A Young Woman Should Be...My Personal Guidelines;)


#1

I haven’t posted on these forums in quite awhile, and I’m happy to return. I’ve always enjoyed the honest and heartfelt responses I’ve received. To be honest, I still consider myself an Atheist, but for reasons I can explain only as a strong sense of nostalgia stemming from the warmth and safety I felt as a child belonging to the Church, I am always drawn back. I am giving Catholicism one last chance, and though I can truthfully say my rational mind does not believe in a God, I admittedly would love to have my old Catholic beliefs back. Henceforth, I am “remodeling” my life, so to speak. Looking at my character and personality, and asking myself, “What type of person do I want to be?” Even without faith in a God, I’ve discovered my ideals on how young womanhood should be lived have a decidedly Catholic leaning. There are things in this Church I do not feel I could ever support: even as a Catholic I had an extremely difficult time accepting them. They simply do not seem rational or fair conclusions to me, and I often think they stem from fear rather than a proper interpretation of the Bible. However, I do not wish to address these here. I want to wait, and see where my trek back into Catholicism leads me. These issues will obviously need to be addressed before I reach a final consensus on my beliefs, but I am not opposed to Christianity or another faith without affiliating myself with a particular church, which is a route I may very well take.However, I as of yet do not even have faith in a God, but my urge to do so cannot be denied, so I’ve decided to take some exploratory steps in faith’s general direction to be sure it is not just the old feelings of safety and “rightness” I felt before, but something I can defend on a logical level. In anycase, Christianity or not, these are the ideals I have developed for myself, and see personally (though obviously these are just opinions) as being good guidelines for any young woman. Here they are…:
A Young Woman Should Be:

  1. Honest. She should not deceive those around her, especially herself or loved ones. She should take responsibility for mistakes and actions, and realize that if they embarrass her, she should examine them to be sure they’re right for her. She should not steal, but earn all she has, including the love and loyalty from loved ones.

  2. Hard-Working/Industrious. She should not slack at work, but maintain productive activity at all times. If work require she be friendly and polite, she must work to maintain these characteristics even under cases of high duress. She should realize she is not above any work, even tasks as menial as cleaning bathrooms (or other examples like this). She should remain attentive and well-mannered in class, and complete all assignments at the time they are assigned. She should not procrastinate and put “fun” before accomplishment, but should also realize the need for personal time/“fun” when appropriate.

  3. Chastity/Respect for Her Body. She should not allow herself to be a product or sex symbol for those around her. She should dress modestly, simply, and without purposefully drawing attention to her body in a manner which could be considered indecent. She should constantly be aware of the message her style of dress is sending to other people, especially those which may be attracted to her. She should not poison her body with undue attention to unnatural sugars and snacks, and should develop some sort of regular physical activity to keep herself in prime health. She should reserve enough hours of sleep a night to satisfy her body’s needs, and drink plenty of water. Good personal hygiene is also a good guideline.

  4. Humility. She should not allow herself to be overtaken by self-righteousness, arrogance, pride, or vanity. She should always keep in light the realization she is but one person in many, suffering from many of the same life afflictions, and having many of the same personality traits of those she may look down on, even if taken in a different form. She should realize aloofness only detaches her from humanity, and can eventually make her a bane upon human progress, even if only in her own small portion of the world. Should aspire to greater things, always keeping in mind she is but one person, ordinary, but capable of extraordinary action, if only she can keep the humility which will allow her to relate those actions to others.

  5. Polite, Well-Mannered, and Friendly (Though this is not to say one must be an extrovert).Should retain a good sense of manners and social propriety. Consideration for the needs of others should fall into this category, namely, an awareness of how one’s actions will effect those around them. Polite language and terminology should always be used, such as “Please”, “Thank-You”, “Excuse me” and other like polite mannerisms with reflection and adherence to their true meanings, and should be said with sincerity. Should maintain consistent effort not to be argumentative, but to present their views and opinions in an unobtrusive fashion, with no purposeful belligerence or arrogance, and one should make an effort to understand, and express their understanding first, of what the other person is saying. Should never be afraid to apologize when the need calls for it. Should greet those approaching them positively, no matter what preconceptions of the person may exist. Untoward and inconsiderate jokes should be kept at a minimum, and only in very specific company. Other jokes of particularly offensive nature should perhaps not be made at all.

