Satisfaction

Be Satisfied with Me – Saint Anthony of Padua
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
To have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.
But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied,
Fulfilled and content with being loved by me alone,
With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to me.
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone.
Discovering that only in me is your satisfaction to be found,
Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship,
That I have planned for you.
You will never be united to another
Until you are united with me.
Exclusive of anyone or anything else.
Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow me to give you
The most thrilling plan existing . . . one you cannot imagine.
I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you.
You just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am.
Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you.
Just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious, don’t worry
Don’t look around at things others have gotten
Or that I have given them
Don’t look around at the things you think you want,
Just keep looking off and away up to me,
Or you’ll miss what I want to show you.
And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love
Far more wonderful than you could dream of.
You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready,
I am working even at this moment
To have both of you ready at the same time.
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with me.

Saint Paul and Buzz Feed

Isn’t it interesting how we talk a lot about love? It seems to be almost a daily discussion.  We love the newest restaurant, the grades we got on our final exams, the coffee we stopped and got after a long day at work.  

We use the word love so much, we have become desensitized to its ramifications.  What about love in a romantic relationship?  What is the response when someone asks: 

Don’t you love me? 

What does true, authentic love look like in a relationship?  Can you have a loving relationship with someone and still use birth control?

About six months ago, Buzz Feed had a photographic journal piece on women who had decided to not use contraception or birth control.   How does this decision show love? And why is contraception blocking love?

Love is Patient

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Love realizes that a good thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. It recognizes that a person is never a sum of their parts, but rather a whole child of God made in His image.  Love is giving up control of every aspect of our life and placing it all in the hands of God. 

Contraception can’t wait…for some things.  It can’t wait for the pleasure of sex.  The opportunity to express supposed devotion and all-in commitment.  But it can wait for other things.  It can wait for commitment.  It can wait for children.  It can wait for authentic love.

Cameron Diaz said in the movie Vanilla Sky, “Don’t you know that when you sleep with someone your body makes a promise whether you do or not.” 

Love is Kind

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By the definition, authentic love wills the good of the other as other.  Love is free, total, faithful and fruitful.  It gives everything at all costs, no matter what and is open to life.  

Contraception demands a high price (more on that, keep reading), is limiting, puts barriers on love and denies the gift of life to both parents.

It is not proud.  It does not dishonor others.

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Authentic love looks at how humanity is created (Male and Female) and sees that it is good.  It does not chemically alter a woman’s body, a woman’s thoughts, and a woman’s hormones.

Studies have proven that the pill can change how a woman looks at a man.  It can change who she sees as attractive, but even greater health risks.  Women who rely on a birth control that combines estrogen and progestin have a 41% increase of having a stroke, 50% higher chance of getting blood clots, 29% increase in heart attacks, 22% increase of cardiovascular disease and a 26% increase in having breast cancer.

Lindsay Abrams from The Atlantic would have us believe this: “The rest of us can marvel at the hormonal quirks wrought by birth control and perhaps resolve that they’re a small price to pay for preventing unintended pregnancy.”

Really?  Because I think that being able to see a man for who he is without a pill mentally altering my thought capacity is a pretty large price to pay.  


It is not self-seeking.

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Love sees the entirety of humans as beautiful.  Including fertility.  


Contraception rejects the human being as a whole – body, mind and soul – especially fertility.  Contraception encourages use of another for self pleasure. It says “I love you so much.  I love you so much that I want to be physical with you now.  I want to sleep with you – even if that means increasing your medical risks, your future children, and your future spouse.  Can’t you tell that I love you?”

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

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Love sees contraception and birth control for what it is.  It recognizes the truth that contraception harms a woman’s body even while claiming to help women in general.  In exchange for ‘regular’ cycles and ‘freedom from the risk of pregnancy,’ the pill increases women’s chances of breast cancer.  A study in India found that after a prolonged use of oral contraceptives, increased the users risk of breast cancer from normal level (1.2%) to 11.9%.  The reason?  Dr. Umesh Kapil told Times of India, “Breast cancer is caused by repeated exposure of cells to circulating ovarian hormones, and long term use of birth control pills, which contain estrogen and progesterone, may contribute to the elevated risk.”

It always protects 


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Contraception has removed the aspect of responsibility from the act of love.

Instead of protection, the pill and other forms of contraception provide the ability for objectification.  For using someone for what they can give instead of loving them for who they are.  

And this is just the protection of the woman – what about that baby that could be conceived during sex?  The pill acts as an abortifacient – you could be killing your child without ever knowing you are pregnant.

Always perseveres 

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I know.  I know about the countless doctor appointments whose goal it seems is to convince you that the only way to cope is contraception.  

But I also know about the joy that comes from authenticity.  And the help available from incredible resources that don’t have anything to do with the pill or ‘safe sex.’

