Restraints or Self-Restraint?: 50 Shades of Grey vs. Old Fashioned

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If you’re looking for a good date movie to see on Valentine’s Day weekend, there is an alternative to 50 Shades of Grey. The movie Old Fashioned, to be released nationwide on Valentine’s Day, shows how a man with self-restraint has a far more powerful allure than a man who likes putting his girlfriends in restraints.

Even fiction can teach us truth, and even fantasies can be healthy—or not. Why would someone want to settle for a titillating untruth like the dysfunctional relationship in 50 Shades of Grey? Bondage, while a turnoff to some and a temptation to others, has never been hailed as a healthy basis for life-long love.

The healthiest basis for life-long love is self-control, and the best place to practice it is while dating. The movie Old Fashioned shows how attractive a man can be when he controls his darkest impulses for the sake of a higher good. The film doesn’t deny that dark impulses exist, but it doesn’t promote giving in to them either.

In the tender and sometimes rocky romance between the main characters, we see two broken individuals helping to heal each other. Clay is a reformed frat boy who refuses to date because he thinks people know more about someone after a job interview for delivering pizza than after most dates—a valid point! He wants a courtship but on his terms and by his rules. Amber is a free spirit who drifts from place to place, wherever the wind takes her, but inside she’s lonely and afraid to be hurt again. Amber shows Clay that love doesn’t have to be perfect to be worth it, and Clay shows Amber that respect for a woman’s body does not equal a lack of passion or a disinterest in love for the long term.

The movie includes some incredibly wise counsel on love and dating, including the most deceptively simple advice ever heard in a romantic movie: “It won’t be easy.” Because when opposites attract—and they do—they don’t cease being opposites the moment they walk down the aisle. And when two people are wounded—as many are—old wounds still ache. Old temptations, like cancers, go into remission but may never be fully cured. But respect, self-control, and commitment to do the right and Godly thing are the qualities that will persevere and ultimately triumph.

Filled with faith and forgiveness, the movie Old Fashioned reminds us how love was meant to be. As a happily married mother of six, I’m not exactly in the dating market any more. But I have five daughters, and the oldest is entering her teenage years. She’ll be dating sooner than I can imagine (with her siblings not far behind), and I want her to seek out a healthy relationship. Movies etch pictures in our mind, inspire wishes and wanting, and set up ideals to imitate. Old Fashioned depicts the kind of relationship I want my children to have.



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41 Comments

  1. Alberto-1199736 February 20, 2017 Reply

    I saw 50 Shades, more of curiosity and it’s really a boring movie to say the least. I guess the Grey dude can do anything he wants because he likes to “own” people (because he is rich) and definitely he has some mommy issues. Nothing healthy about BDSM.

  2. Mike-59303 February 13, 2015 Reply

    St. John of the Cross is a Master Teacher of the Gospel and is known for his deep prayer life and tells us how to become closer to God. First, he says that we are to obey the Commandments and strive to be virtuous. Many might not be attracted to him but once you study this less than five foot tall saint, you will find many gems in what he has to say. He is a mystic like St. Theresa of Avila. Like all of the saints, he says that we have to get rid of our attachments and exchange them for what God has to give to us. What God has to give to us when we are obeying Him and when we are seeking him in prayer, meditation, and prayer. What about the married person? Is what he says about contemplation for only the religious? He says it is for everyone no matter their vocation in life. He talks about the faithfulness of a married couple and their love for one another and how the basis of their relationship is the love of God. St. John of the Cross talks about “divine touches” where God comes to the person deep in prayer. It is always the Bridegroom Christ who does the giving when one has reached this stage of prayer of contemplation to His Bride the Church. The Blessed Mother is the best example of one’s closeness to God and contemplative prayer.

    “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord” (Psalm 34: 8) “Eye has not seen or heard what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2: 9) This means that it is for us now on this earth and will reach its final glory in heaven. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”(2 Corinthians 3: 18) God does not have anything for us that is not good, beautiful, lasting, and overflowing with His love for us all. God wants us to come to the fountain and drink for all thirst for Him, all thirst for true love. This abundant life is for us now, at the present time and not later and for all, single, married, and religious. “I will be your God if you will be my people” echoes within the Old and the New Testament. God dwells in divinity and also came in the Incarnation for us to bring us His Love.

    All on this Catholic Match site are here for a reason–to find true love. St. Anthony Messenger has an article on St. John of the Cross (December 2014). It is titled–“St. John of the Cross, How to be Reflective in Our Distracting World.” There are many distractions in this world such as things Hollywood puts out. Speaker Frank Runyeon who used to play in Soap operas speaks about the things of the world versus Faith–Faith versus Hollywood in that many people are not really listening to the World of God during the mass and are thinking about material things and what they are going to get next when God is present all of the time. The Lover wants what is the best for his/her beloved. God wants the best for us all. St. John of the Cross tells us for the one who perseveres in prayer and spiritual discipline, “I abandoned and forgot myself, laying my face on my Beloved; all things ceased; I went out from myself, leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.” St. John of the Cross’s “The Living Flame of Love” even with a suggestion of mystical eroticism (and St. John of the Cross read the whole Bible including “The Song of Songs.” St. John writes–“O you, then, delicate touch, the Word, the Son of God, through the delicacy of your divine being, you subtly penetrate the substance of my soul, and, lightly touching it all, absorb it entirely in yourself in divine modes of delight and sweetness unheard of in the land of Canaan and never before seen in Teman!” Nothing that Canaan has to offer then and now or ever will be like the Truth and sweetness of the real thing–true love, caring for the other, thinking of the other, selflessness which we all want to strive for because we are all sinners and have not fully reached the Promised Land of heaven yet. But St. John gives us the marrow of the Gospel of how to experience full joy in the Lord which all the saints knew. He was on fire because of his deep prayer life. “11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:12). St. John is telling us that we can begin to experience this now.

