MOTHER TERESA'S MESSAGE TO FOURTH UN WOMEN'S CONFERENCE
[The following message is being sent by Mother Teresa of Calcutta to
the UN Women's Conference in Beijing:]
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
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 woman.
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
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
Let us pray.
All for the glory of God and good of souls.
God bless you.
Mother Teresa, MC
[Preceding text courtesy of Catholic World News service (CWN).]