Letters to Women - Exploring the Feminine Genius
Summary: In this podcast, I will be interviewing Catholic women about how they live out the feminine genius in their ordinary lives. This podcast is inspired by Saint Pope John Paul II's 1995 "Letter to Women." New episodes released every other Thursday.
From a very early age, women are told both explicitly and implicitly that their worth is determined by what they look like. Our world offers a standard of beauty and as women, we spend a lot of our time measuring ourselves up to that standard. I remember distinctly being twelve years old and trying on clothes in my room. I looked in the mirror and I can remember thinking “You aren’t beautiful. You don’t look like the women in advertisements. You don’t even look like the women you know. You aren’t beautiful.” Leah Darrow appeared on America’s Next Top Model and was in a successful modeling career. But she discovered how a focus on physical beauty alone lead to a culture of use. Today, Leah and I talk about how true and lasting beauty can only be found in a relationship with God. The desire that we have for beauty isn’t a bad thing – but it does reveal that we actually are desiring true beauty, the beauty of God. I hope you enjoy the show!
Swipe left, swipe right. Online dating is growing more popular by the day, but is it for you? I loved visiting with Christina Peterson in today’s show. She met her husband, Greg, online and shared their story along with her favorite tips and hints when it comes to filling out your online dating profile. This podcast episode is packed with practical information and real life online dating success stories - enjoy!
Long distance relationships can be intimidating. Your family members and friends may discourage you from trying long-distance love, encouraging you to protect your heart. Others may tell you not to take your new relationship seriously, since you aren’t going to your significant other very much. While long distance relationships aren’t easy, they definitely are possible. You may combat loneliness and communication issues, but it’s possible to thrive in a long distance relationship. In today’s episode, Mindy Fitterling talk about the unique challenges and joys of long distance dating, and how long distance relationships can be a beautiful way to prepare you for marriage.
Is it possible to be both a Catholic and a feminist? Claire Swinarski, writer and creator of The Catholic Feminist podcast, believes it is: “I’m a feminist for the same reason I’m bold and honest and sometimes ragey: because Jesus was all of those things.” But just how do women share their unique gifts and genius with the Body of Christ? What women can we look to as examples throughout history of women who championed Christ and the Church? In our conversation today, Claire points out that both feminists and Catholics desire to make the world a better, fairer place. Claire also pinpoints the areas where modern feminism goes too far, arguing against abortion and exploring what it means to serve others rather than focus on our own needs first. So what does it mean to be a Catholic feminist? I think Claire brings a lot of great answers and conversation to the table. I enjoyed our episode and can’t wait to share it with you.
In a message delivered on May 20, 2013 Pope Francis, said: “When it comes to living out this message, the best way is by going out of one’s comfort zone.” He went on to say, “This is dangerous. We lock ourselves in our parish, with our friends, in our movement, with those who think just like we do. But you know what happens? When the Church is closed off, it gets sick.” Pope Francis also said: “today’s world needs many witnesses. Not so much teachers, as witnesses. It’s not about just talk. It’s about talking through your actions. Living a coherent life. It’s precisely about a coherent life.” When it comes to living out this message, the Pope said the best way is by going out of one’s comfort zone. It’s the beginning of a new year, and you may be feeling the urge to get out of your comfort zone. Maybe that means trying something new, or traveling. Maybe you want to conquer fears this year, or make sure you’re not settling for anything less than a magnanimous life. In today’s episode, we’re talking about comfort zones, being honest in our relationship with the Lord in prayer, and how to encourage healthy vulnerability in your life and in your friendships.
We live in a world that is full of people who think that faith and the gifts that God gives each of us are irreverent. In fact, many in today’s society would go so far as to say that we no longer even need God. Those people are wrong.But what if you’re struggling to see what gifts he has given you? I’m not talking about the gifts of relationships or the gifts of a good job, all of which are beautiful things. I’m talking about the charisms that he placed on your heart and soul at the moment of baptism, the gift that he wants to use to transform you, and then transform others around you. What would our world look like if we each lived out those charisms to the brim? Today on the podcast, Jill Simon of Pink Salt Riot and I are going to talk about why your charisms are important, how to discern the particular gifts God has given you, and how to give back to others through that gift. I loved this conversation, and I hope you enjoy it, too.
