(webmaster preface: This is a revised version of an article posted two days ago. As with the previous article, it is unedited.)
I CHOOSE JOSEPH…………. Again
As a devout Catholic woman my desire is to have a Holy Catholic Marriage. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church conjugal fidelity is a must, just check out paragraph 2365. “Fidelity expresses constancy in keeping one’s given word. God is faithful. The Sacrament of Matrimony enables man and woman to enter into Christ’s fidelity for his Church. Through conjugal chastity, they bear witness to this mystery before the world.” Wow! “keeping one’s given word”? That must mean that my future husband and I need to really pay attention to our wedding vows, to really know and understand what they mean before we actually say them. More importantly we both need to live those vows before I ever accept a diamond ring.
I am a simple woman, living a simple life, I don’t even wear jewelry… well sometimes a miraculous medal or two, but I want a big shiny diamond ring on my finger… actually a BIG oval diamond on a very simple white gold or platinum band. Why? Having a diamond ring seems to conflict wholly and completely with the life I live as a devout Catholic woman. Do I want that kind of ring to show off or to say to everyone else “look how much my man loves me” or to say “nanny nanny boo boo, look what I have and you don’t!” No. It is because it shows every man that I am not available for any relationship with him today, tomorrow or ever. (This is why a man chooses to wear his wedding band.) The only men I allow in my life are those who aid in making the relationship I have with my husband grow more deeply in love and consequently more deeply in love with Christ.
As a woman I need to do my part; to know, understand and live those words I will vow on my wedding day, and trust that my future husband is doing his part as well, and at all times know that Christ is working in both of us. The Catholic Church clearly explains that the marital act is reserved for marriage, so let’s cut to the chase. The only difference between a single, engaged or married woman is that the married woman is having sex. Whether married, engaged or single I need to model myself after our Mother Mary at all times. I need to live, breath, eat, and memorize Mary, Mary, and more Mary, the ultimate spouse. Having been a virgin before, during and after the birth of Jesus, the only part of Mary that I am unable to model is anything concerning sex. But, no fear, I can use the insights (?) from the American culture to help me in this area.
Let’s start with modeling Mary. Mary is full of grace, she is a servant of the Lord, and portrays herself as Joseph’s servant and helpmate. She personifies love through trust, surrender and receptivity. Mary is full of grace, she reflects and glorifies Christ by humbling herself. How can I be full of grace? I need to put Christ first in my life. I need every one of my thoughts, words, and deeds to reflect and glorify Christ. I need to think pure thoughts and inspire pure thoughts in others, that is why even though I am looking forward to having sex I need to really understand that it is reserved for marriage, it is one of the ultimate gifts of marriage. I need to dress modestly, because lust is lust and lust is a sin. If I wear form fitting pants or a short skirt, a tight and/or low cut blouse flashing cleavage (oops accidentally) when I bend over in front of a man, or wear ridiculously high-high heels I am inspiring lust. (Lust prior to marriage, but this fun stuff is entirely appropriate to share with my husband!) By dressing or behaving this way in public, I am inspiring lust in any man who has eyes whether he is a stranger, a relative, my future husband or a Priest. I do not want any man including my future husband to lust after me. Lust is a sin, inspiring lust is a sin. But when he becomes my husband, I want him to have sex with me because he is inspired by love for me. Then the lines of lust and love begin to blur. Once married, what formerly would have been called lust is now an expression of marital love. What the media portrays as lustful dress, actions and pleasures become the loving actions and pleasures within the marital bed (or on the kitchen counter). By the way, those clothes and shoes are still in my closet, but until I am married I choose my public wardrobe by looking through Mary’s eyes. Do I still wear fun, fashionable, classy clothes and shoes? Yes, but they have Mary’s stamp of approval. My wardrobe reflects and glorifies God, and when I have the mindset of Mary, it is easy to dress, act and think in a way that honors Christ (and my future husband)!
