7 Quick Takes Friday ~ Vol 102

— 1 —  This Week’s Post:     Oh My Parents! I hope this post provided helpful perspective!   

— 2 —  Next Week’s Post:  Hmmmmm….

— 3 —  Not Alone Series:   This week’s NAS topic was Prayer!  The girls did a great job this week and the photos they shared are beautiful.  Check them out!

— 4 —   Spotlight On: What did you think of this article?  Why I Want To Skip The Confusing “Talking” Phase and Find Out What He Really Wants

— 5 —  The Humanum Series:  Did you see this article about The Destiny of Humanity:  On the Meaning of Marriage?  Here is the video Part 1 of 6:  

— 6 —     3 Keys:  This was a good article:   3 Keys to Save your Future Marriage.  I agree with all the keys with the exception of the 3rd key listed in the article. It says that marriage is ‘extremely difficult’ but I think it is all about perspective.  Being single is, to me, much, much harder.

  7 —  Finally Free:  This weekend is the first in many, many weekends since August that we have nothing planned other than Mass and a trip to the grocery store.  We had to work today and it is cold in our house.  So, instead of finishing up this remaining Quick Take, I think I will get under a blanket.  Brrrrrr.  I have received a number of emails this week from you beautiful girls and I look forward to catching up tomorrow morning after a good night’s rest.

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Oh, My Parents!

I love my mom

I am famous for telling pregnant girls that the two gifts of Motherhood are guilt and worry.  Which is a good opening concept for this post about seeing things from your parent’s perspective. I get emails from you expressing your frustration with your parents:

“My parents think my singleness is all my fault!”

“My parents never know the right thing to say.”

“My parents are so critical of me!”

“I wish my parents were more supportive.”

“My parents think I am mean for not responding to guys who only offer lame pursuits.”

Guilt

Your parents may blame themselves for your singleness.  They may look back on any mistakes they made in raising you or mistakes made in their own marriage and wonder if that is causing your delayed marriage.

The guilt they feel from it makes them unable to form a sentence which sounds supportive.  The guilt they feel is communicating something that is most likely not true.  Your singleness may be, in their mind, communicating to the world that they are bad parents and this makes them feel guilty.

Your parents may also be projecting their issues and failures onto you, unable to see that you are your own person.  And, these issues and failures, if they are even slightly detected in you, make them feel guilty….and they worry.

Worry

Please don’t underestimate how much your parents worry about you.  I never knew worry before I had my son.  When he was first born, I had this exaggerated fear that he was going to get stolen. I had this ‘Lindbergh baby’ thing going on in my head where I thought someone was going to come into our house and take him.  Every night I would ask Gregg, “Did you lock the sliding glass door?”

I worry less now but I do have more compassion on my parents these days, especially my dad.  My mom was always really relaxed about my extended singleness but I think my dad worried.  He wanted me to be married so bad.  It drove him to, at times, say things that were meant to be encouraging but somehow fell flat.  Poor guy!  There was just nothing he could say that would help.  But, you should have seen him on my wedding day.  He practically had to be sedated he was so happy. And then when I became a mother I could see that, all along, it was the joy my parents wanted for me.

Now that I have a child, I totally understand. But, I can guarantee you that my worry for him as he grows into adulthood, will make it seem as though I am putting pressure on him to meet my expectations.  Heck, I do that already and he is only 9 years old.

Expectations

Jerome as a baby

Oh, the pressure!  Parents have expectations. I am constantly on our son about stuff.  Practice your math, hang up your clothes, put your shoes where they belong, fast-forward through the commercials, turn the TV down, look people in the eye.  Just this morning we were heading into Mass and a schoolmate of his walked right up to him and said, “Hi.”  Our son half-way acknowledged the boy and said, “Hi.”  So, after putting some distance between us and the schoolmate, I reminded him about the definition of ‘stuck up.’  This, of course, made him almost cry.

