I am praying for God's
blessing on all who are taking part in the Fourth World Conference on
Women in Beijing. I hope that this Conference will help everyone to
know, love, and respect the special place of women in God's plan so that
they may fulfill this plan in their lives.
I do not understand
why some people are saying that women and men are exactly the same, and
are denying the beautiful differences between men and women. All God's
gifts are good, but they are not all the same. As I often say to people
who tell me that they would like to serve the poor as I do, "What I can
do, you cannot. What you can do, I cannot. But together we can do
something beautiful for God." It is just this way with the differences
between women and men.
God has created each one of us, every
human being, for greater things-- to love and to be loved. But why did
God make some of us men and others women? Because a woman's love is one
image of the love of God, and a man's love is another image of God's
love. Both are created to love, but each in a different way. Woman and
man complete each other, and together show forth God's love more fully
than either can do it alone.
That special power of loving that
belongs to a woman is seen most clearly when she becomes a mother.
Motherhood is the gift of God to women. How grateful we must be to God
for this wonderful gift that brings such joy to the whole world, women
and men alike! Yet we can destroy this gift of motherhood, especially by
the evil of abortion, but also be thinking that other things like jobs
or positions are
more important than loving, than giving oneself to
others. No job, no plans, no possessions, no idea of "freedom" can take
the place of love. So anything that destroys God's gift of motherhood
destroys His most precious gift to women-- the ability to love as a
God told us, "Love your neighbor as yourself." So first I
am to love myself rightly, and then to love my neighbor like that. But
how can I love myself unless I accept myself as God has made me? Those
who deny the beautiful differences between men and women are not
accepting themselves as God has made them, and so cannot love the
neighbor. They will only bring division, unhappiness, and destruction of
peace to the world. For example, as I have often said, abortion is the
greatest destroyer of peace in the world today, and those who want to
make women and men the same are all in favor of abortion.
Instead of death and sorrow, let us bring peace and joy to the
world To do this we must beg God for His gift of peace and learn to love
and accept each other as brothers and sisters, children of God. We know
that the best place for children to learn how to love and to pray is in
the family, by seeing the love and prayer of their mother and father.
When families are broken or disunited, many children grow up not knowing
how to love and pray. A country where many families have been destroyed
like this will have many problems. I have often seen, especially in the
rich countries, how children turn to drugs or other things to escape
feeling unloved and rejected.
But when families are strong and
united, children can see God's special love in the love of their father
and mother and can grow to make their country a loving and prayerful
place. The child is God's best gift to the family and needs both mother
and father because each one shows God's love in a special way. The
family that prays together stays together, and if they stay together
they will love one another as God has loved each one of them. And works
of love are always works of peace.
So let us keep the joy of
loving in our hearts and share this joy with all we meet. My prayer for
all of the delegates, and for every woman whom the Beijing Conference is
trying to help, is that each one may be humble and pure like Mary so as
to live in love and peace with one another and make our families and our
world something beautiful for God.
Let us pray.
the glory of God and good of souls.
God bless you.