Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By John D. Meehan

9/16/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Most sane people agree that, in human existence, there is an integral connection between the innate desire to love and the personal need to be loved

Blessed Pope John Paul II gave the reason why it is no small matter whether a woman loves and is loved:  "A woman cannot live without love. She remains a being incomprehensible to herself. Her life is senseless if love is not revealed to her, if she does not encounter love, if she does not experience it and make it her own, if she does not participate intimately in it." Women need to discover or rediscover the truth of what it means to love, and what it means to be loved as a person. Women must know with certainty what it means to be a WHO.

Traditional Rajasthani women from India

Traditional Rajasthani women from India

Highlights

By John D. Meehan

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/16/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: women, dignity of women, vocation, john d. meehan, feminism


HOOKSET, NH (Catholic Online) - On a visit to the United States, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta spoke of the glutted bellies and emaciated hearts of the people in this country: "In the Third World, there is often a famine of the stomach due to the lack of food, but the people are rich in love. They share what little they have with one another. In developed nations like yours (America) there is an abundance of food. But there is often a famine of the heart due to a lack of love. The victims of this famine of love are the new poor. And who are these poor people? They are the people sitting next to you."

Blessed Pope John Paul II gave the reason why it is no small matter whether a woman loves and is loved:  "A woman cannot live without love. She remains a being incomprehensible to herself. Her life is senseless if love is not revealed to her, if she does not encounter love, if she does not experience it and make it her own, if she does not participate intimately in it."

Most sane people agree that, in human existence, there is an integral connection between the innate desire to love and the personal need to be loved. Pope Benedict XVI said this: "Love, then, seems to be both a state of being and of becoming. In fact, love poems and love songs continue to attest always to the inner urge of the human heart for a love that lasts, longing for an everlasting love, a hunger for eternal love. Love is . . . a journey, an ongoing exodus out of the closed, inward-looking self towards its liberation through self-giving, and, thus, towards authentic self-discovery."
   
To pursue the truth of genuine love, in order to live as fulfilled human beings, women living in modern culture, in the words of Saint Paul, will have to "acquire a fresh, way of thinking" (Ep 4:23). Why?

Women need to discover or rediscover the truth of what it means to love, and what it means to be loved as a person. Women must know with certainty what it means to be a WHO.

How will women learn to be a WHO? They must get a correct understanding of who they are as human beings before they attempt to find and live a life of genuine love as a female being. Thus, they must face the reality of what it means to be a person who is truly free. Pope Benedict XVI gives the reason:

At a deeper level, the real alienation, unfreedom, and imprisonment of a woman consists in her want of truth. If she does not have truth, if she does not know who she is, why she is here, and what the reality of the world consists in, she is only stumbling around in the dark.

"Life and love! What are they for? What do they lead to? These questions do not go away. They repeat themselves "more and more insistently.  Then, they demand replies. Like drops of ink always falling on one place, they run into one blot" (Leo Tolstoy).

For example, shall the body have its sensory desires, and the will have its desires for goods, and the heart not desire? Does the human heart, the inmost being of a woman, not have its desires? If the female heart is made to love, shall it not desire a beloved so she is loved in return? These kinds of questions demand truthful answers.

"So I lived. But, later something very strange began to happen to me. At first, I experienced moments of perplexity and arrest of life. Although I did not know what to do or how to live, I felt lost and became dejected. But, this passed. I went on living as before. Then, these moments of perplexity began to occur more often and more often, and always in the same form. They were always expressed by the same questions: 'What's it for?' 'What does it lead to?'" (Leo Tolstoy)

Let no woman ignore the truth. The human heart, indeed, has its own desires. Every person is drawn by desire - not by necessity. People move to a beloved because it is their desire to love. They are moved, not by compulsion, but by the desire for personal fulfillment as lovers.

Saint Augustine put it this way: "Show me a woman who loves. She knows what I mean. Show me one who is filled with longing, one who is hungry, one who is a pilgrim and suffering from thirst in the desert of this world, eager for the fountain in the homeland of eternity. Show me someone like that, she knows what I mean. But, if I speak to someone without feeling, she does not understand what I am talking about."
                       
A basic question, then, must be raised by every woman about her actual being: "Who am I?"
 
