Monday, December 28, 2009

Holy Innocents

On the Feast of the Holy Innocents, I can think of a no better "read" (other than the daily scriptures!) than this offering from Leticia Velasquez, "A Christmas Letter from God to a Mother of a Special Child".

(I am still vacationing, and look forward to catching you back here in the New Year!)

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Enjoying some time off with the family, and a little bit of a technology break. Hope you are too!

Be back in the New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas....

All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

The virgin shall be with child 
and bear a son,
and they shall name him
which means 
"God is with us."

(Matthew 1: 22-23)

From my house to yours,
a very merry Christmas!

This blog, and this podcast on hiatus until after the New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Marvelous Exchange

On the day of his birth, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of God, the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Almighty, and Ever-Living God foregoes heaven’s throne to enter human existence as a babe in a manger.

Christians have long stood in awe of this, mouth slightly agape yet heart rejoicing, naming this Christmas mystery “The Marvelous Exchange.” 

The prayers of the Liturgy chant: “O marvelous exchange! Man's Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity.”
It is almost beyond human comprehension. And yet, some of the wisest men through the ages have beckoned us to believe it.
St Athanasius, a feisty 4th century bishop of Alexandria, spent his whole life in and out of exile defending the Incarnation of Christ. He wrote passionately about this marvelous exchange: “For the Son of God became Man so that we might become God.” 
St Thomas Aquinas, the prolific 13th century “Angelic” doctor of the church, repeated it: "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."
What does this mean for us?
It means that we have grace to become children of God.
How?  St. Paul tells us it is by adoption that we become children of God, thanks to the Incarnation: “When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption… God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ “ (Gal 4: 4-6.)
Jesus taught that this is exactly the condition we need to enter his Kingdom:  “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3-4.)

Look at the Magi – wise men of esteem coming before the little infant Jesus born into poverty. The Magi, men of power and influence knelt (knelt!) before him.
During his public ministry, Jesus preached: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (Jn 3:3.)
This was the mystery before Nicodemus, another wise man, and a devout Pharisee in search of the truth about the Savior.  Hearing Jesus’ words, Nicodemus asked an intelligent question: if I’ve already been born, how can I be born again? 
Today we know what Nick was wrestling with – but now we know the gift of our baptism makes us Children of God. We become sons and daughters of God by grace, not by nature… not by natural birth, but by a spiritual rebirth.
Our life is meant to echo this spiritual childhood We’ve got to let ourselves become little in the way that Jesus did. If He entered into humility by becoming a child, so can we by the power of his grace.

The first thing I learn from this is that childhood is good… and that God is approachable.

Once upon a time, we were children who innocently went about our days without any worries… often living in the bliss of the moment. It was a very Eden-like existence up to a point. Eventually we learned that we had to grow up – to be responsible and mature and productive. There is nothing really wrong with that, except that as adults we often forget our original childhood.

Even worse, some people’s memories of childhood – their holy innocence – are marred beyond recognition – stolen from by violence or inhumanity.
Either way, the beauty and bliss of that child-identity – our original core connection – that of being a Child of God can be disjointed, disconnected, or dismembered.
Enter the Christ Child… and the dawn of something mysteriously new. 
Enter the Child who stepped into Time to promise eternity.
That same Child has the power to make children of us all.
Jesus restores what was lost to us in the Garden of Eden: a life with God. Being baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit calls us to the live this day as if One Day we will live with the Blessed Trinity.
If God became a little child, slipping into the bliss of being held in the arms of his loving parents – just what does that tell us?  There is something holy – and necessary – about being a child. We learn to whom we belong and we begin to know peace.
I weep at the miracle and majesty of Christmas captured in the Holy Babe.  I long to let go of my adultish cares and slip into the bliss of being held in the folds of Jesus’ robe.
When I enter that mystery, when I rejoin, reconnect, and remember that Truth, I re-learn to whom I belong and the peace it brings. I sleep in heavenly peace.
Remembering overcomes The Split: remembering overcomes sin – turning “no” into “YES!” – turning separation into connection, communion.
And there is holy fallout from this marvelous exchange: not only do I have the chance to live one day in heaven but I exchange the lie that I must somehow become my own god. For the truth is I am still a Child of God regardless of my age or circumstance. 
This Child lies at my deepest core; my being is yoked to eternity.
And this I know this when I kneel before the Crèche. I experience the marvelous exchange that comes from that Baby gazing up at me.
©2009 Patricia W. Gohn

This article is also posted over at

Image credit

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Among Women Podcast on a two-week hiatus...

