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International Women’s Day, March 8

A child is born for us today.
A daughter is given.
Upon her a LIGHT shall shine
that no darkness shall ever overcome.

She shall not keep this LIGHT to herself,
not hide it under a bushel
as might be expected of woman.
Rather she shall place it upon a lamp stand
so the sun of justice may rise
with its healing rays.

—– By Sister Donna Butler (excerpt)

International-Womens-Day-logoAs we approach International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016, I hardly know where to begin. The inequality of women and violence toward women at every level of existence is so overwhelming and so devastating. How do I keep hope alive?

I turned to a poem I wrote years ago (quoted above). In truth, the LIGHT of the Divine, of Holy Mystery, shines within every girl/woman bestowing a human dignity that can never be taken from her.

However, in a world of violence and injustice that human dignity can be ignored and tragically denied by individuals and by systems of oppression. Such experiences can have a debilitating effect on how girls and women perceive themselves.

There are, however, countless girls and women across this global world who refuse to keep this LIGHT under a bushel. On a daily basis, they place it upon a lamp stand so the sun of justice may rise with its healing rays.

Who are the girls/women I know who stand up for the human rights of all women? Some of them are well known; others are known only in smaller circles. I could write a letter, send an e-card or make a phone call to thank someone for their efforts.

Maybe they are girls/women who have died, but have made a significant difference in my life or in the lives of all women. I can still thank them or honor them in some way.

Lastly, how do I place the Divine Light shining within me, not under a bushel, but on a lamp stand? How does my life cause the sun of justice to rise with its healing rays?

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Sister Donna Butler

Sister Donna Butler has been a Sister of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for more than 60 years. Sister Donna has served in elementary education, parish ministry, diocesan social justice, as well as the Congregation’s liturgy office, archives department and social justice outreach. She also administered as the director of the Providence Volunteer Ministry. Sister Donna currently volunteers in outreach with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students.

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