    “8Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father ‘? 10″Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.…” (John 14:9) St. John of the Cross is speaking of life in the Divine Trinity, transforming the soul and the body. There is no room for violence in love. The goal of our lives is an intimate presence of a living and loving God. Singles, marrieds, and religious are welcome to experience this kind of love. John calls God “My Beloved,” a union with the Trinity that is “spiritual marriage” for all vocations. This St. Anthony Messenger article ends with this–“As John lay on his deathbed…, the Carmelites began to recite the somber prayers for the dying. But the afflicted man spoke up, pleading with his brothers to instead recite words from the Old Testament book which describes the communion of humans with God in vividly sensual imagery–the Song of Songs. Hearing the words, St. John of the Cross is said to have cried out, ‘O what precious pearls,’ celebrating the beauty of the biblical poetry even as he lay dying.” Commitment to one another and to God first and foremost, the Bridegroom for the Bride. The husband for his wife. The wife for her husband. For Love of God and neighbor and family. The purpose of marriage is union and procreative. The purpose of being single is to first and foremost be in union with God. For the religious, to give his or her entire life for the Beloved. And of course, this should radiate to others, overflowing to tell them the Good News. This article comes from St. Anthony Messenger and if you subscribe to the magazine, you can read all the archives that they have online, digitally.

    The Holy Spirit leads us to a fuller union in the Trinity. God is beyond any human ideas of God. The transforming of the mind, heart, and will to God is not done overnight. St. Ignatius of Loyola says that there is consolation and desolation. God never gives us depression or desolation. God gives us delight, enjoyment of being with Him, beauty, and consolation, happiness even in suffering. God desires us to be virtuous. God is Perfection. Feelings and emotions will pass away but not God once found who will remain forever without end. The four last things are the end things–death, judgment, heaven, or hell. We are seeking heaven and St. John says that we can start heaven on this earth by daily prayer, to pray throughout the day no matter what our profession or where we are, to say the St. Michael the Archangel prayer, Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, thy Kingdom, come and Most Sacred heart of Jesus, have mercy on me, Jesus, I trust in You, and other prayers like the Our Father–to keep our thoughts, words, and actions holy and pure. Purity in everything we think, say, and do. “Do all for the honor and glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). St. John of the Cross is not speaking of technique. He is talking about a deep prayer life with God, the love of the Gospel which St. Francis of Assisi speaks about.

    St. Ignatius of Loyola says that when we begin something new that is holy and brings us peace, that peace will remain. But desolation can set in and he warns not to abandon our endeavor because of this but to continue. God gives consolation. Today, we want things done immediately. We are used to modern day technology. Without much effort, we expect fast and quick results. There are many distractions and attachments. Attachments or clingings to the wrong things of life, to someone or something that will not bring us true joy and happiness. Eternity is forever and life is short. St. Anthony of Padua lived only 36 years. St. Therese of the Little Flower of Jesus lived for 24 years. St. Francis of Assisi knew what he wanted when he found God–“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4) We are all temples of the Holy Spirit. God speaks in all who are living in the truth and we do not want to say anything that is unkind to another for God can speak through this person too, the Holy Spirit helps us in one another. God lives “in his angels and in his saints” as the ending of the Divine Praises says. The Old Testament Israelites strove to keep the Temple from being defiled but Christ in the New Testament said that “he would destroy this temple and in three days, raise it up” was a shock to many. Of course, he was speaking of his Body. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul speaks about defilement of the body in that “God will turn you over to all kinds of immorality” when man turns to the creature rather than the Creator.”24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,…” (Romans 1:25) “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?…” (1 Cor. 6:18). Flee with vigor and rapidness whatever has a smell or foul odor of disrespect of God and his creatures, whatever may smell bad. Do not enter the realm of where the devil can deceive you. The saying still goes–“Garbage in, garbage out.” If something is not going to bring one closer to God, avoid and shun it. Curiosity is the enemy of leading the ways of God. What good can possibly knowledge of something that appears to be good be if it leads one away from God. All images are imprints upon the mind and memory and the soul. It is hard to erase them once they are started and engaged in even for knowledge pursuits and so forth. Our five senses are gifts from God and we will be accountable before God for their use or misuse. The saints warn us to have custody of the eyes, to avoid looking at immodest things and actions. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Only in a loving relationship can the sexuality that God gave us be good. Violence of any kind is wrong.