(Continued)


#2
  1. Seek Knowledge. Should consistently strive to educate oneself about current affairs, philosophy of personal beliefs and dogma, in areas which apply to practical or pragmatic use in ones life, and a deep understanding of persona and general behaviour. Should maintain a decent level of knowledge of natural sciences and how the world is made up and operates. Should not be content to lie in ignorance, but always to question beliefs long-held or presented to them without prejudice or bias, and to investigate what one does not understand.

Finally, I wanted to put forth my plans as to my daily spiritual life. As I’ve said, I want to see if Catholicism is truly what I’m yearning for, and I feel plenty of prayer, if this is my truth, could never hurt but only help, in the sense that perhaps they will be answered and I can seek to separate if what I’m praying for is actually what I’m getting out of it (with effort on my part, of course) or if it is only good feelings of doing what I was raised to do that I’m receiving. If you have any suggestions to give a “seeker” as to my proposed plans, please do so;). First off, my intended prayers:

On Sundays When I Can Attend: (I have pretty heavy both school and work restraints, so it may be impossible some weekends)

  1. Prayer for Preparation for Mass-Prayer of St. Ambrose
  2. Thanksgiving Prayer after Mass-Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas

Daily:

  1. Grace (Before Each Meal)
  2. Grace After Meals
  3. The Holy Rosary (As I’ve said, I have a very crammed schedule, and I will do all I can to say the Rosary once a day, but it may come out as twice a week instead, at least).
  4. (In the Morning) Morning Offering, Our Father and Hail Mary
  5. (In the Evening) Act of Contrition, Our Father and Hail Mary

In addition to prayer, I feel it’s important to study more on what being Catholic really means. As such, on a daily basis I will devote time to:

  1. Daily reading along with the scheduled Mass readings, and a brief journal entry on their meanings, and how they may apply to my life.
  2. A section of the Catechism, in the order the Catechism lists them.
  3. A daily devotional reading to guide me throughout my day. I will probably pull these from the EWTN website, as they have a nifty spot on their site for just such daily devotionals.
  4. If possible, I will locate a class (is it called RCIA?) for adults interested in Catholicism. Even as I was raised in a Catholic Church, I’d love to see it from the perspective of a newcomer, as I feel that’s really what I’m more of now.

In any case, your comments, suggestions, and discussion would be much appreciated and of much assistance.

Thank you=)

~Adele MacRae~


#3

Hi and welcome back!

It would appear that the Holy Spirit is certainly blowing gently through your life (and that seems to be it’s nature!) in a world that would easily allure young people to be drawn into it’s vices. You have been able to succinctly draw a line between what the world would naturally expect of a young person and what you have defined for yourself. Now given that your list is quite exhaustive, you will no doubt ‘fail’ yourself at times. This you may come to realise, is the brokenness of the human condition. In youth we are very idealistic, but as we age, we come to realise that there is imperfection in the world and alas, in ourselves. This is the message and the work of the cross that Jesus came to give us. We cannot hope to save ourselves, no matter how ‘well’ we might appear, or appear to be doing. We are a flawed human race, due to sin. However, because of the great love God has for us and the need for Him to want to be reconciled with us, He has provided us the opportunity to do just that. Living a christian life takes on a lifetime journey of developing a closer relationship with God, an intimate one that will be unique for you, as with everyone else. I pray that you will find the ‘sweetness’ of the Spirit as you begin your journey!
Blessings,
Lilly:heart:


#4

I definitely believe I’ll fail, and often, at my aspirations, but I want the same feeling of strength I got from faith when I was a child. Having a strong belief and connection with God always made controlling myself easier. I have a very strong, tempestuous nature, but at heart I’ve always just wanted to be a “good Catholic girl”. There is dignity and grace, a strength of heart and mind in being so. I only wish I could find a young adult class at a time I can attend: I work during all the meeting times at Churches nearby. I live in Phoenix, Az, north, near Glendale, and if anyone on here wants to suggest me a young adult group they know of in the area, that meets either early in the day or on a Tuesday (or Wednesday, after twelve) I’d love to know about them. I feel like I need to be in company with some people my own age who have the connection with God, the faith, and solid background in the Church I currently lack. You’re right, too in how you mentioned the way society leads us to stray toward our vices: this is another reason I feel I need the company of Catholic youth. I want to be near those who share my moral, and possibly religious, beliefs. I love my friends now, but they aren’t Catholic, and if I’m really going to give this a chance, I feel I need encouraging company.

