Posted by: wordofthevine | November 21, 2014

The Feminine Genius in the Heartland! Part II

Maybe you read in my last post that I visited the ACCW group (Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women) in the Dubuque, IA Archdiocese. Our table discussion really moved me, an urban farmer as my kids describe me and an on fire Catholic pastoral leader. One dynamic woman, Susan, with beautiful bobbed premature gray hair responded to another woman’s question. She was asked how her harvesting was going. Suswomengrandmaan responded the last two years have been a real challenge. In 2013 and 2014, we had such late rains in May that we couldn’t plant the corn. I lost $49,000 in 2013 because I had to take a total loss and it was looking that way again this year because I fertilized the land for corn and then couldn’t get in to plant it. After June 1, it dried up but there wasn’t time remaining to plan corn because corn needs more time to mature. She said, “I turned to prayer and asked for God’s wisdom. What I came up with was to plan my 160 acres in alfalfa hay. My community was praying that we would get gentle rains so my hay seed didn’t get washed away. God followed through with gentle rains. Now I am making good money selling the hay. Thanks be to God!

Susan’s story continued being inspirational as she went on. My husband, Jim and I bought this farm, a little piece of heaven in 2010. He got to live there for 1 1/2 years before he died of cancer. Susan was farming this 160 acres herself, while she also works as a nurse. She said, “My nephew, who studies agronomy at Iowa State got an internship with a large farming operation. He was all excited to plant the crops but found that this farm only hires women to put the crops in. They are easier on the equipment and more precise. You know, the feminine genius, according to Pope Saint John Paul II, relates to this.

Another woman piped up. You know when the vet comes out to work on the cattle, many times the hired men get kind of rough with the cattle. The cattle get kind of crazy and don’t cooperate well. Usually the vet says, “Go get Lillian. In her quiet loving way, the cattle respond to her. They come off the rafters and just quietly meander into the gate so I can work on them.”

With our patience, our long suffering patient endurance, as women, we can develop our gifts and offer them. I have often thought about the gift of women in the family and even in the Church, as lay people with particular awareness and gift, but I had not thought of the impact of our loving intuitions on the farm. Look at your own life. Where has God placed you to utilize the feminine genius? Where can you exercise profound faith in God’s provision, like both women, who are widows that carry the load of farming: planting and harvesting the crops, and going into the barn with riled up cattle. ~ Mary


  1. Great post! I recently read an amazing book by Colleen Carroll-Campbell called My Sisters, The Saints. This book gripped my attention about feminism. Check it out when you can. πŸ˜‡πŸ‘ΌπŸ™

    Sent from my iPhone


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: