Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By

8/9/2010 (5 years ago)

Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

It is the great challenge of our time to recover this sense of feminine beauty as intrinsically

Dr. Shivinandan reflected that this "way of approaching feminine beauty is almost entirely foreign to our culture, which isolates feminine bodily beauty as a thing in itself, using it to sell products or titillate the senses.It is the great challenge of our time to recover this sense of feminine beauty as intrinsically spousal"

Dr. Mary Shivanandan - a professor of Theology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.

Dr. Mary Shivanandan - a professor of Theology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.

Highlights

By

Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

8/9/2010 (5 years ago)

Published in College & University


CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky (CNA) - Writing for the Thomas More College journal, Catholic professor Mary Shivanandan addressed the topic of feminine beauty, explaining that a woman's physical and spiritual attributes find their fullest expression in "spousal love," whether in motherhood or consecrated celibacy.

On Aug. 5, The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts released its latest journal issue, Second Spring: an International Journal of Faith and Culture. This recent edition is dedicated to exploring the Theology of the Body from several perspectives.

In her article titled, "The Spousal Nature of Feminine Beauty in John Paul II," Mary Shivanandan - a professor of Theology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family at the Catholic University of America - explores the theme of the purpose of a woman's beauty and where it finds its fullest expression.

"Feminine bodily beauty!" Shivanandan began in her article. "Is this not a topic more suitable to a fashion magazine than a serious journal? What does it have to do with theology?"

"But John Paul II takes feminine beauty very seriously," the professor underscored.

"Towards the end of the first cycle of his Catechesis on Human Love, he writes: 'The whole exterior of woman's body, its particular look, the qualities that stand with the power of perennial attraction ... are in strict accordance with motherhood.'"

"Right away," she added, "we have a perspective on the feminine body that is not characteristic of our culture, which either favors the thin straight silhouette of the fashion model or the dress open and showing curves to the navel."

In modern society, woman "is presented either without sexual attributes or as a sex object," the professor lamented. "How is it even possible to address a culture that treats the feminine body in this way?"

However, "John Paul II does not hesitate to rise to the challenge," she wrote.

"When John Paul II links the visible bodily aspect of a woman with its power of perennial attraction 'in strict accordance with motherhood,' he may seem to be limiting the often wondrous visible beauty of woman to one dimension."

Yet, "the mystery of femininity manifests and reveals itself in its full depth through motherhood," Shivanandan said, quoting the late Pontiff.

"This mystery, as he explains in his Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem, involves 'a special openness to the new person' on the part of woman through which she discovers her own identity precisely as woman."

In this gift of self through the openness of bringing new life into the world, a woman not only realizes her identity as female, but reaches the fullest expression of what feminine beauty is, explained Shivanandan.

"Beauty, feminine beauty, which, as John Paul II says, is in strict accordance with motherhood, is
both a source and fruit of spousal love lived sacramentally in the family," she noted. "From it radiates the beauty of the civilization of love."

"It is the great challenge of our time to recover this sense of feminine beauty as intrinsically
spousal," Shivanandon wrote.

In addition to a woman expressing her beauty as a gift of self through spousal love in marriage, the professor added, in "the consecrated virgin the spousal form is also present but expressed in a different way, as signifying the priority of personhood over bodily sexual attraction."

"Espoused to the Lord, she points to the eschaton (heavenly reality) where there is no giving in human marriage. Thus the woman has to be affirmed in her role as person, oriented to self-gift, spouse and mother in a correct order."

Shivinandan reflected that this "way of approaching feminine beauty is almost entirely foreign to our culture, which isolates feminine bodily beauty as a thing in itself, using it to sell products or titillate the senses."

Pope John Paul II, however, "finds the search for what he calls 'integral beauty' or 'purity free from stain' in the bridegroom's search in the Song of Songs," the professor observed.

"He notes that the Song of Songs refers to the bride as 'a garden closed,' a 'fountain sealed,' because, in the Pope's words, she is 'the master of her own mystery.'"

"The authentic gift of the woman, which is essential to her personal dignity, is revealed in the gift of self as spouse and mother."

---

Founded in continued response to Pope John Paul II’s call for a “New Evangelization,” the Catholic News Agency (CNA) has been, since 2004, one of the fastest growing Catholic news providers to the English speaking world.