The Catholic Church doesn’t allow women to become priests. If that’s something that frustrates you as a Catholic, or as a woman, don’t walk away from the Church because of this fact. But also don’t ignore the fact that you’re frustrated. When tough topics in the Catholic Church come up in conversation, it’s tempting to shy away from those conversations, or to brush it all under the rug, saying, “Well, that’s just how it is. We have to accept it because of faith.” Instead, let’s have those vulnerable discussions where we admit that we don’t understand where the Church is coming from sometimes, but we know that we can find answers and find community in those struggles. If you’ve found truth, goodness, and beauty in the Church but still struggle with some of her teachings, you’re not alone. Today, we’re going to have a conversation about the all-male priesthood, and especially what that means for Catholic women. But I’m really excited to bring Johnna Wilford back on the podcast. She offers an incredibly unique perspective to the conversation and it was wonderful to hear her thoughts on the subject.
If you’re a Catholic mom who works, you’re not alone (even though it can sometimes feel like it!) In this episode, JoAnna Wahlund of The Catholic Working Mother talks about what the Church has to say about working mothers, finding peace when you don’t want to work and would rather stay home, living to the fullest when you do want to work, how to discern whether to work or not, and many other topics. This is a subject near and dear to my heart as I’m starting on this discernment process myself with the littlest Langr due in May. I know that I’ll be returning to this episode in a few months as I continue to discern, and I hope our conversation is helpful for you, as well!
Did anyone else take a quick peek at the calendar and realize that Advent starts soon, then promptly start to freak out? Surely I can’t be the only one. Although it’s meant to be a season of preparing our hearts, minds, and homes for a little baby born in Bethlehem, Advent tends to end up being a season of stress instead of calm preparation. The holiday to-do list grows longer and longer by the day, and before we know it, we’ll be lighting that first purple candle. Take a deep breath, friend. We’ve got this. If “Advent” is synonymous to “nervous” and “anxious,” I hope today’s conversation with Sister Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, empowers you with ways to prepare and calm your heart for the upcoming liturgical season.
It’s easy to get distracted by this world and doubt that God REALLY loves us. Log onto Instagram or any of your social media accounts and you’ll probably be met with messages that you’re not enough. You’re told that you’re not pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, sexy enough, rich enough, successful enough, and we don’t have enough friends. In a world that tries to sell us all of these fleeting temporary things and make us hustle for our worth, we have to remember that we’re made for the eternal, and we’re held in existence by God’s incredible love. In today’s episode, we’ll be talking about how God’s love for us uniquely as women is a message he’s been telling us from the beginning of time. In today's episode I sit down and visit with Catholic author, blogger, and podcast Danielle Bean and we talk about how we as women are enough!
Afraid you don't know enough to share your faith? Cathy Duffy encourages women today to be courageous and share their faith. You don't have to know all the answers. One of the most beautiful things I took away from our conversation is that the biggest key to evangelization is listening rather than talking. I hope that this episode encourages you to share your faith with someone today!
It can be hard to find time in busy schedules to renew your faith and inspire your spirit. And, as busy as your life is, you’re probably used to being pulled this way and that, and having countless people depend on you. The good news is that you don’t have to wonder anymore if you’ll ever find a community of like-minded women. And you can stop the search for the perfect Scripture passages to pray through, and the wondering if you’ll ever find time to pray. All you’ll need is Blessed is She, a beautiful community of women, delivered to you inbox daily, every morning. MaryRuth Hackett, the director of operations for Blessed Is She, joins me today to talk about the founding days of Blessed Is She, the importance of community, and how to invest into friendships in your life as a Catholic woman. Blessed Is She has been such a gift to my life as a Catholic woman, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
“Do you need help with that?" “Go say thank you." “Wait a minute." “Eat your food." What if we took all of those statements that we may find ourselves repeating to our kids or kids we are blessed with in our lives as aunts, god moms, and grandmothers and applied them to ourselves and our life with God? Lindsay Schlegel and I talk about phrases that we frequently find ourselves saying as parents and how our faith and our life can change when we imagine God saying those things to us, his little daughters. Living out our feminine genius as mothers, whether that’s spiritually or physically, can show us more about our own role as a daughter of God. I loved thinking about these common phrases in a whole new light – so if you’re someone who finds herself repeating phrases over and over to littles in your life, this episode is for you! I hope you enjoy it.
Self-care is a concept that our culture has commercialized and misunderstood. But just what is a healthy, holy understanding of taking care of ourselves? This week, I sit down with Julia Hogan, MS, LCPC to talk about why it’s okay to start with you. She shares tips on how to assess your self-care routine, how to improve areas that are a little messy, and how to learn to love yourself.
A Letter to the Woman Struggling with Comparison