Help! I Hate Valentine’s Day!

Well, it’s here.  That time of year that is so wondrously celebrated by some and dreaded by others: St. Valentine’s Day.
 
If you are single, take heart.  Please don’t fall into a pit of despair.  When I was single on Valentine’s (every year of my life until this year, by the way), I always enjoyed the day, and I’ve cooked up these little tips to making St. Valentine’s fun for the single gal:
 
1.  Dress up.  Wear your favorite shirt or those jeans that fit you so well.  Add a pop of color to your lips.  Style your hair differently.  Primp and embrace your beauty.
 
2.  Go to Mass or Adoration.  The Lord, the Author of Life, loves YOU.  Make a date with him.  Spend time with the Eternal Lover.
 
Still feeling down?  Meditate on this:
 
The happiness you are seeking, 
the happiness you have a right to enjoy, 
has a name and a face:
Jesus of Nazareth.
– Pope Benedict XVI, August 18, 2005
 
3.  Give out Valentine’s Day cards, especially to your single friends.  They don’t have to be fancy – the ones you distributed during elementary school work just fine.  I have been surprised and touched to visit friends in other states and see my Valentine’s Day card posted in a prominent space.  You can touch the lives of others with a simple note!
 
4.  Call your family and tell them you love them.  You are single, not alone.
 
5.  Host a wine and chocolate movie night…BUT…no men-bashing allowed.  I know, you’ve been hurt.  Burned.  Or you’re lonely.  You’ve heard bad stories, and you want to write all men off as jerks. But that’s not fair.  And this is a night of enjoyment!  Bitterness is not welcome.  If some idiot didn’t realize how great you are, well, good riddance.  Rejoice that you’re not with him.
Source: google.com via Trista on Pinterest
 
6.  However, if you need to have a quick cry, do, and then move on.
 
7.  Affirm the good men in your life.  Our culture encourages permanent Peter Pan behavior.  Know a guy or two who doesn’t buy into that?  Thank him.  Nice guys need to know we recognize them and value them.
8.  When you see a coupley-couple, and you have the urge to either puke or rage, pray instead.  “God bless them,” works well.
9. Pray for your vocation and your future husband.  

O Raphael, lead us towards those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us! Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings and Catholic singles, lead us by the hand towards those we are looking for!  May all our movements, all their movements, be guided by your Light and transfigured by your Joy.  
Angel Guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you at the feet of Him on whose unveiled Face you are privileged to gaze. Lonely and tired, crushed by the separations and sorrows of earth, we feel the need of calling to you and of pleading for 
the protection of your wings, so that we may not be as strangers in the Province of Joy, all ignorant of the concerns of our country.  Remember the weak, you who are strong–you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene, and bright with the resplendent glory of God. 
Amen.   
~*~
Happy St. Valentine’s Day!  May you know you are loved!
Please feel free to leave comments, concerns, and pray requests in the combox. 

Forming Good Habits: February 2012

Kendra posted this afternoon about forming good habits.  Strangely enough, I was thinking about this all morning, before seeing her post or Modern Mrs. Darcy‘s post.

Here are mine:



Pray the Magnificat morning prayer on my morning train ride


Stop by the church I pass on my walk to work and say a quick prayer


Drink a glass of water before pouring myself the first cup of coffee (at work)

Yoga once a week


Eliminate complaining about being long-distance


Compliment my parents daily


What are your thoughts?

Being Single.

Check out my post on Being Single over at Virtuous Planet!.


This weekend is my parish picnic, and I’m having a hard time deciding if I should attend. I’m part of the parish family, so I have a place, and I should be there. But I’m also a never-been-married Catholic adult, and in the past, at previous picnics, I’ve felt left out. As I’ve stood around looking for a way to introduce myself, I’ve seen married couples chatting with other married couples; families who know each other from school, sports, and Religious Ed; kids running around like crazy; older parishioners sharing jokes; and then…me.

I am one of the 13 million never-been-married Catholic adults in the United States, and I don’t always feel like I fit in. We are an odd bunch. Though we can be grouped as “never-been-married,” that is where most of our similarities end. We have a variety of needs, a variety of faith formation experiences and knowledge, and a large age gap. There are never-been-married Catholics who are twenty-four (hello!) and never-been-married Catholics who are sixty. For some, “never-been-married” is a transitional state; for others, it’s permanent, but the catch is we don’t really know which state is ours. Overall, it’s hard to pin us down.

