BY CAITLIN WRIGHT | September 28, 2020
Sunday’s Readings

Upon hearing the news, I ran out onto the street and called my mom. “Hi,” she answered quietly. She knew why I was calling. Moms always know. My eyes were already wet, but then the tears really began to flow. “Mom, I’m so sad.”

Though it’s hard to admit, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death shattered me. As a person who serves in the non-profit legal realm, RBG has been a hero of mine for quite some time. In college, I had a photo of her on the mantle in my bedroom. I dressed up as her for Halloween. Friends joked that I worshipped her, and I laughed because they weren’t entirely wrong. I felt she exemplified what this week’s reading urges of all of us: “humbly regard others as more important than yourselves.” Throughout her life’s work, she lifted others up while promoting solidarity and liberation. I aimed to live this way, too.

Through love we will prevail.

Upon entering the workforce a few years ago, I found that the challenges in my field could be ruthless, but with her at the helm, there was always hope. In the midst of a global pandemic, I’ve tried my best to ignore my personal afflictions in pursuit of tending to others’. It seemed easier that way. Hurting—my hurting—felt undeserved and time consuming. Nonetheless, my anxiety swelled, and I pushed it down with everything I could muster. Until I couldn’t anymore.

Upon reflection after her passing, I realized newfound meaning in the following part of the reading: “each looking out not for his own interests, but also for those of others.” This does not mean that we must entirely disregard ourselves in favor of others. It is in the “but also” that we come to know what it is to be “united by heart.” Cura personalis, or care of the whole person, encompasses all of us, and as we extend compassion to others, we also extend compassion to ourselves. Admittedly, this is no small task, especially in hard times, but if we wish to give of ourselves, we must have something to give.

The road we walk toward justice is long and hard, and it felt easier with her helping to lead the way. The burden now seems greater, which is why it is of utmost importance to offer love to our neighbors with the foundation of knowing God’s love and our own love for ourselves. For it is through love that we will prevail.

4 replies
  1. Avatar
    Eileen Knight says:

    Good and Gracious God,

    I was on my way to dinner with my daughter-in-law, Meredith, when the death of your beloved government leader Justice Ginsberg was announced. Meredith knew as did I that there weren’t adequate words to speak of how special she was to many of us. As a symbol of RBG goodness, Meredith wore a necklace with the lace collar displayed in the middle of her neck. The lace necklace that she wore in court. It symbolized her speaking up for the rights of women when women were not well heard, unfortunately, still prevalent in the lives of many women today.

    Ruth attempted to get a job in a law firm in New York and was denied as she was a woman similar to Mother Mary when there was no room at the inn for Jesus to be born. She was considered a liberal and was best friends with Justice Scalia, like the relationship of St. Paul and St. Peter. The respect they had for each other gave us the example of inclusion and respect as you included the Samaritan woman when no one else would and that you ask us to mirror throughout our lives. We spoke about Justice Ginsberg’s fairness but determination to assist others as you did, as we see throughout the Gospels. We talked about all the issues that you’d like us to imitate: her kindness, her sense of humor, her intelligence, her willingness to put her life on the line to help women succeed. We ask you to help us demonstrate, as Justice Bader did those qualities that are so important to the continuation of Your Kingdom.

    Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Lord, called us to a state of perseverance to make secure those aspects of her life that need to be immortalized. Her treatment of her ill husband, dear Jesus, is the treatment you asked us to give each other in your suffering and death. Ruth lived a life of consistent and constant giving of herself to her husband and to the society that she took seriously.
    We ask you to bless our society, help us to take the initiative in which we use the gifts you gave each of us dear Jesus as Justice Ginsberg did, with women and men who live a life similar to her life. We ask you this in the name of the Father, Your Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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  2. Avatar
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Justice is a priceless commodity. Toiling for justice is a mission second to none. Long live the memory of the inspiring contributions of RBG.

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  3. Avatar
    RJ Andes says:

    Has a male it’s hard to deny that RBG had it easy back when the journey started, now is a time when equality between men and women has never been closer great strides have been made to close the gap more especially in certain aspects of life. Don’t get me wrong there are still a few things which require more steps to be taken to ensure this continues.

    We know that when RBG studied law only 1.6% women were doing the same course at Harvard which gives a better understanding on the first steps of a long road and even the Dean was unhappy at women taking mens places. We know about rejection but Ruth had the last laugh with what she managed to accomplish and making history.

    It sounds bad that women suffered sexism and stereotypical behavior from men but think about it in those days men were seen has the providers and women were the housewife that maintained the home looked after the children etc. This was just typical but has decades past and laws, protests and rules. Eventually times changed and with it the old traditional attitude isn’t has common now.

    RBG was one of the women that overcame barriers to become a icon for women and gain the respect from her peers and fellow law makers, professors, students and future generations that will look at her has a role model.

    Rest easy now and be proud of all that was accomplished.

    Hopefully Amy Coney Barrett can continue the path although people are already pre judging her without any proof or evidence, which proves when I say work still needs to be done for equality.

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  4. Avatar
    Elaine says:

    Caitlin, I cannot help but “connect” as a fellow Creighton graduate. It is nice to hear from a fellow Creighton graduate. However, I could never come to the praise of RBG that you do mostly because of her voice in silencing the voices of the unborn! If one is to “humbly regard others as more important than yourselves” then she failed that big time!!! I so appreciate her voice for women and see that what she experienced oppressively as a woman is what many of us have experienced. But, that does not ever justify killing others in the womb-whether it be male or female. As women we have the honor and privilege of deeply honoring and bringing forth the life that God has intended-male and female.

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