Mary is a servant of the Lord and she portrays herself as her husband Joseph’s servant and helpmate. What would I, imitating Mary, do for Christ? Would I clean his house, cook his meals, pick up his dirty socks, vacuum the rug after he tracked mud through the house (even though I vacuumed earlier that day), pack his lunch for work, ask my self all day every day, what can I do to show my love for Christ, how can I honor and serve him, what would make his burdens lighter? What would please him? Would I do these things for Christ out of love and without complaint? Yes! I can imagine living with Christ, loving him, helping him, and serving him with a sense of joy, gratitude and love. Can I do this with my future husband? Can I be his servant and helpmate? Yes. I know I can because I already did it. Before I became a devout Catholic woman, I was a Catholic woman who left the church for 30 years, and was previously married ( I now have an annulment…. I actually have two annulments, but if I spent anymore time listing all of my former (mostly former) sins there wouldn’t be any more room on this page. That’s also why I know so much about the sex part, I am a (former) product of the American culture. I’ve lived in the culture of death where sex sells and women sell themselves and their integrity looking for “love”. By the grace of God I experienced a conversion (actually many conversions) and I am becoming the woman God made me to be. (It’s a process, a journey, and I am enjoying the ride.) Back to the story…. Did I really act like June Cleaver, greeting my future husband at the door with a smile on my face and love shining in my eyes, with a warm embrace, having a delicious meal (or delicious anything else he wanted) ready for him? Was I freshly showered, rested and ready to serve him even though I spent the day working, cleaning, grocery shopping, taking care of my/his children’s/parent’s needs and responsibilities, as well as our own responsibilities?
Yes! How? By modeling Mary. My day begins and ends with Christ, I strive to pray continuously throughout the day. How do I do this? I attend daily mass and adoration as often as possible, while fulfilling my commitments that God has called me to fulfill. For example, I used to tell Mark,”No! I can’t have dinner with you at 7:00, I’m attending mass and I can’t eat past 6:00 Jeez, Mark just doesn’t get it!” Well……. By the grace of God and through much prayer, I eventually got it. I realized that my piousness was interfering with my relationship with Mark. God called me to be Mark’s future wife. God gives me plenty of time during the day to hang out with Him. Mark works all day and often only has evenings to spend time with me. (I’m learning.) I also have my own set of prayers and novenas that I pray continuously, they just “seem” to appear. I watch or listen to as much EWTN as possible, whether I am cleaning, cooking, or ironing the sacred linens (I am on the Altar Guild at my church). But I also sit down and attentively listen to daily mass every day that I can, as well as Mother Angelica and other programs to fully receive their message. It may seem overboard to attend daily mass and then watch daily mass on TV, but I look at it this way. Daily mass is a sacrifice and I have the awesome experience of receiving communion – thus extra strength and grace from God. Watching the mass on EWTN offers a second opportunity to hear the readings again and then hear a second homily from a different perspective. I read as many Catholic books as possible including the Bible (or I listen to the scripture readings twice each day) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (both are becoming quite dog-earred). How else would I know the limits and therefore the freedom, set by the Catholic Church that I am experiencing as an engaged woman and as I will experience as a married woman? I read about the saints, Mary introduced St. Rita of Cascia to me long before Mark came into my life. I did not understand why at the time because I thought God was calling me to be single. But because I believed the Holy Spirit was urging me to buy a book about St. Rita, I read it, did the novenas and began celebrating the 15 Thursdays prior to meeting Mark. This year, St. Rita’s 15th Thursday is on Mark’s birthday!!!! God is so smart, He knows everything!!!!! I spend time learning how to be like Mary from St. Louis de Montfort and consecrate myself to Mary daily. Actually I consecrate myself, Mark, our children , and our families to Mary. Every Sunday Mark and I light a candle for ourselves, our children (including their mates- boyfriends/husbands, etc) and our families. We extend it to the families and relatives of our ex-spouses, in