Thursday, November 20, 2008

Paul Evdokimov

From his book Woman and the Salvation of the World (St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1994), pp. 223-5

To woman belongs the task of correcting the masculine zeal that blunders so frequently, deeper and deeper, into a profanation of the mysteries, to the detriment of the spiritual values.

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In the Kontakion of the Annunciation, the Virgin is called the "victorious leader of triumphant hosts" -- not as a woman warrior but as one who is, by nature, deadly to demons and invincible by her triumphant purity. She has the power to bruise the head of the serpent, but not by her deeds (the domain of the masculine). It is through her very being that "in her invincible power, she keeps us free from every peril."

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The fact that a woman gave birth to God shows the power of every woman, when she is indeed a "new creation," to bring forth God in devastated souls.

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Salvation will come only from holiness; but in the conditions of actual life, sanctity is more at home to woman. The Virgin "treasured up all these things in her heart" (Lk 2:51); every woman holds an innate intimacy, almost a complicity, with the tradition, with the continuity of life. In God, existence coincides with essence. In holiness, a woman is more apt to come close to this relationship of essence and existence through the power of humility, since "humility is the art of finding oneself exactly at one's place." In contrast to all egalitarianism and all demands, this is the most natural resplendence of her charismatic state. This is the ministry of the Paraclete, the grace of consolation and of joy, which presupposes a feminine being as a mother for whom each being is a child. The world will be saved by Beauty -- not just any beauty, but that of the Holy Spirit, that of the woman "robed with the sun."