Award Shows: Hollywood's Favorite Pulpit

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I skipped the Oscars last night. But a quick look at all the post-Oscar news showed how little I actually missed. First, the good: Leonardo Dicaprio finally won an Oscar! I’m also happy that Inside Out won Best Animated Movie and that Mad Max Fury Road won so many awards.

But I have some things I need to get off my chest.

Why is it that so many of the movies nominated for Oscars are ones that aren’t seen by the mass population? I mean, I loved Mad Max Fury Road, I seriously wish Star Wars: The Force Awakens won something. I mean, it’s pretty much a given that the winner for Best Animated Feature will be a movie that everyone has seen, but the awards for sound editing and sound mixing feel like table scraps compared to important awards such as Best Screenplay and Cinematography.

I’ll admit that Star Wars: The Force Awakens doesn’t have the most original story, but you’d think the Academy would give some recognition to the highest grossing film of 2015. Besides that, Star Wars has something the other films nominated didn’t: a black man in a leading role.

I was glad that Chris Rock sort-of kind-of addressed the #OscarsSoWhite issue, but addressing the issue racism in Hollywood wasn’t going to go away just because Chris Rock decided to stick with hosting the Oscars. In fact, there was a really bad joke done at the expense of Asians that used Asian kids that dressed up as the bankers from the financial firm that tabulates all the Oscar votes.

It calls to mind a certain song:

Which reminds me…

The Oscars can be really preachy sometimes. I’m not just talking about actors constantly bringing up the issue of under-representation in the film industry. I’m talking about how Sam Smith included the LGBT community in his acceptance speech because he wanted to be the first openly gay Oscar winner. I’m talking about Leonardo Dicaprio raising awareness about climate change in his acceptance speech.

To quote a catchphrase amongst the secular community: Keep it in church! (or at the very least an op-ed in The New York Times)

Then again, maybe these award ceremonies are, in a strange way, the Church of Hollywood. I mean think about it. They dress to the nines and gather together for a very long ceremony, set aside time to honor the dead, and talk about the important issues going on alongside congratulating themselves for creating things that the rest of the world doesn’t really care about.

And at the same time, the people behind the film Spotlight call out the Catholic Church on the sex scandals that inspired the movie in the first place. It’s like they have no idea that the Catholic Church is actually making efforts to fix this scandal. And Mark Ruffalo, I love you, I really do, but combined with the fact that you support Planned Parenthood, you are quickly becoming my least favorite Avenger.

Oh, and you shouldn’t be so ignorant about Pope Francis. It was through him that Leo won that Oscar, you know! I mean, I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that Dicaprio finally won an Oscar after meeting Pope Francis. Because let’s be honest, the only way you can top meeting the Pope is by winning an Academy Award.

If you ask me, I think I’d stick to my cult classics and independent films. When does Jane Wants A Boyfriend come out again?!

Jesus Falls For the Second Time: Lent Bible Study Day 17

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From Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship:

It breaks our heart when we see Jesus fall for the first time because his broken, beaten,  battered body has to bear the burden of the cross. When he falls for a second time, it hurts  again because at this point, he has met his mother, received help from Simon of Cyrene, and  found a moment of relief with Veronica, who wiped his face clean. And yet, in spite of the  support, he still falls for a second time.

There are many people out there who struggle with all sorts of addictions: drugs, alcohol,  pornography, etc. One thing that many people do when they want to break free from addictions  is get some kind of help through a support group. However, entering into rehabilitation doesn’t guarantee that people will stay on the straight and narrow.

Read the rest here!

The Other Side of Recovery

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When I shared my commentary about Kesha’s struggle to break free of her contract and desire to be free of her alleged abuser, a friend of mine reminded me that I had to include compassion towards those who have been raped and sexually assaulted. So this follow-up post isn’t just a letter to Kesha, but to all victims of rape, assault, and abusive relationships (physical, verbal, psychological, sexual, etc.).