Looking for a new podcast?  Well, gosh... I miss you too! 

The last Among Women for 2009 was our Christmas show posted on December 15th. I hope you can hold on till Tuesday January 5, when Among Women returns weekly with new shows for 2010.

As you might expect, I'm taking a vacation break to be with my family through the precious days of the Christmas season. Bob and I will be playing music at Christmas services, plus our college kids are home, and well, I just need time to hang out and be Mom... and to cook... and to visit... and to re-connect with loved ones near and far...

So, I'm gonna disconnect the technology tether for just a bit... to create a little more quiet space in my mind, my heart, and my house.  I'm sure you understand!

I hope that you, too, will reach out and connect with friends, neighbors, and family in person during this holy time of year!

Thanks for the support and the prayers and the cyber hugs as I launched Among Women this past year... and thanks for your continued interest in this ministry.

And if your means allow, kindly donate to SQPN so Catholic podcasting can reach even more people in 2010.  SQPN is a non-profit Catholic new media association. Among Women is a happy affiliate.

We'll chat soon!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Women Play Nice!

Check out this video of these very "sporting" women.

Ht: Deacon's Bench.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pope Benedict: How the Christmas Tree Evangelizes

This struck me in today's scripture...

Mary set out

and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,

and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment
the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
--Luke 1: 39-45

What's not to love about this passage?  Two holy women... in the presence of God and one another... This is what "among women" is all about... Jesus, Mary, community, blessedness.

Enjoy the waning days of Advent.... O come, O come Emmanuel...

Friday, December 18, 2009

My latest on Today's Catholic Woman... Part 5 in the series "The Church".

Here's a snip:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, (CCC), paragraph 789, teaches that there is an intimate bond between Christ and his Church: “Not only is she [the Church] gathered around him; she is united in him, in his body.”
The Church’s deep connection with Jesus has three aspects.
First, this makes one body of all its members. This unity between all exists thanks to Baptism, primarily, and is strengthened by the other sacraments.
Second, Christ is recognized as the Head of this Body, and therefore, he is a permanent part of it and cannot be separated from the Church. Or, as in the words of St. Joan of Arc: “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know that they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.”
Third, the Church is the Bride of Christ, implying an exclusive life-giving two-person covenantal relationship.

Read the rest here

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Among Women Podcast #38 - the Christmas edition!

Among Woman #38, our Christmas edition, is posted! (In honor of the season, this show is a departure from our regular format...)
Today’s show is an “audio” Christmas card: 

--A Reflection from Pat Gohn:  “The Incarnation of Christ: The Marvelous Exchange”
    -- See John 14:23, Catechism 526.

--Reflections from Among Women friends and listeners: sharing their favorite Christmas memories.

--A Book GiveawayTake Five: Reflections of Pope Benedict   (To enter for this free giveaway, email Pat:

--Ways to Support Among Women and donate to SQPN.

--“LIVE JESUS!” -- final thoughts for the New Year, courtesy of St. Francis de Sales.

NOTE: Among Women will be on hiatus until Jan. 5, 2010

Monday, December 14, 2009

Avoid being super-Mom, super-Catholic, super et al

Teresa Tomeo's article gets it right!  Let's chill more and thrill more to the fact that Jesus is (indeed!) the Reason for the Season!

Keep the Advent Flame burning with Catholic TV

Okay, are you adventing yet??

Need a little inspiration to get you through the hustle and bustle of December?  Check out Catholic TV's Advent programming now!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This struck me in today's scripture...

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you
he has turned away your enemies;
the King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,

he will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Theology of the Body and Advent...

Ladies, just in case no one ever told ya... it is all about you... so says Fr. Thomas Loya in this most recent article. Yes, believe it or not, he ties the message in with Advent and Christmas.

