December 23, 2015 25 Comments
Firstly, happy Christmas to Neo – and you all. He’s left me in charge until he returns. Christmas is a quiet time, a family time, and hopefully I can’t kill the blog in a few days. Bear with me, it’s a bit of time since I blogged, and there will be some rust and creakiness.
I was sad to read that Maureen O’Hara (pictured) died. She was a fine actress, unafraid to talk about her Catholic faith, and a true giant of the silver screen. Because my father was 49 when I was born, my taste in movies tends to be his, and above all actors, he loved John Wayne, and I have to admit he was my first (and longest-lasting) crush. I remember watching The Quiet Man for the first time, and as little girls will, imagined myself the heroine – Mary Kate; that I am a red-head with a bit of a temper made that easier. I felt so cross with the Irish system which meant that she and John Wayne couldn’t play ‘patty-cakes’ without a chaperone, and quite indignant when she was silly enough to reject him; my daddy said I got very cross. I still recall the way I felt when John Wayne grabbed her in the cottage she’d crept in to clean for him; I didn’t understand it then, but later realised it was the way a woman feels when there is a strong man she can trust.
There’s altogether too much written on male-female relationships implying that women should be the equal of men. I never understood why anyone would want to aim low! Of course I want, as every woman wants, to be treated with respect, and if I do the work a guy does, it is right to pay me the same wage. But I don’t want a guy in a pinny doing the dishes, and I don’t want a guy who can’t fix whatever it is went wrong in the house; and I most emphatically don’t want someone to treat me as though I was a man!
When God made them male and female, I guess he knew what he was about. I’m fine with being a help to others – including men. I don’t regard the idea of being a hand-maid of the Lord as in any way demeaning. Our beloved Mother Mary gloried in it, and I’m happy to be a lesser member of that band. Christians are called to service, and John Ford touched something profound when he had Mary Kate just go into that cottage and clean it up for her man; she was laying a claim to him in her own way. We women will do that. There’s altogether too much said about sex, as though it was all there was to the male-female relationship. Surely, in its place, it matters, not least because it’s where the next generation are going to be created, which is why it should be in a loving marriage; that’s the natural nest for the child/children.
We are now towards the end of Advent, a period marking God’s emptying of himself to become man, to live among us and to suffer our keenest woes and all for love, all because he loves us. And who was it nurtured him? His mother. And who was it taught his strong hands at the plane and the lathe? His father, Joseph. If it was good enough for Jesus, then it’s good enough for us.
That wonderful film in which Maureen O’Hara showed how to act, was, in its own way, a tribute to the eternal dynamic of the man and the woman – and to the origin of the perfect place in which to bring up a child.