My dearest sisters and brothers,

If you’re reading this, you probably feel broken. The world is not the same anymore. There were times that you felt like your mind and your body were not your own. You want to blame yourself for what happened. Why didn’t you see the red flags? Why are people blaming your behaviors? For a time, you were completely helpless. You probably still feel helpless right now.

You are not alone.

Just because there is a lack of evidence of this trauma does not negate the fact that this happened to you. The pain will not go away overnight. It’s a process, but believe me when I say that you will find your way out of the dark.

What’s most important right now is protecting yourself and finding a way to let this traumatic experience make you into a stronger person. It’s so easy to cut yourself off from the world, to build a giant wall around your heart and not let anyone in. But the first step to recovery is to find people who will support you. Reach out to a friend who will listen. Go to counseling or some kind of support group. It’s important to have a sense of community because pain and misery grow from constant isolation.

Once you’ve regained some strength from your support community, pay it forward and start helping your local community through volunteer work. Reach out to the less fortunate, offer to tutor your neighbor’s kids, or work for a blood drive. If you feel strong enough to help others who were in your situation, start training to work those crisis hotlines. Through serving others, you’ll find that you get a better sense of self and a sense of purpose as well.

The hardest part of recovering, I think, is finding a way to let go of the past. While there is a time and a place for catharsis, the feeling can only carry you so far. This is probably gonna sound impossible. Unimaginable even. But at some point, you need to forgive the person who has hurt you. I’m not asking to forget that it ever happened. I’m not asking for you to try and make amends with them. I’m not even asking you to contact that person again.

Forgiveness means letting go of all the anger and hurt. It means no longer plotting revenge or wishing that the worst will happen to the people who’ve hurt you. And yes, it’s really, really, really hard.

But here’s something I learned. The people who’ve hurt me in the past were all broken in some way. They suffered a traumatic childhood or had their own set of problems that I had no idea about, or grew up without any sense of direction in their lives at all. The people who have broken you have been broken themselves. And instead of choosing to try and get past all the hurt, they instead chose to hurt someone else. Misery loves company, after all. And misery may be all that they know.

So when I ask you to forgive the person who has hurt you, I am asking that you hope that the also find their way out of the dark. That they are no longer broken or defined by their circumstances. They may all seem like monsters right now, but there is still humanity within them, just as there is humanity within all of us. Let go of your resentment and anger and one day, you’ll find that the pain will soften to the point of being nonexistent.

The emotional growth you will receive will come when you least expect it. And trust me when I say you will not see it coming. Something good always comes out of something bad. Just know that you are already finding your way out of the dark. You are not alone.

 

An Open Letter About #FreeKesha

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I am not a big fan of Kesha. I liked a couple of her songs and thought that she was doing well with her latest album.

But given the latest controversy surrounding Kesha trying to get out of her contract,I feel like I need to give my 2 cents about this.

As we all know, in the criminal justice system, people who are charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty. This means that it’s up to Kesha and her lawyers to provide evidence of Dr. Luke allegedly assaulting her. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get hard evidence of assault and abuse.

One thing that I liked about Jessica Jones is that it captured the issues that lie behind rape and abusive relationships. It’s not just about non-consensual sex, but about the effects of manipulation and living with the fear of your mind and your body no longer being your own. The people of America pride themselves on being independent and free to do whatever they want. But the flip side of that mentality is a sense of entitlement, that they can have whatever they want as well.

Regardless of whatever you may think of Kesha’s music, she is still a person. If she wants to get out of working with Dr. Luke, she should be free to do so. She is not something people can use to make a profit. As a person, she should have the dignity to no longer associate with someone she doesn’t want to be around. In the very small chance that you are reading this Kesha, go work with those other producers who are making their offers. Don’t be afraid of Dr. Luke overshadowing you. I hate that Zayn got out of his contract so easily, but his contract is probably different from Keshas. A friend of mine said that Prince made a way out of his contract issued by releasing albums under “The Artist Fomerly Known as Prince.”