I am just trying to prevent him from himself sometimes.  He is a really friendly, personable child but on the rare occasion when he acts stuck up, he cannot see how his response comes off.  It is my job, as his mom, to point things like this out to him.  Oh, and he never appreciates this by the way.

Just like our parents corrected us and we did not like or appreciate it.  They had expectations.  And, those expectations can really feel like pressure…..and criticism.

Critical

One girl wrote to me wishing her mom would be more supportive and not so critical. She wishes that her mom would be more accepting and not try to change or fix her.  As I was reading it, I could see my son saying this about me!

We all imagine that when we have children, we will be accepting, encouraging and supportive of them all the time.  We can think of no reason to not be! Well, I thought that too.  But, the job is not a glamorous one.  You have to be the safety patrol, Schoolmarm, the big wet blanket, Mrs. Manners and the fun and grammar police.

As a parent, you can see the pitfalls ahead of time and you, out of love, don’t want your children to fall into these pits.  So, you guide, you correct, you make faces, you make sounds of disapproval and you pontificate.

Transition

I think there comes a point when parents have to emotionally separate from their child so that the pain that the adult child is experiencing is not so keenly felt by the parents.  But, my guess is that this separation process is very difficult.  You have heard that having a child is like wearing your heart on the outside.  Well it is true.  The bond is so strong that you feel everything they feel. Your pain is their pain.  Your desire is their desire.  Your disappointment is their disappointment.

You want the best for them. However, parents, in their broken human condition, fumble the transition ball.

Helplessness

My guess is that your parents want your pain and disappointment to end as much as you do but they feel very helpless in making it go away. So, they offer less than helpful advice, on occasion act exasperated and make comments that can sound critical.

Maybe they married young and your extended singleness completely confounds them.  Maybe they are thinking “What is so hard about finding a husband?”  Or they are thinking, “If my daughter were more XX or less ZZ, she would be married by now.”  They just have no concept of your suffering.

When you were little, they could do something.  But now that you are a grown woman, they can only helplessly observe from the sidelines.  

What To Do

  1. Know that your parents love you and want the best for you.
  2. When your parents offer you advice about your love life, just smile, nod your head and say ‘thank you for loving me and wanting the best for me, Mom and Dad.’  
  3. When your parents fumble the ball and say things that upset you, forgive them.
  4. Find someone other than your parents to vent to. Once you are married and have their grandchildren, you will be glad you did not jeopardize the relationship with unkind and angry outbursts of frustration.
  5. Pray for patience and grace prior to each interaction with your parents.  Imagine the Blessed Mother at your side.  She understands your suffering.
  6. Continue to lead a Sacramental life so as to be strengthened during this time in your life.

Write to me anytime at: theveilofchastity@gmail.com 

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too! 

7 Quick Takes Friday ~ Vol 101

— 1 —  This Week’s Post:     Fear – Part 3 ~ Healthy Fear  Thank you for the feedback on this post! 

— 2 —  Next Week’s Post:  So many topics to pick from!  Thank you for all your emails this week and the honor of sharing your hearts with me.  What do you think if I write a post about being a Mother?  I see some of you struggling with your parents and I am wondering if a post about things from a Mom’s perspective would be interesting/insightful?  

— 3 —  Not Alone Series:   This week’s NAS topic was The Struggle Bus!  Ugh, are you on it?  Check out what the girls had to say!  

Cathedrals

Cathedrals by Tenth Avenue North

— 4 — Spotlight On:  Gregg wanted you girls to know about a band called Tenth Avenue North.  Below I included a song called, appropriately, Struggle which has great lyrics, including: “Children drop your chains and sing.”  The next song below, Jesu, Dulcis Memoria, features Audrey Assad.  Enjoy!  

— 5 —  Self-Image and ChastityOh goodenss, I love the title of the article, What does Self-Image have to do with Chastity?  Just like it says ~ Everything!!  I must do a post about this!

