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Dear Edith

    Dear Edith

    Starving at Church Response #2 – Kyla

    Dear Edith Starving but wanting to stay Response 2 Kyla -- FemCatholic.com

    Dear Starving,

    I saw your letter a few weeks ago. I wasn’t exactly planning on responding to it, but it’s been sitting in the back of my mind ever since and this feels like something that I should write back to.

    The reason why I wasn’t planning on responding is that I don’t exactly see what the problem is. I don’t want to say that in a dismissive way – I am not in your shoes, in your parish. I am sure that the culture surrounding the church is different than what you have grown in. I do not see all the things that the priest is or isn’t doing. So please, do not think that I am trying to minimize your feelings.

    You can go to a church anywhere in the world and experience the same mass in community.

    The word “Catholic” means universal. Its one of the things I love most about our faith. You can go to a church anywhere in the world and experience the same mass in community. Now, that community is very important. We are a part of the body of Christ – one body, universal, one in love and one in community. I can imagine that that becomes even more important in places where Catholics are a minority, such as this bible belt region you are speaking of. So gathering together to, say, sing Happy Birthday and celebrate life as a community… I think that’s a joyful, wonderful thing. The parish in my parents hometown, the one I grew up in – we would sing Happy Birthdays. We would also have people come up for blessings depending on the occasion – students for the beginning of school, couples celebrating anniversaries, and others – and we would bless them as a community. I thought it was awesome as a teenager – I was participating in sharing the bounty of God’s Grace with others.

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    Dear Edith

    Dear Edith: Modesty & Being Desirable

    Dear Edith Modesty and being desirable question -- FemCatholic.comDear Edith Modesty and being desirable question -- FemCatholic.com

    Dear Edith,

    I’ve always been been a thicker girl, between sizes 14-18. My husband loves that about me and he definitely likes when I flaunt my curves a little more. It’s not that he wants me walking down the street in my underwear; but he’d prefer a bikini at the beach/pool, a form hugging dress for a night out, no maxi skirts, and clothes that show off my curves in general.

    What wife doesn’t want their husband to find them desirable?

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    Dear Edith

    Starving at Church Response #1 – Jacque

    When Parish life leaves you feeling dry -- FemCatholic.com

    Dear Starving but Wanting to Stay,

    There is a letter by J.R.R. Tolkien written to his son, to which I refer frequently because of Tolkien’s eminent reverence for the Eucharist; but Tolkien also gives his son a piece of advice that I think about often and find appropriate to share here:

    “I can recommend this as an exercise (alas! only too easy to find opportunity for): make your communion in circumstances that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children – from those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle is opened sit back and yawn – open necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to communion with them (and pray for them). It will be just the same (or better than that) as a mass said beautifully by a visibly holy man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people. It could not be worse than the mess of the feeding of the Five Thousand – after which our Lord propounded the feeding that was to come.”

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    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #3 – Mary Ashley

    Dear Edith Trusting Men Response 3 Mary Ashley -- FemCatholic.com

    Read the original question here.

    Dear Anonymous,

    First off, I want to say that I’m really sorry that that happened to you. There are few things more hurtful than being lied to and cheated on. I applaud you for moving on and even becoming best friends with the “other woman”.

    I’ve had several experiences where I felt hurt, betrayed, or let down by men, including my father, and healing from the resulting hurt and bitterness each time has taken a tremendous amount of time and effort. It is especially disheartening when we are deceived by someone who has all of the external signs of faith (and, we would assume, faithfulness and virtue), which leads us to a double distrust, both of men and of the signals we would normally cling to in order to evaluate someone’s character.

    It is especially disheartening when we are deceived by someone who has all of the external signs of faith … which leads us to a double distrust, both of men and of the signals we would normally cling to in order to evaluate someone’s character.

    I spent a long time in a similar state to the one you describe…in college, almost all of my friends were gay men, women, or my friends’ boyfriends, and most of my interactions with the opposite sex were hopelessly awkward. I had crushes from afar, but aside from a relationship that lasted for the first three months of my freshman year (one which certainly did not help my fears or ability to trust), I didn’t go on another real date until 7 years later, and usually ran away as fast as I could if someone showed any real interest. Since then, I’ve had more betrayals, even deeper hurts, and more healing to go through, and I don’t have the perfect answer, but at least I can confidently say that I’m finally at a place of being open and relatively at peace.

    So, my first piece of advice is to be kind to yourself. One day you might wake up and feel great, totally healed, and ready to take on the world, but then the next day something relatively small sends you backsliding into fear, bitterness, or anxiety. Healing is a process, and it’s likely that there are several layers to this wound that you might not uncover until later on. It’s normal to feel wary and unsafe in your shoes, and if there is any part of you that feels like you “should have already healed by now,” I hope that you can let that go.

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    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #2 – Anonymous

    Dear Edith Trusting Men Response 2 Anonymous -- FemCatholic.com

    Read the original question here.

    Dear Trusting Men,

    I’m sorry about your friend.

    About a year ago I broke up with my ex who was my closest friend. He wasn’t christian and it wasn’t the same. It would be fair to say we were pretty awful to each other, and when we did break up I was devastated to find that the image I had painted for myself of this idyllic relationship that I was in, was just a picture.

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    Dear Edith

    Dear Edith: Starving but wanting to stay

    Dear Edith Starving but wanting to stay at your Parish --FemCatholic.com

    Dear Edith,

    A recent move has landed my family 20 hours away from home. We now find ourselves in the rural south, in the middle of the “Baptist belt.”

    The Catholic parish is very small, and I am embarrassed to admit this but I absolutely hate the parish life. I’ve disliked priests before, but never to this extent.

    Our pastor is a good man, he’s faithful and is available for all the sacraments; my dislike is totally a clash of personalities. I also disagree with the way a lot of things are done within the liturgy. Often things are included and made a part of the mass that have no business being a part of the celebration (for example, once a month we sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to everyone who is celebrating their birthday that particular month).

    I’ve worked in professional ministry settings for the last 7 years and I have a degree in Theology and Religious Education. I think this is partially why I get so frazzled. I volunteer at the parish, helping where I can, but I’m not in a position to “fix” anything.

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    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #1 – Amy

    Dear Edith Trusting Men Response #1 Amy --FemCatholic.com

    Read the original question here.

    Dear Anonymous,

    The easy part of your question to answer is: Yes, he was cheating on God, too. Cheating in the sense that he was sinning against God. So, with that cleared up, let’s carry on.

    I completely and totally understand the not trusting men thing. Whenever someone claims to love you, and then does a very poor job of it, it’s hard to trust. I would imagine you are afraid of investing in another man and getting duped again, which is totally understandable. Here was a guy who to the world appeared the good guy, yet he was living a lie. How in the world is one supposed to tell if they’re a good guy when they a player in angel robes?

    I think your fear is that you don’t trust yourself to not fall for another sucker and waste massive amounts of time. I would encourage you to reflect back on your 8 year relationship with him. Do you in hindsight see actions or behaviors now that could have been red flags? I bet you might be able to pick up a few. Often times, when we are in love or like a person, we ignore red flags, especially if that person “seems” squeaky clean.

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