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I used to struggle in understanding why Mary was always depicted with her eyes downcast. This was a problem for me because I saw it as submissive, a demeanor I don’t particularly like.
I decided to read up on it and found artists depicted her that way to indicate that she was detached from worldly things, and while her eyes were looking down her heart was lifted up towards Heaven. So it wasn’t man she was showing humility to, but she was basically scorning the temporal, physical world. I thought this was pretty radical. And this is how I also learnt about the virtue of detachment. It’s sort of like experiencing your world from a third-person point of view, as opposed to first person. This really helped me put my day-to-day experiences in perspective.
Is being single an actual “vocation” or not? I’ve heard conflicting opinions from reputable sources on both sides.
And if it is, then how can it be used as a “gift”?
When the weather gets warmer, who doesn’t love refreshing their closet, or picking up a cute new accessory to spice up your home?
You may never have considered where those items are from, but you should. Our friend Claire over at The Catholic Feminist podcast recently chatted with Erin Mackey from Catholic Relief Services all about why ethical trade matters, and the difference you can make by putting your purchasing power to good use.
To get you started, we’ve rounded up these summer essentials – all from CRS vetted shops that are ethical trade!
Shopping never felt so good… 🙂
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Hello! Thank you so much for verbalizing what so many of us feel, and don’t worry- this doesn’t make you a terrible Catholic at all! I know that for so long, I have found it so hard to relate to Mary, and even just to approach her in prayer. You hit on a core problem that I am sure many of us encounter in our growth in being Catholic.
When I read your question, I began to ask myself the same thing. I can honestly say it has only been about a year since I have been able to be comfortable going to Mary and actually seeing her as someone I can relate to. And one thing that changed it for me was praying on very human aspects of her as well.
“The violence which so many individuals and peoples continue to experience, the wars which still cause bloodshed in many areas of the world, and the injustice which burdens the life of whole continents can no longer be tolerated.”
You would think those words were spoken yesterday. Terrorism, shootings, and other acts of violence seem to overtake our news these days. But this call to action was actually made over 20 years ago, by St. Pope John Paul II (JP2) in his 1995 address for World Day of Peace.
In that same address, JP2 advocated for a particular solution – the advancement of women.
“The work of building peace can hardly overlook the need to acknowledge and promote the dignity of women as persons, called to play a unique role in educating for peace,” he wrote. “I urge everyone to reflect on the critical importance of the role of women in the family and in society, and to heed the yearning for peace which they express in words and deeds and, at times of greatest tragedy, by the silent eloquence of their grief.”
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Not being able to relate to Mary is a common feeling at times… it does not make you a bad Catholic! Especially for those of us who are women, and feel the impression that perhaps we must “be perfect the way Mary was perfect!” I know… because I struggled to I get her in my past. Keep in mind that although the Vatican has approved Marian apparitions since her death and ascension into Heaven, they don’t require any of us to believe in any of the apparitions in order to “be a good Catholic.”
Throughout my journey of Catholicism, and my study of Mary, I realized she wasn’t as meek as we typically, initially believe. First, the woman agreed to become the mother of God, even though she was not married. She risked her life, to bring the Savior into the world! She had a choice, and she accepted the request made to her.
Dating is hard. We know this. Throw in expectations for your husband-to-be to subscribe to a very specific Catholic dogma, though, and the spousal needle just got buried in a way bigger haystack.
The woes of Catholic women wending their way through the frustrating world of modern dating (if it can be called that), where hookup culture is alive and thriving and half of marriages end in divorce, are familiar to all of us. My own personal experiences and the stories my Catholic girlfriends tell me confirm a good man truly is hard to find.
It’s not impossible though, and every day inspiring Catholic couples join in the sacrament of marriage. Which is great. But it can also make you wonder, “What am I doing wrong?”