Thursday 22 November 2007

Patroness of womanhood

Although St Cecilia is known as the Patroness of musicians, she was from the outset, venerated as a model of womanhood. This is not simply because she was a virgin and martyr; in fact, she was married (her biography on is worth reading). But because through her life and her spirituality she clearly expresses womanhood - both natural womanhood and Christian womanhood. You might look again at the first reading of her Mass today (from the Prophet Hosea) which says so much about the genuine character and personality of woman.
She is an important Saint for today when the secular model of womanhood has robbed women of so much dignity, and thereby confused and inhibited men in their own manhood. We might say that the way in which the Church promoted the dignity of women in the past is outmoded - which is not a fully coherent argument - but we have certainly allowed the secular models of womanhood to overwhelm us. There is so much to be rediscovered and regained here in appropriating a genuine feminine (and masculine) spirituality, and in the education of girls (and therefore boys).
It is here, rather than in music, that St Cecilia's prayers are needed - particularly as there is so much for us to do in this regard.

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