    Our attachments are what gets us into trouble, quarrelling, bickering, and so forth. “7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of such things as these, anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouths. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices….” (Col. 3: 7-9) St. John is telling us to give up false desires and appetites. Attachments to something like a person or thing can become an idol and take us away from God. An overemphasis upon this can lead us in the opposite direction of the right path to God. Food is good and everything in moderation. Job is the story of the journey of Tobias which eventually will end with him meeting his bride. That night before the marriage bed, they knelt down to pray and he told God that he was not taking this woman for lustful reasons. “You it was who created Adam, you who created Eve his wife to be his help and support; and from these two the human race was born. You it was who said, ‘It is not right that the man should be alone; let us make him a helper like him.’7 And so I take my sister not for any lustful motive, but I do it in singleness of heart. Be kind enough to have pity on her and on me and bring us to old age together.8 And together they said, ‘Amen, Amen,'” (Tobit 8). St. Raphael, pray for us! Possessing and using things is not an attachment such as food, drink, computer, watches and so forth. But too much of anything and over fondness for it can become an idol. These things St. John is talking about. St. Augustine lived an immoral life before he came to God. He was gifted as a genius with a mind that was not used at first for the honor and glory of God. In the end he realized what his true beauty was.

    “Too late have I loved you, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late I loved you! And behold, you were within, and I abroad, and there I searched for you; I was deformed, plunging amid those fair forms, which you had made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from you—things which, if they were not in you, were not at all. You called, and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors and I drew in breath—and I pant for you. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace” (St. Augustine, Confessions). “Our hearts are restless, until they rest in Thee.”

    St. John is saying that something becomes an idol when it is used for selfish reasons. Such things as not speaking the truth, idle talk or gossip, misuse of speech, misuse of time, talent, or treasure, attachment to our own thoughts of what is right, attachment to pride, St. John says to give up everything that does not lead to God. Clingings dim our supernatural vision. This is a harm. Selfish clings beget other clings which can be mortal sin. Addictions then come about, false vanity, fearing useless things, fearing what other people think about us, striving to please others, following others because of peer pressure, searching after things that lead us not to God, in other words, slavery. Each attachment is an obstacle to prayerfulness because it focuses on the self. Attachments are an affront to God. Seek ye first the Kingdom of heaven and all good things will be given to you. God does not dwell in the things that are not of God. Putting something else before a husband or a wife is an affront to love of the other. Attachments to vanities, drugs, illicit worldly pleasures, avarice, drunkenness might bring momentary gratification but they are a false and finite gratification. In the end, there is nothingness, emptiness, illusions, boredom, alienation, conflicts. Where are the friends one once had when there is no more money to be spent on them. People who have led a seriously sinful life have said this and those who have repented say this and sometimes they end up with hangovers and suicides. Living the Gospel brings supreme joy. Fr. Thomas Dubay speaks about St. John of the Cross and the Great Exchange in an audio series on EWTN. He has since died not long ago but he went around the world talking about St. John of the Cross, St. Theresa of Avila, and Contemplation. “Rejoice in the Lord always” Attractions bring about a lack of freedom. One can be a slave to what others think about him/her. What it amounts to is that worrying about the image that others have of us. “We are what we are before God and nothing else,” says St. Francis of Assisi who also said, “My God and my All.” His friend, St. Clare of Assisi was so taken up with the worship of God that St. Francis had, that she wanted nothing else. Both saints were living in that wonderful 13th century with St. Thomas Aquinas and Blessed Duns Scotus and St. Anthony of Padua and others. St. Anthony of Padua loved Scripture and knew the Bible by heart it is said. Attachments will diminish another and the love for another. Psalm 62: 1 says that only in God is my soul at rest. Ridding self of attachments is to center or focus upon God entirely, to look at the poor baby Jesus in a manger, to contemplate his poverty, his life with his mother and foster father, Mary and Joseph, to look at his life, to pray the mysteries of the rosary, to pray for an end to abortion and euthanasia, and an end to same sex marriage and for the restoration of friendships and relationships, to pray for those things that really matter for eternity, to dwell on the things of God, to pray for the poor souls, the sick and the dying, those without the basics of life, to pray for good Catholic Christian education, television, movies like St. Joseph of Cupertino, The Song of Bernadette, St. Anthony of Padua, the wealth of good movies about religion and the saints found on EWTN and Youtube, and so forth, to go to daily mass if possible, to read the Bible, pray the Liturgy of the Hours if possible, visit the sick and dying, corporeal and spiritual works of mercy and so forth.

    Lent is a good time to pray and fast for an end to the trafficking of children, men, and women, an end to terrorism in the world. St. John of the Cross would say “to reach delight in everything, desire the possession of nothing.” “To come to possess everything, desire the possession of nothing.” “To arrive at being all, desire to be nothing.” In the end we will possess everything and cling to nothing.

    A couple deeply in love with one another as St. John of the Cross says, will get rid of impediments to love. People who love much have no difficulty in understanding St. John of the Cross says Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M. “Happy the man who ponders the ways of the Lord day and night, he will find delight.” Discursive mediation is to think about a passage of the Gospel over and over and ponder it and raise the thoughts to God and ask God to give us guidance.



