October 24, 2011
As I continue to study for my teaching certification, I frequently find that my eyes have wandered off my textbook, wondering how these ideas, theories, and methods apply to catechesis and the classroom of the Church.
Specifically, I was studying a unit on learning styles — how students prefer to explore information, complete tasks, and gain knowledge. My first thought was very basic: What are some ways we can incorporate all these very necessary and valid topics for education into our youth ministry programs? Sacramental preparation classes? General religious education? There are so many possibilities for creativity in the classroom, and the Church has a wealth of teaching that our youth need to know!
Then, I realized that the Church has known this all along. She’s brilliant in that fact, knowing that our universality is not just about ethnicity, language, culture, or geography. It’s about age, education, mental development, learning ability, and all the inbetween pieces like intelligences and learning styles.
Our Church is made for learning!
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October 17, 2011
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
To have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.
But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied,
Fulfilled and content with being loved by me alone,
With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to me.
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone.
Discovering that only in me is your satisfaction to be found,
Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship,
That I have planned for you.
You will never be united to another
Until you are united with me.
Exclusive of anyone or anything else.
Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow me to give you
The most thrilling plan existing . . . one you cannot imagine.
I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you.
You just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am.
Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you.
Just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious, don’t worry
Don’t look around at things others have gotten
Or that I have given them
Don’t look around at the things you think you want,
Just keep looking off and away up to me,
Or you’ll miss what I want to show you.
And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love
Far more wonderful than you could dream of.
You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready,
I am working even at this moment
To have both of you ready at the same time.
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with me.
—St. Anthony of Padua
October 5, 2011
Topic of the week, via The Bright Maidens
(headed up by Julie, Elizabeth, and Trista)
“Guard your heart!”
“Thanks for guarding my heart, girl.”
“Yeah, pray that I’ll guard my heart, though.”
“I feel like I haven’t really gotten to know anyone very well, my heart is really guarded.”
Maybe my girlfriends and I are total nerds, but this is the kind of language we use with each other all the time. For some reason, sharing our hearts with each other is definitive of true sisterhood. But sharing your deepest feelings, thoughts, and desires with anyone but your best friends? Totally emotionally unchaste, duh.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- Running into a guy, noticing how attractive and friendly he is, looking for a ring. Not finding one, you immediately imagining yourself with him forever.
- Later, imagining what your kids will look like, what you’ll do on Sundays after church, and what it will be like to curl up next to him at night.
- Facebook stalking. Ladies, you KNOW what I mean. You’re looking at pictures, trying to figure out which girls are family and which girls might just be a little too close to him. Wondering if you’d get along with his sister, and whether or not his parents look like they would be fun to be around. You’re adding his favorite movies to your Netflix queue and searching his favorite artists on YouTube. You’ve made a quick mental list of mutual friends, so you can casually bring him up in conversation.
- Describing all your woes and heartaches on any social media platform. Facebook statuses about a miserable day, blogs about a fight with a friend, tweets about how much you want to date someone or how in loooove you are with a celebrity. Instantly, your heart becomes public knowledge, and you have NO idea who’s listening.
- Obsessing over the details and wording of text messages, trying to analyze what exactly he meant. Same with facebook posts, emails, or notes.
- The majority of lyrics from Taylor Swift’s songs. (“Standing by and waiting at your back door… all this time, how could you not know, baby, that you belong with me?” Seriously, TSwift, where’s your confidence? Be pursued, woman!)
- Chick flicks or romance novels, where we often find ourselves hoping for things that are warped and twisted, like wanting someone to leave their wife to marry the heroine/damsel on center stage. Or we get wrapped up in the dating, the pursuit, the wedding, the excitement of a relationship, as unreal as it may be.
That, dear readers, is Emotional UNchastity. A glimpse of it, even! It’s not just about dating and relationships. Any time your heart is given away by the things you say or do, you are giving a little part of yourself. It’s true! Your heart is a treasure, and the things it holds are precious.
But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
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