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 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.
All for the glory of God and good of souls.
God bless you.
Mother Teresa, MC