To understand the theology of women, we must go back to the first chapter of the Bible, to Genesis.On the first day of creation, God created light, "And God saw that the light was good, and He divided the light from the darkness. And he called the light day, and the darkness night, and there was evening and morning the first day."
Now, there are two things about this passage that are interesting. One is that He did not call the darkness good and it is the only thing He did not call good. The second is that the sun and moon and stars had not been created yet, so how could there be day and night as we know it? But we will come back to that later.
Then God created the firmament, and the waters, dry land, trees, fruits, sun, moon, stars (on the fourth day), and the fish, birds, and the animals, and then on the sixth day out of the slime of the earth He created man in His own image and likeness. Male and Female he created them. In chapter two we have a second account of the creation of man. "And the Lord God formed man out of the slime of the earth and breathed into his face the breath of life and man became a living soul. Then God made the paradise of pleasure for man to live in and the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And the four rivers. Then God commanded man not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge or "thou shall die the death." Genesis 2:17
God had not yet made woman. God cast Adam into a deep sleep and reached into Adam's side and pulled out a rib. Out of the rib God formed Woman. God has never created anything since. Thermo-Dynamics (a proven science) states that all matter remains the same, and all energy remains the same, therefore nothing new is being created only changing forms – forms of energy and forms of matter. That being the case, the last thing God created on His own (without the help of natural process or the co-operation of man) was woman.
Well! We men might say that woman is the "wo" of man, and that God saw that He made a mistake and ended His creation. The woman would say that He saved the best for last. The answer to why God created woman last, will explain who woman really is. That answer also comes from scripture.
He gave Adam the Law and let him name all the animals, birds, fish and plants. But Adam was alone on earth. And then God put Adam in a deep sleep and opened his side to bring out Eve. The last thing that God created without the co-operation of the natural process was woman. In the same way God would create the Church out of the side of Christ.
It has been argued by good theologians that woman is subservient to the man. After all woman is not allowed in the Holy of Holies. She is not allowed to become a priest. She never becomes the head of the home. She must be silent in Church. She is stoned in adultery and the man is not. In Matt. 14:21 and Matt. 15:38 the men are counted but not the women and children. Paul says that she must wear a veil in Church, or her head should be shaven. She is a second class Christian, it would seem.
If these theologians are right, then they are right about the reason for veils. Paul said that when in church a woman should wear a veil over her head in the presence of God. Many think the reason for this is humility, and that is a good reason. A woman's pride is her looks. Even if she is very humble, her very humility makes her even more beautiful to men. She knows this subconsciously and her humility gives her pride. For this reason, they say, Paul demanded that that false pride be covered.
The man, however, does not get pride from acts of humility, for his pride is not in his looks but in his confidence. A man, even a very good looking man, who does not have self-confidence is not attractive to women. All he has to do to show true humility is leave his confidence outside the church.
This is a good argument but this is not the true reason for veils. In Scripture, what is veiled? The Ark of the Covenant was veiled at the command of God. The Table that the Ark sat on was veiled at the command of God. Everything, the chalices, the bowls, the utensils, the Holy of Holies, the door, even the entire tent, everything that was sacred to God was veiled. To God what is sacred must be veiled out of respect for the sacred. Then why is woman veiled?
A woman is the tabernacle of creation. God and woman work together to create something in the image and likeness of God that can never die. Only woman can create with God. Only woman, not even angels, can give to God a living soul. Only woman shares creative power with God. Only woman shares in the creative suffering that Christ suffered. Woman is sacred to God, and therefore, could never be a servant as man is. Woman is sacred and therefore must be treated as sacred. She must be dressed holy, honored, respected and waited on just as anything holy.
In the Jewish Talmud (before Babylon) you will find that all throughout the history of the Jews, woman were thought of as special, and they were to be treated as such. They were honored with special dignity. They were showered with gifts, and beautiful and expensive clothes and furniture, while the man took what was left over. All throughout the history of the Jews up until the Romans and Pharisees took over, the Jews treated woman like something sacred and special.
Why then does the law require a woman to be stoned if caught in adultery? In woman is a tabernacle that is very sacred to God. This tabernacle holds the only thing God wants from us humans, a soul that can never die. Just like a chalice used for the Body and Blood of Christ. If that chalice is defiled in any way, it must be destroyed and buried. It can never be used again. The man is not the chalice. He is not sacred.
Let's face it, men. Women are smarter than we are. They mature at least ten years earlier in life than we do. They are more social. They are stronger, at least in withstanding pain. They live longer. They are holier in most cases. They are more civilized. And even women will admit that they are more beautiful. Not even the angels can do what woman can do, create a living soul. And this is what Scripture means by "because of the angels". Everything about women sounds out as God's greatest creation.
Yes! Man was placed over the woman to be her authority. Sometimes I think it was because God didn't give man anything else, so he gave him the one thing he could give, which is authority. But then Christ answered that when He washed the feet of the apostles. As I have done, so you do. He who is the greatest of authority is the servant of the rest. Man is in authority so that he can be the servant of the family. It is man's job, just as the High Priest, to protect the woman and the children. He must provide for them, protect them from danger. Honor them with the best he can provide. Woman must be left alone to socialize the children and the man, and therefore the world.
A family is like a box of diamonds. The man is the box that holds everything together. The woman and children are the diamonds. When the box lets go, the diamonds scatter. When the woman wants to be the box, you end up with two empty boxes. Scripture counted boxes and not the diamonds, because God loves the family unit.
