MRS SHEILA Birtchell queries my remarks on Our Lady's virtues, enclosed in my article marking the Day of the Ascension (Catholic Herald, August 17).
"What about courage, judgement, power of decision and the gift of prophecy?" she asks, "when Mary is made to carry the values of humility and obedience so exclusively, what is its effect on the relationship of men and women?"
It would indeed be wonderful if we poor sinners had all the virtues enumerated by Mrs Birtchell and which were undoubtedly possessed by Our Lady, but fortunately they are not essential to salvation.
Only humility and obedience are obligatory. and not just for women, but for men too! Indeed, it is when men and women approach their spiritual lives from the basis of these two virtues that their relationship becomes equal. Ruth Rees London