Mona-Lee Feehan

Mona-Lee Feehan

November 3, 2014
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – If we are to have the greatest relationship, we have to learn to love one another, says relationship expert Mona-Lee Feehan.

"Personal relationships are grounded in the other," Feehan told university students from across Canada Oct. 17. The two essential elements of a good relationship are passion and presence.

Feehan, a former Catholic teacher who lectures on marriage and sexuality, was a keynote speaker at the National Student Leadership Conference at St. Joseph's College Oct. 16-19. Close to 60 conference participants attended her lecture titled Relationships: Led by the Spirit.

Humans are social beings meant to be in relationships, she said.

However, in today's society we are told that to be happy we have to make ourselves the first priority, she lamented, saying that in order to have a great relationship "we have to learn to love the other."

Society also tells us if we are not happy with something we should change it and move on. According to Feehan, the question should not be "Am I happy?" but rather, "What can I give to this relationship to make us both happy?"

"When we are focused on the other, somehow the 'me' gets taken care of," she said.

PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Feehan said personal relationships are grounded in the other. "This is the vehicle through which the Holy Spirit guides us to the discovery of self and through that, the discovery of the other."

If we fully desire to live spiritual relationships in our lives, we will work hard because this is not an easy task, said Feehan, who has been married for 39 years.

Passion and presence are critical in developing deep spiritual relationships, she continued. "The passion I am talking about is the passion that we feel when we connect to someone or something.

"We need passion to attack life, to embrace our closest relationships and make them spectacular. When we experience this kind of passion, we know why we are in this relationship. With this passion we become more determined to make it the best it can be by giving of ourselves totally, without expectation."

Next a person needs to be more than physically present in the relationship.

"Being present in a relationship does not happen simply because you are there," Feehan said. "Our physicality speaks volumes. I can be present to someone physically and not connected at all. I can be thousands of miles away from someone and feel totally connected."

CONNECTION TO DIVINE

"The presence I am talking about is the presence that connects you to another human being, or connects you to nature, or connects you to the Divine.

"This presence is the connection. It calls you to be totally present with all your senses. You are there physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually." To be fully present is to give over our whole self to the other, added Feehan.