Sometimes, freeing yourself from abuse does not mean calling that person out on their actions, but just getting out of that situation altogether. I give Kesha applause for being brave enough to take action against the person who assaulted her. Very few people have that courage. On the other hand, it’s important to have proof. It’s hard to make a case when there is no evidence.

In spite of the ambiguity of this situation, I always believe that something good always comes out of something bad. No matter how far we fall into the darkness, a light shines through and it’s through that light that we start making our way out of the dark. On her Facebook page, Kesha said this:

I think about young girls today – I don’t want my future daughter – or your daughter – or any person to be afraid that they will be punished if they speak out about being abused, especially if their abuser is in a position of power.

Unfortunately I don’t think that my case is giving people who have
been abused confidence that they can speak out, and that’s a problem.

But I just want to say that if you have been abused, please don’t be afraid to speak out. There are places that will make you feel safe. There are people who will help you. I for one, will stand beside you and behind you. I know now how this all feels and will forever fight for you the way perfect strangers have been fighting for me.

Yes, I am very much a feminist, but more than that, I am a humanist. I believe in supporting my fellow human beings in being SAFE.

We’re all in this together. You are not alone.

I love you and thank you.

Now that kind of feminism, I can get behind.

#FreeKesha

 

Walking By Faith: 5 Songs for a Lenten Season

Not an actual picture of me. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Not an actual picture of me. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

While I love Audrey Assad’s latest album, Inheritance, there are a lot of other songs on my playlist that I’m listening to this Lent. Today, I want to share you ten songs from my Lenten Playlist “Walking By Faith.” If you want to see the whole playlist, check it out here.

The first song I want to share with you is Matt Maher’s “Everything is Grace.” I already loved this song because of its association with St. Therese of Lisieux, but when I read this particular meditation about Simon of Cyrene from the Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship’s Lent Bible study, the song took on a whole new meaning.

Danielle Rose’s “Holiness is Faithfulness” is another song that is also associated with the Lent Bible study from Heart of Mary. It’s a song that meditates on the 4th Sorrowful Mystery of Jesus carrying his cross, incorporating the Stations of the Cross that lead up Jesus being nailed to the cross.

This next song is a bit of an unusual choice. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was created by an atheist and Season 6 was a heart-wrecker in the best way possible. But one major theme about Season 6 is that it empahsizes the nature of suffering a lot more. “Once More With Feeling” is an episode that conveys apathy, uncertainty, and a longing for purpose that sadly isn’t found until the very end of the season. The reason why I chose this particular song is that it conveys that resolve to keep moving on in spite of the trials that we all face. I hope you like the song without the context of the episode.

And since I started this post with Audrey Assad, it’s only fair that I end it with a song of hers from another album. “Lament” is a bit of a downer song to end on, but it’s a song I often relate to because it represents a longing for home, a longing for rest.

 

I hope you enjoy my song choices.

 

 

Side Effects of Spending Time With God

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Luke 6:45

“A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”

 

When we love something, we have a tendency to talk non-stop about it. Think of your local sports fanatic, a friend who is about to get married, or look on tumblr at all the fans swooning over Hamilton and the endless comic book adaptations on TV and in the movies. For me, especially, I can’t stop talking about how much I love or hate something.

Last week, however, I couldn’t seem to stop talking about how much I love God. I spent so much time in Daily Mass, Adoration, Stations of the Cross, and praying in general last week that I ended up talking about my faith in a job interview and offering prayers to people who aren’t particularly religious. This is not something that I would often do, nor was it something that happened intentionally. I was so filled up with God that He comes pouring out of me.

In other words, I was basically on a spiritual high. I was receiving a lot of consolations as a side effect of spending so much time with God. But it makes sense. When you spend so much time doing something or thinking about something, it becomes all that you talk about.

In last Sunday’s gospel, Peter, James, and John had their own version of this experience during the Transfiguration. Peter wanted to stay in that moment so much, he wanted to build three tents for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. As moronic as he was (since the Gospel even said he didn’t even know what he was saying), I can totally relate to it. I wanted that feeling I had to stay with me for the rest of Lent. Alas, it didn’t.

