"In every period of history, including our own, many young people experience a deep desire for personal relationships marked by truth and solidarity. Many of them yearn to build authentic friendships, to know true love, to start a family that will remain united, to achieve personal fulfilment and real security, all of which are the guarantee of a serene and happy future. . . . Part of being young is desiring something beyond everyday life and a secure job, a yearning for something really truly greater. Is this simply an empty dream that fades away as we become older? No! Men and women were created for something great, for infinity. Nothing else will ever be enough. Saint Augustine was right when he said “our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you”. The desire for a more meaningful life is a sign that God created us and that we bear his “imprint”. God is life, and that is why every creature reaches out towards life. Because human beings are made in the image of God, we do this in a unique and special way. We reach out for love, joy and peace. So we can see how absurd it is to think that we can truly live by removing God from the picture! God is the source of life. To set God aside is to separate ourselves from that source and, inevitably, to deprive ourselves of fulfilment and joy: “without the Creator, the creature fades into nothingness” (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 36). "
1. I am a girl. Which means that I am partial to chick flicks, enjoy chocolate quite frequently, and just so happen to love the color pink, and really like flowers. [Not that you have to be into chick flicks, chocolate and the color pink to be a girl, but it hasn't hurt me yet.]
2. I am a chastity educator. Which means that I spend large quantities of my time and energy talking about, thinking about, blogging about, and reading about the subject of LOVE. [Because chastity has everything to do with authentic love. It does. Think about it. For a very long time.]
2. I love love. Real love - not just the chick flicks that are saturated with it [all you have to do is read the synopsis of Crazy, Stupid, Love - which speaks for itself. But I won't even go there...] or the Valentine's Day roses, or even the chocolate. We are literally surrounded with the idea that love is a feeling . . . that it's the fireworks, the infatuation, the chick flicks, Katy Perry's songs etc. Not that loving sappy chick flicks or flowers is bad . . .
But. True love? Real love?
Check this out. I have read this at least three or four times today (remember, I am a chastity educator) but it is absolutely beautiful. Beautiful. Deep down, I think we all realize that we're called to more than what we're surrounded by. Especially when it comes to love. Because this is what we were MADE for.
Just to give you an idea . . .
One day two disciples were walking down a dusty road with their Teacher, and the conversation turned toward marriage, and how the only enduring foundation for marriage is true love.
“Teacher,” one of them asked, “please tell us, What is true love?”
And the Teacher said to them,
“If a man and a woman find joy in one another’s presence,
if they can scarcely keep themselves apart,
if to her,
He is like the sun rising in its strength and beauty,
if she loves to hear his voice, to look at Him and to feel his arms around her,
and if to him,
She is like the moon and ten thousand stars shining on a summer’s night,
or like the fragrance of roses at dawn….
if her touch is like magic and her kisses sweeter than wine,
if they love to laugh together, sing together, dance together, cry together—
this is a gift from God, it is good.
But, I tell you solemnly, this is not true love . . . "
The "feminine genius" . . . this whole summer during True Beauty we've talked about what John Paul means by this term. As I was reading John Paul II's "Letter to Women" recently these words jumped out at me - words that embody the "feminine genius" and the dignity of women that he speaks of so often: motherhood, obedience, help, mystery, service, complementary, human, beauty and love.
Read "Letter to Women" here - it's short, easy-to-read, and packed with JP2 goodness!
"The basic plan of the Creator takes flesh in the history of humanity and there is constantly revealed, in the variety of vocations, thatbeauty-not merely physical, but above all spiritual-which God bestowed from the very beginning on all, and in a particular way on women. . . The Church sees in Mary the highest expression of the "feminine genius" and she finds in her a source of constant inspiration. Putting herself at God's service, she also put herself at the service of others: a service of love. " - "Letter to Women"by Pope John Paul II
I just ordered this from Catholic Answers today, and I am pretty excited to check it out. Leah Darrow has been on the speaking circuit for the past year or so, and this is her new video:
Leah Darrow has an awesome strory - the title of this DVD says it all: "From Top Model to Role Model." Leah was on "America's Next Top Model" before she experienced a huge transformation of the heart and came back to her faith. I think her witness is set to make a huge impact on our youth today, especially for young women, because I believe that beauty is incredibly misunderstood, and very one-sided, in our culture today. This interview on EWTN's "Life on the Rock" is fantastic to take a look at, too. She pretty much hits it all - her testimony, fashion, the reality of "reality TV," the brokenness in the beauty industry, and purity.
"The human being is single, unique, and unrepeatable, someone thought of and chosen from eternity, someone called and identified by name" ... ~ Bl. Pope John Paul II
Last night in Theology of the Body for Teens we talked about the Eucharist and marital love - "This is my body given for you" (Lk 22:19). This YouTube video does a great job of explaining it! Also, Jackie Francois is an amazingly gifted singer - I really enjoy hearing her music and reading her blog.... www.jackiefrancois.com.