Woman is to be subject to her husband for the same reason soldiers must be subject to their captain. He must have that authority in order to protect the lives of his men. So too, must a man have that authority to protect his family. Man must love his wife like Christ loves His Church, and this is a great mystery, I mean in reference to the Church. What does Paul mean a great mystery? When God reached into the heart of Adam and pulled out God's greatest creation, He was foreshadowing when He would reach into the heart of Christ as He also slept and bring forth the Church. Men must love, protect and reverence women in the same way that Christ loves his Church, which came forth from His own Heart.
The Fourth Commandment demands that we obey authority in all things except sin, for all authority comes from God; even bad authority. So teaches the Church. In the family we must look to the greatest of all families for guidance. The least in the family, Joseph, was the greatest in authority. The greatest, Christ (God) was the least in authority. Mary, who was the greatest of all creation and would be Queen of Heaven and Earth, obeyed Joseph in all things. Then let us consider the example Christ gave us regarding obeying our mother.
Christ was twelve years old and was lost in the temple. Three days later he was found by Joseph and His Mother. "Why have you done this to us." She said. "Woman! Do you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" We do not know what Mary said to Him in reply, we only know what Scripture teaches, "He went away and was subject to them."
What is interesting here is that He did not go about His Father's business for another 18 years.
What is it that Mary said to Him? We know from Luke's paintings that She knew He had to go about His Father's business and that part of that business was to become the sacrificial lamb.
Then 18 years later, Mary came to Christ and said, "Son, they have no wine." His answer in Greek is the whole mystery of women. In the Greek it reads "What is that between you and I, woman." Or in modern English it would read, "What is that between our agreement."
In other words, eighteen years earlier, Mary had said something like this to Christ, "Son! You always obey your own commandments as an example to others. I wish to hold you to the Fourth Commandment and not go about Your Father's business until I give you permission."
Eighteen years later Christ is saying to His Mother, "Are you now giving Me permission to go about My Father's business. With tears in Her Eyes, She knew that She could not hold Him back any longer, "Do whatever He asks of you." Christ changed the water to wine and started His Father's business.
He could not come into the world without Mary saying, "Yes" to the angel, because without Her "Yes" we could not be saved. Without Her, "Do whatever He asks of you," we could not be saved.
Look at the Holy Family. The first is last and the last is first. Those in authority are the servants to those they protect. The Holy Father is called (officially) the servant of servants, so what more can I say about authority?
So you young women, hold your head high, knowing that God created you last because he created you best. Do not feel guilty about dressing yourselves well, with beauty, dignity and modesty, just as the priests dress up the altar of Our Lord. But this body of yours is sacred and should be treated as sacred.
You mothers, hold your head high, knowing that you brought into the world the only thing that God wants from all of his creation, living souls that can never die. The man has nothing to do with this except to plant a seed. When he is long gone, God works his miracle in the tabernacle of your womb and creates or doesn't create a soul that He can love for all eternity.
You young men, hold a woman in awe. When you look at women, look with respect and even envy, knowing that you were given the commandment to care for them. Know this also, that before you were created God knew you, and if He meant for you to be married, He picked your wife for you before you were born. If you have an affair with a woman, you are not only committing a sacrilege against God's tabernacle of creation, but you are committing adultery against the wife you have not met yet. You would be wise to say to your future wife: "I have been loyal to you all my life, even before I met you, because I knew that God chose you for me. I have loved you even before I met you and will all the days of my life."
You husbands, remember St. Joseph. He was the first in authority but the last before the eyes of God and in grace. St. Joseph was picked to protect and care for the diamonds. You should treat your wives with respect and even awe. Provide for them, protect them, and never let even the children give them any disrespect. Stand up when they come into the room. Wait on them at the dinner table. Make sure they have all they need to do what they do best, socialize the world. Men could never socialize the world. Women are social, we are animal. They are loving, we are fighters; and we should be, for that is how we protect the diamonds.
Consider again the first day of creation. God created light and He saw that it was good. Then He divided the light from the darkness, but He did not say the darkness was good. This darkness (not the darkness of day and night) is the only thing in creation that God did not say was good. He had not created the stars, the moon or the sun. What happened? We find the answer in Apocalypse 11:19. "And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and an earthquake and great hail. And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars."
Before the earth was created, God created the angels, and He gave them one test. He showed them a sign (not the real thing, but a sign of what would come) the ark that would hold His Son, the woman clothed with all graces. And Satan rebelled at this sign, and like lightning and an earthquake and great hail, drew a third part of the stars (angels) out of heaven, "and cast them to the earth". (Rev. 12:4) "And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 12:17)
Woman has no seed, but in Genesis 3:15 God said, "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed." The Devil has no seed and the woman has no seed. Man has the seed. But in this case God produced Christ without the use of man, and therefore the Son of God came from Mary without the help of man. Mary's children are those who keep the commandments of Her Son, and Satan's seed are those who break the commandments of Her Son. One of those commandments is to Honor (kabed) your Father and Mother. This type of honor, unlike hadar, is reserved for God and Father and Mother only. It means to reverence, venerate and revere. We must treat our wives and mothers with the same reverence we would treat God if we saw Him face to face, or the way we would treat the Holy Grail that held the blood of Christ, for women are the holy grails of creation.
Rick Salbato "The Publican"
(Reprinted with the kind permission of Rick Salbato)