— 6 —   Positive Chastity:  Did you see the article on First Things called Positive Chastity?

“What is needed is a chastity recommendation that doesn’t end with “Thou shalt not.” It follows through with “And thou shalt enjoy a better life.

  7 —  The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who to Marry:  What is that characteristic?  Go Here to see!

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Fear ~ Part 3 Healthy Fear

Several weeks ago I shared the story of a dear reader who is dating a nice, Catholic guy.  He has a job, interesting hobbies, friends, nice family, is cute and practices his faith for real.  So, what is the problem?  The problem is that she is not sure if she feels a spark or not and therefore is unsure of what to do.  In that post, I shared that there is paralyzing fear and there is healthy fear.  Last week I covered paralyzing fear (which needs to be healed by God) and this week I will cover healthy fear. 

Hesitation 

Back in May I wrote the Give Him 3 Dates post.  Much of what I wrote had to do with the beginning stages of dating.  I suggested that you give a guy 3 dates to allow for God to move if He chooses.  You can always say to God, “I gave this guy a chance. No spark.” 

But what about when you have been dating this nice, Catholic guy for a while and although things are good, you just don’t feel a spark?  What if God is not moving your heart towards this guy? 

I describe this as a feeling of hesitation and when it comes to marriage, I believe we should heed these feelings of hesitation.  I believe that they come from the Holy Spirit.  But, how do you know that the fear you are feeling is a healthy feeling of hesitation from the Holy Spirit?

Would You Pick Him? 

The Catholic Sacrament of Marriage is permanent. When considering your husband, you need to believe that if you had all the men in the entire world to pick from, you would pick this man.  And, you should have confidence and peace about forever with him. 

During the ‘forever’ many  things will happen.  He will make you mad and his human imperfections will annoy you.  The same goes for your human imperfections.  You may even feel tempted towards infidelity. It is during those times that you need to be able to say to yourself, “He is not perfect but there is no other man I want.” 

Not A Safety Net 

When considering marriage, be sure to avoid the safety net syndrome.  This is when you marry a guy because another man might not come along.  That, to me, is not a good reason.  Your beloved  needs to be more than just a safety net for you.  You need to look at him with admiration and be able to thank God for such a wonderful husband. If you cannot do this, then those feelings of hesitation and fear are healthy and it may be time to break things off. 

Ask The Question 

So the dear reader in this story did ask herself the “if I had all the men to pick from…” question. It was a good process for her to go through because it forced her to look at this wonderful man and all his qualities.  It softened her heart towards him to know how much he cares about her and accepts her with all her human flaws. It helped her understand and prioritize what she is looking for in marriage.  Then, she decided to give things more time because so far, the answer to the question “if I had all the men to pick from, would I pick him?” was “yes, I think so!” 

It may have helped when I reminded her that the type of man she is dating, with all his qualities and character, is exactly the type of man who can make a girl very happy. When you go to Mass and see families, do you notice that the men leading these strong, faithful Catholic families don’t always have the ‘Wow!’ factor?  But they are solid men and their wives are, more often than not, happy and at peace. 

Discernment 

Sometimes our fears are a product of our need for healing.  Sometimes they are signposts of hesitation that force us to evaluate the relationship.  Other times, they are healthy fears which are intended to steer us away from a relationship which may seem good but is not God’s will.  This discernment process should include the following: 

  1. A look at ourselves and our need for healing
  2. A look at the guy and his qualities/character
  3. Asking the question, “If I had all the men in the world to pick from, would I pick him?”
  4. If the answer to #3 is “No”, then I suggest you break things off.
  5. If the answer to #3 is “Yes” or even, “Maybe”, then I suggest you give it more time. 

Yes 

There are so many opinions out there about discerning marriage with a particular man. Some would say that my question in #3 above is the wrong approach.  

My opinion on this is a result of my experience.  I could not answer “Yes” to #3 above for any other guy until I met Gregg.  And, that question still gets a “Yes!” from me today. 