Comments


More College & University

BREAKING: UCLA on lockdown after shooting on campus Watch

Image of UCLA is on lockdown.

By CALIFORNIA NETWORK

The UCLA campus has been put on lockdown after reports of a shooter in the university's Boelter Hall were released via social media. Police reported a shooting on the UCLA campus, issuing a tweet to say that the school's Westwood campus was on lockdown following a ... continue reading


Christian students in U.S. not allowed to speak to other students without permits Watch

Image of Christian liberties denied at North Carolina State University (Wikipedia).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a move reminiscent of the early 1900s, North Carolina State University segregated a student Christian group from the rest of the student population. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Grace Christian Life is a registered student Christian group on NC State's ... continue reading


Benedict XVI Centre approved by Holy See, but what will they be doing there? Watch

Image of The center will focus on religion and social sciences (CDJ).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

St. Mary's University in Twickenham, London has been formally approved to name one of their buildings after Benedict XVI. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to its website, St. Mary's University will name one of their buildings the Benedict XVI Centre for ... continue reading


Alarming University campaign threatens First Amendment rights Watch

Image of The University of Portland asks students to report discrimination, interactions of intolerance and incidents of discomfort (Stefan Redel/Shutterstock.com).

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The University of Portland recently launched a "Speak Up" campaign designed to put an end to discrimination, intolerance and "incidents of discomfort." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The University's Speak Up website specifies inclusion is a top priority - one ... continue reading


Comparing some students to 'Catholic jihadis,' Mount St. Mary University president comes under fire Watch

Image of Mount St. Mary University President Simon Newman said in a memo,

By Adelaide Mena and Matt Hadro, CNA News

Amid uproar over comparing struggling students to bunnies that should be drowned or shot, Mount St. Mary's University president is now under fire for criticizing expressions of the Catholic faith at the school. Emmitsburg, Md. (CNA) - Already facing turmoil, the ... continue reading


The fight for religious liberty: How one Catholic college deals with threats Watch

Image of

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

The future of religious freedom in the United States will one day be in the care of today's college students, so one Catholic college is working to equip them for that struggle. Washington D.C., (CNA/EWTN News) - Wyoming Catholic College is trying to form a "community ... continue reading


4 reasons Catholic education needs your help this year Watch

Image of Are America's Catholic schools being attacked? (Wordpress)

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Catholic education system is coming under attack by a plethora of policies designed to make the hiring process, acceptance of anti-Christian viewpoints, transgender issues and Catholic identity concerns. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Cardinal Newman ... continue reading


Catholic identity or education: Are the top Catholic universities falsely rated by secular standards? Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A list of the top 40 traditional Catholic and Jesuit colleges in America was created, but were they rated fairly? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Newsmax revealed their top forty Catholic and Jesuit colleges in America, but what were their standards?The United ... continue reading


Becoming Divine Mercy: A Mission of Mercy Watch

Image of

By Jessie Tappel, Communications Director at Divine Mercy University

God, the source of all mercy, provides us with an experience so great that we have no choice but to reflect it to our own brother and sister. Mercy calls for an outward response, which is made clear in the examples of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. You can ... continue reading


UST Breaks Ground on New Center for Science and Health Professions Watch

Image of

By Darnell Miller - University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas, a member of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center, broke ground on a new Center for Science and Health Professions on Nov. 12, 2015. The new facility, containing more than 100,000 square-feet of modern lab space and classrooms, will meet ... continue reading


All College & University News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • A Prayer for the Departed HD Video
  • America has become craven, that's why Satan is winning
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, June 30, 2016
  • First Martyrs of the See of Rome: Saint of the Day for Thursday, June ...
  • Fatima Morning Offering HD Video
  • 'I was a stranger and you welcomed me'
  • 'I love you and I am crying so hard grandma': Woman honors grandmother

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Amos 7:10-17
10 Amaziah the priest of Bethel then sent word to Jeroboam king of Israel ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 11
8 The precepts of Yahweh are honest, joy for the heart; the commandment ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:1-8
1 He got back in the boat, crossed the water and came to his home ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 30th, 2016 Image

First Martyrs of the See of Rome
June 30: The holy men and women are also called the ... Read More