You all know that I endorse the podcast Three Dogs North like what.
I was listening to this one yesterday, and I was prompted to write a fiery email.
If you want, listen to the podcast.
If you don’t want to listen: basically, in that episode, they talk a lot about this phenomenon that is–excellent, Catholic women who find themselves to be single. And, these women want to have beautiful families and husbands only…they don’t have them.
On the podcast the guys were like, “Well, maybe all these women should consider religious life, and Jesus can fulfill their desires.”
Hence fiery email.
(I edited out a few details, for the blog. Otherwise…fire away/ discuss away/ email me fiery words).
HEY. As long as I’m typing words to you, I have a few thangs to say about that latest episode. (Hi, does this make me a crazy stalker-follower? Maybe. But, I’m also not afraid of people thinking I’m crazy so here goes nothing).
Yo. That strikes a mad-hot chord in my heart and in the hearts of faithful, single, awesome Catholic womenfolk across the nation/ world, that thing about all these women with no men/ dates. YOU GUYS. I could, today, name fifty excellent single women. I think maybe we all could, and they would all be different women, and they’d all be solid elevens. Like, they all have good degrees from good schools, hold good jobs, are committed members of their community, are politically active, are physically fit/ attractive/ smoking hot, are loving sisters and aunts and daughters, and faithful/ wise/ profound Catholics.
And they’re all very single.
I have friends who, like you’ve said, have never gone on a single date.
(Now, of course, quantity doesn’t equal quality by any stretch of the imagination. Like, I’ve been asked out more times than I care to remember…but…good luck finding a guy who treats you decently. I’m not talking “like a princess,” I’m talking for every good guy there are a half-dozen who won’t show up on time and will try to put his hands up your shirt and may even drunk dial you on the weekend. And these are the guys you see at mass every week. You think I’m kidding? Guess again.)
Now then. I’m an artist living in an engineer’s world, so I’m going to number discussion points like an engineer.
I have a friend, one of those fabulously single women, named “Gloria.” (Name changed. Privacy like what). One time she was very frankly talking to me like, “Look, at the end of of the World Wars, we were faced with a population of single women…because their men just didn’t come home. And they decided, ‘Well, I guess I will dedicate my life and heart back into my community,’ and from that you see more religious, you see more single women.”
And then my friend Gloria turned to me, somberly, and said, “And I wonder if that might be where we are, today.”
Drop the mic.
I think that you kind of touched on this in the podcast.
A virtue that has really been on my heart this past year is is: hope. Full disclosure: the last relationship I was in, to quote a priest friend, “shattered all over the floor like a table of glass.” His words, not mine, but still.
But, I’ve had to ask myself: how does hope fit into this equation?
I mean, yeah, I could pull out a laundry list of pretty awful dating situations.
But how does hope fit into this equation?
As young women, do we really just throw our hands up and say, “Ugh, there are no good guyssssssssssss…”
I don’t know. I kind of want to be like, “GOD! Please, come here and blow me away with your goodness. You know the desires of my heart, you created them!”
I’m reminded of that one podcast of when there was a Monsignor who commanded the hurricane to return to the sea. “Sin,” you said, “is not desiring too much but, rather, desiring too little.”
I think of this, too, when I think of my beautiful friends who desire good, Godly men and beautiful families.
I hear your invitation to religious life but I also wonder: wait a second…how do we hope in God in this situation that we consider hopeless? I’m reminded of the story in the Bible where Elijah is like, “Well, GOD, I guess I’m the ONLY PERSON LEFT WHO SERVES YOU.”
And God is like, “Cool the jets, son, there are still seven thousand of you.”
Maybe there are seven thousand good men, still.
THAT BEING SAID. it’s always a good idea to be open to the Holy Spirit. What new directions does the church need to forge? 🙂 You talked about the women religious who left behind the third graders and when on to dean universities. I say: heck yes.
It is said that, “The glory of God is man fully alive.”
Fully alive. What does it look like to be a woman fully alive? How do we provide opportunities for our women that fully fulfill them and their incredible talents?
Back in the 1950’s, women would become nurses or teachers period. Sooooo….religious sisters were teaching and nursing orders. Excellent.
Today, though, we see women graduating college at higher rates than men, even. To say to a woman with a doctorate in International Studies, “Here, teach this five-year-old to tie his shoes/ color in the lines” isn’t exactly the best use of her abilities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for kids with tied shoes, but, I’m also dear friends with brilliant architects and ophthalmologists who could gift the world with so much. And how do we as a church work with them? I don’t know….it’s a good question.
Here’s where I’m wrestling the most, ya’ll. Basically: you’re kind of right. There is a vocation crisis with women religious. There’s also a vocation crisis in marriage, too, and I don’t know that anyone sees that just yet. Is the solution to be like, “Hey, ladies, why don’t you pursue religious life,” or is the solution different? Like, if these guys are out there hanging out in bars or whatever instead of getting married, do we just say, “Well, they’re idiots. Hey, ladies, come to be fulfilled in Christ.” I’m not sold. I think that if there are people called to marriage (or any vocation, for that matter), we need to be doing all we can to get them there. I fully believe this. (Also, I match-make like a madwoman. Not kidding).
