Friday, May 30, 2008

Modsety is IN!

Yesterday, while researching different modesty organizations I found the funniest little video called Modesty is in: The reasons why!. It is created by a few (I'm guessing) high school boys who made a video depicting practical modesty guidelines ladies should take into account. Their dedication to this message is overwhelmingly evident... even dressing up themselves to act out various (sometimes awkward) scenarios. So, take a few moments to watch the video... and then apply their suggestions to your life.

P.S... don't you just love this picture???

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vocation to marriage

When referring to a "vocation," most people think simply in terms of priesthood and religious life. In reality, vocation refers to our call from God, and all of us receive a call to live a particular way in order to grow in holiness. So, marriage is just as much a vocation as priesthood or religious life, because it is a path to holiness to which God calls many people.

Thus, I was pleased to see the Curt Jester's vocation posters include multiple callings from God. Here is the marriage poster, but you should definitely check out the others.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quote book

"Holy purity is granted by God when it is asked for with humility."
-- St. Josemaria Escriva

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How I justify my shady actions...

I have commented before on the huge impact that the media has on society today. It seems to be becoming increasingly difficult for this generation to see how profoundly the medias messages shape their views and values, particularly regarding sexuality. Now, I realize I am included in this and I have sought to fight some of this influence personally by cutting out certain forms of music, TV shows, magazines and the like. *Let me pat myself on the back now.* So, considering my vast improvements, when I let that one song stay on the radio, or don't flip that show on TV, or I choose to rent that movie... it's not really a big deal, right???
"I just like the beat! I'm not paying attention to the lyrics!" and...
"I know that this show is not depicting sexuality accurately and they are just joking around... lets not get too legalistic about all of this," and my personal favorite argument...
"It's research. I have to know what the kids are watching and listening to these days!"
Well, that was what I was telling myself when the show Will & Grace came up with a friend of mine a few weeks ago. Now, part of me knew it was not a good, wholesome show. "But they are joking, and I know they are joking, so its all okay, right?" I said, trying to justify my own lame argument. My friend pulled out her journal and read for me a quote from Joshua Harris's book Not Even a Hint...
"Jesus Christ died to rescue me from darkness and sin. How can I winningly immerse myself in that darkness for the sake of entertainment? What a tragedy it is that I've sat idly by during movies and television shows and watched the very sin for which Christ had to die being laughed about, even celebrated."
Okay, I'll stop patting myself on the back now. As Joshua says, "Instead of saying, 'God I want to honor You. I don't want to put something before my eyes that celebrates sin,' I was saying with my actions, 'Sin isn't that big of a deal. I can take it in small doses.'"God does not call us to just cut back on the sin and impurity in our lives. No. He continues saying, "God calls us to the daunting standard of not even a hint." Often in my lukewarmness I realize that I do not want to eliminate all of these areas of sin and impurity from my life because, honestly, I feel like I won't have any fun and life will be tragic without it. But God gives us these rules because He wants something so much better than we even want for ourselves! As John Piper says in Future Grace, "We must fight it with the massive promise of superior happiness."
I believe what it truly takes is a change of heart. I must no longer view things with the mentality of discerning where it falls on the sin scale, but question if it is something that will lead me closer to God. So next time I wonder whether turning off that television show will really bring me greater freedom and joy in life, I will remember that God desires for us to be happy. Christ died to free us from sin (even that one being joked about in that song) because He is so in love with us and desires for us to live in true joy with Him. Who better to trust with guidelines for your life than the one who gave His life for you?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And the summer concerts begin...Woo Hoo!

It is with great excitement that I announce Relient K will be coming to Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati this summer on July 30th!!! Around since 2000, this Christian band is known for songs including, "Must Have Done Something Right", "Sadie hawkins Dance", and "Be My Escape" which even got some air time on secular television and radio stations including MTV. Though I am super excited they are coming, I do have to inform that they will be at Riverbend as part of the Vans Warped Tour. Just as a disclaimer, I am not endorsing all bands that are a part of this tour... so, you may want to check out the band listing for July 30th at Riverbend before you sign on to go. Hopefully it's all on the up and up so we can get out there and support Relient K!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Is chivalry dead?

Sometimes I feel as though chivalry is a lost virtue in todays society. I am surrounded by horror stories depicting men as "chauvinist pigs" and women as "radical feminists". We desire equality among the sexes, and women have tried to achieve that today by erasing from them all things that are uniquely feminine, most evidently, their fertility through the rise in birth control. However, this also extends to female interaction with men. Carrying boxes, opening doors, and the like are no longer seen as signs of respect and courtesy, but as another way that men are subordinating the female gender.

