Page 3, 5th September 1952

5th September 1952
Page 3
Page 3, 5th September 1952 — A DAY FOR FEMININE HEROISM

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Organisations: St. Joan's Alliance
People: Gerald Vann, Fr
Locations: Oxford


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Keywords: Vann, Griffin, Beatrice

EVE AND THE GRYPHON, by Fr. Gerald Vann, 0.1. (Illackfriars Publications, 6s. 6d.). Reviewed by

Fr. C. C. MARTINDALE, S.J. THESE are four conferences given 1 at Oxford to the members of St. Joan's Alliance on the vocation of Women, whether or no this be marriage; and the memory of Our Lady, of St. Catherine of Siena, of St. Monica, and of Beatrice is evoked to "humanise," as it were, the underlying theology, In fact, unless you remember Dante, who symbolises Christ by a Gryphon (this explains the book's !We) you may feel that this is rather esoteric, and possibly not all the Members of St. Joan's Alliance, even, have read Dante! Perhaps the four talks are too packed with thought: the saints seem alluded to, rather than "presented" as living persons-and after all, little is known of St. Monica and next to nothing for certain about Beatrice. But the doctrine is very helpful, especially (in chapter I) the true sense of "detachment" and how hive is perfect only when the purely human heart has been "replaced" with Christ's own Heart: also (s. 3) the difficult theme of "expiation": the whole world, says Fr. Vann, is today an Augustine, whose hope is in the tears of a multitude of Monicas. In proportion as rmre anti more "professions" are open to women. so are "vocations" multiplied; and in short, as Pope, Pius XII has said. never has the world needed more initiative and daring, in a word, more heroism, from women than today. If we think it a mistake to include Nurse Cavell. spiritually brave as :-he was, among women who have "altered the face of our civilisation," certainly-if it is to he altered Iwomen will take an ever great part in changing it.

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