What is the difference between the women of yesterday and of this generation? One source that I have read provides a clear-cut narrative of the differences between women of yesterday and of today says: women of the past were uneducated, suppressed and submissive, while women of today are educated and are not suppressed easily. With more rights now and to take note… women have different definitions for what is and is not beautiful. Truly we cannot repudiate that the mass media affects the values of each young individual and their aspirations in life. The mass media use diversified technologies to reach a large audience by widespread communication through print, broadcasting, outdoor media, digital, public speaking, event organisation and the internet wherein various communication and the latest information are alluded to and disclosed. Through the mass media, some women are drawn to fad and fancy when it comes to their physical appearance. Some are concerned to appear beautiful and absolutely impeccable or perfect beyond criticism. Many women look forward to a controlled age and become so fretful with their physical looks.
Beauty pageants are the peak of the fashion and beauty industry nowadays. Some young Filipinas vie for a chance in these notable gala of beauties. What is the reason behind this? Perhaps it is for pleasure, ambition to become a beauty queen, a stepping stone in the fashion world or just for fun. It is a choice from an individual that we ought to respect.
Does a vocation to religious life still flourish despite the challenges that the world casts out? This is not a new encounter. What makes it new is the set up and the way we respond to this encounter which the world calls “change”. The harvest is still great and workers are still few. Holy individuals who radically follow Christ are scars because of the world’s statement of this being a foolish choice in life, that it is fruitless to share one’s sacrifice for a greater service especially for those who want to be totally owned by Christ, living the Gospel for the service of the Church and for the salvation of souls. The soul who has felt the invitation of God must not be afraid nor hesitate as this is the deceiving line of attack of the evil one in response to this mysterious and one-of-a-kind Divine solicitation.
Many of the young women of yesterday like Blessed Elizabeth of Trinity (member of the Order of Discalced Carmelites), St Faustina Kowalska (member of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy congregation) and Mother Nazarena Majone (co-foundress of the Daughters of Divine Zeal congregation), offered at a young age to allow themselves to be immersed in the abyss of God’s love, to be God’s subject of His friendship, of His mercy and of His love. To be the bride of Christ and eternally united with Him. They who understand the real beauty that lies within find it more than majestic. They are the bouquets of lilies for Christ alone. It is the unchanged calling of today to all the young women who at this time search for the greater meaning of life. Who at this time are being carried off by the publicity that life is perfect when you are equally without blemish externally.
St Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians said that God has called us to live not in impurity but in holiness and if a choice has been made to devote one’s life to God then one is concerned for nothing but the Lord’s affairs, to be holy in body and spirit which is more than the world can shout from the rooftop. Life is not a matter of chance but of choice and to answer God’s call is a choice to win the unfading crown of glory. The crown that awaits all of us without any distinction, colour or race that truly gives life. It does not fade nor wither. This choice is yours!
Sr M Glenda Galanido, fdz