Tag Archives: sex

My Wife’s Surprise Facebook Post

26 Apr

Before you get all excited – the surprise was not in the content of the post. The surprise was in the eloquence and simplicity of the presentation. While our society may not agree, they would have to experience it first to have any basis for comparison.

Here’s her post -

Marriage isn’t just another relationship. It isn’t just about making you happy or making sure you always get yours. It isn’t about finding the perfect person who has nary a fault to annoy you. There is no room for selfishness in marriage. It is a sacrament, a life long covenant of love and service to one another, and a vocation, just as is the priesthood. It is not meant to be broken when you are no longer getting what you want. It is all about giving selflessly, 100%, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It’s about lifting each other up, facing all life’s challenges as one, caring for one another, and loving despite our faults. Marriage is not about you. It is about committing yourself to another, and the ultimate goal is to love your spouse right into heaven.

In our materialistic society, where it seems everyone is concerned with the question, “what’s in it for me?” this kind of relationship seems impossible. But with Christ’s grace, it is not only possible, but a little glimpse of heaven on earth. It will require, though, that you make a total commitment to your spouse. Give everything! Yes, this makes us frighteningly vulnerable, and you must trust your spouse to do the same. Therefore, choose wisely, not based on hormones and fleeting emotions alone, and pray for one another that you may keep Christ before you and both remain steadfast in your commitment to Christ and each other.

I am bothered by how often I hear things like, “I’m not doing that for him. If he wants it, he can do it himself.” Marriage is about what we can do for *each other* not because we can’t live without the other, but because we choose to live with and for each other! Or worse still, I hear, “If I do that for her, what’s in it for me?” A stronger marriage and more love in your life! Yes, you have to be willing to sacrifice for each other! We don’t get to plan on having only the better and never the worse, only the richer and never the poorer, or only health and never sickness! If you aren’t willing to go all in for your spouse, whether there’s something in it for you or not, you aren’t ready for marriage. If you’re already married and finding keeping it together a struggle, time to change your perspective! First thing to banish? Keeping score! It’s not a sports event.

Pax Christi,

Colin

Husbands Love Your Wives…

7 Apr

ephesians

This seems to be a serious issue in marital relationships.  Lets be honest for  a moment. I have gotten dozens of emails over the last few months about this particular issue and a shocking number of personal inquiries, especially over the last few months on the subject of husbands denying wives intimacy. Not exactly what you might expect to hear – but the complaints against husbands are running 5 to 1 or so over complaints about wives withholding intimacy.

Lets put the locker room talk and jocular speech on hold. Let’s not pretend this isn’t happening, or that it is not embarrassing for the men involved. Both are true, and both are deeply hurting marriages. I will explain. Embarrassment over an inability to perform due to any variety of valid reasons, is the leading cause of the rejection of intimacy. The sad side effect is that it also is something men don’t want to discuss even with their wives or doctors. As was so aptly put in the movie Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here, is a failure to communicate”. Seriously,  secrets are bad for marriages. Anything which affects you is your wife’s business, especially when it affects her too.

She cannot nurture, comfort, or help you if she does not understand what is wrong or what is going on – nor can she help. In all fairness, there may be nothing more she can do than hold your hand – but let her at least do that. Do not dismiss her and ignore her ever. Such a course of action simply leaves her mind reeling with possibilities (none of them good) for why you are suddenly detaching yourself from marital intimacy. Marital Intimacy is not just sex! It is holding hands, displays of affection, cuddling, touching – not necessarily involving coitus. To deny your wife all these things because you are for some reason incapable on the action you consider the “Big One” is deadly sin in a selfish wrapper. Marital intimacy is not about you, or your groin. It’s about sharing and being close to each other, touching, caressing, and in general emotionally, physically, and spiritually bonding.

In short – you need to take care of your wife both physically and emotionally, intimacy is critical to marriage. Carefully explain the issue(s). Work through what you can. Work around what you cannot work through, and tackle the problem as partners like God intended. Your wife cannot support you if you do not tell her where to raise you up! Stop and think for just a moment how you would feel if she suddenly refused you for weeks on or months on end, gave you the silent treatment, and offered no real explanation? Now be honest with yourself, and tell me that you would intentionally inflict such hurt into your marriage as actions like that cause. If you do not already do it – I strongly urge you to consider prayer together. A strong marital bond requires physical, spiritual, and emotional intimacy. Husbands, even if it is just holding her hand and saying responses as your wife leads a rosary, or for the more adventurous – a recitation of the wedding night prayers from Tobit. Keep spirituality in your marital intimacy. Personally, I keep a crucifix up in the bedroom as a reminder never to act or not to act towards my wife in a manner that I would be ashamed for Christ to witness. Remember, God is always watching.

