If I Could Make A Change…

I’m about to be a little dangerous. Brace yourself.

I am reading Renegade Women in Film & TV, and let me tell you, it is incredible and inspiring. The phrase that I can’t get out of my head is “A woman living a creative life is bound necessarily to do things sometimes defiant by convention.” Following the introduction’s inspiring ode to the ability of women to change the future, with a nod to Geena Davis’ quote, “In the time it takes to make a movie or create a television show, we can change what the future looks like,” RWFTV prods the fire in the reader’s soul, prompting her to move-prompting ME to move. I say move because RWFTV doesn’t tell you exactly what change you are supposed to make, although it does praise the changes certain women have made. It encourages the reader to make their own change. I am inspired to ask, what would I change about what the future looks like?

Little movements I already make are easier to put into words. I want a world where sex is allowed to be fun and sacred. I want a world where everyone is kind to each other, and mindful of each other’s suffering. I want a world where the rat race is not more important than love of other people.

If I really think about it, though, what is the thing I want to change that shakes me up, that defies convention, it’s scary. I’ve got a story about oppressing women, and people that hasn’t been told. If I could change the future, I would revolutionize the Catholic Church. I would expose the religious and emotional abuse that I have witnessed and endured. I would condemn the physical and sexual abuse that gets swept under the rug or dismissed sometimes. I would scream at the Churches that are lazy and neglecting the needy. The worst, though, is I would fight the Catholic Church on the way they do things. I would scream at every condescending housewife married to a banker or a lawyer that condemns women who are having abortions because they don’t know how to pay rent. I would verbally punch every arrogant white old man for their racial prejudice disguised as concern for the economy, justified by God wanting us to take care of ourselves of course. I would satirize the newlyweds who look down their noses at homosexual couples who live in monogamous relationships, while they themselves didn’t wait for marriage either.

I would condemn the hypocrites and the Pharisees that live in our day. Here’s the problem though. They aren’t all bad. They are just good people who are trying their best. The heteronormative newlyweds cannot fathom how a homosexual couple could find the same kind of happiness as them, plus half of them have never seen a homosexual couple in the first place. The old white men have been taught not to have any emotions, but they are scared as shit because the whole world is changing, and not in their favor. The condescending housewives are terrified because they love babies, and the loss of a child’s life is the greatest pain you can imagine.

So the problem is how to protest a culture or society that has taught us cruelty and anger. Jesus dined with the sinners, yet Christians now teach their children that “you are the company you keep.” I am not saying to be reckless with your trusted circle, Jesus chose His apostles carefully. What I am saying is that just because you care how a person feels, does not mean you agree with everything they do. I have been criticized over and over and over for being on a side that I am not on. Why? Because I cannot stand to see the people hurt. I am not pro-abortion, but I will point out when pro-lifers are being hateful and extreme. I struggle with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love Jesus and the Church’s teachings in general. I hate NFP with a bloody passion, ( 😉 if you got that joke lol) but I follow it because, for me, it’s physically better than the alternatives.

My point is that if I become my authentic self, I will protest things the society of the Church does and says. The actual Church founded by Jesus is a priceless gem to me. I love it with everything in me. Half the time, though, it’s impossible to see that Church in the Church’s modern life. I say, far too often for my comfort, that I hate the Catholic Church….*pause*…as it is today, but I love what it’s supposed to be with everything in me.

So, if I could change anything, that’s what I would change. I would turn the Catholic Church on its head, and I would make it a force for good so immovable that no one could deny that it had changed the entire world for the better. It could do that. If one person being who they were meant to be could set the world on fire, what could we do with thousands?

We could have free hospitals for everyone, that are genuinely looking out for the health of others. We could have free schools for everyone, that are the highest educational caliber. We could have places for people to go who are hurting, no matter who they are, no matter what kind of hurt they are experiencing. We could teach the whole world how to love each other with an all-consuming passion ignited by the eternal Spirit. We could show the entire world that the Catholics do not need to be afraid of science, or truth, or other people’s opinions, because if we are right, then they only share in our truth. We could teach the world about respecting other people’s beliefs because we believe that God reveals Himself in a million different ways.