  3. Miles-814 February 11, 2015 Reply

    Hey, Robyn Lee! I am not sure if you wrote the article, but, I learned from it. Thanks for posting it!

  4. Joe-786218 February 9, 2015 Reply

    Most modern romance novels are nothing more than emotional porn marketed to women and 50 Shades appears to be the ultimate expression of that. I won’t touch 50 Shades the book or the movie, but I have read a few romance novels to see what was in them that hooked women so much. My conclusion: they are almost as bad for women as visual porn is for men.

  5. Ben-1081622 February 8, 2015 Reply

    While I’m not a supporter of 50 Shades and the type of relationship it seems to promote according to what I’ve heard about it (from both Catholic and secular sources), and I understand this movie is being promoted mainly as an alternative to 50 Shades, is it really such a good idea to push for “courtship” over “dating” as an alternative? Even if (as this article appears to say; note that I haven’t seen the movie) the “courtship” presented in the movie is generally a modern-day idea of good dating without getting into bed together, pretty much every form of Catholic media I’ve seen seems to be all in a tizzy trying to bring back the term “courtship”, which, I hate to say, really makes the Church and this idea of dating sound like the title of the movie they’re promoting – Old Fashioned. If we want to promote healthy dating, why not just call it that – healthy dating? “Courtship” makes most people outside of traditionalist Catholic circles (including myself) think of the ways people went out a century ago, like you would see in old silent movies, and personally I think that idea is only going to turn off far more people than it brings in. It’s just one more symptom I see of Catholic media run by nostalgia, romanticizing the “good old days” and trying to drag society back to them rather than adapting to the society we live in now, not necessarily in doctrine itself, but in the way we evangelize to non-Catholics. You want to know why so many evangelical churches are having such an easy time at least getting new people into the doors (if not keeping them long-term)? Evangelical preachers better understand how to speak to a modern, young audience and how to minister to what young Christians are going through now, rather than basically saying “everything new (culture-wise) is BAD!”. I will say that one reason I still stick with the Catholic Church is that we do a better job than Protestants generally when it comes to accepting new science and intellectual pursuits, but we really have to do a better job of doing the same thing on a cultural level. The more we just sit there and rail against 50 Shades, the more soccer moms will be intrigued by what they hear and want to read it “just to check it out” and will be caught up in it. I do like that this movie is out there in that sense, but just saying, could we have picked perhaps a better way to present it?

    • Karee Santos February 8, 2015 Reply

      I like your term “healthy dating,” Ben. You’re right that courtship is kind of an old fashioned word, and what’s more it means different things to different people. Good insight!

      • Ben-1081622 February 9, 2015 Reply

        There is a young priest in my parish who’s only been ordained for a few years, and while he has some trouble with public speaking (God bless him for having the courage to try, and he has been improving over the past couple months), I think the spirit he tries to convey in his homilies brings a much-needed balance of youth to a Church that feels increasingly “old”, or built more for the older generations that fill the pews, while letting the young people who are supposed to be the future of the Church run from it in droves and doing very little to nothing to bring them back or keep them in.

  6. William-1053434 February 8, 2015 Reply

    This is so funny.

    I just got an ad on this page that says, “Mr Grey will see you now.”,
    and it’s for a teddy bear that’s dressed like the cover of the book.

    Uh, no, thank you… Mr Grey… I’m straight…

    CM must be pretty conflicted to have such sponsors.

    • Karee Santos February 8, 2015 Reply

      Ads are often controlled by your browser, in part based on your search patterns. My ad on this page is for health insurance.

      • William-1053434 February 8, 2015 Reply

        The way that ad works is off of a search engine using SEO and relevance to cross reference keywords in your narrative… SEO works by identifying keywords and relevance… Technically, the use of the title “Fifty Shades” in your narrative, only contributes to the popularity of the book…

        It only proves my point in all of this… You think you are gaining an edge for Catholics in running articles like this, but the actual result is just the opposite – you’ve run a controversial article about a book that thrives on controversy…

        This is why I am so vehemently angry with CM and CMI careless handling of this matter… Aside from the inappropriate judgmental responses such controversy has generated – responses which arent Catholic at all – I actually agree with pretty much everything being said…

        But to say “F*fty Sh*des of…” anything is selling out… That phrase “F*fty Sh*des” is the key term in effect… The way the technology works (independently of the site) proves you are feeding the book’s popularity, and why an ad for a Valentine’s present teddy bear named Mr Gr*y made it’s way into your article on Valentine’s day options… kind of proves CM and CMI dont really know how to handle this matter appropriately… Reader beware…

        The article seeks alternatives… Instead of promoting someone else’s movie, you could have promoted True Devotion to Mary, for instance… which is the Catholic version of Love Slavery… amongst others… And, as a Jongleur de Dieux, Saint Francis of Assisi’s writings are also wonderful examples of slavery to God… Technically, these would have promoted the relevance of Catholic terms…