Wives – the reverse applies to you as well. Men tend to react very quickly and negatively to a sudden disconnect in emotional and physical intimacy. Communicate if accommodations for some issue are necessary – allow them to be part of the solution and not yet another problem.

Pax Christi,

Colin

Open Letter to Senators Vitter and Landrieu

7 Feb

Eucharistic Adoration

Senators David Vitter & Mary Landrieu,

I would like to draw your attention to this issue. It would seem that the values of the UN and our Constitution are in juxtaposition. The very foundation of our country is under attack by the new UN world government, which attacks our second amendments rights – compounded by an executive branch that signed the treaty knowing congress could never ratify it.

http://www.lifenews.com/2014/02/05/vatican-blasts-un-panel-demanding-it-change-its-position-against-abortion/

Feeling empowered by this, and using the Catholic Sexual Abuse scandal as a very flimsy and thin guise, they have set out to attempt to direct a religion to modify it’s beliefs to conform to their will. This is in blatant violation of our 1st Amendment rights. It is unthinkable for America or any other government to order a Church which had stood firmly on these foundations for over 2000 years that in order to comply with the new social order being forcibly mandated, they must Change Doctrine and Dogma (something the Church cannot do, even if they wanted to). All done in order to eliminate or reverse the church teachings on Abortion, Divorce and Remarriage, Fornication, Birth Control, Families, Homsexual Sex, and Homosexual Unions. I feel sickened that our government can participate in such a body with no respect for individual rights or freedoms to disagree and pursue a tried and true moral path. This same Institution which has told all the governmental entities before the UN, and it will tell all the ones after the UN, but right now it is telling the UN  – emphatically “NO!”

Make no mistake – it is tyranny when a governmental body starts dictating what doctrine a Church can hold.

I urge you in the strongest terms to take whatever measures are still open to you in our eroded democracy. To subvert the misguided executive power of the pen, the appointment, the executive order, the unratified treaty signing, and the phone – and to put an immediate stop to this by sponsoring a binding US Senate resolution supporting the right of the Catholic Church to maintain their religious and moral values, regardless of popular culture or pop-psychology. In addition, the resolution should condemn the UN body for attempting to impede the free practice of Catholicism – the worlds largest Christian Denomination.

Thank You and I will be praying for you,
Colin
http://catholichusband.wordpress.com

PS: Please share and tag your senators in this post! A Viral response will make it hard to ignore.

Love is Never Wrong? Not Exactly –

3 Feb

Love is Never Wrong“Love is never Wrong” – I keep seeing and hearing this slogan a lot, and it’s being used to justify morally a plethora of belief systems and deviant sexual practices which are immoral according to the Catholic Church. It’s simple, catchy, and even hard to argue about if you don’t think too much in the process. After all, who could stand against “Love” since Christ himself said it was the greatest commandment. However, what constitutes “Love”? When you understand that, then it is simple to love a person while rejecting their perversion of a core teaching of Christ himself. You see, the Greeks know all about “Love” – They even had 4 different words for it – each denoting a kind of “Love”. Jesus never used “Eros”, or intended it’s use, in His greatest commandment..

This brings me to my second point – “Love is always a CHOICE”. Humans have free will and control their actions. If  love were not a choice then Jesus’s admonishment to “Love one another as I have loved you” would have to be pure nonsense – yet it is the very verse which people like to quote the most. I have said this many times before and people still like to disagree on that point. Maybe this will put that disagreement to rest. When Jesus speaks of Loving, he speaks of Agape (Spiritual) Love – Not Eros (Erotic). This post will not even stop to take on the two other Greek words for “Love” Philia (Brotherly) and Storge (Offspring/Familial) – I can handle that in another blog.

So where did this catchy, but incorrect, slogan and de facto excuse for immoral behavior come from? You’ve likely seen it most commonly seen it used in banners, internet memes, and signs promoting gay marriage. However, it also makes appearances from time to time in support the following: Adultery, Pedophilia, Fornication, Bestiality, Divorce and Remarriage, etc… Before you accept this “Slogan” as a moral truth – ask yourself if you think it would be wrong for your wife of 20 years to run off abandoning you and the children to have sex with the milkman because she is in “Love”, a teacher to have sex with your underage daughter because they are in “Love”, if you were a farmer – is it ok to have a naked man with “Wellingtons” on to be out in the fields molesting your sheep? All because he is in “Love”.  Next the same line of thinking will be used to defend a rapist who couldn’t control himself because he was in “Love” with his victim, and since “Love is never wrong” how can we revile his actions or judge them?