I had feelings of hesitation and what I now call ‘healthy fear’ with all other guys.  It is true that with these guys, some of my paralyzing fears were due to my issues and need for healing. So, I can’t blame it all on them. But, what is interesting is that I still had the same issues which should have caused paralyzing fear when I met Gregg.  But, instead of feeling paralyzed, I felt confident in our future and filled with fortitude.  I, of course, credit this to God’s beautiful will and The Veil.  

2 Tim 1 7

Trust 

Do you trust that the Lord has a will for your life?  Do you trust that the Holy Spirit will lead you to His will?  When you are confronted with healthy fear, please pay attention to your feelings of hesitation.  But, may I sweetly recommend that you take the time to discern first before breaking things off with a guy who has the potential to be an amazing husband?

As always, you are welcome to email me at theveilofchastity@gmail.com

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too! 

7 Quick Takes Friday ~ Vol 100

— 1 —  This Week’s Post: 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know  Congratulations to Kari on the launch of her new book!  

— 2 —  Next Week’s Post:  Fear – Part 3 ~ Healthy Fear  What advice did I give to this dear girl experiencing fear?  I will share the details next week (for real)!

— 3 —  Not Alone Series:   This week’s NAS topic was Deal Breakers!  Oh, you know these smart NAS girls have some deal breakers.  All of them seemed perfectly rational to me, including Lindsay’s desire to marry a non-smoker.  I also understand the part about wanting to marry a man who shares their Catholic faith.  I wrote about my thoughts in the post called Equally Yoked.  Check out all the girl’s posts on Jen’s blog!  

Chaput

— 4 — Spotlight On:   This week’s spotlight is on Archbishop Charles J. Chaput for this reminder:

“None of us are welcomed on our own terms in the church. We are welcomed on Jesus’ terms,” he said. “That’s what it means to be a Christian. You submit yourself to Jesus and his teaching. You don’t recreate your own body of spirituality.”

My Battle Against Hitler

— 5 —  Spotlight On:  Another spotlight on Dr. Alice von Hildebrand for her new book, My Battle Against Hitler, where she reveals her husband, Dietrich von Hildebrand’s fight against Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.  This was my favorite part from her recent interview:

“I think any astute reader of My Battle against Hitler will understand
the message of this book, namely that the devil never sleeps. It would
be a huge mistake to assume that the horrors which took place in both
Germany and Soviet Russia could never happen to us. By allowing
ourselves to fall into spiritual and intellectual somnolence, by
becoming consumed with the pursuit of money and pleasure, we forget
that the relativism rampant in our schools and universities can again
pave the way for such abominable horrors. We should always be aware of
the dangers surrounding us, and through prayer and the sacraments
remain spiritually alert.”

— 6 —   Body and Soul:  This was good and so true:

 “Your naked body deserves the honor of being shared only with someone who is covenanted to never stop loving your naked soul.”  Ann Voskamp

  7 —  Psalm 27: One of my favorites!

“The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.”

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know

Just a quick note to remind you that Kari Kampankis’ book, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, is available starting tomorrow!  She gave me an advanced copy to read and I had hoped to do a formal book review.  But, instead I am going to recommend that this book be given as a Christmas gift for any girl from Grade 5 to Grade 12.  It is packed with wisdom with a direct yet non-judgy message. You may even want to get a copy for yourself.  I loved it!

My favorite Chapter:  Chapter 10: Self Talk (I am a big believer in this)

More about her book:  Here

Buy her book:  Here

Congratulations Kari!

 

Book-cover-2-295x450

Next week:  Final post about Fear ~ Healthy Fear!

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too!        

 

7 Quick Takes Friday ~ Vol 99

— 1 —  This Week’s Post:  Fear – Part 2 ~ Paralyzing Fear  I hope this post helped identify some areas of needed healing!

