Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By John D. Meehan

9/16/2012 (4 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 (4 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.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Divine intervention? More sexual education? U.S. abortion rates declining - but why? Watch

Image of National abortion rates are down across the United States.

By Matt Hadro (CNA/EWTN News)

A reported drop in the United States abortion rate by the Guttmacher Institute is good news to pro-life leaders, who nevertheless acknowledge that optimism should be tempered. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "The news that there may be fewer abortions taking place in ... continue reading


Our Bishops Invite YOU to Make a Digital Pilgrimage: 9 Days for Life Watch

Image of

By USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities

Have you made a pilgrimage lately? Maybe you've been blessed enough to take what many of us consider a traditional pilgrimage: travelling to a destination like Lourdes, Fatima, or even a special cathedral here in the United States. But a pilgrimage is about more than ... continue reading


Ask DMU: How To Make Resolutions Stick Watch

Image of

By William T. McKenna, M.S

Question: I always seem to have trouble following through with my New Year's resolutions. Why is that? And what can I do to succeed this year? Response:Every year many of us find ourselves in your shoes. From losing weight, to reading more, to cutting back on fast ... continue reading


Desperate, hopeless mother-to-be receives miracle after praying novena to St. Joseph and St. Gerard Watch

Image of Baby Ascher continues to defy the odds after his mother refused to abort him (Travis Dew/Jennifer Snowden).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Jennifer Snowden, a cast member of Bravo's reality show "Southern Charm," has opened up about her faith, her son and her refusal to give under her doctor's pressure to abort the tiniest love of her life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During a routine scan, ... continue reading


Amazing 7-year-old hero rescues babysitter's family from blazing inferno Watch

Image of DeShawn saved five lives that night (Facebook).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 7-year-old boy woke in the middle of the night. What he did next saved give people's lives. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - DeShawn Labarriere was dropped off at his babysitter's home around 10:30 p.m. Friday night.Brittany Labarriere, DeShawn's mother, told WREG ... continue reading


Hopeless 108-year-old woman rescued by COMPLETE STRANGERS in beautiful, touching act of kindness Watch

Image of Carrie Lou Rausch was in need of help - so complete strangers came to her aid (Susan Hatfield).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Carrie Lou Rausch is a very grateful 108-year-old woman after her community rallied together to save her life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For the last three years, Rausch has been living at the nursing home Sunrise on the Scioto in Columbus, Ohio.She lived in ... continue reading


Heartbeat Protection Act 2017 will change child murder laws forever Watch

Image of Lawmakers push to put an end to abortions.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced a bill on Thursday, prohibiting abortions after a heartbeat is detected. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - King released a statement Tuesday to announce the bill, in which he explained: "Since Roe v. Wade was unconstitutionally ... continue reading


Pope Francis warns women against using abortions to save their figure Watch

Image of Pope Francis calls out women who abort to save their figure.

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

On Wednesday Pope Francis issued strong words against worshiping idols, cautioning against the false hope that beauty, wealth and power can give, but which lead a person to trust in empty promises rather than in the Lord. Vatican City, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's ... continue reading


Saints Louis Martin and Saint Zelie Guerin honored with special project Watch

Image of Saints Louis Martin and Saint Zelie Guerin.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

A project to end the drug scourge in Uruguay has drawn inspiration from the recently canonized parents of the "Little Flower" Saint Therese of Lisieux. Montevideo, Uruguay (CNA/EWTN News) - Saint Louis Martin and Saint Zelie Guerin, whom Pope Francis canonized in ... continue reading


Baby born without eyes and an extreme cleft palate touches hearts around the world with beautiful story of faith, love and family Watch

Image of Christian continues to be an amazing inspiration to the Buchanan family.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Lacey married her high school sweetheart, Chris Buchanan, whom she met at a church in Woodbury Tennessee. Soon after their second wedding anniversary, they learned Lacey was pregnant with their first child. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At the 18-week ultrasound, ... 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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
15 This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so that, now that a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:22-30
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, 'Beelzebul ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 23rd, 2017 Image

St. Ildephonsus
January 23: St. Ildephonsus is highly regarded in Spain and ... Read More