I have exactly that for you all today: three sentences. They are the words of Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen and are some of the most important words girls and women need to hear today.

“When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen from “Life is worth Living”

This quote from Ven. Fulton Sheen specifies the relationship between man and woman, but his insight can be applied to any relationship, from close family to those people you only meet once in your life. Whenever someone wants to have a friendly relationship with another, generally they must have something in common. If they don’t see eye to eye, either one or the other must change their ideals or the friendship must terminate, lest it become a burden to both parties. In all of these cases, ladies, we have much sway. In our role as older sisters, friends, and for the older crowd, wives and parents, we have a special influence on the people around us per our God-given femininity. Any person seeing the way we live immediately knows what behavior we tolerate and what we don’t and will be inclined to follow our example, as this is what it takes to keep our company. Thus Sheen says “…civilization could be written in terms of the level of its women”, because the height of our standards is the highest anyone will reach to be worthy of us.

Since we set the standards, set them high! Ven. Fulton Sheen tells us that our devotion to what is good decides how far someone must reach to be worthy of us. How do you price yourself? Proverbs tells us the value of a virtuous woman is “far and from the uttermost coasts”- That’s hard to get! But you must be worth it, or else no one will go to such lengths to secure your friendship. We must be devoted to God and His commands. We must embrace virtue. Nobility of character will spring from these. Then we will see a rise in the virtue of our fellow man who, realizing we are unbendable in our desire for God, they will, instead of trying to bend us to their depths, rise up to whatever our standards may be in order that we may keep happy company.

None of this is to say that we should be “holier than thou” or that we should think of ourselves as better than everyone else. It means that the best way to convert hearts is by our example! Of course, without God’s grace, we are nothing. That being said, pray for the grace to take your role as a girl or woman of God. He will give you all the grace you need to be devoted to goodness, and through your devotion bring others closer to God.

St. Philomena, pray for us!

This article was re-published by Oremus Press (Month 2020) with the permission of the author.