I said, "Dark valleys come."
He said, "I'll guide you through."
I said, "But I'm not brave."
He said, "I'll walk with you."
I said, "Be light to me,
And strength as I go on."
He said, "I'm more. I'm love,
You'll never walk alone."
How often do we hear about “chastity”, “modesty”, “purity” and “virginity”? Do we think about these things? It seems as if people have gotten too lethargic about these things. It’s as if it’s a disease, talk about chastity and abstinence and its like people break out in a rash and seizures. They must be some sort of foreign language we have never heard because people seldom hear it anymore.
These are the beautiful gifts of self giving worth saving for the one we are going to marry. The world may not think it’s important or has any value but God thinks they are. He has told us exactly what He expects of us because He loves us and only wants what is best for us. These are not always easy but with God’s help, He gives us the grace we need to do it and can strive to live these out in our daily lives.
Chastity is a gift from God for people in every state of life. It is an extremely powerful virtue and the foundation for REAL intimacy. It involves purity of the body, mind and soul. It’s a denial of self, I am going to deny myself for the love of you. It’s the freedom to love. Chastity means more than just abstinence. Chastity means asking God to help us make the right decisions. Chastity means asking God to guide our thoughts, our words and our actions.
Parents and the Church need to clearly teach these truths and be in sync. If we don’t hear these truths from our parents and the Church, we will never hear or understand God’s truth on these things. The influence that movies, music and television have on us cannot be underestimated. The worldly view is not about seeking our best interest but one that promotes and encourages most everything that is contradictory to God’s word. Too many young persons have lost their virginity and self respect because they believed the lies of the world. But all is not lost, there is hope and freedom. We need the encouragement and opportunity to know that we can change with God’s grace and mercy. We can ask for forgiveness and know that we are forgiven. We are given a second chance, we make a commitment to remain chaste until our wedding day.
We have to be conscious of the company we keep. Many temptations and difficult situations can be avoided by not putting oneself in certain scenarios. Mom and dad are out of town and it’s after 10pm. The boyfriend or girlfriend come over. First mistake. So to set the mood we turn the lights down low and light a couple scented candles. We turn on the slow, passionate music. Mistakes two, three and four. So we sit close to each other on the couch, we embrace, we start the petting, then the kissing then sex. When it’s over we wonder how did it happen? I wanted to keep this precious gift for my spouse but now it’s gone. You set yourself up. There have to be some sort of boundaries we have where physical contact is concerned when courting. The “petting”, the kissing, the kind of touching that evokes certain emotions and feelings, it’s like making a deposit in a bank knowing that it can lead to the kind of “withdrawal” one should not be able to take out.
Marriage is a sacred part of God’s plan for us. It is so sacred that He often uses marriage to illustrate the love that He has for us through the church. Conjugal love is a part of marriage between a man and a woman. Once we recognize this we can understand the importance of chastity. Chastity protects us, it strengthens us, it nurtures self control, guards against selfishness and it inspires reverence. Chastity reaffirms that marriage and the sexual relationship between husband and wife is holy and very special and indeed good. God loves us so much that we are able to cooperate in His creation of a new human life. This is an awesome and precious gift that God intended to be shared between husband and wife in the security of a committed, generous and loving marriage relationship.
The most precious gift you can give to your spouse on your wedding night is the gift of your virginity. This gift is so special that it is more precious than jewels, a one of a kind diamond. Is this not something you would want to protect and cherish with all of your being? It’s a one time gift and should be given to your spouse with such joy.
The earlier we as young people make the decision to remain chaste until and during marriage the less likely we will be faced with ‘spur of the moment’ decisions of having sex outside marriage. It’s a decision made out of so much love and respect for your future spouse, I love you so much that I am going to deny myself and save this precious gift for the love of you. Being chaste allows us to be free to grow and mature and discover God's wonderful plan for our lives. We would not have to worry about "late" periods, pregnancy, "birth control", STD’s, AIDS and all the other physical, spiritual, psychological and emotional consequences of premarital sexual intercourse. By practicing self-control we would have real respect for ourselves and others recognizing that you could be courting your future spouse or someone else’s spouse. We would protect and save ourselves for only that special person that God has chosen for our lifelong married partner.