Is it hard? Sure.  Is it worth it? I’m convinced that true, authentic love for my future spouse (whether that’s a man or Christ) is worth it all.  

Love Never Fails 


You are more than your parts


                                      
Tonight at 10:00 pm, thousands will tune in to their televisions or web stream as scantily dressed women are put on display.

And it’s not on the porn channel.

Instead it’s a so-called fashion show that celebrates the objectification of women for the gratification of others.

It’s a reducing of daughters of God down to their bra size and the length of their legs.

And it’s hailed with great acclimation.

What is so wrong about the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, or even their advertisement in general?

It’s just lingerie.  The women choose to walk and model the seasons trends.  Everyone is paid.  No one is getting hurt.

That couldn’t be a bigger lie.

Despite the smiles and laughter, compliments and beauty that is shown on that screen tonight and in advertisements through the year, Victoria’s Secret doesn’t reveal enough. Their models are dressed in barely-there ensembles but they aren’t showing the world who they really are. They are showing a body and not a soul.  A lingerie set and not the heart and mind underneath the skin of the girl.  

I am in no way saying that the woman’s body is ugly.  Or that it deserves more clothing because no one should have to see that.  Instead, I’m proposing that the woman’s body is so beautiful that it needs veiled.

What do we veil?  In the Catholic Church, there is a veil over the tabernacle.  It’s not because Christ is a wretched presence no one wants to see.  When you go to a wedding, brides have the choice of wearing a veil.  Not because this is the most ugly day of her life.  Because we veil things that deserve honor and respect.  Because an aura of mystery intensifies the beauty that lies beneath the surface.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion shows do not promote the beauty that is inherently placed in the souls of their models.  A beauty that comes from being a child of God, loved into existence.  Instead, it places value on the skin surface appearance.

In an interview with ABC, Kylie Bisutti, a former VS Angel, explained the reason she left her position as a model for the company.  

“I was doing my makeup in the mirror one day and she was watching me,” Bisutti said.  “She looked at me and was like, ‘You know, I think I want to stop eating so I can look like you.’”

“It just broke my heart because she looks up to me and I didn’t want to be that type of person that she thought she had to do that to be beautiful,” she said.  “Thousands of girls that think that being beautiful is an outer issue and really it’s a heart issue.”

It’s a heart issue.

Our bodies reveal Christ to the world around us….and this is not a task accomplished by just revealing our physical body.  The revelation of the work of God in our lives is done through our actions and our very person – our whole person: Heart, Body, Mind and Soul. 
 
And you don’t even have to wear a feather headdress and bedazzled bra while doing it.

 

How To See Love

                          

What is love?  What is the definition of this four letter word that we toss around so often these days?  How can we eve be sure of what love really is? 


Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God


If you take a closer look at that beatitude from Matthew 5, there is something really beautifully significant in this simple sentence.

What is love?  What is the definition of this four letter word that we toss around so often these days?  How can we eve be sure of what love really is? 


Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

In 1 John 4:8, God is defined as love.  Love is not simply an attribute to God, or one of his characteristics. He is not ever-ancient, ever-new and loving.  His very essence is LOVE. 

So what if we place the word ‘love’ into the above beatitude?  It would read:


Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see LOVE.

True, authentic, will-the-good-of-the-other-as-other love requires a pure heart to be visible.  Without pure intentions, love is just another four letter word ruled by emotions.  With a pure heart, loving others becomes an incredible opportunity to participate in who God is. 

So if you have to ask what’s in it for you, or how you can benefit, it’s not love.  That’s not a pure perspective.

Granted, because of the fall, we will never be able to experience love at it’s fullest form : AGAPE love.  This is one of the four Greek loves.  Agape means an unconditional love that is in a constant state of selfless giving and never is self interested.

Human beings can’t give this love – only God can.  He shows examples of it throughout the history of His love story with the human race, but one of the key points is at the crucifixion.  Christ takes on a human nature and empties His life on the cross for us.


The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1015 says, “The flesh is the hinge of salvation.  We believe in God who is creator of flesh; we believe in the Word made flesh; we believe in the resurrection of the flesh, the fulfillment of both the creation and redemption of the flesh.”  

God’s Agape love poured out in a human nature…that’s love.  Give up your only son for a people who don’t take time to notice His presence in their daily life…that’s love.  That is a love that stems from a pure and Holy heart….and that can only be seen through the lens that is not smeared with a hint of lust.  

Paul wrote to the Ephesians about this topic.  In chapter 5 verse 3, Paul said:

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

Why is the presence of impurity so improper for a Christian?  Because it takes away the ability to recognize the presence of authentic love.  And when you cannot see authentic love, you are unable to see God’s work in your life.  God is love.  

So to see love in the world around us, we must look at others with a giving heart.  In relationships with family or friends, a self-interested core will always taint the ability to see love.  If you look for what you can get out of something, you have missed the point of true love.

God gives us people to love and things to use….not people to use and things to love.