— 2 —  Next Week’s Post:  Fear – Part 3 ~ Healthy Fear  What advice did I give to this dear girl experiencing fear?  I will share the details next week!

— 3 —  Not Alone Series:   This week’s NAS topic was Discernment!  Check out all the posts on Morgan’s blog!  

— 4 — Spotlight On:  Oh, did I just mention Morgan?  Well, this week’s spotlight is on her. She is being featured over at Triple Braided Life

— 5 —  Spotlight On:  Oh wait!  We have other friends who were also featured on Triple Braided Life! Beth Ann and Katie and Rachel!  Check them out too! Please forgive me if I miss any NAS girls!

— 6 —   Skimpy Takes:  If these Quick Takes seem extra skimpy today then you can blame Gregg.  As I have mentioned before, we share our home computer and have to take turns.  I am usually the one to hog screen time but today Gregg was busily rolling over his 401K to his new company.  Okay, I guess that is important too. :)  Anyway, so I am squeezing these in before the Halloween festivities begin!

  7 —  All Hallows Eve:  Here are some Holy ideas! We were invited to evening Mass tonight followed by a bonfire and games for the kids.  Now, before we get upset about dressing up for Halloween, let’s get the facts: Here and with this awesome poster:

 

All Hallow's Eve

Thank you Catholic Answers!

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Fear ~ Part 2 Paralyzing Fear

Last week, I wrote a post about Fear where I asked the following questions about a girl who is dating a nice, Catholic guy but is not sure she feels a spark towards him:

  1. Could her fears (and perfectionism) be keeping her from getting serious with this guy?
  2. Are your fears keeping you paralyzed and keeping you from trusting God?
  3. What should this girl do?

Wow, I received a lot of email and a good number of comments about that post.  If anything, that should proved that fear about marriage is a very common experience.  The difficulty with this topic is that fear can be paralyzing but it can also be good.  Yes, fear can be a healthy emotion because it can protect us by giving us feelings of hesitation.  This could be the Holy Spirit’s prompting us and saying ‘don’t go there.’

But how do you know which one is causing the fear? This post will discuss Paralyzing Fear and in Fear: Part 3 I will discuss Healthy Fear.

Paralyzing Fear

“Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. Don’t be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Paralyzing fear keeps us from doing and trusting in God’s will.  It can be caused by pride, shame, perfectionism, unconfessed sin and an unforgiving heart.  The good news is that He wants to heal us of our fears.  He is our God.  He will “strengthen and support us with His right hand.”

Pride and Shame 

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” Psalm 139:23-24

I was straight up with this dear reader.  I asked her if maybe, just maybe, she felt this nice, Catholic guy was not impressive enough for her family and friends.  Does she care too much about what others think? 

Our insecurities and the shame we feel concerning our imperfections can lead us to want a guy who is impressive so that we will appear impressive.  It is as if this impressive guy will prove to the world that we are worthy of being loved.  

This can lead us to reject a guy who, although he is impressive in all the right ways, may not be impressive to the world.  Unless we are healed of our pride and shame, we will continue to reject these God-given opportunities.  And, over time, the opportunities may dwindle.

Perfectionism, Sin and Forgiveness

“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18

You may be wondering why I put these three topics (perfectionism, sin and forgiveness) together. The reason is because I think there is a connection.  Sometimes our perfectionism is driven by not recognizing and accepting our human condition. We don’t recognize our need for God and His grace so we struggle with trying to control everything on our own.  Then, when we fail, we blame ourselves. 

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:14

The Sacrament of Confession is the perfect medicine for healing us of our perfectionism.  First, the humility and grace we receive from confessing our faults “to each other” (a priest, according to Jesus) is very healing.  Letting go of unforgiveness of others is also freeing.  Finally, forgiving ourselves is very healing. 

Being healed of perfectionism, sin and unforgiveness of others and yourself is key to eliminating fear and trusting God. 

I Am Already Doing That! 