Chastity protects us. This is God's way, and it is worth practicing because the total, complete gift of pure love that the bride and groom give to each other on their wedding day is truly a precious gift. Chastity is good for me, good for the people I love and good for my soul. It teaches me self control in all aspects of my life. It isn’t always easy but it’s worth it because I’m worth it and so is my spouse.
In no particular order:
1. The Sound of Music
2. Steel Magnolias
3. Gone with the Wind
4. Shrek 1, 2 &3
5. Lord of the Rings ( I’m a convert fan LOL)
6. Yours, Mines and Ours ( the original one that show was funny )
7. The Passion
9. Life as a House
10. Silence of the lambs
And I must mention>>>Finding Nemo ( the turtle and Dory in that movie jus crack me up LOL)
I'm absolutely awful with names and I know I'm gonna smack myself when I find that missing trunk of my fav books cause I can't remember the names or the authors.
Three non-fiction books everyone should read:
The Bible ( know too many who believe its fiction)
The Diary of St Faustina – Divine Mercy in My Soul
Story of a Soul - The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux
Three works of fiction that everyone should read:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen ( Darcy Darcy Darcy, Oh Mr Darcyyyyyyyy need I say more )
Gone with the wind- Margaret Mitchell (isn’t it romantic!!!)
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery (all of em)
Three authors everyone should read (couple extra for good measure):
Three books no one should read:
Too many to mention.
So seeing that most everyone has been tagged, I'm gonna throw this one out, list 10 of your all time fav movies and 21 words that best describe you. This goes out to :
Marie, Paula, Elena, Antonia, Rachel, AutumnRose, 4HisChurch, Joakim and Micki.
We are victims of these attacks on esteem, on women's power, on our self-worth. We need to wake-up and take a personal inventory and examine our value system. Any of us can easily sink into the prison of repeat diets, repeat failure and lifelong contempt for our bodies. We have to ask ourselves some tough questions: when did I start to hate my body so much? When did I begin to measure my self-worth by numbers on a scale? When did I fall prey to the idea that beauty is external and success is measured by factors that have little to do with personal strength and spirit?
We must be aware of the images presented to us and unmask these images for what they truly are - destructive, superficial and unattainable images. These images do not value our uniqueness, they do not honor our wisdom and our spirit, and they do not measure us. We must reclaim and redefine our bodies as ours. They are miraculous, we all know this! Our bodies perform wonderful feats every day. We are physiological and biological masterpieces. Our bodies are not our enemies - they put us in motion, they create and sustain life. The functions our bodies perform for us are too numerous and varied to list.
Vow that you will not longer fall victim to these images and help those around you to the road of self-love and acceptance. Advocate for freedom from body hatred and fight the billion dollar advertising, cosmetic, diet, entertainment and fashion industries - let's stand up for ourselves, our values, our bodies, our lives. We must challenge ourselves, our culture and our children. The stakes are too high to back down. Lives are lost each year as beautiful, healthy young women starve themselves to death. Millions of us are suffering from depression and anxiety as we are bombarded with images of our "faults." It is time to change, change begins from within and radiates out- so let's begin.
What can we do? Befriend Your Body. It is important to combat negative body image because it can lead to depression, shyness, social anxiety and self-consciousness in intimate relationships. Negative body image can also lead to eating disorders. It is time that women stop judging their bodies harshly and learn to appreciate their inner being, soul, and spirit. A women's body is a biological masterpiece; women can menstruate, ovulate and create life. Start to recognize you do not have to compare yourself to other women or women in the media. Begin to challenge images presented in the media and realize that your worth does not depend on how closely you fit these unrealistic images.
Understand that Emotions are Skin Deep. It is important to discover the emotions and feelings that underlie your negative body image. The statement "I feel fat" is never really about fat, even if you are overweight. Each time a women looks at herself in the mirror and says "Gross, I'm fat and disgusting," she is really saying "There is something wrong with me or with what I'm feeling." When we do not know how to deal with our feelings we turn to our bodies and blame our bodies for our feelings. Every time you say "I'm fat" you are betraying your body, and you are betraying and ignoring your underlying feelings. Remember that "fat" is never a feeling, it's avoidance of feelings. Learn to discover your emotions and feelings and realize that focusing on your body is only distracting you from what is "really" bothering you.