You need to keep asking the same question when it comes to homosexual unions, polygamous unions, and  other perversions of the Sacrament of Matrimony. They too are morally wrong. If you allow this ridiculous justification to poison your mind, it opens a Pandora’s box of logical consequences that lead to “Love” being used to justify everything from immoral behaviour between consenting adults – all the way to the unspeakable horrors of pedophilia and rape.

Don’t be deceived – Love is a choice. Choices, by definition, can be wrong. Ergo “Love” is NOT always morally right. Deal with it – and stop pandering to that despicable slogan, while praying very hard for the deceived.

Yours in Christ,

Colin

Morally Speaking

29 Jan

pius-x

There comes a time in each of our lives when we must choose between being faithful to God, and being rejected or abandoned by those we once called friends. We must understand that we are not the ones making this decision – the people who would reject us for not jettisoning our faith to appease their conscience are walking away from us, we are not walking away from them. You see, it’s very hard for those enmeshed in darkness to tolerate the light of truth. Their dark lies are warm and comfortable, like a narcotic high – and just as seductively addictive. The bright light of truth is like a ray of sunshine in the eyes of a man recovering from a hangover. They will wince, and squirm, and even turn away. They will either to return to the bottle or sober up. When you shield that light by denying the example of Christ in confronting wrong then you deny Him. Think about it – every time you say the politically correct thing, rather than the faithful thing, you do nothing more than enable evil. People in darkness want it to feel normal, they want to feel approved of because they know in their hearts what they are doing is wrong. When you tell them what they are doing is not wrong, or that it is not your place to judge their actions (Not their person – Just the actions) then you are acting as an agent against God and helping them into perdition.

If your child was reaching for a hot stove would you not warn them away out of love, would you not comfort them if they failed to heed your warnings and got burned touching the side of a hot stovetop? One thing you would never do is tell them that it was OK to endanger themselves in that way. You would not be judging the child, only their actions. Just as this very basic principle applies to your family, in order to live your faith you need to practice it with those outside your family who you care about. Our priests, and especially our Bishops have this sacred responsibility in a most solemn manner for all humanity – as they must serve as an example of heroic virtue to others – Pope Francis has continually done this despite the media spin doctors attempts to paint him otherwise.

Mark 6:11
And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.

The internet can be befuddling for many Christians, too many voices all throbbing together in a confusing cacophony. However, just like in life – any real friend will accept you or reject you as you are. If you have to pretend to be something you are not, or to put your faith in check to avoid offending them; Well it is time for you to realize that they are NOT your friend. They are your captor, and you have just betrayed God for nothing more than the approval of a person stuck in the same tar pit you are. The person whose approval you need to worry about is God. He is the only person who can get you out of your predicament. However, you must reach out to him and accept his hand – just as they must do. To know what to do, they need to see your example of escape. They do not need to watch you drown in sin with them so that they can think that it is normal or OK to be swallowed up by the inky black tar and lost forever.

Jesus did not instruct that we should be overly persistent in trying to bring them to the truth as evidence by the quote above which is repeated in Matthew 10:14 and Acts 13:51. That said, Jesus also gave us from his personal example that we were not to let wrongs go unchallenged. He did not tell the adulteress that it was her body to do with as she pleased, he did not tell the money changers he respected their choices, and he most certainly did not tell his followers to keep on in their immoral ways and do what thou wilt. He offered mercy to the repentant, remember what he told the adulteress – “Go forth and sin no more”. Yet we have done so in our society, in the misguided sense that we can coexist with those who violate God’s law without upsetting them by calling out sin. Our children have fallen away from the churches because they hear our words, but they do not see any real conviction in our actions. In fact they see the opposite – and instead of 30 pieces of silver, we sell out our faith for the approval of others. We invite unrepentant perpetrators of evil actions into our lives and act surprised when it is we who are corrupted by allowing ourselves to tell the lie that “it does not really matter” so many times we make others and ourselves believe it. We are always called to love the sinner, but also to rebuke the sin. This is one of the Church’s hardest teachings. Hold firm to Church Doctrine. Pray for guidance. Love and know that it may never be returned. Accept that you will be scored and rejected for doing so, but also know that you are following in His footsteps – and that means that you are surely on the right path.