What is that you say?  You are already going to confession and living a Sacramental Life in Christ?  Wonderful!  Then you are being healed and you just need to keep walking that path with the Lord.  Which is what I had to do…. 

My Healing

I wanted God to heal me of my faults but instead He healed me of my fears through a long process.  This is a much better deal because, as you grow older, new fault lines appear in your armor. The virtue of Fortitude, gained from God’s grace from the Sacraments and right relationship with Him, however, will help you overcome future fears and thrive in your marriage and life of faith.

Yes, you will still feel fearful. But your fears will not be paralyzing.  And,  grace and fortitude will enable you to trust. Trust that God knows exactly what He is doing.

“I am the LORD who heals you” Exodus 15:26

God knows your faults. He knows your fears.  He knows how to heal you.  He wants to heal you so that you can “glorify Him by your life.”

Prayer For Healing

As a single girl, I prayed the Prayer for Peace of Mind found below.

10334310_878617105489193_2491610177187429501_n

These days, this is my prayer:

“Please give me Your peace that surpasses all understanding.  Please heal me of my irrational fears and give me peace about my faults, my flaws, my failures, my mistakes, my past and my future.” 

What Should She Do?

So back to my dear reader who is feeling uncertain about her guy?  What if the fear she is feeling is a healthy fear? In Part 3, Healthy Fear, I will tell you exactly what I advised her to do!

 

As always, you are welcome to email me at theveilofchastity@gmail.com

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too!        

7 Quick Takes Friday ~ Vol 98

— 1 —  This Week’s Post:  Fear!  Wow! I received a lot of feedback on this post so it appears that fear is a factor for many of us. Next week I will continue the post from last week and expand on a number of concepts including healing and trust.

— 2 —  Big Week:  Sunday the 19th was our 12th Wedding Anniversary. But! It was also the day that Pope Paul VI joined the ranks of the Blessed.  Blessed Pope Paul VI.  Music to my ears.  Love him.  Have you seen my post about him from 2 years ago?  See #5!

— 3 —  Not Alone Series:   This week’s NAS topic was Let’s Talk About Sex!   All the girls had great things to say about this wonderful topic, including what appears to be a new participant, Meg.  This was my favorite part of Meg’s post:

“And though not every sexual relationship leads to such unfortunate (and sometimes nightmarish) aftermaths, I’ve seen these situations arise often enough to recognize a pattern ~ and so having sex outside of a marriage is a bit of a crapshoot for a woman. 

What’s absent from all these scenarios above is any sense that a woman would be pursued by a man or set on a pedestal.  And I don’t think that it’s unrelated to the sexual nature of these relationships.” 

— 4 — Spotlight On:  This week’s spotlight is a double spotlight.  First, Laura from Life Is Beautiful for her guest interview over at Triple Braided Life.  Loved this:

“God is so good in the way He transforms us and molds us over the years as we learn to surrender to Him and His amazing love. I feel like I struggled more with being single in my early twenties than I do now. I think it was the control freak in me—I had planned on getting married in that time and it just didn’t happen (despite lots of dates and even a broken engagement). As I learned to let go of my perfectionism and instead grow in intimacy with a perfect God, I found more peace, more trust, more contentment in the present moment as well as with His timing for the future.”

Spotlight #2 is on Joan from Everything Is Yours for her meditation on the Feast day of St. John Paul II over at Blessed Is She.  Great job, Joan and Laura!

— 5 —   The Courage of Pope Paul VI:  Did you see Jen Fulwiler’s post about how the courage of Pope Paul VI led her to the Catholic Church?  Oh yes, it was Humanae Vitae! See #2. 

— 6 —   Ephesians 2:15:  Did you notice the reading from Ephesians this week? Do you ever feel divided within yourself and hostile?  Check out how Christ makes us one and through this harmony, comes peace:

“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken
down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law
of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in
himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might
reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby
killing the hostility.”

