To briefly introduce myself, I am a young Catholic man. I hold neither a Doctoral degree, or have any professional qualifications. I have no advanced qualifications in Theology, nor a golden tongue like so many of the Saints. All I can offer is my simple opinions and my humble love for Christ. Many of my friends, young Catholic women like yourself, have come to me for advice, and this letter comes out of the general themes I have been exposed to.
Catholicity:Being a Catholic, even in the best of times, is hard. Catholicism is a radical call to follow Christ in a way humans are unaccustomed to. Today, our culture is exceptionally hostile to Catholics trying to live an authentic life for Christ. The “enlightenment” and the sexual revolution have radically shifted the way that women are viewed, and the ways they view themselves. The first thing I would like to note is that one of the biggest things women will come to me saying is that they are afraid to show outwardly their inner love for Christ, for fear of appearing “nerdy” or “weird”. This is most certainly false in every way. Catholic guys, who are trying to live into the faith well, will see and be very much attracted to women who are likewise engaged. I personally love nothing more than seeing a girl who is utterly devoted to Christ, and lets her devotion shine into her every day activities.
Sexual Sin:In the 21st century, the presence of the Devil seems to only have grown, and all too often, we fall victim to his lies. Even people who strive to further distance themselves from his influence all liable to fall as well. The liberal attitudes of society today especially concerning sexuality and the complete disregard for the innate dignity of the other person, have made it especially hard to keep oneself pure and chaste. Bishop Barron put it so well when he said “(our) commitment to inclusivity has led Christians to even be willing to listen to the devil”. Due to the nature of our society, and fueled by our own concupiscence, many people who try to live chastely have fallen. The saddest thing I have ever heard from one of my friends is that because she fell, she felt that no Catholic guy would ever want her again. So many people fall in to despair in the aftermath of sin, even sins that have been confessed. This is a lie of the devil to deceive us. Through the Cross, opened to us is the bountiful stream of God’s Mercy. Those who are truly sorry, confess with a right attitude, are forgiven by God. If it is something you still struggle with, I urgently remind you of the visons of hell from the Fatima apparitions; cast off this mantle, and come to Christ. He always desires your return! I can guarantee you that even if you have fallen in the past, you are still lovable and deserving of unconditional love.
Seeking Attention:I hear often that women today feel this immense pressure to go to great lengths to be “noticed” by guys. You must dress the right way to get a guy’s eye, act flirtatious, avoid chastising him harshly when he has done anything wrong and on and on. These are notions that are exceptionally false. They base their whole argument on the underlying assumption that women are not good enough as they are. This reflects a fundamental misunderstanding about the innate dignity of women and their role in society. Remember, that when God created the world, the very last thing he created was woman. The very pinnacle of creation, the crowning jewel as it were, is woman. Further than that, by woman’s very nature, they have a share in the very perfection of creation which is Mary herself. With this understanding, how is it even possible to think you must do certain things or risk not being noticed? As men, we can’t help but notice women. The notion that you must go to extraordinary lengths to be noticed is as absurd as the notion that one can walk through a museum and not notice the shining crown jewels. As men, we notice.
Don’t Settle: I hear from women often that they have “settled” for a guy. They have leapt on a chance they have merely because they do not feel like they could ever get anything better. This is entirely false! Do not “settle”. Wait for the man who treats you in accordance with your dignity. Wait for the man who holds doors and pays for meals. Wait for the man who motivates you to pray and to grow in Holiness. Wait for the man who wants to grow in love with Christ with you! Please do not be afraid to tell a man who asks inappropriate things of you no! If that is what he is looking for, he most definitely does not deserve you! Wait for the man who has noble and pure intentions for the relationship! I guarantee that you will find a better man than the modern atrocity that somehow has gained the title of “man”.