St. Michael the Archangel, Pray for us all.

Sáncte Míchael Archángele,
defénde nos in proélio,
cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
Ímperet ílli Déus,
súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis,
Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos,
qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo,
divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde.
Ámen. 

-Colin

A Catholic Wife Responds

27 Jan

My beloved wife came across this article on Facebook, and had no trouble expressing her feelings about it. I’m quoting her here straight from her facebook post with her permission. Like and share if you agree with her. In the meantime, I’ll be praying for the author of the article with her.

This article might be better entitled “Arrogant, Angry, Ultra Feminist Fool Goes Off Half Cocked in a Flurry of Presumption and Cluelessness.”

Indeed I do feel I am just as well off as “women who take care of themselves.” I left a successful career to stay home and raise my children because I believe it is the most important thing I could be doing with my time right now. There is no reason why I cannot resume my career later or even start an entirely new one when the time comes. I am more than capable of thinking, choosing, and taking care of myself, thank you. I simply don’t measure success by money, affluence, or influence alone. I can think of no greater contribution to make of my life than raising my children to be independent, well educated, responsible adults of good character. This is a woman filled with anger and bitterness, and I simply refuse to live my life that way. She has every right to make her own choices. She has no right to make mine.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/26/feminist-blogger-titles-post-i-look-down-on-young-women-with-husbands-and-kids-and-im-not-sorry/

- Debra & Colin

PS: If you’d like to hear more from my wife – leave a comment and let her know.

Living Faith

21 Jan

Sainte_therese_de_lisieux

Living your faith is something which fewer and fewer of us are doing today. We continually make compromises in our lives and place other things before God. I know, I know – not you right? I used to think so too – I’m still working on fixing it to this day. But seriously, when we fail to live our faith publicly it’s like lighting a candle then covering it a black box so nobody can see it. Faith is not something you practice just on sundays for 45 mins, maybe longer if the priest in long-winded in his homily. Faith is meant to be LIVED and not PRACTICED. Catholicism most especially, is meant to be integrated into our everyday life, in our homes, in our jobs, at the market, in every single thing we do each day.

This does not mean that we carry a bible, wear a honkin’ crucifix, sling a rosary through our belt and wander the streets admonishing sinners. Rather, this means we do the exact opposite. St. Francis said to “Preach the Gospel always, use words when necessary”. This important because we live our faith through our actions, not our words. Modesty is always good. That bible toting routine is not modest – the little rabbit foo foo method of spreading the gospel (by banging people eon the head with it) is not the answer. More importantly, this change is about you and not them. This is about change on the inside more than the outside. It’s a challenge with some fantastic rewards, even if you never get there but just keep trying.

We start with the small things. St. Therese said to do little things with great love. Little things are easier. You can pick just a few and start there, and then expand. You can do them while: preparing a meal, disciplining a child, dealing with a coworker, showing compassion for a stranger, performing your job, cleaning the house, even choosing groceries, or interacting with your spouse. You see those little things form the foundation for the big things. If you can’t take a little step successfully, then how can you expect to make a huge leap? Nobody expects you to be perfect, just to try to do everything with great love – nothing more. It is that conscious effort to do things with great love that is so powerful, and perspective changing. You’ll probably start feeling happier and more content in general after a relatively short time. This is the part where you discover the joy of serving God by serving others.

Next work on the moral conflicts in your life. Anytime you find yourself reasoning out why breaking a small moral rule is alright – STOP RIGHT THERE. Recognize that you are rationalizing it. Then reconcile the fact that you cannot be faithful in big things until you have learned to be faithful in small ones. This can mean many things for many people. Some examples to get you stated are lying, cheating, stealing, imagined adultery, even skipping church on Sunday so you can make a ball game. What are you saying to your children if you do that? That ball games are more important than God? Teach them instead to get up extra early for mass, or attend the vigil the night before. Show them that God comes first, your example will drive their own understanding of the faith – make it a good one. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make in your faith as well.

You’ll find as you focus on the small things the bigger things seem to fall into place on their own. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make when you make a conscious effort to do things for your wife with great love, not to just do them. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself doing everything for her with great love, when she sees your example and follows you in this practice it will fundamentally change your relationship for the better. It will improve your performance at work, your interactions with others, your compassion, your faith, and most importantly your happiness.

Yours in Christ,

Colin

Monogamy is unnatural

9 Jan

This reblog is one from Matt Walsh who has presented the most eloquent defense of sacramental morality any “Neanderthal” has ever graced a professor with vaulted “Cerebral Superiority” with (at least that I have witnessed).

