"It is not good for man to be alone; let us make him a help like unto himself." Genesis ii. 18.
[continued from yesterday]
...But sinlessness is kept in a frail vessel; and that frail vessel is herself.
To rob a woman of her honour directly and outright, the first time at least, is scarcely possible; that the "enemy of the human race" knows well, and those know it well who are his votaries.
A thief will not enter by a door that is barred; he will not come before our very eyes; he will not bear about him the marks of his profession; rather he will find an open window, he will take you unawares, and if you chance to meet him he will declare he is that which he is not.
So is the thief of the honour of woman, from the day of Eve till now; woman's weakest point is precisely that which in another sense is her strongest, the tendency to take that for good which is evil, to yield a little that greater good may come, to deceive even herself that she may attain "the knowledge of good and evil."
It is easy and alas! too common to have evidence of the process.
A child steps into life with the brightness of her childhood upon her; thinking little of herself, because as yet she has not discovered herself, full of life, because inwardly serene, full of splendour and promise.
Men look on and admire; as yet admiration is enough; though that very admiration means the beginning of her power. Which way will she use it?
Soon, very soon, she becomes conscious of it all. She can draw the eyes of men; she can win the hearts of men; she can bend men to obey her will; her presence or her absence can even decide the happiness of many.
It is an intoxicating discovery; her cheek flushes, her eyes are brighter, she holds her head higher, she steps abroad more lightly, she laughs at every fancy, a queen in her domain of mankind.
And if so much is good and glorious, then why not more? If such is her influence, why should it not be greater?....
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
Burns, Oates, & Washburn, Ltd. 1918