[quote="LemonAndLime, post:9, topic:276364"]
Congratulations on graduating!
As I said in my post, Aquinas was only expressing his opinion that relates to his experience of life in the era he lived in. Not doctrine, and not relating to today's society.
Also, you are confusing emulate and imitate. If you are imitating our Blessed Mother you will find that impossible. It's not normal to wear a 1st century peasants clothes around town and you're not the mother of God. However, if you wish to emulate her than trying to lead a pious life dedicated to God in whatever vocation you are called to, then you'll be fine.
I do mean emulate :) of course I understand I can't imitate Mary in the way that you describe. But when I said this, I meant imitating her humility, so for example how she lived a simple humble life and didn't put herself on display.
[quote="1ke, post:10, topic:276364"]
Monica, you are being scrupulous. Please talk to your priest.
Yes, you can be a school teacher.
I'd love to talk to my priest but the priest who knows me best is in another city. It could be that I'm scrupulous in this, but when St Thomas said women shouldn't teach publically, that's the first thing that came to mind.
[quote="Aelred_Minor, post:11, topic:276364"]
As you can tell from my post I assumed you were talking about teaching Catholic doctrine in the Church.
Regarding occupations of women in general, I would recommend taking a look at G.K. Chesterton's What's Wrong With the World.
Basically, a central part of Chesterton's conclusion on the subject of women is that humanity has for practically all of history and in practically all cultures divided itself into a specialist gender and a generalist gender. He doesn't speculate as to whether something biologically inherent in the sexes accounts for this or just the accumulated wisdom of countless generations, be he believes humanity is benefited by only one half of it specializing and engaging in narrow pursuits outside the home, while the other half remains more of a generalist, more of a Jack-Of-All-Trades (or Jill-Of-All-Trades, rather). Among the many points he brings up in this connection is the fact that young children don't need to be taught any one specific subject in depth so much as taught a little bit about a thousand subjects.
Chesterton singles out secretary work as an occupation in which women should not be employed, for the very same reason they were so good at it and so often employed in it even in his time: women's greater tendency towards viewing authority as personal rather than legal. He also points out, if I recall, the hypocrisy of those who sent women to slave away in factories and called it freedom.
I've never had a job as a secretary but I'm just curious what you mean, - could you explain this in more detail? I don't really understand the reason that Chesterton gives.
Anyway, while the vocations of wife and mother probably have great relevancy for any woman's vocation (though ideas like spiritual motherhood), throughout its history there have been other vocations for women, including active ones, which the Church has encouraged and even canonized members of, as you've pointed out. In these active vocations in the world the tasks of educating young children and caring for the sick and infirm are the ones that stand out most immediately in my mind as quite compatible with femininity. I highly doubt Aquinas meant that women should not teach at all, not even secular things to small children, since this after all is what every mother does.
I remember he did mention how women teach their children and that is fine... for him this would fall under "private" teaching, rather than public. I'm a bit at a loss at what he meant by public teaching, and if he meant teaching the faith (like in Church), or in general. Thanks for the reply :)
In Scripture, it does talk against women teaching in the Church (but it clarifies - teaching in Church specifically), and against women being in positions in authority, which I presume could include something like government. I have no interest in either of those but I'm just wondering about teaching in school.
I found the original chapter that quote is from, for anyone interested in the context:
it's not very clear to me if he's talking about teaching in Church, or just teaching. The topic of the whole chapter is whether we can receive grace through words, so maybe it's just about teaching theology and about the faith, but I'm not certain. He says "Now this pertains especially to the grace of the word. Therefore the grace of the word is not becoming to women". What is the grace of the word? :confused: is this only when teaching the faith?
He goes on to say: "Speech may be employed in two ways: in one way privately, to one or a few, in familiar conversation, and in this respect the grace of the word may be becoming to women; in another way, publically, addressing oneself to the whole church, and this is not permitted to women".
This answers the question if women can be preachers or priests/pastors, or give sermons in church. But regarding secular things.. (like teaching math to grade 3s :)) - is that not related to the quote at all?
St Thomas explains that the reason for the above is that women should not be placed in authority above men, for example men in the church. Okay, but is it the same case with children (boys), or not?
Then St Thomas says how this does not apply to prophesy.