To the editor:
Have you ever noticed that among thousands of women saints who are virgins, and several great men saints who repented of fornication, there are no unambiguously historical canonized women saints who were neither virgins nor married, except, traditionally, Mary Magdalene?
One might confusedly wonder if Jesus is above all for virgins, not sinners, and if such women should pin their hopes on purgatory.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux was adamant that God’s fatherly love rushes first of all to aid the weakest and the greatest sinners, and it is they who have the greatest reason for confidence.
Because she believed Jesus is for sinners, she wanted to think of herself as essentially extremely weak whom God had “forgiven in advance” of great sins she more than likely would otherwise have committed.
She said no one should aim for purgatory since the crucified Savior shares with us His infinite merits and wills that we be purified in this life to go straight to heaven.
Repentant women (and men) can be a light to reveal the effectiveness of the Risen Lord’s mercy. I want to ask others how we can make this truth that God is able to make repentant sinners truly holy in this life more visible in the Church?
Elizabeth Durack, Madison