Letters to Women - Exploring the Feminine Genius
Summary: What comes to mind when you think of the daily life of a woman who’s living out the feminine genius? The feminine genius isn’t a box that you have to stuff yourself into. It’s not a cookie-cutter model for how to live authentically as a Catholic woman. In fact, the feminine genius will look different in the life of every woman since we all have our own story to live, our own journey back to the Father’s heart. Welcome to Letters to Women, a podcast that explores the feminine genius. Every other week, join host Chloe Langr as she dives in with other Catholic women about how they embrace their unique feminine genius in their ordinary, daily life as women.
As you may be able to tell from the title of this podcast, John Paul II’s “Letter to Women” that he penned in 1995 is one of my favorite things that he wrote during his papacy. But he also wrote another letter that we’re diving into in this episode. It’s called the Letter to Artists. There are so many quotes I could pull from this letter that I love, but one in particular struck me: “All artists experience the unbridgeable gap which lies between the work of their hands, however successful it may be, and the dazzling perfection of the beauty glimpsed in the ardour of the creative moment.” For a lot of us, this idea of being an artist, experiencing and interacting with creativity can cause us to squirm. Some of us struggle to see ourselves as creative, and I think there’s a lot of shame around this idea of creativity in today’s world. Maybe you were told to focus on something that pays the bills. Or maybe someone told you that you weren’t creative enough. Maybe you have art scars to heal from. We have to be able to experience creativity in some shape or form in our life. We can’t just consume creative works. We have to contribute to the beauty found in today’s world. In today’s episode, I sit down with Anna Camacho. We talk about her passion for creativity, her attention to detail, and the unique way she’s adding beauty to the world. We also discuss healing from shame around creativity.
There are a lot of myths about the Catholic Church floating around out there, but two that I hear quite a bit are first, the Catholic Church hates women, and second that a life of prayer and holiness is something that you’re not going to be able to attain unless your a big shot like John of the Cross, Edith Stein, or Catherine of Siena. This week on Letters to Women, Kathyrn Jean Lopez and I dive in deep to how the Catholic Church honors and empowers women like nobody else, and how every single one of us is invited to union with God and a deep, rich prayer life.
When you open up your bank statement or your credit card bill, do you cringe? You’re not alone if you’d rather avoid looking at the balance of your checking account. After all, a majority of us are sifting through things like student loan debt and credit card debt. You may even be realizing that your money worries are acting like a barrier between you and God when it comes to trusting him. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In today’s episode, Victoria and I are discussing all things money. Yep, we’re going there. Let’s leave behind this idea that talking about money is taboo or impolite. From paying off debt to growing in deeper communication with God about our finances, I loved this conversation. If the word “budget” makes you squirm, this episode is for you.
How do we serve those who suffer? In today's episode, Jacque Anderson and I discuss what it looks like to see the face of Christ in those who are suffering around us, and how to not turn away. She shares about her work with Emmaus Ministries, who serve men in survival prostitution situations on teh streets of Chicago.
I don’t have any tattoos, but if I was to ever get one, I know exactly what it’d be – the words “Be not Afraid,” written in the handwriting of John Paul II. Those words are so dear to my heart that they’re engraved on the inside of both Joseph and I’s wedding band. John Paul II begin his amazing papacy with that brave cry. Throughout my story as a Catholic woman, his words encouraged me to let go of the fear that paralyzed me and exchange it for trust in the Lord. To trust in His divine providence and mercy. Little by little, I’ve learned to let go of what makes me afraid and ask God for the grace of trust. This doesn't meant that everything make sense and I'm never afraid. But the phrase "Be Not Afraid" has been with me through so many trials. In today’s episode of Letters to Women, I’m talking with Kaitlyn Clare Mason about how to move from fear to freedom. She shares the five keys things that have helped her in her own interior life, and we talk about her amazing ministry that helps women encountering unexpected pregnancy situations.
Did you know that women criticize themselves an average of eight times a day? Eight times a day. We’re more likely to see beauty and goodness in the lives of those around us than we are to catch a glimpse of it in our own lives. If you’ve ever stood in front of the mirror and listed off the litany of things you see that you think are wrong, then you’re not alone. So how do start talking to ourselves and about ourselves like someone we love? In today’s episode, I sit down with Patty Breen, a woman who is passionate about ecumenism, living in the power of the Holy Spirit, ministry to divorced Catholics, and women whose relationships have been impacted by sexual addiction.
