By Patricia Ranft (auth.)
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Extra info for A Woman’s Way: The Forgotten History of Women Spiritual Directors
Certainly this was consistent in principle with Basil’s opinion of women’s spiritual nature: “For the virtue of man and woman is one, since also the creation is of equal honour for both, and so the reward for both is the same. Listen to Genesis. ”65 There is no equivocation here, and similar statements can be found throughout his work,66 particularly in his Homily on the Martyr Julitta. “I am from the same lump,” Gregory recorded in Julitta’s voice, “as men. We have been made according to the image of God, as they also are.
Of all the ladies in Rome but one had power to subdue me, and that one was Paula,” Jerome confessed. ”99 While Paula (widowed at age thirty-one with five children) never moved to the Aventine estate, she did spend much time there, engaged in particular with biblical studies. The same council that brought Jerome to Rome in 382 also brought the venerated monastic advocate Bishop Epiphanius who stayed with Paula in her home. Paula’s desire for the monastic life probably originated during discussions with Epiphanius.
Because the message must be in the language of the society, every time the language changes, the witness and direction must change also. Witness and direction, therefore, if they be effective must adapt to the audience. The message remains the same, but the method, means, and presentation of spiritual direction must vary as much as society does. We have seen that already in Jesus’ lifetime spiritual direction had various forms. In its most basic form, Christian spiritual direction simply directed others toward the person of Jesus.
A Woman’s Way: The Forgotten History of Women Spiritual Directors by Patricia Ranft (auth.)