Question Messages Portrayed in the Media. The media sends powerful messages to girls and women about the acceptability or unacceptability of their bodies. Young girls are thought to compare themselves to women portrayed as successful in the media, assessing how closely they match up to the "ideal" body form. Unfortunately, the majority of girls and women do not match up to the models and actresses presented in the media. The average model is 5'10" and weighs 110 pounds, whereas the average women is 5'4" and weighs 142 pounds. This is the largest discrepancy that has ever existed between women and the cultural ideal. This discrepancy leads many women and girls to feel inadequate and negative about their bodies. It is important to realize that only 4% of women genetically have the "ideal" body currently presented in the media, the other 96% of women feel they must go to extreme measures to attempt to reach this unobtainable image. Many of the images presented in the media have been computer enhanced and airbrushed. The models' hips and waists have often been slimmed and their breasts enlarged through computer photo manipulation. Many of the women presented in the media suffer from an eating disorder or have adopted disordered eating behaviors to maintain such low body weights. It is important to start to question images in the media and question why women should feel compelled to "live up" to these unrealistic standards of beauty and thinness.
Accept Genetics. It is critical to remember that many aspects of your body cannot be changed. Genetics does play a role in your body and at least 25% to 70% of your body is determined by your genes. While there are many aspects of our bodies we cannot change, you can change or modify your beliefs and attitudes which influence the way you feel about yourself. Change starts with you, it is internal and it starts with self-respect and a positive attitude. It is import to focus on health and not size.
Fight "Fatism". Work on accepting people of all sizes and shapes. This will help you appreciate your own body. It is also important to remember that society's standards have changed significantly over the last 50 years. The women that were considered the "ideal beauties" in the 1940's and 1950's like Marilyn Monroe (size 14) and Mae West were full-bodied and truly beautiful women, but they would be considered "overweight" by today's standards.
Fight the Diet Downfall. Ninety percent of all women have dieted at some point in their life. To dieters' dismay, 98% of all dieters gain the weight back in five years. Studies also show that 20-25% of dieters progress to a partial or full-blown eating disorder. Women are foolish if they believe that dieting will make them feel better about themselves. Dieting only helps you lose your self-esteem and energy. Dieting also creates mood swings and feelings of hopelessness. If you feel pressure to lose weight, talk to a friend or loved one or seek professional help.
In conclusion, negative body image is a serious problem and has damaging affects on women's self-esteem and it can lead to depression, as well as an eating disorder Let your inner beauty and individuality shine. Be your body's ally and advocate, not its enemy. . Changing our world starts with you, self-love and respect, and the end of prejudice starts with one person at a time. The external pursuit of changing your body can often damage spirituality by taking you away from the internal-self - the spirit, the soul, and the whole genuine self. If you or someone you care about suffers with negative body image, please seek professional help and stop the cycle of body hatred. Beauty is not just skin-deep. It is a reflection of your whole self. Love and enjoy the person inside.
There are few verses in the bible that talk about Our Blessed Mother and they are very powerful with deep meaning. They show us how important she is. She is the perfect mother and the perfect example of what a Saint should be. She is the Mother of Jesus and no one knows a son better than His Mother. She wants us to be close to her Son, she always leads us to Her Son.
"Lord," said the angel, touching His sleeve gently, "Rest for now. Tomorrow......."
"I can't," said the Lord. "I'm so close to creating something close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick, can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower."
The angel circled the model of the mother very slowly. "She's too soft," he sighed.
"But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what the mother can do or endure."
"Can she think?"
"Not only think, but she can reason and compromise," said the Creator.
Finally the angel bent over and ran his finger across the cheek. "There's a leak," he pronounced. "I told you, you were trying to put too much into this model."
"It's not a leak," said the Lord. "It's a tear."
"What's it for?" asked the angel.
"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride."
"You're a genius," said the angel.