There is a saying that every young Catholic knows, I don’t know where it originated, but it says, “If only seven people were to be saints we would change the whole world.” What if we had a thousand?

What Sex and the City got Right

Sex and the City was the first mainstream television show to feature women talking about sex. Now, to be fair, a lot of the conversations are awkward and inauthentic, but whatever they were, they set an example for women. Women can “locker room talk” too! This is important, not so that women can be just like men, but because women need to know about sex from someone other than just their husbands. Husbands are not women, and therefore do not know what works for women unless we tell them, but moreso women do not know what works for them if they do not know how to find out.

I came into marriage with an excruciatingly small amount of knowledge about sex. I was lucky to be marrying a kind, patient non-virgin, who knew what other women needed and liked, enough that he was able to teach me how to enjoy sex, and even how to safely engage in sex without injuring my body in any way. However, if I had not been so lucky, he could have taken advantage of me in any number of ways, and I may have just believed that is how things were. I am also grateful that he knew how important it is to listen to the woman during sex. Many men do not realize that the woman is not as easy to please as they are. We need foreplay, we need to be in the mood, we need to be seduced. A woman can not educate her man about these things, unless she has others to educate her.

On a very basic level, talking about sex with other women, especially in a similar state in life, normalizes the awkward, weirdness of sex. It takes away the magical fairy tale expectations a person may have if sex when their best friend says to them, “and then we had to get an extra blanket so we wouldn’t get the bed wet.” This allows women to learn what real sex is like rather than building their expectations on television and male fantasies. On another, more difficult, level however, many women struggle to enjoy sex for one reason or another, and it is only in sharing their knowledge with each other that they can teach each other how to truly enjoy intimacy.

As a child, I heard a multitude of complaints and horror about Sex and the City, and it’s unabashed sexual discussions, but I must admit I am grateful for the example set by the show for women who would otherwise be unsure how to talk about such a sensitive subject. Even I grew as a person watching the show, and learned how to open up about my desires and learning how to fulfill them.

The Saddest Thing I’ve Seen

Ok, we take a break from “The Circumstances” story, to talk about the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.

This comes on because this weekend, I met a lovely man, had a couple of great conversations with him. He texted me this morning, and we found out that I am moving to his hometown in 2 weeks(I met him because his show was touring throughout the country but he is going home soon.) 

Anyway, minutes later when he found out that I am going to work at a Church, he froze, asked if I was religious, proceeded to tell me he is not perfect, and the conversation ended there. Now, that’s fine. I am not devastated I barely know him, but it is sad, because I have seen the same thing in so many men. They see something good, and as soon as they start to feel that it is really something good, they back off, or run screaming. Or they look in the face of what they believe is good, and say “I can’t have you, I am not worthy.” But the important thing about “I am not worthy” is missing.

We say every Mass “Lord, I am not worthy,” but we follow it up with “but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” In other words, Christ in the Eucharist is our HOPE. “Lord, I am not worthy” is despair, without the movement that comes afterwards, the request for help. The request for help has to be genuine, one must be willing to actually move towards better, but the request is the first step.

Now, I don’t mean that these guys should all ask me for help. I’m not the one who can save them, but you can see in a person’s reaction to what they believe is good, what their perception of themselves is in relation to God. 

I think every person has moments that they do this themselves, I know I have done it about my writing, about jobs, mostly my acting, and I am in a long war against myself to allow God to bring me to what is the good in my own life. 

My strongest prayer is that we all see what is good, and that we ask God for it, and believe, not that we are worthy, but that we will receive it anyway. 

And that we all remember that “To see another person is to see the face of God,” and God WANTS us to see Him.

The Ever Mother Part 3

The soul seethed in agon’s blinding dark wall
And twisted from the appearance of all sides,
But when she lay down her head for One’s call,
The Mother came and sang swe’eternal lullabies.
Hush dear, release the burden of your self.
The ego that stands in a rebelling heart.
Release the chains pride tightens round your chest
And in my mantle remain from woe apart.
She wrapped her child in a velvet mantle
And stroked a cheek that hereto held to sin
But in humility had left the toilsome struggle,
And come the Immaculate to let her in.
Hush little one, Ever-Mother had then said,
So she’d come here, and rest her weary head.

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