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    Modern Catholic Women

    Surviving the Waiting Season: 6 Stories that will help

    Surviving the Waiting Season: 6 Stories by Catholic Women that will help --

    1) Waiting on a job change

    My season of waiting started at the beginning of this year. My company was struggling financially. We started seeing some changes: cuts in benefits, attrition, spending freezes.

    I began praying to God asking what I should do. He told me to wait until the fall.

    At first, it was easy to wait: I enjoy my job, love my company, and have a fantastic manager. As the year progressed and worse announcements were made, doubt grew and I started looking for new jobs.

    Though logically, seeking a new job seemed like the right choice, I felt uneasy. It went beyond dissatisfaction with the available jobs or frustration when I was outright rejected for jobs I was qualified for; something was unsettling me.

    After (finally) really listening to God, I realized I just needed to trust Him and wait. I stopped applying for jobs and turned down interviews. The logical part of me was panicking, but I knew this was the right thing to do.

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    From Resenting to Befriending Mary

    From Resenting to Befriending Mary --

    Though I was raised Catholic, the Virgin Mary has been a figure I have wrestled with throughout my life. Experiences of hurt and certain secular feminist perspectives caused me to question and even resent who I thought Mary was. Experiences of healing, prayer, and reflection ultimately revealed more about Mary, and led to a deep friendship with her and greater peace within myself.

    In order to explain the progression in my relationship with Mary, I need to share a bit of my own story. When I was a sophomore in high school, my mom and dad split up after my dad came forward about being unfaithful. Eventually, my dad moved out of state while I was still in high school and was financially unstable and inconsistent with any kind of support to my mom. My mom was a single parent, breadwinner, sole caretaker for my little sister and I, yet she was also going through her own anguish which I often bore the brunt of. My dad fell from the pedestal I’d placed him on, and my mom simultaneously modeled that she didn’t need a man (or couldn’t rely on one) and yet often shifted the responsibility (unwittingly) onto me to pick up her broken pieces.

    Understandably as a result of this, I learned to bottle up my emotions in order to be strong for others. I learned not to trust others to be there for you, especially men, and that women need to be strong for themselves. Both my maternal grandmother, and great grandmother were also single mothers with failed marriages.  I come from a line of women who are independent, strong, stubborn, resilient, gritty, and unorthodox. I also learned to downplay my femininity because it seemed to be so associated with a lot of negative stereotypes about women such as being less capable, less intelligent, and weak or easy to manipulate. In my desire to be treated as equal I felt I needed to embody more masculine qualities, and I resented my femininity and seeing others who displayed it.

    Yet, deep down, I longed for someone to support me, to be loved by a man in the ways my dad failed to love my mom and me. This longing was often manifested in unhealthy and codependent ways. I longed to not repress my femininity. So when I saw it so openly and freely expressed in others, my resentment was rooted partly in my own longing to be more feminine, partly in feelings of inadequacy – that I would never be feminine enough – that I could never embody all that consists of being the perfect, ideal woman.  

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    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #3 – Mary Ashley

    Dear Edith Trusting Men Response 3 Mary Ashley --

    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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    Modern Catholic Women

    #MeToo: A Catholic story of trust, hurt, and healing

    #MeToo: A Catholic story --

    Names have been changed.

    Sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein have caused many people to come forward with their own assault stories, all tagging their social media posts with the hashtag “#metoo”.

    These stories of assault are coming from everyone, everywhere.

    Actresses and actors, olympic gymnasts, friends and family on my feeds. All of these posts have reminded me of my own story, when I learned that the unfortunate reality is that just because someone is Catholic, doesn’t make them infallible.

    Me too, and I let it affect my relationship with God.


    A few years ago, I had just moved into a new town, a new parish. I was starting to get to know people, and everyone was very kind. I had just been broken up with and was not looking for a casual situation where I was going to get hurt. I was looking for something serious, and respectful. I was looking for someone Catholic.

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    Other Resources

    Open to Life, Open to Death: Love and Miscarriage

    Open to Life, Open to Death: Love and Miscarriage --

    My husband and I were avoiding pregnancy after our wedding while we worked on an interstate move and settling into new jobs. But we were open to life, and looking forward to tangibly welcoming life by way of a squishy little bundle of baby chub in short order.

    We were prepared for it to take time – I was diagnosed with PCOS in high school, and years of charting my cycles for health awareness revealed a litany of reproductive health concerns that hadn’t responded to treatment thus far. Cycle after cycle led to a week of extreme cramping and a glass or three of red wine while picking fights over Downton Abbey or the gender wage gap instead of gleefully researching how to raise a kid in an urban studio apartment. After a year, we weren’t alarmed by this, just resigned that my ovaries hadn’t magically healed themselves (surprise) and we would have to pursue fertility-specific medical intervention after all.

    Six months later, a few days before leaving to visit family, I peed on – a lot – of sticks, not wanting to let myself believe that I really was seeing a second line.

    It happened.

    We were pregnant.

    That life had arrived.

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    Modern Catholic Women

    My Body… My Self: On Woman’s Acceptance of Her Embodied Self

    The Spiritual Crisis happening to Women... through their bodies. --

    I donned a T-shirt that said it all as I dragged myself out of my warm, cozy bed and into the gym one recent Monday morning. In big, bold letters it read “THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!”  Oh, yeah.  Believe me when I tell you, I am one of the LEAST physical people I know and at every turn I will avoid exertion of any kind. Yet, there came a time when my body began to retaliate against this kind of neglect and I could no longer avoid the reality of what my body was saying: “I’m tired, I’m heavy, I’m thirsty, I’m hungry, I HURT!”

    We have nothing short of a spiritual crisis in womanhood.

    I know that I am not the only woman who carries this kind of reality within her body. We struggle with negative self talk and lack of respect for our own bodies. The cultural pressures that impact women’s relationship with her physical self abound. We are inundated with images that exploit, distort, and dismantle the vital and natural life-giving connection that woman was created to have with her own body.   Read more

    Dear Edith

    Trusting Men Response #1 – Amy

    Dear Edith Trusting Men Response #1 Amy

    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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