I still feel God’s presence in my life, even if it’s not as strong as it used to be. Besides that, I’m in my first week of renewing my Marian Consecration, so there are still many graces that will hopefully come my way this Lenten season. In the meantime, here’s a little reminder about spiritual highs from Blimey Cow:

Deadpool vs. Risen: It's All In the Execution

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There’s not much that Deadpool and Risen have in common aside from the fact that they came out this month and I saw the movies a day after they premiered in theaters. You might be surprised to find out, though, that while I initially liked the movie about the smart-aleck assassin more than the movie about “the resurrection as told by a nonbeliever,” the latter movie actually left me wanting more.

Spoilers ensue. You have been warned.

I do agree with those who say that the parts of Deadpool involving Wade Wilson’s backstory is pretty standard and that the sex montage was completely gratuitous, as was the strip club scene (although the Stan Lee cameo was awesome). I also agree that this is one superhero movie that you should not bring the kiddies to! But I had a lot of fun watching this movie. What made this particular film different from the typical superhero summer blockbuster is the humor and the small ways that it goes against expectations. I liked that the girlfriend was not a damsel in distress and all the times that Deadpool broke the 4th wall. I’ll also admit that I have a soft spot for dark comedy. I’ll wait until it comes out on DVD to watch it again and I recommend my fellow Catholics to do the same if you haven’t seen it yet. Or at least close your eyes and ears during said gratuitous sex montage and strip club scene.

In contrast, I went into Risen with pretty low expectations. From the way that the movie was marketed, I expected something along the lines of Ben-Hur, in which Clavius would spend the whole movie searching for the disciples and for Christ, but always missing them or letting them slip through his fingers, and losing his power as he questions everything he believed in. The first third of the movie was good, but my suspension of disbelief went straight out the window as soon as Clavius found the Risen Christ. I’ll tell you right now that it takes a lot for me to suspend my disbelief, but I often find that it’s always little things. I can more easily believe all of the events that go on in Deadpool than all the things that happen after Clavius finds the Risen Christ among the disciples.

I don’t know what it is about Bible adaptations, but I always find that they overdramatize things unnecessarily. I always wish that they could let the drama of the Bible speak for itself without anything added to it.

It was just really hard for me to believe that Clavius would’ve changed so easily and that the apostles so quickly accepted him as one of their own. And it’s really hard for me to invest in Clavius because I know that he wasn’t actually part of the narrative.  Not to mention that there’s nothing new about this particular story. Most of the story is told in flashback, which I honestly consider kind of a cliche, and then the movie ends with Clavius just wandering off into the desert. We don’t get to see Pentecost or him getting martyred. There are no real consequences for Clavius’s actions. We never get to see what happens when Caesar comes into town. When the credits started rolling, I felt confused and lost and not in the same way that Inception made me feel.

I was initially disappointed in Risen, but after looking at other reviews and discussing it with my dad, who saw the movie with me, I realized that I was contemplating this movie a lot more than Deadpool. I actually would recommend this movie to my fellow Catholics, if only for the sake of discussion. And I’m actually contemplating a second watch if only to test my suspension of disbelief again.

Life Unplugged: Lent Progress Report Week 1

 

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One of my Lenten resolutions was to spend less time on social media. I limited my computer browser’s time to just one hour a day using the Google Chrome extension “StayFocusd” and it’s helped a lot. The time that I would usually waste scrolling through my social media feed has been spent going to Daily Mass, Adoration, and working on my novel.

Something I noticed as I considered social activities in town is that while I love having my online friends, I don’t have a lot of friends who live closeby. Most of the time, I would see them during retreats or volunteer with them for young adult events, but I don’t see my local friends more than once a month. And since I’m considering doing another open mic night, I need a bigger crowd of moral support.