Fr. Thomas Loya, a big-time promoter of theology of the body, always makes me think... and his podcast A Body of Truth is a thoughtful, provocative, challenging, and engrossing program on topics in life and love as seen through the lens of theology of the body.

On Our Lady...

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I invite you to hear about it in the Among Women podcast this week. Tonight, in the Gohn home, we'll be breaking out the Mexican food in her honor!

Besides, Mary is "Cause of our joy", so it's a great day all around...

But, I thought you might also appreciate a link to a very fine post by Mark Shea from earlier this week. While not specifically about Guadalupe, I thought it was a brillantly simple yet sublime treatise on Mary as Immaculata, and its import for our world.

Please do read the whole thing.

Here's a snippet:

For by Mary’s creaturely humility and God’s subsequent exaltation of her through the grace of Christ, she gives the lie to every proposition upon which the Philosophies of Pride were founded and reminds us again that salvation is found not by saying with Shelley’s hero Satan "Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven" but by saying "Let it be unto me according to your word."
image credit

Friday, December 11, 2009

My latest on Today's Catholic Woman... Part 4 in the series "The Church".

Review: Take 5, Meditations from Pope Benedict XVI

Take a look at Take Five: Meditations with Pope Benedict XVI from Mike Aquilina and Fr. Kris Stubna.

If you've never gotten to know any of the writings of Pope Benedict XVI, (especially in his pre-pontificate days as the prolific Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger)... or maybe if you've been a tad hesitant to read his works because you've heard he is such a giant among modern theologians... let me recommend this pocket-sized book as a place to start.

Take Five is "bite-sized" Benedict.

This devotional guide, with 72 excerpts on the spiritual life, samples some of Pope Benedict's most recent books, encyclicals, sermons and addresses. Through it you'll benefit from his genius, his humility, and his integrity. Not only that, you'll find out what a "good papa" Benedict is, a real brother and father in the Lord.  Most days, we can all benefit from some sort of pastoral care.  This is the kind you can take along in the backpack, the baby bag, the briefcase, or the purse.

Take Five really is a page-a-day devotional worthy of the name.  You get to meditate on Benedict's words, learn a scripture verse that relates to the subject matter, and just in case you miss the point on those things, each day's lesson has a few questions to help you go deeper.  Finally, there's a short thought for the day to carry with you and apply to daily life. It's doggone practical, down to earth, and just what so many of us can use as we long to grow in the spiritual life.

The range of topics is broad and varied, but here are a few that captured my eye: "Your Witness at Work", "Purer Prayer", "The Longing of the Human Heart", "The Power of Beauty", "The Profit Motive", "How to Take a Sick Day", "Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament", "Friendship in Christ", and "Seeing with Christ's Eyes".

Finally, to whet your appetite, I'll leave you with this morsel, excerpted from "The Happiness You Desire" on page 122:

The happiness you have a right to enjoy has a name and a face: it is Jesus of Nazareth, hidden in the Eucharist. Only he gives the fullness of life to humanity! With Mary, say your own "yes" to God, for he wishes to give himself to you.
I repeat today what I said at the beginning of my Pontificate: "If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation."
Be completely convinced of this: Christ takes from you nothing that is beautiful and great, but brings everything to perfection for the glory of God, the happiness of men and women, and the salvation of the world.
                     ----Benedict XVI, Address, World Youth Day, Cologne, Germany (Aug. 18, 2005)

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Take Five - Meditations with Pope Benedict XVI.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Power of the Word

One of the "bible basics" needed by us who endeavor to read God's Word is the understanding that it is trustworthy.  In a world where many people consider the Bible to be old-fashioned, or too-ancient-to-be-relevant, or worse, a fiction, a myth, or not God-inspired... we've got to ask the pressing question that separates truth from fiction: By What Authority is the Bible Written?

For more, see my latest article at Faith and Family Live.

