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On Understanding Women

3) The Second Aspect

Author: Nathaniel Slattery
Posted: 12th Day of the Month of the Holy Name, Year of Our Lord 2024

In this section, I have assessed the differences of men and women in the area of perfection. Before publication, I now go back and look at this. I have made very strong theological statements of my own thinking, this by speculation on Thomas Aquinas. I have no doubt that the fundamental thought of the section, the beginning line, “Women are made differently than men”, is absolutely true in all of its implications. I go on to compare the final perfection of the universe, that is, Holy Mother Church, to women in general. This all is overlooked by traditionalists. They are just as likely to act like women are the same as men. They act as if women should conduct themselves into the public sphere in the same way as men.

I do not refrain from publishing this section because of this assertion and the repudiations I made of it. Rather, I refrain because of the theological speculation, which is something laymen should always hesitate to publish. My normal method of writing involves a period of evaluation between final editing and publication, and my priest has advised, in order to avoid theological speculation of this kind (since I am sometimes employed profitably to write apologetics), to quote without adulteration the fathers and doctors of the Church.

I have included below, therefore, an extended excerpt of St. Thomas Aquinas who represents within himself and his writings the absolute purity of Catholic doctrine according to the popes, who have said: “he enlightened the Church more than all the other doctors” (John XXII); “By the use of his works a man could profit more in one year than if he studies the doctrine of others for his whole life” (Ibid); his works are “the most certain rule of Christian doctrine by which he enlightened the Apostolic Church in answering conclusively numberless errors” (St. Pius V); his works are “more brilliant than the sun and written without the shadow of error” (Benedict XIII); “the surest rule of Christian doctrine, the truth of our holy religion” (Ibid); “this is the greatest glory of Thomas, altogether his own and shared with no other Catholic Doctor, that the Fathers of Trent, in order to proceed in an orderly fashion during the conclave, desired to have opened upon the altar together with the Scriptures and the decrees of the Supreme Pontiffs, the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas whence they could draw counsel, reasons, and answers.” (Leo XIII); “This point is vital, that Bishops expend every effort to see that young men destined to be the hope of the Church should be imbued with the holy and heavenly doctrine of the Angelic Doctor” (Ibid); “Every day We become more clearly aware how powerfully Sacred Doctrine taught by its master and patron, Thomas, affords the greatest possible utility for both clergy and laity.” (Ibid); “the leader and master of theology, whose divine genius fashioned weapons marvelously suited to protect the truth and destroy the many errors of the times.” (St. Pius X); those who withdraw from the teaching of St. Thomas “seem to effect ultimately their withdrawal from the Church” (Ibid); “one may not desert Aquinas, especially in philosophy and theology, without great harm; following him is the safest way to the knowledge of divine things” (Ibid); “If the doctrine of any other author or saint has ever been approved at any time by Us or Our predecessors with singular commendation joined with an invitation and order to propagate and to defend it, it may be easily understood that it was commended only insofar as it agreed with the principles of Aquinas or was in no way opposed to them.” (Ibid); “he was divinely raised up that the Church might have a master whose doctrine should be followed in a special way at all times” (Benedict XV); “all the popes have vied with one another in exalting him, proposing him, inculcating him, as a model, master, doctor, patron, and protector of all schools” (Pius XI); “We now say: ‘Go to Thomas’ that they may ask from him the food of solid doctrine of which he has an abundance to nourish their souls unto eternal life” (Ibid).

Here is the excerpt, from the Second Part of the Second Part of the Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas, Article Two:

“Whether the grace of the word of wisdom and knowledge is becoming to women?”

“On the contrary, The Apostle says: ‘Let women keep silence in the churches’, and, ‘I suffer not a woman to teach.’ Now this pertains especially to the grace of the word. Therefore, the grace of the word is not becoming to women.

“I answer that, Speech may be employed in two ways: in one way privately, to one or a few, in familiar conversation, and in this respect the grace of the word may be becoming to women; in another way, publicly, addressing oneself to the whole church, and this is not permitted to women. First and chiefly, on account of the condition attaching to the female sex, whereby woman should be subject to man, as appears from Genesis 3:16. Now teaching and persuading publicly in the church belong not to subjects but to the prelates (although men who are subject may do these things if they be so commissioned, because their subjection is not a result of their natural sex, as it is with women, but of some thing supervening by accident). Secondly, lest men’s minds be enticed to lust, for it is written: ‘Her conversation burneth as fire.’ Thirdly, because as a rule women are not perfected in wisdom, so as to be fit to be entrusted with public teaching.”

“Objection One. It would seem that the grace of the word of wisdom and knowledge is becoming even to women. For teaching is pertinent to this grace, as stated in the foregoing Article. Now it is becoming to a woman to teach; for it is written: ‘I was an only son in the sight of my mother, and she taught me.’ Therefore this grace is becoming to women.”