        BTW, your comments on the physical versus self-restraint were iffy at best… Due to the problems with the flagellants in the dark ages, it is common knowledge physical discipline is supposed to be a no-no… But Saint Theresa of Avila, Pope John Paul II and Opus Dei all practiced (or practice) forms of corporeal moritifcation… Saint Thomas Aquinas wore a chain around his waist… Saint Louis De Monteforte’s adherents wear (at their choice) the “little chains”… Mine in particular is a metal necklace with a pendant of the Blessed Mother holding the baby Jesus protectively as a reminder to the sanctity of life… Scary…

        You all had the opportunity to do something really original and beautiful here, and you blew it…

        Economically, the whole problem of suggesting alternatives and complements taints the mix because you have to refer back to constantly the title of the book in so doing… Selling out to terms like the title of the book not only lacks originality, but it dysfunctionally vies for market share because (as I said) the the technology and the book itself thrive on controversy… You’ve done nothing original or peaceful here… It simply propagates a war of ideologies and judgmental thinking – which Mr Gr*y would love…

        I regret paying for $100 membership, so you could ultimately make money running such ads… To boot, I had come here in hopes of finding someone I could partner with, but (as far as I am concerned) this whole fiasco has resulted in nothing more than a smear campaign against people with “different” proclivities…

        I have done nothing wrong, and, if I have, I am sorry… I am not out to be some self-justified bigot throwing stones… I rightly (but appropriately) always try to admit I am a sinner right up front for fear of presumption, but I cant let people in good conscience condemn innocent souls either without saying something in their defense… I have given my life to this issue – it sits at the very heart of religion, and I dont think it can be dismissed…

        After twenty-eight years of therapy and confronting battles up close and in person – battles you would probably dread fathom – I can honestly say CM and CMI I have done an injustice to this topic altogether…

        • William-1053434 February 8, 2015 Reply

          When I said —> The article seeks alternatives… Instead of promoting someone else’s movie, you could have promoted True Devotion to Mary, for instance… which is the Catholic version of Love Slavery… amongst others… And, as a Jongleur de Dieux, Saint Francis of Assisi’s writings are also wonderful examples of slavery to God… Technically, these would have promoted the relevance of Catholic terms… —

          I meant you could have (and, dare I say, should have) promoted those devotions without mentioning the title of the book in question at all…

          That’s the trap you fell into.

          It wasn’t your fault, I know. But it was more a vulnerability in the whole way this idea has been addressed.

          I am sorry if I have offended anyone in my responses. I know I have been pretty blunt, so I apologize for being perhaps a bit too direct. You all are good people, I think. It’s just this whole topic struck a nerve in a really bad way.

          I think I can shut up about it now. I seem to be calming down.

    • Robyn Lee
      Robyn Lee February 9, 2015 Reply

      William,
      I forwarded your note to customer support and asked that the ad be removed. We have a review system, but we appreciate when members alert us to ads that are inappropriate for our site.

      • Tom-995241 February 9, 2015 Reply

        Hello Robyn, I’m sure your a good writer and a nice person, which really has nothing to do with my comment. I have noticed that these types of blogs get hammered with responses whil other blogs get maybe 4 or 5. When no sex is involved in the content there just dosen’t seem to be much interest. This is just my opinion.

  7. Lois-1115065 February 8, 2015 Reply

    As someone who went to the movies yesterday that inadvertently included a preview for the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey”, I am SO happy to see that the movie “Old Fashioned” is being released on Valentines Day!
    This year, after breaking my ankle back in December, I don’t have any big plans for a date to take me out for dinner or dancing etc. However, as I am trying to raise my adopted 16 year old daughter in a wholesome Catholic manner, I will be taking her to see “Old Fashioned” over the Valentine’s Day weekend as I know we will really like this movie and I am really sick of the “normalization” of warped sexuality in the media and movies in particular.

  8. Jennifer-728047 February 8, 2015 Reply

    I will post a ‘raw’ comment here, folks. Women fear abandonment/loneliness and men fear failure. Because we are broken people, both from our first sinful parents, and then life’s circumstances – whether they are self inflicted or circumstantial from family…we are ALL broken in some way. All need healing. The fact that 1 in 4 young children are sexually molested, it is no DOUBT that people seek ‘pain’ and think it’s love. And this article was VERY good, hitting on a point that is CRITICAL to know….when you are ever in a relationship that involved pain, it is temping to revisit that, as it’s familiar — “on the shelf” and within reach of relapse. Totally true. As some one who made the choice out if logic, consequential thinking and romanticism, to wait for marriage for sex, I did however find myself in relationships with guys who were ….not so nice. We can call it ‘missionary dating,’ and we can also call it ‘just trying to help.’ However, what it is, is that women are nurturers. We are also Christian on here. These two things means we will love every one, and any one. What I didn’t know way back when, was that I didn’t have to date them, to care about them. Also, that it was not just those two things but in fact, I had to heal from something in my past which was nowhere near sexual abuse, but still made me think I had to take all these sick guys in! I underwent healing which was amazing, liberating and those crosses brought me closer to the crown than I’d be if I didn’t have that experiences, for SURE! However, when I was not yet healed, I thought that “as long as I am waiting for marriage, it will be fun to ‘play hard’ with my husband and do ‘sexy things.’ “Rough sex” is NOT sexy. It is the OPPOSITE of love, tenderness. Looking back, I can cry out of fear for myself, in having had those thoughts, and I can and do weep for women who moved from those thoughts, to real world, and worse. What I see now, when think of 50 shades, and when I viewed the trailer (gotta know your enemy’s playbook so you can combat with love and truth!), I got a tear in my eye and a nausea in my stomach because I see Anastasia’s PAIN! And his psychosis. I see her SO emotionally unfulfilled, NOT empowered. Not “just seeking fun.” Deep wounds. DEEEEEP wounds. So this is not all just about “Church teaching church teaching church teaching.” It is about health, wounds, need for Jesus AND how He works through HEALING. Lots of psychiatric disorders in guys I’ve met on this site, and they are medicating with porn and masturbation. These combos lead to MANY “Christian and Anastasia” situations……we the millions who read and are addicted to the pornographic novel “50 Shades.” The movie is now evidence we have pushed the envelope to the point that this is NORMAL and so worse will be out there soon.