other words our “enemies” or more accurately, people who have not yet responded to Christ’s call and are freaked out by Mark and me. I read and listen to anything that will teach me how to develop a relationship with Christ (particularly through Mary), as well as any and everything Catholic. Last, but not least I start where I began… I go to mass to hear the Word and receive Christ, and I go to adoration to continue the conversation. I spend lots of time with God because in learning to love Mark I found myself constantly complaining (yes, I used to complain to Mark, but only about this) “You don’t spend enough time with me!” Well, here’s an eye-opener – that’s what God was saying to me! As soon as I started spending more time with God, He gave me more time with Mark, except now it is more quality time as well because when I see Mark I am filled with God, I lack nothing. When I am filled with God, it overflows to Mark. When I am not filled with God, I used to look to Mark to fill me. That’s not how it works. That is the way of the world, not God’s Way! So, I am a student of Catholicism, of Mary, of Christ, and now a student of my future husband. Am I saying all of this to brag “Hey, look at me, I’m soooooo Godly!” No, I write it to say “Hey! All of this led me to see that I’m going to be having awesome sex with Mark some day!” How can God tell me this if I never spend time listening to Him, if I never allow Him to show me that he is making sense out of my past by creating this beautiful present and future for me. God is love. Mary personifies love. I want to be just like Mary.
When I returned to the Catholic Church after all those years, the first thing I did was make a good confession. How did I make a good and thorough confession? I compared living the 10 Commandments with living the life I had lived in the world and this set me free. Free to love. Next I looked into the what the bible says about love, so I checked out First Corinthians and substituted my name into the scripture in place of the word love. Michele is patient. Michele is kind. Michele is long-suffering…. I examined myself, my attitudes and beliefs, and my behavior just as I had done with the commandments. Men are so sensitive, yet strong, so willing to please. Keeping that in the forefront of my mind enables me to be the best me. I have no need to nag, complain, feel resentment, expect “perfection”, manipulate, or make unreasonable demands from a man. Or a child. Or from another woman or any person. The more I personify love, the more I am becoming like Mary, and the more love I feel and receive and in turn give to others, particularly my man. The Sermon on the Mount? Awesome! How does this apply to me and my life, particularly me living out God’s Will as Mark’s wife? “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” I say again, God is so smart, God knows everything, God sees everything, God’s plan is beyond awesome. As I remember that I am poor in spirit, I remember that I need God. He doesn’t need me, I need Him. I need to love Him, I ache to love Him – it fills me with love when I’m loving Him. I need to adore Him – I long to express my thanks and praise to Him, it fills me with grace when I adore Him. I need to worship Him – I get it, I see Him, I see who He is because I am having a relationship with Him. He’s no longer far away, He’s close by. In fact, He’s in my heart. I always knew that, but now I know it. I knew it in my head because I believed God’s Word, but now I feel it because I live God’s Word. I believe I understand St. Paul who says that it’s not me, but Christ who lives in me. Am I being pious? Am I trying to impress anyone? No! I’m saying that my life led me to such an alone place that when I finally responded to God’s call, I learned to believe anything and everything He says, and the things I had trouble believing, I prayed for the grace to believe. I prayed for the grace to believe because the Holy Bible says that God will answer our prayers that glorify His Will for us. Hey, I knew that prayer would be answered right away and it was! I prayed to long to attend mass, now I do. I prayed to give a good confession so I could be as pure as possible to receive communion – God calls me to reconciliation three or four times every month. Now I recognize myself as a sinner. Sure I confessed all of those worldly sins…… they’re commonplace (unfortunately), everyone in the world sees those sins, or sins like murder or theft. But now that God and I are buds, I examine how I love because He is love. Do I love other’s as God loves Jesus? Do I love myself as God loves Jesus? Now there’s a challenge worthy of contemplation, worthy of examination. Self-examination.
