G. K. Chesterton said, “The important thing for a country is that the men should be manly, the women womanly.” He was right. Women behaving like women – that is, using their feminine gifts – have the power to transform our culture of death into a culture of life.
This doesn’t mean that women who are “behaving like women” are necessarily moving mountains with their feminine gifts. Sometimes they’re just talking too much.
And that’s okay.
The gift of gab is one of women’s inherent traits, given by God for His own purpose. Although it may not be considered a gift in the usual sense, it can nevertheless be channeled to great effect in our culture.
Consider popular talk show host and motivational speaker Teresa Tomeo. Teresa is widely recognized as a powerful communicator “at the forefront of contemporary Catholic engagement with media and pop culture.” As much as anyone, Teresa recognizes the value of “the gift of gab.”
“The great catechist Fr. John Hardon said ‘there is no power as great in all the world as a woman when she falls in love with Jesus Christ.’ Imagine if all the Catholic women in love with the Lord used their gift of gab to sing his praises to their friends, co-workers, families, and people at the grocery store. Their joy would be life-changing!”
Evangelizers like Teresa are an inspiration to every woman who would use her gifts in defense of Truth.
But before opening other people’s minds to the truth, a woman must open her own mind to the humanness of those who disagree with her. She needs to engage others with opposing views by talking with them, and not at them.
Where does she begin?
Says Francis Cardinal George, “An evangelizer of culture will look for the places where significant conversations take place. A culture is a communications network; the Gospel is a message.”
In the dichotomy of our present culture, significant conversations take place in a public square that is both virtual and tangible. Women are especially well-suited to evangelize in both arenas since, as Pope John Paul II said, “more than men, women acknowledge the person. They see persons with their hearts. They see them independently of various ideological or political systems. They see others in their greatness and limitations.”
Knowing that God graced women with both a lively tongue and a perceptive heart, how can a woman feel anything but empowered to enter the public square and transform it?
Here are some ways in which a woman can share the truth in a non-judgmental way:
Find common ground.
Do you work for the same boss as the person you’d like to engage? Are your children and hers members of the same sports team? Perhaps you’re both on the community council. Use shared interests to initiate a discussion.
Pope John Paul II has said that the best way to engage Marxists, atheists, and radical feminists is to form strong friendships with them. This way, when you get down to the nitty-gritty of evangelization, you won’t merely be refuting arguments, you’ll be responding to friends.
Maybe you prefer to gab via the written word. Or maybe you’re just feeling a little timid. Either way, you may choose to reach out online rather than in person. Post your status as an “evangelizer of the culture”! Blog the words of our Holy Father! Tweet your faith!
The gift of gab is a powerful tool. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Use it to answer the call to evangelization!
Copyright © 2012, Celeste Behe
One response to “The Role of Gab in the New Evangelization”
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Celeste, I just love this viewpoint.
And now I feel completely justified by talking someone’s ear off… 🙂
Oh wait, did I miss the point?