I am Woman

I have only been a Catholic for 5 years and one of the main things that drew me to Catholicism is this truth about our sexuality.

I guess you could say I hit bottom. All those empty promises, contraception being the main one, society offers us to supposedly make women free. Free from what? Free for what?

Because of being brainwashed by society and because of all the past wounds to my sexuality I was a strong supporter of contraception and when my husband and I thought we were done with our family I had the ultimate final form of contraception done; I had myself sterilized. This was my bottom.

Relations with my husband no longer had meaning, I felt so empty. When we would make love the things that would run through my head were, what we are doing, what is the purpose of this and this means nothing to me.

What had I done? What had I cured myself of? In my years of being sexually active I took pills, used sponges, condoms, abortion, IUD, shots and finally sterilization. Don’t people take medicine when they are sick? Don’t people have operations to cure diseases? What was wrong with me? Is being a fertile woman a dreadful life threatening condition?

Hitting this bottom is what started my search for what it means to be a woman; I was searching for truth. I found the truth in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. What I found there is the exaltation of my womanhood. What I found there is that I am worthy of being treated with the utmost tenderness, love and honor. What I found there is that I was not created to be used as an object for someone else’s sexual gratification, and I was not to use anyone for my own selfish desires. What I found is that we are gifts to one another. WOW!

What I found was the source of my emptiness; I had cut God, the Life giving factor, out of the marriage bed. I had reduced, in a final and drastic way, the marriage act to a bodily function. God was no longer there. I had surgically removed Him.

I also found in the Catechism 2362: “‘the acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude.’ Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure: The Creator himself…. established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the creator has intended for them.” (Who said the church was down on sex?)

Sterile sex is condemned in the Bible. The first act of contraception happens back in Genesis 38:8-10, the Onan Incident: Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your [dead) brother.” And Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so it came about that when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground, in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord, so He took his life also.

God’s enactment of the death penalty for Onan indicates a heightened seriousness in the offense. The only additional element to Onan’s refusal to provide offspring (for his brother) is his choice to make the sexual act deliberately infertile by withdrawal.

These beautiful Truths as taught by Holy Mother Church are what led to my conversion to Catholicism. Our Holy Mother Church takes tender care of all her children. She teaches the truth and when we fall she is there to help pick us up and make us whole again. It was through Holy Mother Church that I was able to find healing and understanding for the deepest wound in my soul, my past abortion. I found, in the Church, a safe place to go back and feel all the pain. Pain that the world says doesn’t exist. This safe place was a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat for post-abortion healing.

Through the Church’s teaching about sexuality I began to discover the true dignity of my totality as woman, body and soul. I found the outreach of One More Soul listed as a resource in the back of Kimberly Hahn’s book “Life-Giving Love.” I called One More Soul and they put me in touch with Dr. Dixon of St. Louis who did my sterilization reversal.

This final act of obedience in giving all of me back to God resulted in what I believe to be a miracle in my life. God picked up all my little broken pieces and made me new. He purified my body, mind and soul and made me virginal. What my husband and I now have in the marital embrace surpasses all understanding.

In short, or in long, what I have found is that the Church is not down on sex and the Church is not down on women. What I have found is ultimate happiness as a dignified woman. If only I had known all this years ago…. the losses are great.

The Church is turning toward women and proclaiming the importance of feminine values in the life of society in the Letter To The Bishops Of The Catholic Church On The Collaboration Of Men And Women In The Church And In The World.

In section III no. 13 of this letter it is stated, “…It is women, in the end, who even in very desperate situations, as attested by history past and present, possess a singular capacity to persevere in adversity, to keep life going even in extreme situations, to hold tenaciously to the future, and finally to remember with tears the value of every human life.

Motherhood is not a dreadful disease in need of a cure. Being a mother has been my greatest joy; the most beautiful music I have ever listened to is the sound of my child suckling at my breast as we gaze into one another’s eyes. This music is from God and is the ultimate gift. This music is better than Mozart or any other great composer. Ahhhhhh, what was I thinking when I was trying to cure myself of being a woman. Motherhood is not a disease.

As a woman I now refuse to cure myself of who I am. It feels so good to have made peace with being woman.

Thanks for listening.

Yours in Christ,