st. catherine qoute

(St. Catherine of Siena)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Loss of Chastity=Loss of Romance

Like many little kids, I got my healthy dose of classic Disney films such as Peter Pan, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast (BEST animated love story of all time!). However as I got older, I came to fall in love with those classic old movies. You know which ones I am talking about...the ones where the love story is actually something beautiful and truly romantic (ex. Casablanca, Roman Holiday, My Fair Lady, Pride and Prejudice, etc.) not just raunchy, endless scenes of two people rolling around in the hay. I think that is one of the reasons I am so drawn to older, more classic movies. Sure, they had some great actors and big name studio directors...but the more I look at movies today, I see how hyper-sexualized they have become. God forbid, a movie in today's world without certain scenes that makes me wanna yell, "Seriously, go get a room!!!" Hard to imagine, huh????

Clearly in our world, there is a huge loss of the sense of chastity. By chastity, I don't just mean not having sex; but instead, to focus on the purification of your feelings, emotions, desires for another person...instead of the Nike slogan, "just do it." Chastity is a mind set teens and adults need to acquire and grow in; I don't really think you will ever come to that day and say, "Yup, that's it...I have mastered the virtue of chastity!" Heck, look at St. Augustine, he was a great Doctor of the Church and that poor guy struggled with lust vs. chastity for a good long while. It is not any different today, and the problem is not being helped any when almost every movie plot line seems to involve unhealthy attitudes towards sexuality.

Movies today have such a loss of chastity that any "love" story in the film is almost tainted and not even appealing because of the demeaning way sex is portrayed in it. The loss of chastity really does lead to a loss of romance! There is nothing romantic about all that garbage, because there is no self-sacrifice or purity. Real romance is all about self-sacrifice and purity. I watch a movie like Casablanca (which if you have never seen you need too, because it is total awesomeness!). The really beautiful, romantic part of the movie is the self-sacrificing love when Rick gives up being with Ilsa because he knows it is for her own good; her cares about her so much, he puts aside his desire to be with her, and thinks of her best interest, not his. There are no drawn out "love scenes" that almost make you uncomfortable just watching, but rather in this movie you see the epitome of real love and romance...laying down one's desires for the better of another. Sound familiar???? Well, Jesus told us that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend...and Jesus' example of real love in dying on the cross, is what we are all called to in any relationship; friendship, dating, and/or marriage. Real Romance needs chastity, or else you get these God-awful excuses for movies such as Dirty Dancing or Pretty about hyper-sexualized!?!?!?!

Real romance has nothing to with taking your clothes off, but has EVERYTHING to do with taking off your selfishness and replace it with purity of heart.

P.S. This is a picture from Casablanca...the very pivotal, romantic scene where Rick gives up Ilsa (sigh...tears)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Marvelous Light

Do you ever have certain things you do every week? Maybe certain days you go to the gym or have weekly date nights to Starbucks? Well, every Wednesday night is my weekly evening of Praise/Worship with a local Young Adult group I am involved in. There is this one song that is frequently played called, "Marvelous Light."
The refrain goes like this: "Into marvelous light I'm running. Out of darkness, out of shame. By the cross, You are the truth, You are the life, You are the way..." Recently in prayer, I was reflecting over those words and the rest of the lyrics of the song. I saw myself as a little girl (complete with pig tails and Mary Jane shoes) running like the fast and the furious towards Jesus; it was like I was running to meet Jesus in excited, so so happy to finally be "home" with the Lord. I like to imagine that someday when I enter the Kingdom of Heaven, this music will be the background music for my entrance.

I don't know about you, but sometimes in prayer I say aloud to Jesus (in an almost whiny voice), "Please Jesus can't I just come home now????? It's hard down here sometimes, can I just be in Heaven with You now????" I am not saying this in a depressing way like I wish I wasn't here or that my life has no purpose.....but more like I am SOOOOO homesick to just be in Heaven, that I cannot wait :) I very much want to go to Heaven; of course the only way that is even remotely possible is the loving, divine mercy of Jesus (nothing my sorry butt can do will ever get me through those pearly white gates). I love this song and consider it to be one of several theme songs for me at different points in my life. It is a song full of hope. Hope, that the suffering and sin of our lives are overcome and blown away by the greatness and mercy of Jesus Christ. The belief of an afterlife in Heaven in Christianity is a message of hope for a broken world worn down by sin and suffering. However, Jesus conquers all that "ickiness" makes it possible foe us to be with Him forever, when He willingly gave up His life on the cross. Jesus told His disciples, "I am the WAY....the TRUTH....and the LIFE!" Is this not something to completely rejoice and celebrate in!?!?!?!! I certainly think so :)
We as humans are nothing but mere travelers on this earth; we do not fully belong here. We are made for Heaven; to spend eternity with all the heavenly saints, angels, and holy people praising God for all time....think of it as the raddest and baddest block party you can imagine, only all of Heaven is there and it is a totally G rated atmosphere. Our life on earth is a pilgrimage, but the eternal life spoken of in Scripture and Tradition are where the real party with Jesus begins.

So rejoice, take are made for something MUCH greater than anything in this life, you my friend are made to spend eternity with the living Jesus, our most marvelous light! <3

P.S. Check out the music video for "Marvelous Light"