On International Women’s Day it’s easy to remember all the questionable things that the Church has done and continues to do to women – sins of omission and commission – but I’d like to direct you to something more positive, the Lenten retreat currently being run by Pray as you Go.
The retreat this year focuses on The Women of the Passion. It reflects on the events of the Passion as witnessed by the women, some known by name – Martha and Mary, Mary Magdelene – more are anonymous. But it is important to remember when taking this retreat that the position of women in the culture of that time weren’t important. As an example, women couldn’t be witnessed in the Roman courts, married women were only just beginning to hold possessions ‘on their own’ although in fact this was because they could be considered under their father’s authority rather than transferring to their husband’s authority. Women as a whole don’t appear much in the written records of the time, because they were so ‘insignificant’.
But women found a freedom and a respect in the early Church and in the company of Jesus that clearly impacted on them enough to make them follow him to his death and openly mourn it.
There are still a few weeks left of Lent for us to reconsider our relationship with Christ, why not try this retreat as another way to think/experience your way toward Easter?