I would love to have more married couples chime in!


Blood Boiling

On Tuesday, I attended my Young Adult group’s Spiritual Classics Book Club.  Somehow we veered off the topic of Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales and engaged in a hearty talk on dating in modern American culture.  One of my dear friends admitted that she’d had an upsetting chat over the weekend with someone who told her that if she didn’t play by modern rules (sleeping together relatively soon, etc.), she wouldn’t find anyone to date, let alone marry.

The minute I heard this I began to seethe.  Literally turned red, blood boiling, hands shaking.  Because who DARES to tell my beautiful, delightful friend that unless she decides to devalue sex, her body, her soul, she won’t be able to find a husband?  WHO DARES?

Isn’t the body the Temple of the Holy Spirit? 

Can we get a little respect please?

If you have a brain, heart, dreams, and want a meaningful, chaste relationship, you might as well give up? 

You’re only worth one part of your body, didn’t you know! 

If you have a vagina and are willing to play, you’re in!  If not, you’re out!

WHAT?!

When Jesus saw his Father’s Temple turned into a marketplace, he was consumed with zeal, drove out the livestock with with a whip, and overturned tables in anger (John 2: 15-16).  Maybe it’s time to show our anger.  No more mincing words.  Call the hook up culture for what is it: blatant use of another person’s body.  Remind people that IT IS NOT OKAY.  I don’t care if two people agree to use each other.  I don’t care if it feels good.  I don’t care if you don’t care.  IT IS NOT OKAY.

My sister and I once had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: So your friends are dating?
Sister: No, hooking up.
Me: They really like each other?
Sister: Uhh, they’re just hooking up.
Me: So they’re using each other?
Sister: I mean, if you want to put it that way…

Well, yes, I do want to put it that way.  Because that’s what it is, and I’m disgusted by it.  That someone might dare to view my family members or my friends as one body part, specifically one naked body part, makes my blood boil.  Each person is a unique, beloved child of God, and our culture wants to make us into nothing more than writhing masses.  It’s sickening.  It’s maddening.  It’s disgusting. 

Time to start cracking the whip!

Quick Takes Friday (12)

1.  Many thanks to my sister BB who created the Bright Maidens banner!  It’s beautiful, sis!
2.  BB is home for Spring Break.  It has been so nice just to have her in the house again.  I love when all seven members of my family are together, even when we’re not doing anything special.

Christmas 2011.  The shorty on the left is me. 


3.  I’ve been spending a lot of time running back and forth into Manhattan lately.  Interviews, networking events, and plays, oh my!  One of my friends invited me to see Spider-Man on Broadway, which was okay.  The effects were very cool (and dangerous – if anything happened while the actors flew above the crowd, uh oh…), but the plot was a little kooky.  On Wednesday, a former college roomie and her friend invited me to see How To Succeed in Business (Without Really Trying), which stars Daniel Radcliffe.  This was an excellent play!  I was really surprised at how well Daniel could sing and dance.  Afterward, my friend’s friend (got that?) was able to take us backstage because her family friend is in the play.  It was awesome to stand on a Broadway stage! 

4.  On Ash Wednesday, a stranger stopped me in the train station to ask what was on my head.  He asked if it was for St. Patrick’s Day and if it was only for women, since he hadn’t seen any men with ashes on their foreheads.  I tried not to break into giggles, then explained Ash Wednesday and Lent to him, which lead to us sitting together on the train and chatting all the way to my stop.  I did chuckle when he asked, “So how long has this [Ash Wednesday] been going on?” and I replied, “Hundreds of years!” 

5.  My Young Adult group is finalizing plans for a fundraiser for Long Island Teen Freedom.  We’re hosting a happy hour and live band at a local bar at the end of April.  Please pray that we are able to get the word out and gather a large crowd!  We are also starting a Spiritual Classics Book Club.  Our first book is Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales, so if you see posts in the upcoming weeks with quotes from him, you know why.

6.  Hilarious! 

7.  Happy (early) Birthday, Julie!  As our Irish ancestors would say, “May you live to be one hundred years with one extra year to repent!”  Best wishes & God bless!

Have a lovely weekend!