“If you won 600 million dollars in the lottery, would you go out the next day and break into cars to steal the change from the cup holders? That’s what sleeping around is like when you’ve already found a woman who will pledge her life and her entire being to you for the remainder of her existence.”

The real question you have to ask yourself is why you are going into debt and your children are mortgaging their next 30+ years to student loans not just to support this nutter and those like him – but to have their minds, hearts, and souls POISONED by this shameless drivel. Intellectual inferiority at it’s best…. Read the whole thing here, it will make you laugh and cry at the same time. Things like this are rare gems. Pass this one on. Monogamy is unnatural.

Faithfully Yours,

-Colin

Anniversaries and What They Mean

30 Dec

Anniversary Watch

Anniversaries. What do they really mean? Another year has passed and a sacrament has survived?

Let’s be honest we take great pride in hitting milestones like 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 25 years. We do this because so many marriages do not make these numbers. Too often we place far too much stock in the celebration and recognition of these events – to the point that if one partner forgets the date or does not provide some token of affection a fight ensues and recriminations begin.

I love presents, a nice dinner out, and mind blowing sex as much as the next guy – and likely more. However, these things are not what an anniversary is about for me. Given they joyous effects of neurosurgery on long term memories – our early years are somewhat patchy. Please indulge me while I explain what I have thought of for the last 15 anniversaries.

Yesterday was our 22nd anniversary, and it’s funny that it is a gift I received on my 7th anniversary from my beloved wife that I still wear every day is a continual reminder of her selfless love. It’s a watch, that never needs batteries (Kinetic), like our love it is powered just by being ourselves. To understand I have to explain about me and watches – I kill them. Wind up or digital is no matter – on my wrist they all quit ticking and tocking or beeping in hours – days if I’m lucky. The wind up ones often ended up with hands bent inside the cases. Call it an occupational hazard of sorts. She wanted me so badly to have a watch that she searched high and low. She knew I had pinned a very small ad for this particular watch by the side of my desk among other papers for some years. Sapphire crystal, plain and simple – no “bling” at all, kinetic (No battery – powered by a slow leak capacitor), made of pure titanium (non-ferrous so no magnetic field issues), and more expensive than a used car. The Service Merchandise chain or Jewelers was still going in those days and she went in to look at after Christmas sales – they had one left and it was on clearance, cheap – under $1000 (This was 15 years ago!). It was still very expensive, but she was sure it was for me – her heart told her so. She carefully explained my history with watches, the salesman brought out that very watch and included a promise in writing that they would take it back unconditionally if I managed to kill it. She wanted to have it engraved but the back was sapphire crystal as well so the inner workings could be viewed if one desired and the crystal could not even be scratched by their engraver. She bought the watch and brought it to our dinner out that night.

While we waited for our food I could see fear or trepidation in her eyes. She was nervous and scared, I got nervous – it was the 7th year after all – and things had been rocky at times that year, but I thought we had really grown and bonded more deeply through the adversity. Now I wondered. She turned to me and said “I got you something special, I spent way too much money – please don’t be angry” and passed the box over. I about fell out of my chair when I opened it and the outrageously expensive watch I had admired, but never thought I would own, was in the box. You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was speechless. She was worried and hurriedly explained that she had gotten it on super sale, she could take it back, that it couldn’t be engraved to her disappointment, and that it came with a money back guarantee my body could not kill it. I’ll never forget the look in her eyes. They were truly windows to the soul for her that night. She had done something beyond selfless to make me feel loved and wanted, to let me know that she was not just listening to me – but noting and absorbing every detail of my being and though I had never said a word to anyone – she knew about the watch. She wanted more than anything to make me happy, to know that I was loved, and that she cared very deeply about those things I wanted in the depths of my heart that I had put aside to take care of her and our daughter. Tears welled up, I was touched in a place I had never been touched before – this feeling was new and joyous, and heartrending at the same time. I had no equivalent gift to offer. I looked into my heart, painfully aware that I was lacking and did not deserve this kind of love. I resolved that moment to keep trying to be the husband she deserved – not that I ever was, or have been successful in that endeavor.

I still keep trying. To this very day I still keep trying to match her in just that one moment. I know her moods, her body language, her smell, her eyes to the point I can often know whats she is thinking by a flash or glimmer in her eyes – and just as often as if by telepathy. I have tried my best to return that gift, but nothing will ever be enough. While the watch is a symbol as important to me as my wedding band because of the turning point in our marriage it represents – the gift was knowing unequivocally just how loved I was. Knowing that nobody deserves that kind of love, and that it is a gift to be accepted graciously and returned of the best of your ability. I am still trying to return a gift given 15 years ago – one that opened my eyes and my heart, everyday. She deserves it. In fact, she still deserves better.