Any while you are there, why not offer a donation for the mission of the website and all that F&F does to keep Catholic content coming! (Not to mention, there are some nice prizes as thanks for your help!) Do it today, before the idea gets away from you... click here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Powerful Stuff: The Catholicism Project

Get involved!  Be the light! Donate here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

AMong Women Podcast #37

What happens when your infant son -- scheduled to play Jesus in the Christmas play -- misses his theatrical debut due to a sudden life-threatening illness? Find out on this week's episode of AW when mother Anne Marie Guggenberger (a previous guest from Episode 3) shares a heart-tugging Christmas story about the life and times of her youngest son, Will.

Plus AW takes a look at the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.

Don't forget to send Pat your feedback -- your favorite Christmas memory -- due by Dec. 13th! (See header post above.)

And show your financial support for SQPN here.

Where We Got the Bible

This is an audio book called Where We Got the Biblea very early 20th century (1911) manuscript of a series of talks and articles from Rt. Rev. Henry Graham . Yours truly did the narration and I was happy to make this recording. 

This book deserves it place in church history as it traces compilation of the bible's canon, its structure, and its translation through the centuries as known to Bishop Graham through the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Graham also describes, how in certain eras, the bible was lovingly preserved thanks to the tireless efforts of medieval monks. He also traces how Catholic scholars produced the bible in the vernacular.

Graham vividly portrays the Catholic Church as pro-bible, as opposed to many in his day, usually non-Catholics, who perpetuated the myth that the Catholic Church was opposed to Scripture.  Over and over again, Graham sheds light on how Catholic Church has and continues to embrace the bible.  

That being said, as a Catholic writer and student of theology, I also make the following disclaimer:  in listening to this recording, you must realize that this book, while informative from a historical perspective, does not contain our modern 21st century sensibilities... especially where sensitive ecumenical dialogue might be warranted. These days, thankfully, there is much collaboration between Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish biblical scholars, translators and publishers. In Graham's day, such mutual respect was often sorely lacking, and a certain zealous veracity comes through his words as he defends attacks on the Catholic Church and its unique relationship to the Bible.

Take the book for what it is, and for what it attempts to do in good faith: to be an apologetical defense of the Catholic Church's guardianship over the Sacred Scriptures as the Deposit of Faith, and to present rational arguments concerning errors. It was also meant to be a source of adult religious education for the Catholic population of Great Britain, where Graham shepherded his flock.

Like so many other Catholic classics, Where We Got the Bible is a period piece that still has something valuable to offer the modern reader and listener.

Listen to an audio sample of Chapter One here.

The audio book may be purchased here.

It Makes Me Think...

Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

Every day, from one end of the earth to the other, in the highest heaven and in the lowest abyss, all things preach, all things proclaim the wondrous Virgin Mary. The nine choirs of angels, men and women of every age, rank and religion, both good and evil, even the very devils themselves are compelled by the force of truth, willingly or unwillingly, to call her blessed. According to St. Bonaventure, all the angels in heaven unceasingly call out to her: "Holy, holy, holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God." They greet her countless times each day with the angelic greeting, "Hail, Mary", while prostrating themselves before her, begging her as a favour to honour them with one of her requests. According to St. Augustine, even St. Michael, though prince of all the heavenly court, is the most eager of all the angels to honour her and lead others to honour her. At all times he awaits the privilege of going at her word to the aid of one of her servants.

The whole world is filled with her glory, and this is especially true of Christian peoples, who have chosen her as guardian and protectress of kingdoms, provinces, dioceses, and towns. Many cathedrals are consecrated to God in her name. There is no church without an altar dedicated to her, no country or region without at least one of her miraculous images where all kinds of afflictions are cured and all sorts of benefits received. Many are the confraternities and associations honouring her as patron; many are the orders under her name and protection; many are the members of sodalities and religious of all congregations who voice her praises and make known her compassion. There is not a child who does not praise her by lisping a Hail Mary. There is scarcely a sinner, however hardened, who does not possess some spark of confidence in her. The very devils in hell, while fearing her, show her respect.

And yet in truth we must still say with the saints: De Maria numquam satis : We have still not praised, exalted, honoured, loved and served Mary adequately. She is worthy of even more praise, respect, love and service.

----St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, (online version), par. 8-10.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What's a Momma to do?

