Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Something to do, something to love, and something to hope for...

Please hang in there, guys. This is long!

I think my lungs may implode. It's been way too long since I've actually done any running, probably since this past summer. And honestly, I didn't plan to start again until next week. I've been wanting to run for quite a while, I just never got around to it. Too many things to do, places to go, people to see. But of course, those plans changed. So today I was way excited that I didn't have much to do. It took several hours and a bit of friendly motivation, but I finally got running at about quarter till eight. And it was scary! It was completely dark and in order to keep track of miles I have to run down by the creek, and I completely got scared running by the cemetery. Not cool! A car passed me really slowly and I about died of fright, and then a few minutes later it passed me again. And that's when I started getting creeped out.

So, to solve that problem, I started praying Hail Marys. Definitely like the single best thing ever! I immediately felt my breathing fall into its regular pattern, and I was in the most contemplative state ever. I think I got through about two decades before my asthma started bothering me, but praying while you run really helps to deal with the pain. I felt guilty for teasing someone about running earlier, so I thought I'd do penance by running an extra mile for him. And by the end, it was the coolest thing ever, because all I could get out was 'Pray for us, sinners'. How beautiful is that? I think that's going to be my mission from now on, to just offer all my running up for the world, which seems to be in such a pitiful state lately.

Hey, I've got a question for everyone who reads this. Do you think it's possible to date casually for Christ? I know a lot of you aren't Catholic, or religious at all, but I was talking with Michael earlier and it made me think. I've never really even considered 'casually' dating, let alone in a holy way. I think there's a big difference between secular dating and Catholic dating. Secular dating, as I've observed, naturally tends to be more casual and less focused on the prospect of marriage. But isn't that what dating is, in essence? Discovering what you find attractive, and finding what type of person complements you and encourages you in your daily walk... I guess it just doesn't make much sense to me. I'm way too commitment-seeking. Or way too Christ-seeking... whatever! Perhaps it's a dead-end thought process, but it leads me to my next point.

I think I definitely came to understand religious life today before Mass! I was leading a decade of the Rosary, and I just couldn't keep my eyes off of the crucifix at the front of the Church. With each word, I just kept pondering the fact that Mary was such a beautiful example of a holy woman. A faithful wife, a loving mother, and a suffering servant, she truly is so much greater than I could ever even attempt to be. And moreover, she was consecrated completely to God. She gave Him her whole heart. But it made me wonder- how can one give themselves completely to their spouse and completely to God? It doesn't really seem completely possible to me. If I want to truly give my heart to God, truly emanate His holy love, I must consecrate myself to Him, and Him alone. Hence, religious life! Now, this isn't to say that I've decided to follow that path, or even seriously consider it, but it was certainly an enlightening experience!

But of course, as Tyler has so eloquently stated, enlightenment is overrated. Right.


At March 29, 2005 10:08 PM, Blogger RebirthFlame said...

One can commit themselves to both God and their spouse.

How is this achieved? Simple. Firstly, by realizing that God is more important than the both of you (husband and wife) put together! If it weren't for Him, you'd have nothin'!

Secondly, the couple must realize that they both are married in order to bring each other and their families closer to God. Many people think that there is no spiritual sacrifice made when one is married. I beg to differ. Yes, it is much harder to grow individually in a spiritual manner as a married person, and therein lies the sacrifice. However, as a person whos wedding is bonded through the sanctity of a sacrament, it is no longer about one persons spiritual growth; it is about the family: all or nothing. At this point, Faith isn't purely consecrating yourself to God, but rather bringin' the whole fam with ya!

Keep in mind this is in no way a knock against the consecrated lifestyle (most especially since I believe it is said lifestyle that awaits me), but rather just a look from a different angle.

Don't mind me, just thought I'd share on the last paragraph...

God Bless!

At March 29, 2005 10:09 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Thanks! I was hoping you would! ;)

At March 29, 2005 11:01 PM, Blogger Phydeauxs99 said...