Through Mary’s humility, she expresses the traits of trust, surrender and humility. I must trust that my man is doing his best at all times, and that means I need to be Mary to him. I must focus on self-examination NOT Mark-examination. That is not my job as his (future) wife. I am Mary, Our Glorious Mother, I am Martha the worker, and her sister Mary the attentive listener. This allows me to also be Mary Magdalene – yeah, yeah, yeah! I am also to be the other aspect of love – the fun, funny, laughing, loving woman who creates a haven for Mark to return to after a hard day earning a living, out in the world. Even though we don’t live together and I am not yet creating our home as his haven, I can still be am his haven. I strive to be all-good, all-loving, all-fun, and all-of- the M’s, (except the Mary Magdalene part has some limits right now), so I surrender to his needs because by meeting his needs he is free to meet mine. I am the good news part of his day. A quiet listener (Mary pondered things in her heart), listening so that even when he has trouble articulating his needs and desires at any particular time, I can respond lovingly to him. (God is so smart – he gave women a “mother’s intuition”, but I think he gave us “wife’s intuition” as well!) If I have worries or complaints I can take them to God in prayer, sure some need to be discussed with Mark, but I bet only half of what I bring to him really needs his attention. After all, God gave me the talent of running a household, raising children, caring and nurturing and appeasing family members, but my greatest talent has remained latent (as it should), but will awaken when we are married. I am Mark’s haven now and when we are married I will be more of a haven while I am creating a heavenly haven of a home for us. I am his supported, I bring peace to him, I help to carry his burdens by letting him vent to me. Remember, I can vent to Jesus and Mary (or my girlfriends, when appropriate). I just need to get closer to Mary, learning how she was a good wife to Joseph.
Mary didn’t argue with her husband when he woke her in the middle of the night and said “Pack our bags woman were moving to Egypt!” Therefore I am to be receptive to my future husband’s desires because the more I surrender to him and receive him (rather than trying to manipulate or control him because he doesn’t see things my way (yet), he is free to receive me as I am. All of this takes trust. I need to trust him. I am not his mother, his dependent, his therapist, his priest. I am his confidant, his trusted companion who always “has his back” or “covers his sin” with love. I am the person who loves and cherishes him in sickness and in health, in his good times and bad and especially in my good times and bad. I am the stable, constant loving presence in his life. His haven. I am his helpmate. I trust his judgement, his choices, his desires and I do all I can to help him accomplish his dreams and desires. How can I trust so easily and openly? Well… if he is putting Christ first in his life then he will naturally put me second and so on down the line of priorities. What do I do when he is not putting Christ first and me second and so on? Do I nag and yell and scream? No. I do what Mary does and always did do, I pray. Trust requires me to trust that God is working in his life to make him the ideal husband for me, as God is working in my life to making me the ideal wife for him. When a challenge arises I need to talk to God about it, not my friends or family because only God can change people. Only God can change me, which is the prayer I pray most often. Change me, Lord. And after enough times of crying out my sorrows to Jesus who is just hanging on the cross, waiting for me to show up and spend some time with him, I realized hmmm I think things are a lot worse for you, Jesus, than they are for me. How may I serve, comfort and love you, Jesus? (God is so smart – he knows that the best way to get me to spend time with his son, is to allow issues to arise between me and my man.)