Another thing I’ve been learning is that I can offer up my non-traditional fasting (1 hr internet time, waking up at 5:30AM everyday, not reading fanfiction except on Sundays, etc.) for the sake of someone else. I learned this from the Ascension Presents YouTube channel. Check it out:

One thing I learned from fasting from fanfiction sites in particular was a sense of detachment. I’ve grown overly dependent on approval from people, especially when it came to my writing. When somebody gave me a review of a short story I wrote that I didn’t like, their harsh words would wound my heart. I also grew jealous of people who received various awards or a large amount of reviews. In contrast, spending time with my offline writing group helps me receive feedback on my novel that I can handle better. My friends are all writers and whenever they give me constructive criticism, I’m more open to listening to them. It’s helping me build a thicker skin.

At the same time, I actually got a spiritual high from all the time I spent at Daily Mass, Adoration, and in general prayer. Who knew you could get a spiritual high during Lent of all times?! I felt God’s presence in my heart for the first time in what felt like a very, very, very long time. It’s kind of awesome.

Granted, I didn’t start off Lent as well as I am doing now. For the first couple mornings, I slept through my alarm. I had to deal with the death of my grandmother and all the questions that her death brought up. My spiritual high right now is not as strong as it was a few days ago. I still miss my online friends. And unfortunately, news from the mainstream media is hard to avoid, especially when it comes to the fact that they will never understand the church. But I’m starting to discern how to establish my boundaries.  I’m slowly spending more time reading books and improving on my writing.

Next week, I start my renewal of my Consecration to Jesus Through Mary. I’m planning on using St. Louis de Montfort’s method instead of the 33 Days to Morning Glory that I used the past few years. Interestingly enough, the feast of the Annunciation falls on Good Friday. It’s an odd juxtaposition, but at the same time, the death/rebirth theme seems to be a prominent one for me this year.

Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/shitsuren/8227704742/”>Silvia Sala</a> via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com”>Visualhunt.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>CC BY-NC-ND</a>

Audrey Assad's Inheritance (An Album Review)

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I was hyped up for Inheritance as soon as Audrey Assad announced that she was starting work on this particular album. This particular album consists of some familiar hymns from both Catholic and Protestant traditions as well as a couple of original tracks. If you’re looking for an album to be your Lent soundtrack, this one (as well as her previous album Fortunate Fall) is it.

Without further ado, a track-by-track review:

1) Ubi Caritas: Many traditional and pre-Vatican 2 Catholics will probably recognize this Latin Hymn. According to Michael Martin of preces-latinae.org:

Ubi Cartitas is taken from the antiphons sung during the ceremony of the Washing of the Feet at the Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. As is the entire Mass of the Last Supper, this hymn is intimately connected with the Eucharist, and is thus often used during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. 

It’s a reverent start to this album. I can imagine a Eucharistic procession done to this song, swinging chausible and all. You can listen to it and read the English translation of the Latin lyrics in the video below.

2) Holy, Holy, Holy: I’m very familiar with this hymn and I was surprised that she cut out the second verse. You know, the one about the saints casting down their golden crowns around the sea? Still, I want to wake up to this song every morning, it’s that awesome.

3) Be Thou My Vision: The melody of this song that sounds like stars sparkling in the twilight. I love the drum beat, too, because it gives a certain gravitas to this uplifting hymn. it sounds like a march or a prayerful walk. The song ends with a beautiful mixing of vocals that sound like the song is being lifted up to Heaven.

4) I Wonder As I Wander: Dear Retreat Friends- We need to use this song the next time we do a Passion Play! The strings are unsettling in the most wonderful way. Towards the end of the song, the piano and strings mix in with the sounds of a thunderstorm. Overall, it’s a dark, Gothic round that’s perfect for listening to after Stations of the Cross or on Good Friday.

5) How Can I Keep From Singing: Audrey Assad said on her website that “I had to make something both bright and dark—colored honestly with my own doubts and weaknesses, so that the Lord who inspired these songs could be even more visible in it.” The past couple songs have embraced the darkness, but this song is a lot more uplifting. Listen to this song and take notes, Christian Pop. Praise and Worship songs can be done without sounding like Top 40 pop or a Nickelback concert. 