Or, how to make momma cry, from Karen Edmisten.  And send this one in search of Kleenex!
(Remember Karen from AW episode 20?)  

Women and the Church

This article covers many of the topics we've covered on the Among Women podcast. Take a few moments to read it.

Here's a snippet:
Feminism has concentrated on equality and power in its quest for justice for women.  Because men and women complement each other, equality should not mean ‘exactly the same.’  Human dignity is the foundation for equality, and equality is enhanced by collaboration.  Kierkegaard said that, “Femininity is a lynchpin of human life; once it is uprooted, the consequence are disastrous.  In fact, experience proved that [radical] feminism benefits men and harms women.” (Kierkegaard, Either-Or, p ii, 260-1).
Pope John Paul II said that the “dignity and balance of human life depends at every moment of history and in every place upon who man will be for women, and who women will be for men.” (TOB 43:7).  In a letter to women, he wrote about the ‘genius of women’ and thanked them for all their contributions to society as mothers, sisters, and workers in the Lond’s vineyard.  Women are made for relationships, they possess great beauty, and have a deep element of mystery.  Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) said that women’s natural role was to “To cherish, guard, protect, nourish, and advance growth.”  Every woman is called to be a bride in some form or another. 

The author also lists a good reading list:

The Privilege of Being a Woman by Alice von Hildebrand
Theology of His/Her Body by Jason Evert
Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church by CDF/Joseph Ratzinger
Letter to Women by Pope John Paul the Great.
Ordinatio Sacerdotalis by Pope John Paul the Great.
Charter of the Rights of the family.
Apostolic Letter Proclaiming Co-Patronesses of Europe by Pope John Paul the Great.
Bible Women Speak to Us Today by Mary Jensen.
Elucidations by Hans Urs von Balthasar.

Mother Teresa and Me by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle's memoir about her friendship with Mother Teresa comes out today!

Among Women listeners will remember Donna-Marie's poignant stories about Blessed Teresa on episode 26.  (And if you missed it, well, cue it up, honey!)

It's a pleasure to share this book with you!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This struck me in today's scripture... gives me the ol' lump in the throat

Brothers and sisters:
I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you,
because of your partnership for the gospel
from the first day until now.
I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it
until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is my witness,
how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may increase ever more and more
in knowledge and every kind of perception,
to discern what is of value,
so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ
for the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1: 4-6, 5-11.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Handbook for Catholic Moms

Okay, there are just a few gals for whom I'd be willing to stick my neck out, not looking before I leap. (Or puting their book on my blog before I actually got to the last chapter of my pre-view copy... but hey, when its right, its right...)

But I'm here to recommend a wonderful still-to-come book from Lisa Hendey for you Catholic mothers and mothers-to-be! If you are actively parenting children from babies to teens, this is a must-have for your bookshelf.

Here's it is:

Author Lisa Hendey, the founder of, and the Catholic Moments Podcast, and  contributor and columnist at Faith and Family Live, and Today's Catholic Woman, and now the producer of Kids Gospel Moments, among other great projects, has been a source of inspiration to me for years. She's the kind of honest-to-goodness girl-next-store you just wanna have around as a BFF. Not to mention, she really IS that nice when you get to know her in person (as I have)!

Lisa's solid dedication to the Catholic Church and her desire to keep growing in her faith as she continues to find and share the best Catholic family resources out there, well, it's just amazing...  So Lisa's finally stockpiling all that wisdom and those resources and putting it in one handy volume for the likes of you and me.

Here's a synopsis.  And here's Lisa's recent guest appearance on Among Women. (Go listen now if you missed it!)

Lisa Hendey's book doesn't come out until February, but wouldn't it be cool to put her over the top with the first edition selling out before it hits the bookstores???

Now, go order it here.

And yours truly was honored to add a little sidebar in the book too.

Friday, December 4, 2009

How the Church is both Human and Divine

Check out my latest series on "The Church" over at Today's Catholic Woman on Catholic Exchange. Today's installment is focuses the how the Church is both human and divine.

Hey Look! Now you can Watch & Listen to Catholic TV right here at AW

In this digital age of widgets and apps, now the likes of the Among Women blog can feature Catholic TV right here!  Just scroll down the page and check it out!

