Monthly Archives: August 2012

Challenges and God’s Plan

A year ago today, one of my closest college friends got married (Happy anniversary to the two of them!). That night, while hanging out with some other college friends, I accepted a challenge. You see, I had broken up with my boyfriend fairly recently and was used to having a boy in my life. I hadn’t really been single for more than 2 months at a time since I started college (so 5 years) and I hadn’t really been single a full year since I was probably 16. A friend challenged me to go a whole year being single. Well, guess what? I succeeded, and to my own amazement, I even grew quite a bit. Aside from getting to know myself better and becoming more independent, I also got to know God better.  In the past year, I’ll admit, I made some mistakes. I went on a few dates, but not having a constant boy in my life left me the time I needed to spend with the most important guy in my life–Jesus Christ.  While my friends began getting engaged and married, I started praying for my future husband and trying to discern my true vocation. I also realized that God’s plan is way more important than my own and He could take me where I never dreamed I’d end up! I’ve also learned that God’s got a great sense of humor and it turns out that when you pray for something enough, you may get more than you bargained for. God is making me make difficult decisions now, even though I understand that the choices I make will ultimately be the ones He knows I am going to make. I realized today that it is finally time for me to make my decisions and see where they may take me. I only ask that God stay with me throughout this process.  Much has happened in the past year, and I need to constantly remind myself that God is at work in my life big time and I cannot sacrifice our relationship for anyone–especially not a boy.  This year we have started this blog, I made adjustments in my life to make it single-Catholic friendly, I began attending daily mass, we started a young adult ministry at my parish, I began lectoring at mass, I went on Gospel Roads, I was asked to teach religious education, and I am ultimately feeling so much better about my relationship with Christ.  He has been there for me at every turn and picked me up as I’ve fallen down.  I know I could not have done this without Him.  So even though I set out a year ago to just live a single life, I was able to also fix and grow my relationship with God which, in turn, led me to cultivate existing relationships with my family and some friends. In essence, I wouldn’t trade any of this for meeting my one true love any earlier. So thank you to God, to my family, to my friends, and to our readers for showing me the support andI sending the prayers I needed in this past year. There is nowhere to go from here but forward and I intend to do so by “going forth and setting the world on fire”! I love you, God Bless!
Juli

sweet feminism

Just read an article about a particular brand of feminism that seeks to dissolve social gender roles completely, and the Catholic response to this position. I think about feminism and the relationship between the sexes often, but never had a very coherent philosophical position on it that I really owned. The article was good, nothing mind-blowing, but a comment ending with “no wonder men are becoming socially and biologically irrelevant” struck me as worthy of a reply. I wrote:

A strengths-based approach to the problems of our world is the only sane one. Thus, if we have two sexes with any meaningful difference between them, allowing men to become “socially and biologically irrelevant” involves overlooking 50% of our strengths. Building the Kingdom of God, or even a decent human civilization, requires the talents, virtues, and skills of every member.

The bitterness that exists between men and women is truly exhausting. I don’t have time for that. I unabashedly love men. I am deeply in love with a particular man, and in fact, there are millions of people in this country deeply in love with a member of the opposite sex. In this ridiculous war of the sexes, we’re constantly fraternizing with the enemy. Why not just call the whole blasted thing off?

Seriously though, men are great. So are women. That’s why God created both.

So there it is, my feminist manifesto. I don’t know which official feminist camp it fits best, but as my most polar opposite is the bitter feminist, I’ll just call it sweet feminism 🙂

Leprosy

I just moved to a new city in the NYC area and began work preparing my new charter school for our students, who arrive the last week of August. I’ll be busier than ever, but I hope to start posting more often, since I’ll have so much to reflect on and process. Meanwhile, here is an entry from an old prayer journal that turned up while I was unpacking my things. It’s a little dark, but honest.

                                              +AMDG+

September 2, 2009

Lord Jesus, Healer,

I just realized what lepers are. Physically, they are in need of healing, just as the crippled and the blind are.  But the physical or spiritual leper is rather harder to love than the blind. Leprosy is repulsive. It’s “eating you alive.” It is the horror-movie shock of seeing decay on a still-living person.

I am a leper. I’m not dead, but I’m starting to smell like it. My soul, my self-in-You is crumbling away, falling away at first in bits, but now it’s hard to tell if anything’s still safe. It must have been hard, as the Word who was present in the act of creating man, to see the leper’s body falling apart. How much harder is it, as the Creator of souls, to see the inner person decay?

We are all monsters. Horrible, disfigured, but we are salvageable by Your Grace.  Accept me, Lord, and heal me. Make me whole again and wholly yours. What You have done for us, no-one else would ever do (except in Your Love). You save not only those who never knew You before now, but also those who have loved You and betrayed You anyway. You love and help even the most leprous, zombified souls who are living dead. You are holy, selfless, and immeasurably good. Have mercy on us.

By the grace of Your Holy Cross, save us and have mercy.

Amen.

 

Yours in Christ,
❤ Cherie