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Why We Need the Feminine Genius

The COVID-19 pandemic, it seems, has spared no one.

Sure, some have been blessed to remain largely untouched physically or financially by the coronavirus pandemic. But the anxiety of these uncertain last few months, and the consequences of isolation and loneliness, seem to have found us all in some way.

As a result, the larger questions about destiny and meaning — ones that were dismissed more easily before — today ask to be revisited in a totally new context. After the bruising year that was 2020, those questions invite Catholics to reflect deeply about our place in the post-COVID world.

St. Augustine of Hippo lived in a time of chaos and civilizational collapse, marked by plague and political strife. His advice for times like these? Stay rooted in reality.

“Bad times, hard times, this is what people keep saying; but let us live well, and times shall be good,” he wrote in the year 410. “We are the times: Such as we are, such are the times.”

Such as we are, such are the times.

The great 20th-century philosopher Simone Weil described being rooted as the least recognized and yet most important need of the human soul. But what can help us fulfill this need?

Ironically, it was one of Weil’s admirers, St. Pope John Paul II, who argued that modern man’s loss of its own sense of humanity called for a “manifestation of that ‘genius’ which belongs to women.”

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