While recently at a grade school, one eighth grade girl asked us, "Why do your parents always say that the boy has to come and get you at the door, and open the door for you--> is it for respect?" I cannot blame her for asking the question considering how many women have responded to chivalry with, "I can do it myself!". The pervading perception of this gentlemanly behavior has now wrongly become, "I do not think you are strong or capable enough to open this door, so I will do it for you." Nope. Society, you are wrong again.

As Brett Harris says, "How would it change your perception of gifts if you believed that every gift you received was accompanied by the unspoken message that you couldn’t afford it?Think of how you’d feel if someone bought you a $15.00 CD for your birthday and you took it as insinuating that you were too poor to purchase it yourself. Your pride would be hurt and you might even go out and buy the CD again, just to prove that you could." He goes on to say that this example may seem silly because gifts are clearly given freely as an expression of care and love. But what may not seem as clear is that chivalry communicates the same message, a freely given expression of care and respect for another.

I went on to tell a story to these eighth graders from the last time I visited Franciscan. I had been at a friends house and was starting the 3 block trek down the street with my friend Johanna to where I was staying during my visit before my departure the next morning. A few steps until the end of the first block and I am turned around by the sound of someone shouting,"Ladies! Ladies!". I turn to see a mutual guy friend of ours leaping down the steps from the house and sprinting after us. Upon reaching us, he politely asked where we headed and if he could walk us the rest of the way home. Granted it was about 11:30 at night and Oregon Ave. is not the ideal area of town, but it certainly isn't the Bronx, Compton, or the like. So we accepted and upon arriving at our door we thanked him and he headed back to his home down the road. Now to some, this small gentlemanly gesture may seems absurd or pointless, but for me it made my night. He wanted nothing more than to lend his services in making sure we arrived home safely... no hidden agenda... no ego boost from his friends... a simple act of respect from a gentleman to a lady.

Yes, a few guys may not be genuine in their chivalrous acts, but are we to assume that none of them are? Where will it lead us if we keep ridiculing men for treating us as women. We desire to be equal with men, but what we many need to realize is that equality does not mean sameness. We do not gain equality with men, as women, by becoming men. We gain equality with men by fully embracing our femininity, differences included. So ladies, show men the respect they are showing you with their chivalrous deeds by graciously letting the door be opened and the box carried.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Abortion changes you

Ever wonder what people think after having an abortion? Abortion Changes You is a new website that gives men and women a forum to express their feelings through art, poetry or written testimony.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Welcome Mount Notre Dame students!

We enjoyed our time at MND this week. As mentioned in class, here are some further articles or websites that may be of interest in light of our class discussions.

- Modesty guidelines
- Short video of a guy talking about his perspective on modesty

Birth Control
- Lots of articles about birth control and Natural Family Planning
- How birth control affects hormones and pheromones

Emotional aspect of sex
- How to live chastity

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's May 6, which means ...

.... that Bella is now available on DVD! Whether or not you have already seen this beautiful and inspiring film, I recommend you purchase the DVD and encourage your friends to do the same with the Bella 10 campaign. You can read more on their website. If you had a movie that has changed (and saved) lives in your hands, what would you do?

Friday, May 2, 2008

"The pope has to suffer"

I love the account in George Weigel's Witness to Hope of Pope John Paul II's crusading for the family in 1994. The United Nations was engaged in a major battle regarding abortion and birth control in the Cairo Conference, and the Holy Father knew it was an important time. He named 1994 the Year of the Family, and beatified Gianna Beretta Molla, who is an example of the sanctity of life.

Four days after the beatification ceremony, Pope John Paul II fell in the bathtub and was given an artificial hip joint the next day. From then, it became difficult and painful for him to walk. (This is poignantly expressed in the recent movie about his life, starring Jon Voight). One month later, at his first Angelus address since his fall, the Holy Father said these beautiful words (copied from Witness to Hope because the Vatican does not have an English translation):

"I meditated on all this and thought it over again during my hospital stay. ... I understood that I have to lead Christ's Church into this third millennium by prayer, by various programs, but I saw that this is not enough: she must be led by suffering, by the attack thirteen years ago and by this new sacrifice. Why now, why this, why in this Year of the Family? Precisely because the family is under attack. The Pope has to be attacked, the Pope has to suffer, so that every family and the world may see that there is ... a higher Gospel: the Gospel of suffering, by which the future is prepared, the third millennium of families, of every family and of all families."

What an incredibly beautiful example of a man who desired so greatly to communicate the truth of God's plan for life and love, that he was willing to suffer for all of us to grasp it.