  7 —  Receive:    Did you see Audrey Assad’s new YouTube of her song Receive?  First, read the lyrics, then enjoy her beautiful voice.  

Holy Wisdom, God in Heaven
Here in human time
Humble Godhead bending low and
Touching bread and wine.

Faith is making plain the truth beneath the veil
Faith supplying where our feeble sense fail

It is God who we encounter,
It is God that we receive
From this altar we do believe

Jesus by Your hand you feed us
Your own life and bread
Jesus risen, Savior lead us
Out of sin and death

Word of God in flesh and blood, we’re here for You
Bread of life, the love of God, our heav’nly food

 

God love and bless you!

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Fear

But even when I am afraid, I keep on trusting you. | Psalm 56:3

 I believe the Holy Spirit has been leading me to write this post about Fear for a while. I was holding back because I don’t want to admit how much Fear played a role in my life.  But, when the Holy Spirit wants something, He lets us know and it makes it awful hard to avoid His gentle promptings.

I was at Mass on Friday and as I mentioned in my 7QTs, it was the feast day of St. Ignatius of Antioch.  Our priest, Father Ray, based his whole homily on fighting Fear and how St. Ignatius of Antioch is our model in doing so.  As you may know, he was martyred for his Catholic Faith in the year 107AD. He was empowered with such courage because of the grace he received from Jesus in the Eucharist.  He, like all Christians of his day, knew the Eucharist is the body and blood of Jesus.  He died, rather than renounce this truth.  Now, that is a man with Fortitude!  

Fortitude

Back in the late 90′s, I belonged to an on-line group of girls called the WUMTHS (Waiting Until Marriage To Have Sex).  My code name in the group was Fortitude.  Not because I had so much fortitude but because I wanted to have it.

You see, I knew that Fear was an issue for me.  Sure, I was afraid of never getting married but for me, the fear I experienced had more to do with getting married.

Yes, I was afraid to get married.

Psalm 56

Paralyzed By Fear

I was emailing with a girl recently who is dating a nice catholic guy.  He has a job, interesting hobbies, friends, nice family, is cute and practices his faith for real.  So, what is the problem?  The problem is that she is not sure if she feels a spark or not.

As I have stated before, romantic love cannot be explained. It is mysterious and beautiful and confounding.  It cannot be manufactured.  However, as I was writing with this girl, I felt the Holy Spirit’s prompting in asking her about her fears.  Could her fears be keeping her from getting serious with this guy?

I do think our fears can paralyze us.  I felt that intense paralysis as a single girl.  I wanted to be married but I felt stuck because marriage requires so much intimacy and exposure.  I am not just talking about the marital embrace. I am talking about everything!

This dear girl responded saying that yes, she does struggle with fear and that she struggles with perfectionism.

Perfection

I understand the pressure to be perfect.  I was one of those girls who struggled with it and just could not imagine being loved with all my faults.  I believed that if I could just get rid of my faults, then I could get over my fears!

Humility

You have faults too.  Maybe you are not the best housekeeper.  Maybe your legs are not silky-smooth.  Maybe you have cellulite and hair all over your body.  Maybe your double chin becomes pronounced in your sleep.  Do you have strange eating habits? Maybe you are not always kind or positive.  Do these faults make you fearful of 24/7 intimacy with a man?  Do you believe you will be rejected once the faults are discovered (and they will be in marriage)?

Even with these faults, you can be loved by a man.  In fact, these ‘faults’ may be exactly what endears him to you.  These ‘faults’ give you that beautiful human dimension which will do two things.  First, they will calm down the fears your husband has about himself. Second, they will give you the daily dose of humility needed in marriage.

But what should this girl do?

To be continued…..here

Next week I will continue this post.  In the meantime, will you ask yourself if your fears are keeping you paralyzed and keeping you from trusting God?  If so, let’s discuss some potential causes.   I will then share how the Lord healed me.

And of course you are welcome to email me at theveilofchastity@gmail.com

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too!