This past Wednesday on A Good Habit we were blessed to introduce y’all to a guest we have been looking forward to bringing on the show for a quite a while: Dr. Fredericka Vyvlecka, PhD, LPC-S. Dr. Fredericka is a counselor educator, counselor supervisor and therapist, and she was with us to talk about dating from a Catholic perspective.
We can’t tell you how much we enjoyed the show, and since we only scratched the surface of how to date with marriage in mind (or “dating for heaven”), we plan to have her back with us again to talk about it more. Judging from the emails and feedback that we’ve
gotten, all of you were just as enthused, and eager to hear what she had to say, as we were.
One of the most valuable pieces of advice she gave was a list of 10 criteria that can be used to rate your date. While that may sound funny at first, it really is like a list of virtues that are vital to building relationship and community. And as you look at the list to see how the other person rates, you’re also going to be looking at yourself. How do you rate on these 10 things? Dr. Freddie said this list is also a great examination of conscience in preparing to go to confession. Here they are, in no particular order:
- Responsibility (emotional and financial)
- *Use of power*
Use of power is the deal breaker here, because while it’s unrealistic to expect a person to score perfectly on all these points, if someone uses their power to exploit your vulnerabilities (or the vulnerabilities of others), rather than protect them, they are not marriage material. And as Dr. Freddie pointed out, a person can fake these other traits and virtues, but their use of power can’t be faked, the truth will always out.
Obviously, dating is a topic that deserves a lot more attention and discussion, so we’re going to bring Dr. Freddie back to the airwaves again. In the meantime, here are two books she mentioned which were a great help to her as she developed this style of dating, which she calls friendship dating: St. John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility and Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World by Rev. Thomas G Morrow. (If you purchase through Amazon Smile please consider using this link to support us, and Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase price to Monastery of St. Michael).
At the beginning of the show we also talked about the saint of the day (and she’s a big one), St. Teresa of Avila. She’s often referred to as “big Teresa”, and although it sounds like a mafia name, she’s called that because she was such an incredible saint, and her influence is far-reaching, even today. She is a giant in the spiritual life, and is recognized as such by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Sr. Grace Marie loves her, and shared the amazing story of how she came to have this relic of St. Teresa, which she brought with us to the studio on Wednesday.
If you’d like to see a great movie on St. Teresa check out this Spanish mini-series (it has English subtitles) which is sometimes shown on EWTN, and is available from Religious Catalogue: You may also want to check out Fr. Dubay’s DVD series on the prayer and personality of St. Teresa. Another book which Sr. Grace Marie recommends is Fr. Thomas Dubay’s Fire Within, about the spirituality of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross. Fr. Dubay was an expert on St. Teresa, and his books are very insightful and will feed your soul.