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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Inherent Inequality

We hear a lot about "equality" in our society. We have the alleged inequalities between men and women (trumpeted by the radical feminists), the financial and social inequalities between the rich and the poor and everyone in between, and the inequalities in the "quality of life" of the sick in comparison to the healthy.

And it's important to address equality; for as human beings, indeed, to a certain degree we have equal status in God's eyes, for He created us according to His divine plan, out of His Divine Love, and we are to look at one another from that perspective; no matter what our social status.

And people have written of this before, but I think maybe we should look at the reality that "equality" is kind of a misnomer in the way that it is most commonly used. There's really no such thing as "equality" for God did not create the world as a barren plane.

In class a week ago, our professor discussed the hierarchical nature of creation; we touched on how everything shares in the Divine Nature to different degrees. The Angels are closer to God and are far more powerful than we are, and animals...well, they have souls, but are not immortal, as are we as humans, and the angels. Plant life is even lower, and rocks, and dirt, and minerals, etc.

And men and women...really not equal, either. Equal in dignity, yes, but we cannot take that sense of equality and take it to mean "exactly the same." Men and women have different gifts, for we were created to fulfill specific purposes. Everything we do is something that can't be done by someone else. All men are not equal in their gifts all women are not equal in their gifts.

This is not an error by God; it is His design. In this way, we are able to fit ourselves together in the community that draws us into our social and spiritual unities. It's part of what makes us the Mystical Body of Christ. It's what makes us families, and friends.

God ordered the world, and the Divine Institution of the Church as a hierarchy, and this pattern is found throughout creation; this foundational inequality ultimately draws us to Our Lord by forcing us to accept our weaknesses so that we might become humble, and sharing our strengths for the benefit of others, that they might become stronger. We are called to aid each other not only in physical things or intellectual things, but spiritually. And an important facet of this; we are called to accept the assistance of others as well.

None of us can become holy on our own. None of us was created to hang out and "worship God in our own way." Yes, we have a personal relationship with Him, but as part of that, God has called us into a family, a community, so that we might share our strengths and weaknesses alike, blending our inequalities so that the Kingdom will be greater, and the King will be glorified.

I may write more on this concept, for it's something that has broadened my understanding of many things; and it's something that one is able to observe in any social group.

We have got to get rid of the idea that "inequality is bad." No! It isn't! Inequality is what makes God GREAT!

And for now, I leave you with this reading from the Divine Office (Mid afternoon)

1 Corinthians 12:24b,25-26

God has so constructed the body, that there may be no dissention in the body, but that all members may be concerned for one another. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy.

1 comment:

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Exactly Adoro, we are equal insofar as we are both human (male and female) and insofar as our dignity, but that's it.

We can not merely subsitute woman for a man or vise versa and expect the same product.

...more in a little while....dinner time :)