass. What is wrong with these people? What is wrong with me that I respond?
The Catholic feminist to whom Z-man actually responded to, made one very good observation - that the Church herself is feminine since she is the Bride of Christ. That is true - read John of the Cross and you understand the soul is referred to in feminine terms as well - male mystics even speak in those terms - as the bride. Even in the Old Testament God reveals himself as Israel's husband. The thing is, there is a difference between feminine and effeminate. Effeminacy is a vice. Which makes Mullarkey's point of view that the Divine Mercy devotion is effeminate perhaps even worse. But I digress. If only Mullarkey could savor and abide by - with the same determination of donning a mantilla for Mass - St. Paul's admonition that women should not be teachers or have authority, seeing she is so concerned about an effeminate Church. (Actually it surprises me that a consistently misogynist cleric such as Fr. Z would give Mullarkey any credence at all.)
Is the vice of effeminacy pervasive in the Church?
Who am I to judge? Yet the abandonment of one's vocation comes to mind as one major sign of effeminacy - even more significant than the wearing of lovely capes and living with comfy furnishings, delighting in delicate food and drink, luxury and leisure. An “effeminate man is one who withdraws from good on account of sorrows caused by lack of pleasures, yielding as it were to a weak motion.” And some priests leave ministry because it's hard to be a priest and persevere until death.
It has nothing to do with conversing at a kitchen table with a woman, speaking about things of the heart - and the role of Divine Mercy in our eternal salvation. The Medieval mystics such as Julian of Norwich enjoyed homely and familiar exchanges with Christ. Yet Mullarkey makes fun of St. Faustina's visions, claiming they "conjure a feminized Jesus—a kitchen table Jesus drained of masculinity; one who feels, who talks about his feelings as a woman would. Worse, He Who spoke the universe into existence speaks to Faustina in the phrasings of a dime novel."
They want tough Church Militant types then? Manly combat rosaries? A severe judge?
Then what about corporal penances - how do we do with all that sort of manly stuff? Perhaps the holster for one's gun is too tight or digs into your fatty side and causes discomfort? That's a good one. Offered up, it maybe helps to combat the vice of delicacy. How about living as a refugee or immigrant when you vacation or travel? Just for a day, maybe? Or just for one flight delayed, how about not bitching about it? St. Faustina lived a life of obedience and constant mortification, according to a somewhat rigid horarium in a convent. That was not an easy life in Poland.
Mullarkey complains, "A feminized Church is a weak institution. It puts soft devotions ahead of the Cross." Really? The devotion to DM is devotion to the Passion and Death of Christ. She's really screwed up in her thinking here. She just doesn't know. So the Church is a weak institution? Well who wants to live in an institution? Seriously, I'd say that is actually a good thing, since the Church more closely resembles her spouse. As St. Paul said, "Christ's power is perfected in weakness."
The effeminate doth protest too much, methinks.
Saint Faustina: "Oh, how sweet it is to toil for God and souls! I want no respite in this battle, but I shall fight to the last breath for the glory of my King and Lord. I shall not lay the sword aside until He calls me before His throne; I fear no blows, because God is my shield. It is the enemy who should fear us, and not we him. Satan defeats only the proud and the cowardly, because the humble are strong. Nothing will confuse or frighten a humble soul. I have directed my flight at the very center of the sun's heat, and nothing can lower its course. Love will not allow itself to be taken prisoner, it is free like a queen. Love attains God." - diary, p.199