What does any of this have to do with the title “I choose Joseph” which is code for “I’ll be having sex with Joseph?” Let’s talk about sex. Let’s look at two different men and how they handle living in the culture of death, having sexual images thrown in their faces, their eyes, ears and every one of their senses all day every day and who a devout Catholic woman would want to have sex with. It goes without saying that I would only have sex with my husband, but somehow, somewhere there is a myth circulating that women do not desire sex as often as men desire sex. When I say sex, I do not mean sex as it is defined by the world, the culture of death, I mean sex as defined by the Catholic Church. The marital act is an expression of love. I believe that the world really understands sex and sensuality and how it affects a man and how it affects a woman. If a man or a woman is not careful, not aware, they will spend lots of time, energy and money on anything associated with even the slightest sexual sensation in the world. If a man or a woman is aware, they will spend lots of time and energy on their husband or wife and experience other worldly, heavenly sex and sensuality with their partner. What about the spending money part on your husband or wife? If you are experiencing the kind of sex God created for married couples, you won’t have the need to spend money to fill that former emptiness within you, money can’t buy what you’ll be gettin, honey. (Yeah, yeah, yeah!) Sex sells all kinds of stuff that claims to give you the experience of God’s sex, but instead leaves you feeling empty and confused. This knowledge is power. Men leave an extra tip for the waitress who is “nice” to him, the one who touches his arm, or brushes against him, or who bats her eyes or tosses her hair in front of him. A man just wants a woman to be nice to him, to notice him, to see him, to love him, she doesn’t have to do all of that to attract a man, to be seen and loved by a man, just ask Mary. Along the same line women spend money to look sexy for men, we learn how to seductively yet innocently (and even not so innocently) dress for a man, talk to a man, touch and walk and move our body parts in front of him and so on and on and on. Women spend money on products to make our eyes bigger and brighter and sexier or to make our hair move in a flirty, sexy way to get men to notice us, to be nice to us, to see us, to love us. Men don’t want or need this, just ask St. Joseph. Men and women perk up at all things sexual and sensual, unfortunately the world uses sex to manipulate men and women. At the same time sex is so distorted in the world that it makes men and women feel “bad” for having sexual desires and enjoying sex. The Catholic Church dispels these distortions and promotes sex as the life giving act of unity and love that God designed it to be.
Let’s get back to having sex with Joseph. There are two men vying for the opportunity to have sex with me. In other words, there are two men desiring to love me to the fullest, desiring to love me the way God loves Jesus, the way Jesus loves Mary, the way Mary loves Joseph. This love of course leads to marriage, which is the only situation in my life in which he and I will enjoy the marital act. I’ll call one man Marik and the other Joseph. I know I already told you that I will be having sex with Joseph, but let me explain my choice. Both men are gentlemen, both men are out in the world working for a living, both men are apparently having sexual thoughts every 4 seconds because they are men (as a woman I believe women have just as many sexual thoughts, how can they not? The world is flashing a sexual image at us at least every 4 seconds as well!) Both men are good men, both are loving and kind, both are in love with me and want to marry me aka have sex with me.
How do I choose who to have (married) sex with? Let me tell you how both men are fairing as Catholic men living and working in the culture of death. Marik tells me that he ran into his cousin- he has not seen her for many years. He describes her to me as “beautiful, she has blonde hair and um I think blue eyes and ….” Oddly enough, Joseph tells me that he ran into his cousin- he has not seen her for many years. He tells me that it was “great to see her, and he told her all about the beautiful woman in his life (me), her beautiful, loving personality, and how he is the luckiest man alive to have such a beautiful, loving, caring (and Godly) woman in his life.” Marik argues,”hey, I was just describing her, it’s not a sin to see a woman and recognize that she is beautiful, a beautiful creation made by God! After all, it’s not like I want her, she’s my cousin!” Joseph explains “Michele, I don’t even see women any more, I literally only have eyes for you. If I would see a beautiful woman and tell you (or not tell you) that I noticed her beauty I know it diminishes any compliment that I offer to you about your beauty – I’ve leveled the playing field. I’ve made womanly beauty commonplace and you are not commonplace. You are God’s gift to me. I understand that noticing another woman’s beauty separates us.”
Joseph continues to explain. “Michele, when I see a beautiful sunrise on my way to work, I often call you and we share it together, it brings us closer together, it’s a moment of bonding and appreciation of the beauty that God has created and we share and enjoy it together. If I would call you and tell you that I just saw a beautiful woman, even I know what your response would be before I pressed #2 on speed dial. A call like that would separate us rather than bringing us together. Me, your beloved, observing and discussing another woman’s beauty with you, my beloved, is not something that unites us, makes us feel more love for each other. It would hurt your feelings, you would feel diminished, you would wonder why I was enjoying another woman’s beauty rather than appreciating you, the woman I love, the woman God gave to me as a precious gift. As a matter of fact I can say as a man, that it means nothing to me to acknowledge another woman’s beauty whether she is my cousin, an actress, a woman in my workplace or walking down the street, on a television show or commercial, in a magazine, billboard or anywhere.”