    Just sharing some of my own two cents. Very sick and psychotic movie, and many peoples’…..reality. This is not love, not even if married, Jerod.

    • Karee Santos February 8, 2015 Reply

      Beautifully stated, Jennifer. Porn is addictive and even men whose faith is very important to them struggle with it. I wonder if that’s what Simcha Fisher means when she says things like “you have no idea how the devil tempts good Catholic men.” God bless you!

      • Jennifer-728047 February 10, 2015 Reply

        Thank you Karee. I agree totally with you on the spiritual warfare. We also have to take responsibility for our actions and choose good. I know secular people who don’t believe in God, who refuse to engage in such harmful things – and they don’t acknowledge good/evil but they know something is not right with porn. Also, many justify their bad behaviors or even psychiatric conditions with “the devil tempted me and I slipped.” Since porn is addictive, it must be treated with the psychological weapons as well, in it’s treatment. SO many guys think they can “do it on their own” and if they live single and don’t have the support, it is perpetuated. Sad times…..

  9. Alejandro-159799 February 8, 2015 Reply

    50 shades of Gray is just porn for married women. It is also very disturbing that violence and pain are presented as a way to achieve sexual pleasure. Our bodies are just a great work from God, but it is men who have destroyed His work. Our body is temple of the Holy Spirit and sexuality within a Catholic marriage is a true blessing. If you are in a Catholic match site, of course, it is shameful to watch 50 shades of Grey. Nobody should watch it, at least the ones who are looking for a Catholic spouse. Then again I don´t understand why on a Catholic match site there is the option for divorced people to be here, or the option to agree to just some of the Church Teachings. If you are Catholic you should agree to All of the Church Teachings. It is like to say “Ok, I am Catholic but I don’t agree with the Apostles’ Creed.

    • Karee Santos February 8, 2015 Reply

      Just to clarify, divorce itself is not a sin. If someone has received an annulment and feels psychologically ready to date again, there’s nothing wrong with it. Faith for some people can also be a long work in progress. It’s good to know where people are in their journey.

  10. Angela-374523 February 7, 2015 Reply

    Loving people who have self-respect and respect for others don’t hurt each other and don’t disrespect each other, even if there is “consent”. The disordered relationships that have pain at their foundation are dysfunctional, un-Christian, psychologically and emotionally damaging, and not family-oriented. Just my two cents.

  11. Jerod-1068430 February 7, 2015 Reply

    I have never read 50 Shades of Grey, so I can’t speak as to whether the characters there had a healthy BDSM relationship or not, but I believe you can have a healthy, traditional relationship that incorporates bondage and BDSM.

    The last article on this website about this movie implied that only lonely, disordered women would enjoy things like bondage. I know quite a few smart, healthy, happily-married women who said they enjoyed the books. I also know that I find bondage attractive, yet I can’t imagine myself being abusive towards a woman, although I might be a little biased on that point 🙂

    The key difference between abuse and practicing BDSM in a healthy way is whether or not it is mutually voluntary and whether or not both partners enjoy it. Again, I haven’t read the books, so I don’t know if they lean more towards an abusive relationship or a healthy one. However, even if it is abusive, and because in the back of our heads we understand it is a fictional story, I can see how people would enjoy it anyway.

    • Karee Santos February 7, 2015 Reply

      Jen Fitz’s post from Patheos is a pretty good response to this, I think: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jenniferfitz/2015/02/50-shades-of-arousal-disorders-bdsm-and-the-moral-life/

      • Jerod-1068430 February 7, 2015 Reply

        The article you linked to simply says that BDSM is wrong and you shouldn’t participate in it even if you like it and your partner likes. The author never explains why she thinks it’s wrong.