As for now, I’m a “closet Catholic”. Catholicism may complicate some of the relationships I have now, and honestly, not even being sure if this is the route for me…Well, I’d rather not risk them now, not until my decision is made. I wonder if perhaps anyone on here would mind writing me on what being Catholic means to them, how they converted (and why) and the effects, both negative and positive, it’s had on their lives. These questions are big considerations for me right now, so any input would help.

Thank you, as always:).


#5

Here’s a good prayer to pray every day, Fortitudine:

Holy Spirit, please give me the grace
I need to be docile to Your inspiration.

Here’s a simple prayer to Mary, the Mother of God:

Dear Mother of Jesus,
look down upon me
As I say my prayers slowly
at my mother’s knee.

I love thee, O Lady
and please willest thou bring
All little children
To Jesus our King.


#6

Nickname- I love those prayers! They’re very poetic, and appeal to my aesthetics, in addition to seeming very heartfelt, warm, and almost childlike in their innocence and openness to faith. I’ll put them on my iPod and use them tomorrow=).


#7

I was browsing through some of my older posts, and I found one I posted a year or so ago, about song lyrics, I’d like to share here, since I believe it relates somewhat to my personal search for truth. It’s a form of love you don’t see everyday, and it may relate to the “draw” or “love” I feel bringing me to the Church currently. In any case, it shows how this “love” can outlast even the most adverse of circumstances, even lost faith:

[LEFT] I find this song beautiful, and felt compelled to share my thoughts on it. I myself am an Atheist, but still hold certain values to remain inherent to what I consider truly important in life. I know this song depicts what are often seen as Christian values (I’m pretty certain Flyleaf is a Christian band), but would like to point out I share the same thoughts myself. There is a part of this song not shown in the lyrics, “He is teaching me what love really means.” Rather I believe in “Him” or not, these lyrics depict to me a truer form of love than I often see, and it shows that whatever we may believe religiously, we can all share in something like this.
[/LEFT]
**
Supernatural, by Flyleaf**
her headaches are constant increasing in pain
each passing day
she cant even manage to stand on her own its gotten so bad

you think in saying theres no use in praying
but still she bows her head
so she can say
thank you for just one more day

supernatual patience
graces her face
and her voice never raises
all because, of a love, never let go of

he has every reason to throw up his fists in the face of his God who let his mother die
through all the prayers and tears, she still passed in pain anyway

you think in saying theres no use in praying
but still he bows his head
so he can say
thank you for ending her pain

supernatural patience
graces his face
and his voice never raises
all because of a love never let go of
never let go of


#8

Spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, alone, kneeling. Open your self to God, ask Him to help you pray. Seek and you will find, don’t get discouraged!

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. (Romans 8:26)

-Shana


#9

I’m very pleased to have found an RCIA group meeting on my days off, at a convenient time, and at the very Church I was looking to attend since the beginning. :D. I’ve sent an email to the Church receptionist to hopefully sign me up, and plan on attending my first Mass in years this Sunday. Unfortunately, I’ve opted to sign up under an alias, and will probably use the guise of a school club meeting to cover my RCIA meetings. I’m worried my decision to seek Catholicism won’t be received well, and I don’t want disapproval from loved ones to color my choice. I wonder if using an alias will alienate me somewhat from other members of the RCIA class, but it isn’t an entirely misleading one, and one I hope to shed as I become more substantiated in my decision. Are there any suggestions for attending an RCIA class? What have your experiences been? And, as I’m visiting the Parish bookstore this coming Saturday, any suggestions as to reading material for a returning Catholic? (I’m already picking up a Study Bible and Catechism).


#10

catholiccompany.com/catholic-books/1001108/Answering-New-Atheism-Dismantling-Dawkins-Case-Against-God/?category=279

Pick up: Answering the New Atheism - Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God. It is a new book written by Scott Hahn.