“As a man, as your man, I choose to protect you and me and our relationship from the temptations of the world. I do not feel deprived in any way, because looking and seeing another woman truly means nothing to me. Michele, I know that you have explained the equivalent feeling for me. What you feel, see, and experience when I take the time to notice any other woman, to make an “innocent” comment about another woman is this: you feel, see, and experience what I would feel, see and experience if you said “I saw my cousin today, I haven’t seen him for several years and I performed a sexual act on him. It didn’t mean anything, and it’s not like I wanted him, he’s my cousin!” Michele, I understand COMPLETELY and even though I am bombarded with sexual images all day long, even though our culture has taught men to “check out” every woman that passes by, especially the beautiful ones, the ones with exceptionally beautiful hair, eyes, legs, breasts, lips. To see women as an assortment of body parts, rather than as Mary personified. Even though our culture teaches (relentlessly) otherwise, I know women are made in the image of God, and I know that you strive to personify Mary. I would not look or talk about our beautiful Mother Mary as a body part, nor would I take a double take looking at our precious Queen of Eternal Beauty. Michele, I know as a man have a sexual thought every 4 seconds, but that knowledge is power. I continuously strive to overcome the lies that the culture of lust has pushed into my mind since birth, and replace those lies with truth, with love and respect for you, for me, for Mary, for Jesus, as I will vow to do and continue to do when we are married. I know that a look, just noticing a woman as something more than an image of God or Mary is the first step toward lust, so why go down that road? Why argue saying “I only looked at her, I didn’t do anything wrong, it was meaningless”. I know it is not meaningless, that arguing my point, defending myself is acknowledgement of something awry. I also know you do not judge me, you only love me, I argue because I have hurt you and I’m trying to gloss it over because I try so hard to never hurt you, to only love and please you. I truly can not bear to hurt you.”
“I know that a simple apology when I slip up is all you require, because it is all that God requires. A simple “I did it, I’m sorry.” I have no need to defend myself or explain myself to you. Your genuine love and devotion to me and our relationship inspire me to continue doing my best. I appreciate that about you, Michele. There was a time when I would have prayed as St. Augustine did “Lord, make me chaste, but not yet.” Loving you brings out the best in me. I know that your love is God’s love. You speak the truth, God’s truth and the Truth sets me free. I will be your knight in shining armor, I will slay the dragon, I will protect our marriage by not letting my mind become tainted with images of other women. I will keep my mind pure so that when we are married, only you and I will be present (in our conscious mind and in our unconscious minds) for each other when we are making love!”
Is it true, you ask, that a man making a simple comment about a woman or a prolonged glance at a woman is the equivalent of a woman performing a sexual act on a man? It is for me and I’m guessing it is for most women. I can easily perform a sexual act on a man and have it mean nothing, particularly if that man means nothing to me. Is that because I was molested as a child and I know what it is to be a mere object created for man’s sexual pleasure? Or is it because I am a woman raised in the culture of death, that has taught me (and I was a really good student because I like everyone thought love and sex were the same thing) since birth that as a woman I am an object created to please a man and if I want love I need to learn how to please him first and foremost sexually. I think it’s both, besides what percentage of women have been molested in other words, had a sexual experience with a man that was not the experience God intends? I am certain that most women, as well as me in my former worldly life experienced sex as only a sex act even if a man said he loved me, I knew he was not present with me during the sexual act because he had so many images in his head (consciously or unconsciously). Images of porn or even risque PG13-rated movie actresses, men’s sex or sports or even women’s and family magazine pictures, past partners or the sexy (or not even sexy, but safe) woman at his workplace, the cute/immodestly dressed friend of his daughter or the latest girl teen idol splayed and displayed at the supermarket checkout, or the woman who sat in front of him at mass who was dressed inappropriately? Apparently viewing three minutes of porn remains in the unconscious mind for three years, or something like that. Wow! The battle is on! Married or not, a man must be aware of this because I can tell if a man is present or not, not only during sex, but in everyday conversation. Thus the creation of the myth that women do not desire sex as much as men.