Did you know that C-TV has women's programming?  Check out "WINGS" (Women in God's Spirit) or "Woman at the Heart of the Church".  Let me know what you think!  Now I can listen and watch as I update my websites!  Want to do the same?  Go here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

St Joseph -- always right where you need him!

Mary Kochan at Catholic Exchange thinks so too!  Check out her latest article here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It Makes Me Think...

(A tad long, but worth it!  This is an excerpt from the new pastoral letter on Marriage that just came out by the US Bishops...)

Adam and Eve were literally made for each other. Man and woman have been made to come together in the union of marriage. The text of Genesis continues: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body [flesh]” (Gn 2:24).

Marriage, this clinging together of husband and wife as one flesh, is based on the fact that man and woman are both different and the same. They are different as male and female, but the same as human persons who are uniquely suited to be partners or helpmates for each other. The difference between man and woman, however, cannot be restricted to their bodies, as if the body could be separated from the rest of the human person. The human person is a union of body and soul as a single being. Man and woman are two different ways of being a human person. While man and woman are different, their differences serve to relate them to each other. They are not different in a parallel way, as two lines that never meet. Man and woman do not have separate destinies. They are related to each other precisely in their differences.

The differences between male and female are complementary. Male and female are distinct bodily ways of being human, of being open to God and to one another—two distinct yet harmonizing ways of responding to the vocation to love.

While human persons are more than biological organisms, the roots of marriage can be seen in the biological fact that a man and a woman can come together as male and female in a union that has the potential for bringing forth another human person. This kind of union fills the need for the continuation of the human race. Since human beings exist at more than a biological level, however, this union has further personal and spiritual dimensions. Marriage does not exist solely for the reproduction of another member of the species, but for the creation of a communion of persons.

To form a communion of persons is the vocation of everyone. As Pope John Paul II teaches, all human persons are created in the image of God, who is a communion of love of three persons, and thus all are called to live in a communion of self-giving love: “to say that man is created in the image and likeness of God means that man is called to exist ‘for’ others, to become a gift.”

Marriage, however, is a unique communion of persons. In their intimate union as male and female, the spouses are called to exist for each other. Just as Genesis describes Eve as a helper for Adam, we can see that in marriage, a husband and wife are meant to help each other through self-giving. “In the ‘unity of the two,’ man and woman are called from the beginning not only to exist ‘side by side’ or ‘together,’ but they are also called to exist mutually ‘one for the

This communion of persons has the potential to bring forth human life and thus to produce the family, which is itself another kind of communion of persons and which is the origin and foundation of all human society. It is precisely the difference between man and woman that makes possible this unique communion of persons, the unique partnership of life and love that is marriage. A man and woman united in marriage as husband and wife serve as a symbol of both life and love in a way that no other relationship of human persons can.

A Pastoral Letter of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Nov. 2009)

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2 Massachusetts' events I want to promote

First, currently underway this week in the greater Boston area... the GOD IN THE CITY tour... I'll be going to the Andover event at 7 on Thursday night. Hope to see ya there!

Second, our singer-songwriter, friend, and fellow podcaster, Susan Bailey will be performing an inspiration concert called "HOW ADVENT SAVED MY CHRISTMAS" that's this Friday night out in the greater Worchester MA town of Northborough.

Among Women Podcast #36

This week's Among Women podcast kicks off the first week of the Advent season with a program that advocates mission-mindedness... our program shares story of the Pauline Jaricot, the foundress of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, among other mission initiatives.

Joining Pat for conversation is Maureen Crowley Heil, the mission education coordinator for the Pontifical Missions Societies in the Archdiocese of Boston. Together Pat and Maureen explore the dimensions of Catholic life that call us to become more "mission-minded".

Look for advent links in the side bar here too!

The new Roman Missal (click & learn about the coming changes):

Watch Catholic TV here! Find Women's programs: "WINGs" and "Woman at the Heart of the Church"

A Lovely Reminder for Every Day

Coffee drinkers! Support AW by drinking Mystic Monk Coffee!

Ship a Cake, and Share a Blessing