“O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything!” Do those words bring comfort, or do they make you squirm? If you’re like me (type A control freak here), those words can be a hard pill to swallow. But Christ calls us to surrender everything, to hold nothing back, and to trust him completely. But what about when he doesn’t fulfill the desires of your heart - even the desires he placed on your heart? What about when trusting him is hard and you want to grasp onto your plans? In today’s episode, I sit down with Meg Hunter-Kilmer, a woman who has inspired me with her radical surrender.
Does your heart know the pains of motherhood that doesn't quite look like what you thought it would? Has Christ called you to marriage, but not introduced the second part of that vocational equation into your life yet? Is your little saint in Heaven, too? Does the experience of infertility weigh heavy on your heart? Does physical motherhood not quite look like what you had dreamed of? Is Christ calling you to be His bride alone, asking you to sacrifice physical motherhood in a vocation to consecrated life? If any of these situations are close to your heart, it may feel like the call to spiritual motherhood is a second-rate motherhood. But that couldn't be further from the truth. In this episode, I sit down with Danielle Bean and we talk about why the universal call to motherhood applies to all women, how “mother” is a verb, and why you’re made for maternity as a woman, even if you don’t feel maternal. This episode was brought to you by Stay Close to Christ, a Catholic gift company! Use the code LETTERS for 10% off your next order.
What are you passionate about? Maybe it’s music, cooking, spending time with friends, or reading a good book. But your passion shouldn’t just be something that you enjoy in the spare moments of your day or just on the weekend. After all, our passions aren’t supposed to exist in a vacuum. Instead, the things that inspire us are meant to draw us closer to the Lord and closer to those around us on a daily basis. So just how do you take your passion to a deeper level of service? Today, I’m talking with Katie Lynch. She’s the founder of Kate+Grace boutique, an online clothing shop with a unique mission to serve women and bring joy. We talk about the story behind her boutique, how to practice the corporeal works of mercy in our own community, and why it’s important to bring our passions to prayer.
When you go through an unexpected change or struggle, you may find yourself thinking about life in terms of “before” and “after.” When Alexa Hyman reflects on her journey over the past two years, she remembers her life before and after February 17, 2017, when she found out she was expecting a baby girl. Sharing our unique stories can help others feel less alone, and that’s Alexa’s goal. Each one of us has our own unique story of joy and struggle, our “Februaries.” So how do we be brave and face that struggle head on? Alexa is leading the way with a conversation about beauty, meaning, conversation, community, and heart. Because we’re all facing our own February, or have one that is yet to come. Alexa is a passionate Catholic woman and mom who knows the value of being there for people. She’s also the creator behind Back in February, where she shares the journey of single motherhood. We talk about her unexpected pregnancy with her daughter, Renley, and how her experience inspired her to minister to other women going through unexpected struggles.
Happiness on this earth comes in many forms. I find happiness in my marriage, trips, hikes in the mountains, spring weather (minus the allergies), a good song that comes on my Spotify playlist, and a good cup of cold coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. But we're made for transcendent happiness, the kind that nothing on this world can fulfill. What do our desires for happiness here on earth teach us about the life to come? Today, I sit down and talk with Rose Sweet about how we can search for (and find!) authentic happiness and true joy. This episode was brought to you by Sudio headphones. Use to code letters15 to receive 15% of your purchase of your next set of headphones, and enjoy Sudio’s free world-wide shipping.
Today’s world is confused about the very basics: the value of human life, the meaning and purpose of sexuality, why beauty matters, and what exactly constitutes as true freedom. In this episode, I’m talking with Mary Sheehan Warren, who teaches consumer behavior and fashion marketing at the Catholic University of America. She’s also the leader of the Fashion Intelligence Project, an organization dedicated to human dignity and sustainable fashion consumption. We talk about what’s changed in recent years when it comes to our culture and the way we communicate as women, defining our personal style, and why human dignity should be valued at all costs.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, iTunes, the list goes on and on. When it comes to navigating today’s world of social media as Catholic women, we almost need a field guide. How do we avoid getting sucked into the time warp that is Instagram scrolling? When do we need to step away and when do we need to step up and speak up? Today, I’m talking with two Catholic social media influencers, Sarah and Amy. They’re two women who create Catholic content online, and they share their stories, tips, and tricks for interacting with social media. We talk about building up others, listening to the promptings and inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and honing in on your passions while remaining authentic. This episode was brought to you by Stay Close to Christ, a Catholic gift company! Use the code LETTERS for 10% off your next order.
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!