Allow me to define sex, once again, as the marital act and to take it a step further, the beauty of our culture has shown me, a devout Catholic woman, all the possible ways to add spice to sex. I am more than happy to please my man in any way shape or form as long as I am the only one doing it. If he looks away from the Victoria’s secret models that are thrown in his face while he’s trying to watch a football game, he can be sure that I’ll find something even better than Victoria ever dreamed up to wear for him (only him), otherwise, why bother because I can’t compete, when he looks, he’s leveled the playing field. I’ll be a disappointment, a failure because he has her image in his head (in his unconscious and therefore in our bed) no matter how many times he says “I’m desensitized, I don’t even see that stuff, it’s meaningless.” Wrongo! It has great meaning when you are on the receiving end. I can tell when we are intimate that she is there because I can tell that he is not fully present with me and that makes me not want to have sex with Marik, I’ll be having sex with Joseph. Marik knows that this is the truth, he has been used by women, he knows it feels really bad, he knows that this is the last great hurdle to becoming Joseph.
I recently read that the largest percent of porn addicts are Catholic men. What? It makes perfect sense to me. They probably have a beautiful, loving, willing to please Catholic wife at home, but the addict believes as he has been taught by our culture, that sex is the work of the devil, it’s bad, it’s dirty. Yeah let’s hope it’s bad and dirty sometimes, but only because it is the work of God. The addict can probably be available to make love with his wife to procreate, but he can’t enjoy it, he can’t be nasty and dirty with her, he has to be pure, after all, she’s Mary personified. HEY LISTEN TO THIS!!! SHE’S NOT MARY!!!!! She’s Mary personified. PERSONIFIED!!! But she’s so much more than that. Yes, Mary belongs on a pedestal, I do not, a wife does not, a woman or girl does not. Women are human beings, in the world, but by the grace of God, not of the world. Let’s look at the Holy Bible, the book of truth, to see the truth. As a wife I am a combination of Martha, her sister Mary, Mary Magdalene and Our Mother Mary. I care for the mundane details of life as Martha did, I stop in awe to listen and learn when Jesus (my husband) is present, you know what part Mary Magdalene plays, and I am Our Mother Mary full of grace. I am a balance of all four. Each are present and each has a place in me as a wife, as an engaged woman, and as a single woman. Just as each of the four are present in me and have always been a part of me, each woman M, M, and M (I believe that Martha’s sister Mary is Mary Magdalene) reveals herself during different stages in my life, and all manifest in me when I become a wife. Let me say again, all are fully present when I become a wife, but all are not fully present at all times. Mary Magdalene could be present with Martha if I choose to wear sexy lingerie while I am running the vacuum, packing lunches or dusting the bookshelves, but Marik doesn’t understand yet that Our Blessed Mother Mary takes a back seat when it’s Mary Magdalene time.
As I recall, after God created Adam and Eve He told them to be fruitful and multiply. He created them naked, there is no shame in being naked. The shame arose when that old snake, Satan, made nudity shameful. What could be more beautiful than spending my days hanging out in the Garden of Eden being fruitful and multiplying with my husband? What is more beautiful than being naked with your husband, and I don’t just mean physically naked. I mean shedding all masks, pretenses, false beliefs and learned lies. Being myself, being completely naked with myself is what God commands. God doesn’t want me to hide from Him behind the lies of Satan and God doesn’t want me to hide from my husband behind the lies of the world. Breaking down this myth into God’s truth may be unsettling for Marik. He may think, “If women want and enjoy sex as much as our culture say that men want and enjoy sex, how will I keep up? What if I can’t “perform?” (Become impotent.) I say “No worries. I’m sure your hand and tongue are still in working order. I’m sure you’ll catch up within a few minutes.” Joseph adds, “Don’t worry Marik, it’s not a ‘performance’ as the world implies. Marriage is a total giving of self, putting other before self at all times, in all ways.” I’m working to be Mary in all situations, so of course I will be appreciative of any attempt made by my husband to please me, love me and draw me closer to him. My patience, understanding and love shown to my husband will draw me closer to Christ. I know this by Mary’s example.
