‘Letters to Women’ Reflects How ‘Each Woman’s Feminine Genius Is Unique and Essential’
BOOK PICK: New book offers heartfelt letters on a variety of topics.
LETTERS TO WOMEN
EMBRACING THE FEMININE GENIUS IN EVERYDAY LIFE
By Chloe Langr
TAN Books, 2021
$24.95, 200 pages
To order: tanbooks.com
“Thank you, every woman, for the simple fact of being a woman! Through the insight which is so much a part of your womanhood you enrich the world’s understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic.”
This excerpt from John Paul II’s “Letter to Women” gave me pause before I journeyed onward to read more of Letters to Women: Embracing the Feminine Genius in Everyday Life.
Of late, I have found myself reflecting more and more on John Paul II’s poignant letter on the feminine genius.
Letters to Women’s author, Chloe Langr, the host of the Letters to Women podcast, is drawn to the feminine genius, too.
“I realized that the feminine genius isn’t a cookie-cutter model for how to live authentically as a Catholic woman,” shares Langr about reading the writings of John Paul II. “… John Paul II recognized that every woman, regardless of her vocation, strengths, passions, crosses, and joys, brings richness into the world and helps everyone understand what it means to be an authentic and honest child of God. Not because of something she does, but because she simply is.”
Letters to Women covers so many topics close to feminine hearts, from struggles with doing too much and comparison to heartache and heartbreak and healing and grief, as well as prayer and Catholic living, via a variety of women’s voices. Every woman will find a letter, or multiple ones, she can relate to in these heartfelt notes that offer poignant insights into the Catholic woman’s journey, introduced with or including quotes from beloved female saints like St. Thérèse and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
“[L]ook to Our Lady as your example of a woman who followed God’s will in unwavering trust. Her faith did not rely on opinions of others because her eyes were set on the One who made her for that life-giving purpose,” writes Lizzy Grace Dowd, a disabilities advocate.
Register contributor and children’s book author Katie Warner penned, “A Letter to the Woman Whose Kids Are Crying at Mass.”
“Drawing near to his heart is right where Jesus wants our little ones — and us too,” she writes, adding that bumped knees at church can be “the unique offering of a mother at Mass.”
“A Letter to the Woman Sitting in Adoration” was my favorite letter — it spoke so strongly to my heart.
“I came to Jesus and he came to me,” writes author and blogger Sara Estabrooks.
“You can chat with him about anything and everything, as you would a friend. Pour out the deepest parts of your heart to him and ask for his advice. Tell him what’s going on in your life right now and what your dreams for the future are. You may find that an hour chatting with Jesus as your best friend passes in the blink of an eye.”
She continues, “You can sit quietly with him and enjoy each other’s company. … An hour with Jesus can be a time of peace, strength and grounding. … You can pour out your love for him and allow him to love you in return.”
“You may find yourself overcome with joy or sharing the deepest grief. You can rejoice with him over the blessings he has given you, or wrestle with your interior conflicts and crosses,” she encourages.
She concludes, “Just give him your heart, and that is enough.”
Langr encourages women in the book’s conclusion: “Each woman’s feminine genius is unique and essential to society and to the Church. No matter what your vocation, your season of life, your talents, your joys, or your struggles, the feminine genius is for you.”