That is what anniversaries mean to me. Like New Years they are an opportunity to reflect objectively on our marriages and identify those things we could do better – then resolve to make it so. That doesn’t mean that the other accoutrements are not nice or important – but that we should always use them to look ahead and not behind.

Yours in Christ,

Colin

This High Price of Artificial Birth Control

18 Dec

Nuvaring_with_quarter

Let me ask you a question, and let’s be honest with the answer. Is it worth risking the life of your wife or even paramour (if not married) to artificially prevent contraception?

Think on that. We’ll get back to it.

The Catholic Church has made it’s ban on artificial contraception as infallible doctrine. It is not subject to change or revision. Many people are angered by this, but what they really should be angered by is the number of women dying of breast cancer because of the hormone based contraceptives, the number of women having strokes because of the hormone based contraceptives, the number of heart attacks women suffer from hormone based contraceptives, among other things. These are not just happening to older women.

I know, now you want to tell me how much safer newer contraceptives are – like say Nuvaring?

I was hoping you’d go there. Before you muddle on any further in your thoughts – you need to read this article in Vanity Fair magazine (Don’t worry there are lots more out there from other media outlets).

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2014/01/nuvaring-lethal-contraceptive-trial

Now that you’re finished reading, I want you to honestly answer the initial question about whether or not the ability to make free with your wife, like she was made of rubber and inflatable, without fearing conception is worth putting her at such risk? You see somebody needs to explain to me the kind of love and/or marriage that allows for one person’s wants or needs to overpower the health and welfare of the person they supposedly love. I’ve already written about my own struggle with the Church teaching on NFP – it’s a popular read and if you’re not already familiar it’s here. Do your own research on the side effects of the pill, nuvaring, hormone infused IUD’s, and recoil in horror as I did. Forget the Pink Ribbons and “Save the TATA’s” slogans – if you want to protect your wife from such horrors, get rid of those hormone laced pills, shots, and devices. There are fantastic benefits to doing so it you do – for you as well as her.

Sex, Intimacy, and NFP

I would like to think, that with a little common sense and some gentle introspection most rational people can stop rationalizing what they personally want long enough to see the truth. Artificial Birth Control HARMS and  KILLS WOMEN. It also lowers libido and can cause weight gain and depression, among other non-lethal side effects, which is often treated with more dangerous hormones and just leaves your sex life in a downward spiral. Is this something you would subject a woman you love with all your heart to, just so that you can have sex with her on command and avoid conception?

If you just answered “Yes” then you don’t understand what love really is.

If you just answered “No” then I would ask you – What are you going to do about it?

Yours in Christ,

Colin

The Indissolubility of Marriage

3 Dec

conjoined ringsGiven the recent state of the Media and some very suspicious statements from an unidentified Vatican Representative also in the news have led to the wildest of speculation bringing joyful adulation from the progressives and furtive searches for the nearest SSPX parish by faithful “Traddies”. Saying something will be discussed in a Synod is not in any proof that heresy will occur. It is both right and good for the Catholic Church to look for ways to reconcile them or ease the suffering of these divorced and remarried Catholics who have trapped themselves in grave mortal sin while respecting Doctrine and the Sacraments. Nothing has been said thus far which indicates any other purpose to the Synods’s deliberations. In fact the Vatican has already clearly reaffirmed that permitting Divorce is not on the table.

The Indissolubility of Marriage is an Infallible Catholic TeachingBTAR  – Navy Radioman lingo for “Break Text, End Transmission, No Response Required” commonly used by crotchety Chiefs and Petty Officers to quiet the protests of mewling Seamen. It is not up for debate, nor can the Pope change this teaching or attempt to without becoming the first Pope in History to teach Heresy.

Here is the basis for that infallibility -

“Matrimony was not instituted or re-established by men but by God; not men, but God, the Author of nature and Christ our Lord, the restorer of nature, provided marriage with its laws, confirmed it and elevated it; and consequently those laws can in no way be subject to human wills or to any contrary pact made even by the contracting parties themselves.  This is the teaching of Sacred Scripture (Gen. I, 27-28); it is the solemnly defined doctrine of the Council of Trent, which uses the words of Holy Scripture to proclaim and establish that the perpetual indissolubility of the marriage bond, its unity and its stability, derive from God Himself (Council of Trent, Sess. XXIV).”  (Pius XI: Encycl. Casti Connubii, 31 Dec. 1930, M. 267.)