6) Oh, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus: Fernando Ortega provides a bit of backing vocals to this soft, beautiful, contemplative song. It’s almost like a two and a half minute long meditation sung with the Sacred Heart of Jesus in mind.

7) Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet: This song goes back to the minor keys and haunting strings from previous tracks. Uses a lot of echos. It’s an eerie, dark and rich round. Do not listen to this song with the lights out. You might get nightmares from all the dark notes.

8) New Every Morning: A new retelling of Genesis, Lamentations, and the Gospel of John. It goes on like Psalm 136 with a lot of repetition, but it’s a wonderful mantra. In this Year of Mercy, we have to remind ourselves as often as possible that God’s mercies are new every morning.

9) It Is Well With My Soul: Where has this song been all my life?! This song is definitely in the running for my favorite track on this album. I wish I grew up hearing this song, singing it in my choir. It’s a wonderful calming melody that I want to listen t0 if ever I fall into anxiety again. It’s awe-inspiring and uplifting, another perfect example of how a praise and worship song can sound without the homogenization of pop music melodies. Give it a listen!

10) Even Unto Death: Audrey Assad wrote this particular song to honor the Christian Martyrs who died at the hands of ISIS. On her tumblr, she said this:

All is not as it seems.

The men wielding the knives (precious also, though they do not know it) are the prisoners of Death.

The twenty one men that they beheaded are miraculously, blessedly free.

This is the Great Paradox of Christianity. “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death.”

I have to believe that these twenty one martyrs are each in the kingdom of Light, interceding for their executioners.

“Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy,” I thought desperately.

I could not help but weep, and hard. But by some small miracle I did not despair.

I only thought “What would I pray, if it were me kneeling on that beach?”

I’m not sure if she meant this intentionally, but the song has a St. Therese feel to it. Saint Therese of Lisieux wasn’t a martyr in the typical sense, but she considered herself one in the way that she lived her life. Listen for yourself by clicking on the video below.

11) Abide With Me: Originally written by Henry Francis Lyle, Audrey Assad gives new life to this Protestant Hymn. It’s a soft, gentle closing song to this album. It’s a calming, grounding track, like a light shining into the dark.

Overall, I highly recommend this album! It’s available on iTunes and Amazon. Click here and say: “Shut up and take my money!”

Pros and Cons of Flirt and Convert: Catholic Relationship Problems Part 2

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This next installment of my “Catholic Dating Problems” series is a response to Melinda Selmys’s blog post.

Everyone has probably heard the term “flirt and convert” or “missionary dating,” in which a person of faith dates someone outside of his or her denomination (or an atheist/agnostic) in the hopes of both winning their love and saving their souls. I mean, if it worked for J.R.R. Tolkien, it could work for the modern young adult, right?

I asked my fellow Catholic young adults about how they saw the whole concept of flirt and convert and this is what they have to say.

On the Pros side:

Sarah R.: I think it really depends where your heart is at and your true intention. For me personally, before my boyfriend and I started dating we would talk about the differences of non-dom and Catholic. It was really obvious he was searching because he had a desire for God that I hadn’t found previously in a man and I knew his desire would be fulfilled in the Eucharist and I knew he’d love Mary. Realizing these qualities made me fall for him. We started officially dating and these debates continued. He did research of his own, found Scott Hahn and Bishop Robert Barron and well…obviously he didn’t stand a chance. In the time he was asking me questions about the Church it caused me to grow in my faith a way I probably never would’ve.

Long story short, it’s become extremely obvious that this was God’s plan. Too many LITTLE weird things happened in our life that if those small things hadn’t have happened we wouldn’t have met. He said growing up non-denominational left him so many unanswered questions that gave him a serious depression because he thought “There should be more. But there’s not so how can this be real?” It honestly left him in a really bad place and he said Catholicism put together all those missing pieces together and it lifted him from that dark time he’d been feeling his whole life.

