Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Catholic Girl Walks into a Bar

A Catholic girl walks into a bar… Oh wait this is not a joke, it’s my life… Recently I walked into a bar and found the man of my dreams. Kidding, but he was pretty ‘McSteamy’ in essence. All evening we chatted and became familiar in a new friendship blossoming. I remember thinking how fun he was during our conversation considering we had a good bantering act in play, and how I would love to get to know him more. As the night was winding down, He invited me to sleep with him, which was flattering. I was tempted and thought about it for a second, but overall it was a buzz kill because I do take my faith seriously and fully embrace the Church teachings about sexuality so I declined the offer and went home alone.

Yet, I loved being desired by him- I just didn’t want him in the same way.

Teaching chastity has had funny affect on transforming my thoughts. Anytime a man is speaking to me, I am mentally doing a check (like a reflex) to see how Theology of the Body oriented our conversation is. The teachings have just weaved their way into my own thoughts and whole life. I do not enjoy being desired by a man when I can tell it is a very disordered desire towards their own selfish gain. Fortunately, it is very easy for me to spot these types of men so I can at least attempt to avoid temptation. I am not perfect, just experienced enough to know my weaknesses and not afraid to admit my screw ups.  

This would not be a blog of mine if I didn’t quote Saint Pope John Paul II at least once, he teaches the following about love in Theology of the Body:

Love as attraction: recognizing the good of another person; seeing the inner and outer beauty of another person.

Love as desire: wanting a good for yourself; desiring the goodness and happiness.

Love as goodwill: willing (or desiring) the good of another person.

These are all needed in a relationship but, ordered towards God.    

I’ve been reflecting on all of this constantly, as of late. To clarify, no, I was not just swimming around in my own fantasy of lustful thoughts about ‘McSteamy.’ But (as humbly as I can say this) a man’s interest is not foreign to me. Especially this year it seems to be raining men as potential suitors, from the guys who offer a one night stand to the gentlemen who are ready to be married tomorrow and treat me like a princess. If any of ‘said men’ are reading this, I do honestly thank you for your time and what I have learned from you.

 The world is starving for beauty, especially for ALL women to be confident in how authentically beautiful they are. I know my beauty and worth as a woman, and I am not afraid to allow the world to encounter the Lord through me, even if they don’t always see me as anything beyond physically attractive. One of the greatest powers a woman has is just simply ‘being’ and allowing others to take refuge in her. ‘Being’ woman is an art woman can spend our whole life unveiling and thereabout I have become enticing to men. But, I have been wondering why it is that I cannot muster up a hint of romantic affection in response to the men who have been pursuing me.

Something must be wrong with me.

On one fine Tuesday afternoon, I figured it out.

[Scene: in daily Mass. The readings have been proclaimed and all present are awaiting the reception of our Lord in the Eucharist.]

As I sit, or really kneel, in anticipation the tension is building in my heart. My prayer to the Lord bubbles up in my mind, “Beloved, I just want you. I long for you. I crave your intimacy in the restlessness of my soul.”  All of a sudden, in the depth of the sweet silence before receiving him, it made sense. I should want to be with and desire my earthly spouse in the same way, but not to same degree of intensity because even Scripture says only Christ will fulfill all our longings.

Desiring to be with my future spouse is a good thing. If I am not feeling it with a gentleman who asks to be mine, it is also a good and important thing to let him go. How nice would it be if I dated a man for a period of time, then after I tried it for awhile tell them I was never into the relationship but I just wanted to wait and see if my heart would come around? So as nicely as I can muster, I try to explain why the man should move along in life.

Waiting with full peace and joy in the arms of my Beloved, for the one he is preparing for me, is the greatest thing, ever. I am at a place in my life where I can recognize the vocational call to marriage, but I am not hurried to get there. I love my life, the way it is going, and the mystery in the adventure I have yet to explore! My heart is overflowing with a comforting, soothing love from and for the Lord. I am confident he is working on my own heart for the man I will marry. In that knowledge, as my gaze is locked on my Beloved, much of my heart does not want to be disturbed by a man trying to fit into it romantically.  


This does not mean I want to wait forever. I now understand the desire I should have towards a man in relation to my desire for the Eucharist. It makes me excited to anticipate that one day I will be so ‘over the moon’ about a man’s pursuit, which in a way will mirror my constant longing to receive the Lord in the Mass. Honestly, I have no idea how that love will take shape in my life, but that is what I enjoy most about this splendid adventure. I don’t have to worry or stay up all night wishing for prince charming to show up. God knows what is best for me, and I trust him with my heart. I am free to just be in the Lord and live in the truth of his glory each day, each hour, each moment. For he says this:

 “I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with me.
And to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union
Of beauty, perfection and love that I offer you with Myself.
Know that I love you utterly.
For I am God.
Believe it and be satisfied.” - From St Anthony of Padua

I am the Lord’s and he is mine. When the time is right I will meet, then later share a beautiful, crazy, sanctifying marriage with another… To bear the cutest little fruit in kiddos, of course. Till then, I continue to be with my Comforter in the breaking of the bread.

Who would have thought all of that could come from walking into a bar?

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