        Now, in reading that article, there was link to another article called “Tainted Love: Why is 50 Shades of Grey So Popular?”. I clicked on that one and I think the author actually had a fair point. He says “The secular feminist culture pressures women to deny their basic receptivity, but nature will not be denied. The receptive, feminine impulse continues to assert itself, and if it cannot find legitimate expression in healthy relationships, it will assert itself in more insidious ways.” And then “In essence, many women who have been trained to reject their natural, healthy vulnerability, can only allow their feminine impulse to be expressed by permitting themselves to be dominated. Unable to allow their feminine nature to emerge in any other way, many women either fantasize or actually place themselves [in] positions where they are no longer given a choice in the matter.”

        My counterpoint to that would be: why can’t you be in a healthy, loving relationship where you open your heart to them and become vulnerable, and enjoy vulnerability in your sex life as well? Why does it have to be one or the other? Aren’t they just manifestations of the same principle, that you’re trusting and willing to open yourself up to your loving husband?

        • Cody-1089369 February 7, 2015 Reply

          Jerod, BDSM means bondage, dominance, sadism, masochism. Sexual intercourse is meant to be a LOVING act in order to be a holy act of intercourse. Anything else defiles the marriage bed.

          Sadism – Enjoyment of inflicting pain on another person.
          Masochism – Enjoyment of receiving pain from another person.

          Does inflicting and receiving pain sound like a loving act? I don’t think it’s possible to say yes to that question. Just because two people consent does not mean it is right.

        • Sarah-1110148 February 11, 2015 Reply

          We have been so blessed in our lifetime to have had Pope Saint John Paul the Great to explain sexual ethics (in great detail)! See Love & Responsibility.

    • Victoria-1016612 February 7, 2015 Reply

      Jerod, this article is about the movie Old Fashioned. There is no BDSM in it, so why bring it up?

      • Jennifer-728047 February 8, 2015 Reply

        No Victoria, it is GOOD that Jerod brought this up! It helps us women to be aware of the consistent truth that there are MANY guys on here (I speak from experience…..) who have great “Catholic resumes” and are incredibly emotionally, physically and spiritually abusive. Disgusted. God is SO good to me though because I have had the courage and fortitude to continue on the site and be open to possibilities, but I have to say ..it is good that he brought this up, so that good men like Cody can also show us what is very wrong with the movie that comes out WITH 50 Shades of Lust and Pain.

  12. William-1053434 February 7, 2015 Reply

    These reported posts on this book are injurious, I think.

    To be completely honest, I am about to head to mass, and I will go to confession beforehand, My confession will be I hate my brethren, and I don’t really believe in Catholicism anymore.

    • Carol-986705 February 7, 2015 Reply

      Hi William,
      I read your profile, and you seem like an up-right man to me. When I feel frustrated, I try to remember a couple of things that were conveyed to me that seem to help:
      1) We don’t love God any more than the person we like the least on this earth;
      2) Love and Truth are not opposed; they are Names for the same God. “Anyone who lives in Love, lives in God, and God lives in him.” We can also substitute — “Anyone who lives in Truth, lives in God, and God lives in him.” From your profile, I think you are well aware that the “guarantee” of God’s Spirit is in the magisterium of the Catholic Church. We have the “promise” of the Spirit to the extent we are in union with the Catholic Church. This is what Jesus means when He says, “Come, follow Me” — just like the Israelites followed God’s Spirit through the desert.
      I also forwarded to you my interview questions.
      Hope this helps. Don’t give up — you’ve come too far — GOD BLESS!!

      • William-1053434 February 7, 2015 Reply

        I explained this whole stupid series of articles to my confessor and spiritual Director at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. In a series of four letter words and other expletives, he basically said the basis for this whole discussion is “a fake problem”, and I shouldn’t pay attention to such nonsense.

        After confession, I walked over to the Catholic University of America’s bookstore, and I found they have Fifty Shades of Gray on sale for 20% off as of the time of this reply. They also have a whole line of Anne Rice novels. I asked the clerk why they carried the book, but she couldn’t say. I had no intention of buying any of those books, and I didn’t, but isn’t it interesting they were selling it?

        I quit my six year position as Lector at the Shrine shortly thereafter.

        Come so far? Thank you, Carol, but I dont think so. Engaging in this whole series of judgmental rubbish, which CM and CMI sold out on even bring up, I have also prostituted my own reputation in so doing. Why? So we could all betray the very principles of faith, hope and love?

        At Fatima, the Blessed Mother told the girls, Francisco would be saying many rosaries before he got into heaven. Lucky guy. I’ll be lucky if I make it through Purgatory.

        • Carol-986705 February 7, 2015 Reply

          Hi William,
          You have come very far!!

          Jesus never said our earthly journey will be easy. He also never promised that His Kingdom was going to be a large one. It doesn’t sound to me like you are betraying the Lord or the principles of faith, hope and love. Just because you are voicing your concern over an article you happened to come across, doesn’t mean you are betraying God. What is faith? It means, “Lord I believe and accept all that You reveal through Your chosen vessels (magisterium).” Faith and hope go hand-in-hand. If you have faith (even the size of a mustard seed), then you have reason for great hope. If you believe Truth (which you do), then you live in God’s Love. I am sure you will make it to Heaven just fine. Just remember, during the Mass we come to the SOURCE OF DIVINE MERCY AND FORGIVENESS. We are to take that out and extend it to others. Mercy and forgiveness are not options, they are commands.

