April 4, 2012 9:00 AM

Lenten meditation from Dawn Eden

Dawn Eden - a young convert whose experience before coming to Christ has given her wisdom beyond her years - has a new book coming out which I am so anxious to read.

She sent this Lenten meditation to me this morning and I am honored to share it with you

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Purchased at a price

A young television actress who writes and directs her own work recently told an interviewer why she has chosen to put herself in nude scenes.

"To feel some kind of ownership of your own body," she said, "the way getting tattoos does."

I don't know details of this woman's personal background beyond what she has chosen to share, so I can't say the extent to which her artistic oeuvre--in which she creates for herself characters who are treated as sexual objects--may reflect events in her own life (as she suggests it does). In any case, she seems to be sincere; what is more, there are women, or at least young female television reviewers, who think she in some way speaks for them.

So I think it is very, very sad that she believes her body is something to be "owned," as one owns a slave--displaying it tattooed and naked.

In my new book of Catholic spirituality for adult victims of childhood sexual abuse My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints, one of the stories I tell is that of St. Josephine Bakhita. The Sudanese-born saint knew what it was like to be "tattooed" at the will of her slavemaster--not with ink, but by patterns cut into her body. Having been bought and sold five times during her childhood and teens, she must have also known what it was like to be paraded naked before strangers.

For St. Josephine, who discovered the love of Christ and, obtaining release from slavery, became a Canossian Sister, freedom did not mean the freedom to put new marks on herself. It meant the freedom to offer herself with all the scars she bore, emotional and physical, as an acceptable sacrifice to her loving Father. In the same way, freedom for Bakhita did not mean the freedom to disrobe in front of strangers. It meant the freedom to be robed in a habit, making herself present in love for her religious sisters and for all those that it was given to her to meet, as a member of the family of God.

Perhaps most of all, freedom for Bakhita did not mean to "own" her body. It meant the freedom to belong, body and soul, to her true Master in heaven, being incorporated through baptism into the Mystical Body of Christ.

Finish reading at The Dawn Patrol

Posted in Lent 2012 | Permalink


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