Or we could fall back on the words of Jesus Himself, don’t worry it does not take a rocket scientist to understand this, it’s quite simple and clear -

Luke 16:17-18

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fall.

18 Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband, committeth adultery.

Next, we can discuss about how it is also Infallible Church Doctrine that one must be free of mortal sin in order to receive communion. This poses a serious problem for divorcees who have remarried as they are Adulterers in God’s eyes regardless of society’s permissive attitudes. This means that they are always in a state of GRAVE MORTAL SIN and therefore ineligible for communion. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is abused if the recipient does not truly intend to cease the sin and sin no further – so unless the adulterer discards his false spouse and reconciles with his rightful one or discards his false spouse and lives chastely, there is no valid way to just give them absolution before each mass. Abuse of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is again in itself a GRAVE MORTAL SIN – which would once again prevent participation in the Sacrament of Communion.

There is some hope, as the Catholic Church will grant an Annulment if the marriage can be proven invalid. This is harder said than done, as many will attest. It is a long and painful process designed to heal hearts and restore the spirit. You might think of it like physical therapy for the soul, it hurts – but it is not done to hurt you but to help you. The problem with this approach is that people who have grounds for an annulment usually already have them, those who have no legitimate grounds simply waste their money and the Church’s time needlessly.

Why is this a big deal, you ask? Because, many people end up divorced through no fault of their own, and even over their explicit objection. While the spouse who left goes on to marry their paramour, to keep in communion with the Church and it’s Sacraments they must remain Chaste. They deserve our compassion, our love, our caring, and our community to rally around them. The errant spouse also deserves compassion and love, but never acceptance of their adulterous relationship.

While some might argue that this is an issue of Justice for the aggrieved spouse who must remain single but can still receive the sacraments. A greater injustice is perpetrated by forcing them to sit in Church next to their adulterous spouse and their false spouse/adulterer while they too receive the sacraments in a state of grave mortal sin. It would serve as a tacit endorsement by the Church of Divorce in contradiction of Infallible Doctrine (Heresy). Such a thing demeans The Church, The Sacrament of Marriage, and the Sacrament of Communion, and the Papacy. What does it say to the children in the congregation? What does it say to the other married couples – especially those going through a trying time in their marriage but determined to make it work because their faith requires it of them? In fact, the Church of England was formed over the Church’s refusal to grant a divorce to King Henry VIII – many were martyred for their faith in this infallible teaching at that time. Such an action would be spittle in the eyes of those martyrs. The persecution of Catholics in the UK over the split caused by upholding this doctrine remains to this day, one only needs to think of Ireland or the fact that Tony Blair did not convert until he was out of office because a Catholic cannot be prime minister in the UK.

So what does the Church already do? Those adulterers are always welcome in Church. They may receive a blessing from the priest in lieu of communion. They may sit in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and they may be counseled by a priest about how best to remedy their situation – often one which becomes even more heartbreaking when children are involved. They may receive assistance in filing for an annulment if there are bonafide grounds for such. The Church did not create their sin, they did – and only they can reconcile it with God and the Church. These rules of the faith are so basic and fundamental that even children know them. The Church is eternal and not progressive, God does not change his mind.

The fact is that any solution has to be grounded in doctrine, and not opposed to it. Doctrinally, there can be no Communion for remarried divorcees, nor any other soul with unreconciled mortal sin. As Catholics, we take our Sacraments very seriously because we experience their power in our daily lives. The fact that these people feel the heartbreaking suffering because they have distanced themselves from God by their sin and further still by knowing he is but a decision away. The solution is that a decision must be made, one cannot have their faith and subvert it too. Each person must decide whether or not God is more important than whatever they think their adulterous marriage has gained them and make a choice. It is a basic choice between good and evil – and then they must make penance and reparation as is possible to their spouse and the heart rending suffering they have caused them through their actions. Even if reconciliation is no longer an option.

What we can do as Catholics is to keep all such Catholics, trapped in a living Hell of their own making, in our prayers. Most especially the children and spouses whom have been dragged innocently into this hell with them. I would also pray for the Synod that they can find some way within the confines of Cannon Law to improve the spiritual lives of the afflicted individuals and help them to bring them into full communion. May God grant them the strength and faith to do what is right.