First of all for the Hail Mary thing. Could this be just a placebo effect?? You think it will make you feel better and it does. So I don't know how divine that really is. But that is just my nonbelieving point of view.

I think it is quite possible to casually date. Casual dating is a growing experience. You start to find traits that you find attractive and repulsive. You have to practice social interaction just like you practice any other skill.

If you just dated when you were looking for marriage then most people wouldn't date until their mid 20s. And by that time they would be socially inept in their prospect of finding a spouse. Casual dating is used more for people who are trying to enable themselves to form their ability to commit to something.

And why can't casual dating lead into something more?? I think it is quite possible for it to lead to more.

Having a boyfriend or girlfriend can also really raise a persons self esteem. Being able to have someone to cheer them up. Having someone they look forward to seeing at school or wherever can make going a little more tolerable.

You can completly give yourself to god and your spouse by realising that it is god's will to be married. By getting married you are doing god's will and therefore giving yourself to him.

At March 29, 2005 11:30 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Well, I'll work from the top.

The Hail Mary thing could very well be a placebo effect. But I'm not saying that God jumped in and gave me new lungs for praying to the Blessed Mother. I'm saying that the graces are there, and that praying has a naturally calming effect.

And I know that it's possible to casually date, especially within the confines of our increasingly sex-cazy society. I guess I've never really considered casual dating in the respect of a dating one person and then dating another person two days later, which is what casual dating has evolved into. And dating certainly isn't the only means one has to distinguish what qualities are attractive and repulsive. Friendship and dating are two similar, but drastically different things.

As to the age that people date, I know plenty of people who don't date until college, close enough to their 20's. And I think you may be missing my point altogether. I'm speaking of the possibility of casual dating within the confines of a Catholic lifestyle. I just don't think it's entirely possible. I'm sure there are exceptions, but few. When one is focused on becoming closer to God, they learn to commit themselves. Commitment in daily life is learned through commitment to Christ.

I'm not saying that casual dating can't lead to something more. I'm saying that, considering society's concept of casual dating, it really isn't necessary or desirable.

And as for that last part, yeah, that was the conclusion I came to. I just didn't have the time or energy to add that.


At March 30, 2005 5:59 PM, Blogger Riot Grrrl said...

actually it's funny, because i think it is absolutely possible to casually date and stay within what is considered moral from a Catholic standpoint. i say possible, because if you end up casually dating someone who is as respectful and understand as my boyfriend is, then you would have no problems with the sex-crazed part. however, it is extremely hard to be with someone for an extended amount of time and not want more out of the relationship. meaning that when you either think you love someone or actually love someone, it is hard not to think that it would be ok if you took it just one step further. something to think about i guess.

At March 30, 2005 7:43 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Wow, that's a good point.

At March 31, 2005 5:40 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

ok now you were wondering how you could possibly give your life to Christ and be married to ur wife (in ur case husband) well this is entirly possible the thing is you must realize that person as Christ for you. If they are your spose you are also Christ for them.....so then you come to recognize Christ as all of the beauty in ur marriage and then you will understand how Christ can be a part of your marriage.

now you said could you casually date, that is really up to your personall views....but let me inform you of the risk...the risk is that in casually dating those people that you date you might really form a relationship with and if by chance one or the other should want to go another way then there is the possibility that they could damage you....now that is not to say not to cassually date...that is just to say it would probably be best to date only a person that you could see yorself spending the rest of your life with.

At March 31, 2005 9:56 PM, Blogger Tanner said...

I am in basic agreement with John. There isn't really anything I can add to what he has already said. Well done john. ::clap:: ::clap:: ::clap::

At March 31, 2005 10:57 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Hey, I completely agree. But I wasn't so much asking about casual dating because I wish to do it, as much as I was inquiring because I didn't really understand it.

And like I said, with the marriage thing, that's the conclusion I came to. It's great what meditation will help you with!


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