#11

You should also go visit the desert nuns in your diocese. Ask them to pray for you and talk with them. www.desertnuns.com


#12

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

Hugs and kisses to you on your journey :slight_smile: :smiley: :slight_smile: :smiley: :heart: :heart: :slight_smile:

Mary is the absolute best, no questions asked, model for a young woman. Why don’t you add her to your devotional reading? To read the **Secret of the Rosary **by St. Louis Mary de Montfort and **True Devotion to Mary ** by St. Louis Mary de Montfort to your devotional reading list. Mother Theresa says, “Stay close to Our Lady, for through her you can do great things for God.” St. Therese of Liseux was devoted to Mary in the manner of St. Louis Mary de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary, and even though she died at 24, is considered to be the greatest saint of modern times by many. In fact, Mother Theresa named herself after St. Therese of Liseux. His Holiness Pope John Paul II read True Devotion to Mary and said it was a “decisive turning point in his life.” Finally, there are only 3 female Doctors of the Church, all had a special devotion to Mary. The Dominicans, of which St. Catherine of Siena, was one - a Dominican Tertiary, are a rosary praying group - the spreaders of the Rosary. St. Therse of Liseux and St. Teresa de Avila were both Carmelites. The Carmelites have no known human founder (as far as I know, someone please correct me if I am wrong) They are under the protection of ****Mary and Elijah.

May the Immaculate Heart of Mary guide and bless you and send you her most glorious love! :heart:

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#13

Perhaps repetition and consideration of the prayer ‘Come Holy Spirit’ you posted will assist me in keeping with my plans. It certainly seems as though giving Catholicism the chance I wanted to is going to be more difficult than I thought.

I began optimistically enough, but last week, when I’d planned to attend my first RCIA meeting, I found myself so busy that by the time I finished my errands (with school and work, I really only have that one free day), it was too late to catch the bus to the Church. This evening, I was waiting at the bus stop, but the bus driver either didn’t see me, or chose to drive by anyway. I thought I would prefer being a few minutes late over not going at all, so I went to catch the second one…and watched it drive away before I even made it to the bus stop.It’s the first week I’ve felt this strong a drive to go…and yet I wasn’t able to. Mass this Sunday may help keep my enthusiasm alive, but I haven’t been for years, and quite frankly, I haven’t been going the way I planned because I find the whole prospect quite nerve wracking.

At this point, I’m wondering if Catholicism is really the right thing for me. I’m completely mixed on my feelings of what to do. A part of me feels this is the “right” thing to do, but quite another part states that while I might believe it to be the “acceptable” thing to do, it isn’t what I really believe. I wonder if I’m not running off of my previous conceptions on what a young woman should be (since I was raised a Catholic, growing up, I always envisioned the model of who I should be as being Catholic) rather than really searching for something “more”.

I don’t feel as though I’m missing anything. But I do want structure, morality. The problem with that being I can have, and have had, structure and morality without religion. But I want to believe in God. I can’t explain the desire to believe, but I have it. I want to be Catholic. But is it really the best place for me? I believe in so many things contrary to Catholicism: I believe in allowing gay marriage, I’m pro allowing contraceptives in sex ed, I’m Pro-Choice, I’m pro-separation of Church and State, I’m against teaching Creationism in schools. Yet, there are Catholic ideals in which I believe strongly in as well: I believe in chastity, humility, honesty, integrity, structure, charity, etc…All of these personal values I have. Is it even possible to reconcile the desire to be Catholic with my political beliefs? I know that to be Catholic, some of these beliefs would have to change. This is my dilemma: I feel I cannot fully settle the matter of being or not being Catholic without giving Catholicism in practice a try, but every bit of my rational mind protests against it. It’s really hard to push myself to go to RCIA and Mass when I feel this sort of personal resistance. Conversely, I go through the time prior to RCIA or Mass going wanting to go more than anything else. Once the time comes to actually go, I’m conflicted.

I’ll be at the mall tomorrow, so I’ll see if Barnes and Noble has Scott Hahn’s new book, and will maybe pick up a few more. Perhaps Hahn’s book will take some of my Atheist “proofs” into question, or perhaps not. Either way, it couldn’t hurt to read.

In anycase, I’m completely conflicted. :shrug:


#14

Just keep searching, don’t worry about resolving “everything” when you suddenly wake up one morning. Be sure you are striving for truth, and don’t worry too much about your “feelings”—those go up and down and are not a reliable measure.

