Prayer After Vegas

I found this little prayer that I wrote after going to Vegas during the summer a couple of years ago. I had a great time with family and friends, but the culture there — a culture of death — left me confused and disheartened.

The world expects me to flaunt my body, but I know God calls me to take pride in my dignity.

Thought I’d like to share just in case any other young women felt the same way as me. Following are a few snippets.

Monday, August 31, 2009

O Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar,

I come to You today empty and confused. I went to Las Vegas this weekend and I felt so much cognitive dissonance. The world wants me to be beautiful, sexy, young, wild. I know you want me to be beautiful in my purity, sexy in my virginity, young in my faith, hope, & love, and wild with the passion of the Holy Spirit that has so touched my life! Drinking and dancing aren’t sinful to You; they are both gifts from You that can be properly used. Getting drunk and dancing provocatively would be abuses of those gifts. I think perhaps You are revealing Your Holy Will to me now.

I love Your, Lord, and I want to serve You. I pray for the grace to see as You see, to hear Your voice, to speak Your words, to serve and glorify You, and to love as You love.

Give me the grace that my heart might ache daily for You, for Your love, for You in the Eucharist!

love,

Rosanna Noelle

Lord Jesus Christ, as I reflect on this prayer that I wrote 2 years back, help me truly and genuinely to live a culture of life!

Holding Back Your “V-Card”: Sex as a Sacrifice

The vast majority of young people in my generation say that they are willing to give their “V Card” –their virginity– to someone that they genuinely love, within the context of marriage or not. Sex itself is no longer reserved for marriage; it is reserved for someone who has earned your trust, or perhaps who you would consider marrying– or perhaps just anyone, for no reason at all.

One of the biggest aspects of my own falling in love with Christ circa my college years was seeing the beauty and the value He places on sex, sexuality, and their meaning.

After learning about the “Theology of the Body,” Pope John Paul II’s exposition on human sexuality, I better understood why we were created as complementary men and women and why sex was so sacred as to save for marriage. As of late, however, I have had some new thoughts on purity and virginity to add to my former understanding. So, here goes:

God the Father in the Old Testament wanted families to offer Him lambs as a sacrifice. At the time, lambs were considered the finest livestock; they were of utter value and importance to families. And not only did God the Father want just any lamb– He wanted a family’s most pure, holy, and unblemished lamb.

To give up such a perfect lamb was a sign from a family that it truly loved the LORD above itself and its own interests. The purity of the offering, of the lamb, increased its worth exponentially and was a stronger offering that spoke of genuine love to our LORD.

In the Holy Eucharist, our LORD Jesus Christ offers Himself as the Lamb of God on the altar. Jesus Christ makes of Himself a most pure, holy, and unblemished offering to God the Father. In fact, His sacrifice of Himself was so pure, holy, and unblemished, that it will forever be known as the One Perfect Sacrifice– the sacrifice that granted all of humanity salvation! He is THE Sacrifice whose blood wiped away all of our sins, and saved us from ourselves.

My realization?

In Holy Matrimony, a man and a woman are called to live in purity before offering themselves up to one another and to GOD. Just as Christ gave Himself as an unblemished sacrifice for all on the altar, so too in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony are we to give ourselves as unblemished sacrifices for our spouses, on our wedding night on the marriage bed. Just as a church has an altar, the domestic church (the family) has an “altar”: the marriage bed itself. This is where we lay down our bodies for one another, and together, for God.

Just Christ says, “This is my body; it has been given up for you,” so too shall spouses say this to one another, as well as together to the LORD: “This is our body (now “one flesh”) which has been given up for You.”

Marriage reflects the familial, one-in-three, triune nature of God. Accordingly, the marital embrace (sex) is called to reflect the perfectly holy and pure nature of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, makes for the Church, His Bride (both on the Cross and till this day in the Holy Eucharist). Purity before and during marriage is thus of immeasurable worth! Striving for purity proclaims: “I love you… and You, LORD!” with an individual’s entire body, heart, and soul. Purity is the mark of the sacred romance of marriage, a sacrament that only Our Romantic Creator Himself could design!

Just as a family in the Old Testament was to offer their most perfect lamb to the LORD, so are those who are called to married life asked to offer up their most perfect selves to one another and to the LORD: before marriage, when they get married, and throughout their marriage via sacrifice– such as that which Natural Family Planning demands– and lifelong fidelity.

What wondrous beauty! Human sexuality is called to speak purity, sacrifice, love.

Guarding My “Feminine Mystique”

This morning, I was out and about running errands when I suddenly realized it was Saint Patrick’s Day and I was not wearing green– *gasp*! Henceforth, I decided to pull into a mall I passed by on the way home. I was on a mission: find something cheap, cute, and green.

I hit up some of the usual suspects: Macy’s, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe. There were lots of cute and pretty dresses and skirts– at least, they seemed cute as they were hanging on the rack. Off the the fitting rooms I went.

“God, I love this! How is there not more fabric here?” B

“Beautiful print, but why is this not longer?”

“Why is this *so* see through?”

“If the wind started to blow… if I had to bend… *sigh of defeat*… this just won’t work.”

“I… Can’t… Breathe.” (translation:  “This is too tight.”)

These are a few phrases that I whispered under my breath in the fitting room. It’s days like these that leave me wondering how any of us women are able to protect our feminine mystique in this world.

The Lord whispers to my heart that I possess a feminine mystique that is inherent to the beauty He has created me with as a woman. My feminine mystique is the elusive entity that intertwines my soul with my body in a most delicate yet potent manner. Genuine femininity is neither about solely the body or solely the soul—it is about the body and the soul intertwined. Society seems to place an overemphasis on the body, however—leading us to be completely amiss about what genuine feminine beauty is.

Short shorts. Mini skirts. Low cut tops. Low rise jeans. Lace and sheer fabric that are nearly invisible. Throw us a bone, fashion industry!

It is as if you want to clothe us in immodesty, and nothing else. We need more options. Society seems to be telling us that to be cherished and to be loved, we must turn heads with our bodies.

“Be hot. Be sexy.”

“Strut your stuff, girl!”

“Turn his head! Turn their heads!”

Then we find ourselves asking: “How can I look attractive but just not push the envelope?” And I question myself: Why, o why, am I even asking this silly question?! I deserve to be called beautiful for all of the right reasons, not hot for compromising my sense of self respect.

“You are so pretty today” or “You are so beautiful”these are the comments that make me melt inside.

Ladies, we deserve better than boys who know how to lust. We deserve men who know how to love. We deserve men who see us as dignified beings with intertwined bodies and souls: with a feminine mystique that is meant to be honored, protected, and cherished.