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Mary, Our Model of Feminine Sensitivity

By: Pat Gohn on February 26th, 2023

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Mary, Our Model of Feminine Sensitivity

Blessed Virgin Mary  |  reading the Bible  |  Scripture Study

Sensitivity in a woman is more than her tears at weddings or while watching a chick flick. Not to be confused with emotionalism or sentimentality, the gift of sensitivity runs much deeper. When she uses her gift intentionally, a woman quickly detects when others need love, care, or nurture. This gift also enables her to be receptive to spiritual matters, intuitively understanding things related to the heart of God. And while a woman may cry over something that moves her heart, those tears often become fuel—moving her to action. 

In his Letter to Women, St. John Paul II wisely observes,

Women acknowledge the person, because they see persons with their hearts. (par. 12)


Women who see others with their hearts and not just their eyes affirm the inherent dignity of the other. Sensitivity of this sort moves with compassion, with works of justice and mercy, bringing love where none exists. 

Sensitivity is deeply spiritual and increases as a woman is nurtured by the Holy Spirit. As she grows in grace, formed more and more by the love of God, her senses also work in more godly ways as grace builds on her nature. The more responsive she is to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to the quiet voice of truth inside of her, the more her sensitivity will help her, like holy radar, to receive what God says to her in prayer and in the moments of her day.




The ideal model for sensitivity is Mary. At Cana, Mary senses the need at hand—an embarrassing situation for the hosts of the wedding: “They have no wine” (2:3). She moves quietly and resolutely. She knows the divine power present in her son, yet she respects his autonomy. Mary’s directive to the servers is good advice for us: “Do whatever he tells you” (v. 5). Mary’s sensitivity in that moment blesses the whole community gathered to celebrate the wedding. Yet her sensitivity blesses us today as the wedding at Cana foreshadows Jesus made present in the Eucharist. 

Mary’s loving sensitivity continues to reach us from heaven. Mary connects people to her son and her son to people. She intercedes on our behalf. Her counsel always comes from a womanly heart perfectly aligned with God’s will.

This excerpt from the Living the Word Catholic Women’s Bible is reprinted with permission of the publisher, Ave Maria Press.

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About Pat Gohn

Pat Gohn is a married empty-nester with three adult children and four grandchildren. An author, catechist, speaker, and host of the Among Women podcast since 2009, her books include the award-winning Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood, and All In: Why Belonging to the Catholic Church Matters. She works in Catholic publishing as an editor. Visit PatGohn.net