Do you have an iPod or CD player? Perhaps check out the following:

**Father Corapi’s **amazing reversion story CD from out of darkness (free at Catholicity) (or PM me for an MP3)

**Scott Hahn’s **conversion CD (free at Catholicity) (or PM me for an MP3)

**Gary Michuta’s **story is somewhat interesting since he also grew up Catholic and “reverted”. Go to bottom of this page for a Realplayer audio file (again, PM me if you want an MP3 version)

Here is a conversion story of atheist Alona Schneider - direct MP3 download.

Also, scroll through these tons of conversion stories to see if any of them touch on issues special to you.

God bless. :o


#15

Thank you so much for all of your info=). I do have an iPod, and I listen to it every morning on my bus rides to school. I’ve got some Catholic podcasts on there right now, and I’m thrilled to have some conversion stories to listen to right now. I loved my time as a Catholic: every Sunday when I left Church, I felt fulfilled, I was always optimistic throughout the day. After Confirmation classes with a friend (I was never confirmed), my entire disposition changed. I was sweet, cheerful, helpful, industrious, just happy. It was highly reinforcing. The only reason I ever left the Church was because I couldn’t reconcile my Liberal tendencies with my Catholic faith. It’s a huge hurdle for me, but I think you’re definitely giving me sound advice: focus first on developing faith, on devoting time and energy to it, and maybe my efforts will be fruitful. I can hope, but I don’t even know how I’ll feel about it tomorrow. :frowning:


#16

Arrrgh!!! Someone called me and my boyfriend today from a restricted number and left vulgar messages with some personal information about us, and since I’d ridden the bus to school, my boyfriend was naturally concerned and picked me up from school and drove me to the mall, which was very kind of him. Unfortunately, I’m keeping my Catholic leanings strictly to myself, so it means I wasn’t able to pick up the books I wanted, but I’ll have yet another chance on Friday. I’ll read the daily Mass readings today, though, and try to find some info relevant to me in the Bible and Catechism. Does anyone know where I can find information on Catholic history and how it can be explained against other historical evidence? I know some exists which explains it as being contrary to the Catholic Church. Thanks!


#17

For Catholic History, you might want to check out the short Compact History of the Catholic Church by Dr. Alan Schreck who teaches at Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH.

Here is an online “timeline” book I reference sometimes. I’m not sure if it’s Catholic, but it does reference Popes, including Linus beginning in 67 AD.

For debunking anti-Catholic versions of history or some of the myths out there, Karl Keating did an interesting Catholic Answers show back in 1998. Here is the direct MP3 link.


#18

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

On the liberal teaching that contradicts with the Church, I have thus far found that the Church has a solid intellectual reason for what it believes. For example, I think the Catholic Church was against slavery in the 1600s, (we even have a Catholic saint who was a released slave St. Josephine Bakhita - from Sudan - and a Catholic saint was a son of a former slave woman and Spanish man St. Martin de Porres - the patron saint of Social Justice), which is way before everyone else woke up to the fact that it was wrong!! The Catholic Church was also against the forced sterilization of the mentally ill in Nazi Germany due to its 100% pro-life stand while the liberal Protestant Christian churches supported it, and one of the defenses of the Pope that the Jewish Virtual Library posted on its website, written by a Catholic author and not disputed, is that the Catholic Church saved more Jewish lives during the Holocaust than all the international aid organizations combined - up to 860,000 individuals. After the Holocaust, the Chief Rabbi of Israel thanked Pope Piux XII while the Chief Rabbi of Rome converted to Catholicism and named himself Eugenio after the Pope. (jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/piusdef.html)

I think that it is worth reading the justifications for why the Catholic church has its conservative social teaching before deciding that the teachings are a bad thing and not a good thing. Hindsight is 20/20 and in 400-500 years, maybe the whole world will believe the Popes had it right and the rest of the world had it wrong. I have not yet read them myself as it is a little difficult to figure out how to start in this intellectual reading, but the intended reading is: **The Theology of the Body **. I, myself, used to be pro-choice, but I no longer am.

It’s kind of an all or nothing thing for me at the minute. Is life valuable? Is life worth saving? Was slavery wrong? Was genocide wrong? Why? Because we were killing and torturing innocent people? Is it even wronger to torture an innocent baby or child than a full-grown adult? Then why is it not wrong to torture and kill an 8-month old baby if it is wrong to do so to a 9-month old baby? I also watched the movie posted on durarealidad.com and it influenced my view.

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#19

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.