For many traditional women or persons of imposed powerlessness, the invitation to die is all the more problematic. From a human-development-theory approach, traditional teaching of self-sacrifice and nonassertiveness when one is transitioning from the interpersonal to the institutional stage only serves to repress one from reaching her or his full potential—or the abundant life of which Jesus so often spoke. Teaching that emphasizes assertiveness, empowerment and self-development aids the transition. I think this is why men traditionally make this transition with fewer impediments. Historically, in most cultures, boys are afforded this support while girls receive a message that reinforces subordination, dependence and self-effacing, which traps them in the interpersonal stage and prevents them from progressing to the institutional stage. Under these circumstances, girls too often grow up to be women without a proper sense of self to freely sacrifice. Rather than force women to choose between self-preservation and the church, can we not imagine a community of Christ where all are free to grow and develop into their full selfhood and unique destiny as people created in the image of God? Why on earth do we want to repress in the institution (the church) what is meant to reflect the reign of Christ?

Phileena Heuertz, ‘Pilgrimage of a Soul,’ page 117. (via ifiblogged)

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