-----

John D. Meehan has been involved in the lay apostolate of the Catholic Church since the close of the Second Vatican Council.  He resides in New Hampshire with his lovely wife Elizabeth.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

'What We Did When Mummy Got Cancer': Mother's heartbreaking discovery and the emotional way she told her children Watch

Image of Katherine Simpson-Jacobs wrote a children's book to explain what cancer is in a way young minds can understand (Katherine Simpson-Jacobs).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

When Katherine Simpson-Jacobs realized she had breast cancer, she had no idea how to tell her daughters. After several weeks of worry, she realized she wanted to write "What We Did When Mummy Got Cancer," a child's book to explain what cancer is and how to treat the ... continue reading


4 Ways to pray when your spouse struggles Watch

Image of Praying for and with our spouses is the best way to include God into the relationship (iStock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Perhaps your relationship is struggling because one of you is involved in less than Godly activities, struggles with addiction, is experiencing emotional turmoil or perhaps struggling with their faith. What does the Bible say we should do when our spouse struggles? LOS ... continue reading


'We're family now': Bittersweet moment a mother hears her son's beating heart in a little gir's chest Watch

Image of Little Jordan received Lukas heart and has since been a care-free bundle of energy (Justice for Lukas Scot).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After losing her 7-month-old son, Lukas, Heather Clark was able to hear his heart beating once again - from the chest of a 4-year-old girl. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In a heartbreaking tale, Clark's son, Lukas, fell prey to his babysitter's abusive boyfriend ... continue reading


Making a Difference - Abortion: out of sight, out of mind Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

Due to the blizzard that hit the mid-Atlantic, my bus never made it to the 43rd March for Life in Washington, D.C. But thousands of others were able to brave the snow and wind to witness to the dignity of unborn human life, and to protest the gravely immoral practice ... continue reading


'One of the meanest things I've ever seen in my life': One man's heartbreaking plea goes viral Watch

Image of Alan Beamer suffers the effects of Alzheimer's and begs his friends and family to talk to him normally (Mary Beth Alan Beamer/Facebook).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a heartbreaking video that Mary Beth Beamer posted to Facebook, her husband, Alan Beamer, begs for his friends and family to visit like they used to. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The four-minute video was posted on January third and received nearly 10,000 ... continue reading


Child abandoned in church Nativity reunites with biological family 44-years later Watch

Image of The Manger Baby was reunited with his biological family after waiting 44 years (ABC 13).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

DJ Williams was discovered abandoned in the St. Anne Catholic Church's nativity scene in 1971. Now, 44-years-later, he has been reunited with the siblings he never knew he had. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Two women found newborn Williams in the manger of the ... continue reading


You'll need to look twice to believe what Barbie is doing now! It's about time Mattel Watch

Image of Mattel releases diversified dolls (Mattel).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mattel finally offers a diverse assortment of dolls that includes three new body types, seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles and hundreds of outfits and accessories. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It seems Mattel has finally opened its eyes and has ... continue reading


'I can breathe again and talk': Emotional words from teen who wakes from surgery will leave you in tears Watch

Image of Trevor Sullivan woke from receiving a heart transplant and his words touched the world (Trevor Sullivan/Facebook).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Nearly a year after 15-year-old Trevor Sullivan was diagnosed with a serious medical condition, he received a gift that forever changed his quality of life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When Trevor was 14-years-old, he learned he was suffering from heart ... continue reading


Norwegian couple lose children for being 'very Christian' Watch

Image of The Bodnariu children were taken despite zero evidence of abuse (Norway Return the children to Bodnariu Family/Facebook).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Barnevernet, Child Welfare Services of Norway, removed five children from Marius and Ruth Bodnariu after the Bodnariu parents were accused of radicalizing and indoctrinating their kids with Christianity. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to World Magazine, ... continue reading


Huge crowds flood March for Life despite severe weather storm Watch

Image of Rough weather didn't deter marchers in the annual March for Life this year.

By CNA/EWTN News

Despite weather forecasts calling for what might end up being the worst blizzard in over a century, tens of thousands flooded the nation's capital Friday to support the dignity of life. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - Rosalie Rwamakuba, a 20-year-old woman from ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family 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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:1-7, 9-13
1 Solomon then summoned the elders of Israel to Jerusalem to bring the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:6-7, 8-10
6 Listen, we heard of it in Ephrathah, we found it at ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:53-56
53 Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 8th, 2016 Image

St. Jerome Emiliani
February 8: Jerome Emiliani lay chained in the dark dirty ... Read More