By all counts Marik and Joseph are equal and I can honestly say that I love them equally. If I marry Marik, I can see that I will “have a headache” or seem less interested in sex because what woman wants to be in bed with the man of her dreams and all of the other women and young girls that he has allowed to enter his mind through his eyes. A Catholic man who has taken marriage vows, is still bombarded with sexual images all day long, he must acknowledge this and put on his armor, his spiritual armor, to keep it out. Can he do it? Yes. He is strong!!!! Here is my suggestion to all the other Mariks, go to Joseph. (Notice that I am not going to talk to Marik about this because this would hurt his feelings because he hurt my feelings and then he would argue with me and then he would feel bad, and then….. so I write this article and someday Mark will read it and laugh. I take this to Jesus (and our Catholic pre-marriage therapist, Dr. Mik) Get it? Mark plus Mik is Marik! Ha Ha Ha!!!!! Become a student of Joseph, make his way of life your way of life, that is the secret for sucksex, oops, I mean success. This is what helped me and I wouldn’t ask my future husband to do anything that I am not willing to do, or have already done. I already knew how to live in the world, but I did not know how to live in the world as Mary lives. Before Mark and I began our relationship I spent a lot of time in prayer, I spent a lot of time at monasteries, I spent a lot of time learning how to be the best wife ever, the best single ever, the best Michele ever. Because before Mark and I got together I did not know God’s plan for me and that is the point. All women and girls need to spend their lives putting God first, being a student of Mary rather than a student of our culture, and reading the Bible to learn about all of these great women to become a great woman. To be a saint one must surrender to God’s will. To surrender to God’s will is to learn and know who God created me to be. This is true of me, all women and all men. The habits I created before Mark and I were together are the habits that we will share together in our married life. If you haven’t guessed by now, when I say that I’ll be having sex with Joseph, Joseph is Mark who models himself after St. Joseph the Worker, Jesus, and some male prostitute from the Bible whose name apparently begins with the letter J.
The bottom line is this:
It is God’s Will for me to be Mark’s wife.
God requires that I fulfill His Will to glorify Him.
God expects me to fulfill His Will using the gifts He has given me.
As a devout Catholic woman, I am a doer of the Word, not just a hearer of the Word.
When married in the Catholic Church, God will bless us with the gift of marital love.
God blesses Catholic marriages with many gifts and graces, one being the marital act.
God intends His gifts to be a blessing, to fill us with awe, love, joy, peace, happiness.
It please God to glorify Him through our actions, and that includes having fun-loving sex.
Marital love, expressed in part by the marital act, is a gift from God, an expression of His love.
I intend to be the best sex partner that God ever created.
I intend that when my husband and I choose to abstain from sex as a sacrifice, to honor and glorify God, that it is a true sacrifice (like not eating ice cream, rather than not eating liver and onions). Abstaining from nice, but mediocre or even pious sex isn’t a sacrifice, it is a relief!
Being Joseph, a thought, word or deed that would incite lust in the world, is received as an expression of love in marriage, because Mark has conquered the lust demon.
Being Mary, a thought, word or deed would create lust in the world becomes an expression of love in married life, because I am filled with grace and love.
Allow me to close by citing an insert that is part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s paragraph 2365 on conjugal fidelity. “St. John Chrysostom suggests that young husbands should say to their wives: I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us…. I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.” Wow! What woman wouldn’t want to be a devout Catholic woman!
To continue the dialogue and offer feedback and perspectives, and perhaps share stories, contact Michele email@example.com