Another time, two old men, great anchorites, came to the district of Pelusia to visit her. When they arrived one said to the other, ‘Let us humiliate this old woman.’ So they said to her, ‘Be careful not to become conceited thinking to yourself: “Look how anchorites are coming to see me, a mere woman.” ‘But Amma Sarah said to them, ‘According to nature I am a woman, but not according to my thoughts.’
—Amma Sara of the Desert
The idea of people of power and prestige trying to dishonor someone they see as their inferior is not a new phenomenon. Here these many years ago we see such injustices being perpetrated. The wise Amma outdid herself with her answer. She refused to be defined by others or by her gender. Rather, she said that her thoughts would define her.
The concept defining ourselves by our thoughts is most important to anyone who seeks to live the contemplative life. Our secular world is very quick to define us by their criteria, and our challenge is to refuse their characterization. This resounding NO says we know who we are in the Lord, and that He formed us and created us as persons of value. Let us determine today that we will not be defined by the prejudices of others, but by the gifts and graces that God has bestowed upon us, even the least of us.
- Who Is a Woman? Am I One? (sreelakshmipv.wordpress.com)