Of course I was skeptical as to if he was doing this for me. But his family was extremely angry and it caused a lot of problems. He’s extremely non-confrontational and would’ve avoided that if he didn’t care but he would passionately argue them during their family bible study. He also cries almost every time he receives the Eucharist (which is adorable but whatever) and it’s very raw and real and it’s obvious. So I would 10/10 recommend. Even if unfortunately there is a breakup.

As long as you were in it for the right reasons you will receive so many graces and they will as well and that helps them get to Heaven which is what the goal is anyways.

 

Ana P.: I can say that sometimes “flirt to convert” works, in a convoluted way sometimes. In my situation, though, the guy saw (and he told me this) how in love with my faith I was, and how much joy it brings me. We broke up. This easter vigil, he’s entering the Church.

 

 

On the Cons side:

Illyana M.: Honestly for me even though people joke about it and make it seem harmless I feel like it’s very dishonest and makes the person appear untrusting. A person shouldn’t necessarily convert because of another person but because they found God. A person could have led them to God. Someone they fell in love with could have led them to God. It amazes me seeing people convert because they want to marry the person they love.  There’s the other side I see though where a person is brought to God from another but their relationship if it was friendship or significant other ended and the person becomes lost afterward. I don’t know where flirt and convert started but people I know who aren’t catholic find it rude and intimidating like Catholics or other religious people can’t be trusted with their hearts, their choices, or best interests. Another thing is I’ve found some people to be prideful over situations where they dated a non christian, brought them to the faith, but broke up over time. I find it disrespectful towards a person’s feelings and wrong to take credit for something I think God helped with.

 

Emily A.

  1. If it doesn’t work, your heart gets put through a meat grinder
  2. You can potentially objectify the person because you love them for who they could be and fail to see who they actually are – people aren’t projects.
  3. It takes a vast deal of maturity to truly love someone in a way that will lead them to conversion, and this also requires acceptance that they may in fact never convert- so you can’t go in with the intention of making it happen, that’s totally counterproductive and unrealistic.
  4. It can give you a false sense of intimacy, as well as cause you to feel as though you are solely responsible for “saving” this person which can cause resentment and frustration on both sides
  5. As one who tried it in both romance and with a friendship and got seriously screwed over as a result, 0/10 do not recommend.  This doesn’t mean don’t be a witness, but don’t ever make it your “goal” to convert someone. Just take them as they are, be an example, answer questions, and yes, pray for them. But realize that’s all you can do and they have free will and you shouldn’t try to manipulate that with emotional connection, because if they potentially do begin the conversion process and you break up/things go sour, it’s going to potentially undo everything anyway.

Siobhan F.: I know a girl who dated a guy and converted because of him. When they broke up, her entire spiritual life was dependent on him and she fell away from the church. She didn’t know how to be Catholic on her own. One of my friend’s had a boyfriend whose spiritual life was dependent on her and when her faith was shaken, so was his. He had no faith life of his own.

Are you going to be okay if this person never converts? Is it going to become an issue in your relationship later on? Are they going to drag you away from the Church? Are you going to turn into someone who just badgers them?
If they don’t convert, you have to consider your future kids. If you’re a woman, your child’s future faith is mainly dependent on the faith or lack thereof of their father. Are you willing to risk your children’s faith? Going to Mass without Daddy? Would your husband support them in the faith? Go to Mass with you even as a non-Catholic? Say prayers with you? Encourage family prayer time? Will your husband be okay with NFP? Will this be a point of tension in your marriage?  So. Flirt to convert = bad.

Kathryn O.: My mother points out that it’s kind of silly to go out with someone, or flirt with someone, who’s so weak in their faith that you readily believe you can convert them.

 

In Conclusion:

While all things are possible with God, I would advise to Catholic young adults to make sure that if they are gonna date outside of the Church, proceed with extreme caution and do not make this relationship into a conversion project.