Closing story and then I promise I’m done. I cross my heart. I’ll leave you alone forever.
You don’t know me, but I’m a relatively talented dancer–ballroom, swing, tango, etc. I love dancing. A few weeks ago, I went to a wedding, and I was pumped because the groom, a good friend of mine, is a nationally ranked ballroom dancer. And I thought, “Well, he might invite his friends! I will have the best dances!”
Only–his friends brought their dates. And no one danced with me. Well, my brothers did. (They were pity dances). (THEY DON’T COUNT).
Now, dancing is hugely tied to my spirituality at this point–the concept of lead-and-follow, etc. At this wedding, standing on the corner of the dance floor, I realized: I can’t dance like I want to/ like I’m trained to…because there is no one to dance with me.
In the grand scheme…this is my life.
What’s a girl to do? Do I just invest in solo dances? Do I just live/ work/ shine alone? Well, maybe.
But, just so you know…this weekend I’m opening my house and teaching a beginner dance lesson…to all my friends. And the event is booked solid. 🙂
…blah, blah, blah. Yeah, it was a little bit different in the email, actually. But, if you have feelings you want to share, by all means…take a crack at that comment section.
6 thoughts on “And then I wrote a fiery email…”
I admire you in a lot of ways. To be a bit blunt(sorry) most men eat meat and feel your
dietary preferences mean you are high maintenance(I know, it’s unfair ), Also,of all
your friends who are married with families in recent years-how many are not meat
eaters? Also, (not fair) most men like women to look feminine-meaning not with
hairstyles that are short and boyish. How many of the people ,as above had haircuts
as short as yours when they were being courted? If you are competing against other
women for good ,available men you make your marketability very challenged.
This is my opinion, but most women who I see get married have as few impediments
as possible to attract a mate. You have outstanding talents, qualities and I know you
want marriage and family. There are so few good men out there-most,I think may be
turned away because of the above mentioned things.
These things are probably very true. Alas. 🙂 There isn’t a whole lot I can do about my diet–it’s in place for medical reasons. Blast! I do miss eating hot dogs at baseball games. 🙂
But, this is about more than me, really. I have scores of friends who are much, much prettier than I am. And, honestly, few of them have been asked out as frequently as I have been. I write this for them just as much as I write it for myself. My beautiful meat-eating, long-haired girlfriends are also left behind….what do I do about them? 🙂 I want to see them happy, too, and dance at their weddings!!
It is not about the short hair or meat restrictions. Those are so not even the problem. And if they are, the guy is definitely not for her. To eat with Nell you don’t have to live without meat and hair is just an external thing. This is about the heart of the guys of our time. It is about the guys who are not standing up and being men. The guys who are not as passionate. The guys who are not as full-out following Christ as their Lord and Savior. The guys that see the awesome single women (and I know SO many! And I’m not even at all in the Catholic circles.) anyway, the guys who see the awesome single women who are serving Jesus with their whole heart and can’t keep up. They don’t join in. They don’t have equal passion in the same direction. They don’t take the lead. And maybe we are so firey that we don’t let them. (Women have issues, too!) BUT if we are serving our Lord and living our lives for Him, as so many of my single girlfriends are, then we can’t back down or accept less from a man we will have as a partner FOR LIFE. The desire for a partner is there. The problem comes in finding one on the same playing field.
I met my husband and many MANY things I was insecure about have turned out to be the things he loves most. Many things that make me quirky are what drew him to me. Basically my list of impediments was pretty massive.
Marriage is a call, and it’s tough when you feel that call and aren’t finding the one to do with. It has zero to do with whether you eat meat or have an unconventional hairstyle. And, my friend, when and if you find you are called to marriage for certain, and find the dude to do with you- I hope he makes you delicious gluten free meals and shaves half your head for you! And you can smile about all the meat eating, long hair loving men who you were not called to marry.
In other words. ugh to this comment
I didn’t listen, so perhaps this was discussed, but I have another point (and as a single 30+ year-old woman trying to discern the will of God, it does irk me when people suggest I enter religious life when they find out I’m not in a relationship, so that’s my word of warning about the tone of the following):
5. A call to religious life is just that: A CALL. Not a fall-back option, not a second (third, last, etc.) choice. Jesus should always be number one, no matter our earthly vocation. Our end-goal is to get to heaven, and how we get there is up to our cooperation with the will of God. So, if Jesus is calling us to religious life – to be His bride here on earth before we are His bride in the heavenly wedding feast – then that is a wonderful, beautiful vocation (call). But if He isn’t, if He has placed in our hearts the desire (the call) to married life, to helping our spouse and children get to heaven, then that is an equally valid call, even if it isn’t being fulfilled in this moment.
We wouldn’t want the Church full of priests who entered priesthood because they couldn’t get a date. We should want a Church full of priests who enter seminary because of answering the call of the Lord. In the same way, we shouldn’t want our convents overrun with women who enter because they can’t find a man, but because Jesus is calling them and knows that is where they will best serve His kingdom and where they will find their deepest happiness and holiness.
YES. I really meant to hit on this, too, so I’m glad that you did. 😀 Thanks, Andrea!