          I’m commenting on this series, and I don’t feel like I am compromising faith, hope and love. To be truthful, I don’t know anything about the book or the movie, or Anne Rice novels. (See — it’s by your posting that I know not to seriously get into it). So your posting is engaging a different perspective, and that’s good.

          Previously, I voiced a great concern with biology books used by Catholic colleges that are very descriptive about the whole birth control section. I addressed a concern since Catholic colleges typically use the same text books as other government universities. It’s not like they have Catholic editions that don’t include this material. They said they either don’t cover the material, and/or they refute it with a good theology course. But the colleges are still exposing the material to God’s children just by using the texts, even if it’s not being covered. I think these school administrators and the CUA bookstore managers have much more to worry about Purgatory (if not hell) than you do. They are the ones that will have to answer to God at the end of time for it, not you. You sound like a VERY up-right guy to me.

          I encourage you to stay the course. Try not to let the behavior of others interfere with your relationship with God. We all advance on the journey’s path at different rates. God activates His Grace in each of us when He deems. The Mass and Rosary are 2 of our greatest prayers, and I engage in both, sometimes daily. I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially for those most in need of God’s mercy (definitely including me), and for those who have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them (also definitely including me). Sometimes we fall short of what God calls us to be, but we need to pray for constant transformation and conversion. God cleanses us clean at each and every Mass (that’s why I go even daily sometimes). I also try not to be too hard on people, or myself for that matter. I call to mind the Gospel with the Pharisee in the front, and the tax collector on bended knee in the back, beating his heart asking for God’s mercy. The Pharisee says, “Lord, thank you that I am not like this tax collector …” Jesus says the tax collector is the one that walks away with the mercy of God, not the Pharisee.

          I urge you to re-consider your position as Lector at the Shrine. You are very lucky. (Don’t forget, Francisco is canonized) God loves you and you love God — what more do we need? I strongly sense God desires you to return as Lector.

          Sorry this is sooooo long.

          I will remember you in my prayers, and please remember me in your prayers. GOD BLESS your earthly journey with peace, faith/hope/love!!
          Carol

  13. Rachel-1164616 February 7, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for giving us a little preview. Based on what I’m reading here, I’m not sure this is the old fashioned dozen roses and heart shaped box of chocolates I wanted for Valentines Day. The plot does not sound like what I would deem a true return to old fashioned values, and it sounds like it still contains some mature content. I would encourage Hollywood to set the bar a little higher. Keep in mind, though, I’m the sort of consumer that rarely watches television, and I haven’t been to the movies in years, so in a sense not much changes for me.

    • Karee Santos February 7, 2015 Reply

      It ‘s always a struggle for a movie (or a book) to deliver a message while portraying enough conflict and character development to make it seem real. Some Christian movies can be so preachy that the characters get lost behind the message. The Old Fashioned movie delivers a good message that is at heart about second chances — a second chance at love and a second chance at redemption. It will really touch people who have made mistakes and are still looking for that second chance.

    • Victoria-1016612 February 7, 2015 Reply

      Rachel, this movie seems a much more realistic depicition of courtship in today’s secular society. It is rare these days for anyone to be courting as a virgin still living at home. The couple in this movie have both sinned in the past and now want to give up their sinful behavior and court properly. If you want people in society to return to old fashioned values, the ones who will be returning will first need to give up their sinful behavior. This movie shows the struggle of this couple to walk towards God and form a relationship that puts Him first.

      • Karee Santos February 7, 2015 Reply

        Victoria, that’s exactly what I was trying to say. Thank you for explaining it so well! 100% agree!

  14. Bill-1081670 February 7, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for presenting a choice between virtue and sin. Make no bones about it that 50 Shades is pornography Satan is aiming directly at mommy this time. The Catholic Church unequivocally prohibits the viewing of pornography. Act virtuosity and support the correct choice.

    • Jennifer-728047 February 8, 2015 Reply

      And yes, the Church “prohibits” the use of porn and for darn good reason!!! We should not want to use it – it’s self medication for wounds, and it’s KILLING our men, women, children, families and nation. The world. SO many guys on here have taken my interview and admit (points for honesty, I suppose?? – Sad days in which we live) to using porn. Kills a woman’s heart, and diseases the man who uses it. I will die a single virgin, with JOY, than marry a male with this poisonous trash. We should not need the Church to ‘prohibit’ or tell us this is sick stuff. And it’s not just ‘naked women’..it’s RAPE!

    • Lois-1115065 February 8, 2015 Reply

      I agree totally!

    • William-1053434 February 8, 2015 Reply

      Well, I for one never claimed not to be sick, but your self-righteous assessments are equally sickening.

      I’d rather be the publican, not the pharisee.

      • Gerry-553695 February 10, 2015 Reply

        So why do you profess to be Catholic when you do not honor women? Frankly, I am sickened when men only think of one thing. A healthy mind has got more going than one obsession. Many women stop dating all together due to males who don’t understand purity. If you are sick, be honest. It is not self-righteous to be pure.

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