True Happiness:One of the most enduring desires we have is the desire for true happiness. We seek endlessly what we believe will bring us to completion. Our modern culture has endlessly pushed the lie that we can fill this desire of our soul with endless hedonistic pleasures. We have seen the rise of “hookup culture” where vast numbers of young people go and drink to stupidity and “hook-up” with strangers, seeking for a fulfillment they will never find there. You will not find the solution for this desire at a party. You will not find it among your friends, nor even in a guy you date. The true happiness and fulfillment of the desires of your soul can only be found in Christ alone. Our God is a God who desires to enter into a relationship with us; the perfection of this can be found in the Blessed Sacrament. Often, we lose sight of what is truly important in our life. We let our vision be blurred by the rampant distractions of this world. This is not to say that our world has no good things; this is clearly false, but it is to say that the only thing that truly matters at the end is Christ.
The Power of Women:So sadly misunderstood in society is the immense power women have over society. The famous quote “So as women go, thus goes society” is exceptionally accurate. Now, I may be just exceptionally outdated, but I believe in the old-world principals of Chivalry. There are ways that a man should act towards a woman, and ways that are wholly unacceptable to act. Our modern society has seen the complete rejection and destruction of these ideals. All the time, I see guys treat women horrendously, and it breaks my heart, for even when I chastise the guys, the fact is often women let themselves be treated like this. Ladies: you don’t have to stand this treatment. There is no reason that you should let yourself be treated even a little bit less than you deserve! Remember the whole thing about being the pinnacle of creation and all that? You deserve to be treated at all times as such. While it is true there are some guys who do not deserve the title of “men” for their intrinsic mistreatment of women, by and large, guys who treat women poorly only do so because they do not feel they are expected to do any more. The big lie of the sexual revolution and the feminist movement women have bought is they don’t deserve to be treated any better. This is so exceptionally false. If you stand up for how you are supposed to be treated, and emphatically demand that you be treated in a manner inherent with the dignity you are graced with, and do not accept anything less, I guarantee that guys will treat you as you deserve. If women on a whole were to do this, you would find in society a rebirth of traditional chivalric ideals and respect on the whole!
Modesty: One beautiful thing that is quite nearly lost in our modern society is the virtue of modesty. It stems from the loss of sense of worth women have, and the lessened demand for respect, but regardless of its origin, its loss is a tragedy. I hear often talking with my friends’ things like “If I don’t show such and such, what guy will notice me”. Now is this to say that every lady thinks like this? No, not at all! However, this and opinions like it have taken a deep root in our culture today. It is a terribly sad thing. You don’t have to go around revealing yourself to be noticed by guys. I understand that such revealing outfits can be very comfortable, but that is how they are designed to be. There are also equally comfortable options that are more modest as well. It is truly such a beautiful and attractive thing when a woman dresses modestly. It shows that she has a deep-seated understanding and respect of her own innate dignity and shows that she wants more. It shows she knows she is worth more than an impure glance from some guy, and cares to show it outwardly. It is so attractive when girls dress modestly. As a guy, I am much more apt to talk to, and want to get to know a girl who is dressed modestly over one who is not.
Call to love: Women have been given an amazing charism by God, a charism which is unique to their station in life. He has given them a unique ability and capacity to love. A dear friend of mine told me “Women, as the pinnacle of Creation, are all the closer to God, and all the more able to love as God loves!”. I was absolutely taken aback by this, as I had never considered it in this way, yet how incredibly true this is. The most beautiful thing is not only do women have this beautiful ability to love more, but they can share love to a greater degree. Women have a beautiful call by God to share their love to a greater degree in society as a visible sign of Christ’s love for the world!
Dear Sisters in Christ, I want to remind you that you have immense dignity. Never forget how much you are worth. You deserve to be treated with respect and admiration by all men. I guarantee that each and every single one of you is worthy of love, and is able to be loved. In fact, you are deserving of unconditional love; to be valued and treasured above all. Stand up for what is right: you have the power to change the culture. Be not afraid to live authentically Catholic. Guys definitely notice and think it is wonderfully attractive! Strive every day to be a little more perfect, a little more like Mary, and you will inevitably come to intimately know Christ. Remember that, ultimately, this is the thing that matters most. Pursue him with all your heart, and you will find true happiness! To end with a quote from Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati "By yourself you will do nothing, but if you have God as the center of all your action, you will achieve your goals!". Pax Vobiscum!