“Reply to Objection One. The passage quoted speaks of private teaching whereby a father instructs his son.”

“Objection Two. Further, the grace of prophecy is greater than the grace of the word, even as the contemplation of truth is greater than its utterance. But prophecy is granted to women, as we read of Deborah, and of Hold the prophetess, the wife of Sellum, and of the four daughters of Philip. Moreover, the Apostle says: ‘Every woman praying or prophesying,’ etcetera. Much more therefore would it seem that the grace of the word is becoming to a woman.”

“Reply to Objection Two. The grace of prophecy consists in God enlightening the mind, on the part of which there is no difference of sex among men, according to Colossians 3:10-11, ‘Putting on the new’ man, ‘him who is renewed unto knowledge, according to the image of Him that created him, where there is neither male nor female.’ Now the grace of the word pertains to the instruction of men among whom the difference of sex is found. Hence the comparison fails.”

“Objection Three. Further, it is written: ‘As every man hath received grace ministering the same one to another.’ Now some women receive the grace of wisdom and knowledge, which they cannot minister to others except by the grace of the word. Therefore the grace of the word is becoming to women.”

“Reply to Objection Three. The recipients of a divinely conferred grace administer it in different ways according to their various conditions. Hence women, if they have the grace of wisdom or knowledge, can minister it by teaching privately but not publicly.”

Now, there is a depth of things to be considered about the difference between men and women. In the original writing of this, not for publication (although if you ask I may give it to you), I drew conclusions from the perfection of women in the image of the Blessed Virgin, who seems never to have taught publicly and barely spoke, for instance. I compared that to the absolute corruption of women in the image of the Great Harlot. This I opposed to the perfection of men in the image of the Christ and the corruption in the image of the Baphomet. Obviously, men and women might look to either image for instruction, but one refers particularly to their sex and the other is clearly separate from that same image, as Christ and the Virgin are not the same Person, and the Harlot rides upon the back of the Beast. What you can see from this extended quote is that there is a difference between men and women that cuts down so deeply into the divine truth of Creation that it must have been put there for the purposes of eternal contemplation, because it has the fingerprint of our Divine Master.

This is just an introduction to the idea. You might go and do more study on it yourself, if you can sift through the fascination people have with the exceptions, such as the women Doctors, something undone before the last council. This fascination is a part of the curse of Eve I am sure.

As for practical purposes, what matters is the understanding that the women which you are dealing with out there in the world might be more or less corrupted, and this needs to be carefully considered in your dealings with them. So far as a woman is separate from the Church and Her Sacraments, she might be considered a harlot according to the prophets, who routinely use that term to refer to people separate from the true God, running after false gods.

Thus should cover us for the purposes of this essay, its goals, and its remainder.

I am publishing this as a serial. I am writing this portion after having finished the manuscript. The only other thing which I see here that I have written is that all society throughout history has addressed the issue of women’s corruption by separating women from men, because women’s downfall involves the use of men. I also mention some differences in the image of our Lady and the Harlot, namely that the latter is dressed revealingly and is offering her cup to anyone who might give or take from it, whereas our Lady is clothed modestly, is hidden to all, and always offers our Lord, often as an Infant.

Here, too, is some practical and non-theological advice which I offered in the original writing:

“Therefore, there is no reason for half-measures. If you suspect a woman is seducing you in anyway, if she is acting inappropriately, if she is friendly in a manner unacceptable in Christendom circa 1000AD, then show her complete and cold contempt. Do it in a manner, without phrasing it, that makes it clear why you are doing it. If you are invited by a woman to an activity outside the workplace, decline saying it is inappropriate. If you find yourself in casual conversation by accident, talk about the importance of monogamy and of continency. If someone dresses poorly, avoid looking at them no matter how outrageous you might seem to the world. If they sit in front of you at church or the movies or the cafeteria, get up and sit somewhere else. Do not tell them that they are immodest. Simply treat them as what they are, which is a devil attempting to destroy your soul. Firstly, ignore the devil. Secondly, resist the devil. Finally, go to an authority for help. Each step only if the oppression increases severity.

“Thus for the corruption of women. I have noticed with men of my generation who have received no guidance on dealing with the daughters of Eve, that they tend to go through a stage in their development where they have contempt for all women. This is an understandable if sinful thing. I went through it myself. When you get past this stage, you will realize that, in a similar way as all false religion deserves contempt, all false women deserve contempt, because these two are the principle factors of that world which the words of our Lord in the Gospel identify as trying to seduce you to hell.

“We protect our women. We honor and cherish our women. When a strange woman wanders into our village acting like a harlot, we run them out of town as quickly as possible, because they will destroy our boys, our girls, our men, our women, and our whole society, more thoroughly than an invading army ever could.

“We now proceed to evaluate what types of women are included in ‘our women’.”

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