Sincerely,

Colin

The Silent Treatment

26 Nov

silence-2

I know, you don’t even want to talk about this one. Seems like every marriage endures it share of these at times and they’re not always bad things. That said, what you fail to say can be just as destructive to your marriage as what you do say. Stoic silence is a emotional tool men and women both use in marriage all too often for the wrong reasons, but there are good reasons to use it.

I’ll explain. To start, I think we can all agree that when we say things in anger we tend to say exactly what me mean at that moment in the most destructive possible way. What’s worse is that a simple “I’m Sorry”, even a heartfelt one does not undo the damage. Angry words are like spikes nailed into a wooden plank. “I’m Sorry” can remove the spike, but the hole in the wood remains. Think about this for a moment, the logical conclusion is that when you’re angry it is better to say nothing at all until you have had a bit to process your anger and can address the issue in a more controlled manner and choose your words carefully.

This does not mean that you should wait forever – many issues just get worse as time passes and the silent treatment itself can wound deeply. Long term the silent treatment induces a feeling of doubt about you and your commitment to the relationship. Your wife cannot read your mind, but she can read you moods and body language. She will know there is something wrong, and without her understanding what it is you are placing a tremendous emotional burden on her. Her job is to help you either resolve or deal with whatever is bothering you and by keeping it from her you are preventing her from doing so. It helps to stop and remember this key thing – through the Catholic sacrament of marriage you become one flesh and what wounds one of you wounds both, and what helps one of you helps both of you.

The most dangerous use is when you are angry at your spouse. Husbands can be a moody lot – particularly when they’re not getting the attention, affection, sex, respect, or acknowledgment they think they deserve. I speak from personal experience here. Being silent about it does not give your wife a chance to fix it, and silence is only appropriate until you’ve figured out how to tell her what is bothering you without blaming her or making her the focus. 99% of the time these are caused by not communicating your wants and needs rather than an attempt by your wife to harm you emotionally – much less damage your relationship. I’ve discovered that if both spouses would do a better job of both listening, and observing the cues, most of these issues can be avoided. Where that is not enough, or your when spouse is missing an important cue you need to fill them in and explain why you’re feeling that way. Instead, we often let insecurity and doubt cloud our judgement and we start thinking selfishly and defensively. You spouse is not an adversary, any more than you arm or leg is, do not treat them like one.

I’ll use sex as a nice inflammatory example. Husbands can get sullen quickly over a lack thereof, without giving a thought to the fact that their wife could be suffering from an embarrassing female problem like a yeast infection, be exhausted physically and mentally from a particularly hard couple of days, be sick and hiding it while trying to muddle through, stricken with depression, or feeling neglected and/or unattractive herself. You keep silent, but as the days pass you get more and more sullen and distant until by the time the original (usually) temporary condition is gone – you’re both in a “silent treatment” death spiral and miles apart emotionally. It’s not really the lack of sex you’re angry about, it’s a sense of rejection you’re taking personally. The funny thing is that it’s often not about you at all. If you don’t know what is broken you can’t do anything to fix it – even if the fix is just to be there and hold her and for moral support.

It all comes down to honest communication. Don’t keep things from your spouse, that way you can address issues when they’re molehills and before they become mountains. Encourage her not to keep things from you by being a good listener and never being judgmental – if she fears your reaction then she will hide things (just as you will if you fear hers). This is a pernicious evil you have to address head-on and the trust required on both sides will take time to build, but it’s worth it.

I’d like to leave you with a parting thought – Remember that you have vowed yourself to serving her. When you get mad about things like attention, affection, sex, respect, or acknowledgment then you are not serving her. You are serving yourself, and breaking your vows at the same time. This applies to both spouses equally. If you serve her above yourself and she does the same for you then by making yourself last you will unintentionally be first, she will experience the same from you and the marriage will begin to bloom. Funny how Christ’s words from the beatitudes ring true – especially in marriage.

Colin

How Being Catholic is Like Being Married

25 Sep

Holy Family icon

In many ways being Catholic is analogous to being married and from the looks of the things I see around me with my own eyes, we are terrible spouses.  Oh, I see. You think this is a terrible analogy. Right? Well then consider this – when you were confirmed you accepted a sacrament (just as matrimony is a sacrament) of your own free will that bound you to the Catholic Church.  You accepted that sacrament with full knowledge of the Catechism which outlines the beliefs of the church. You asserted that you shared and would do your best to abide by those beliefs and teachings. Just like marriage where you enter the sacrament of your own free will, and agree to abide by Church teachings on your marital responsibilities like being faithful, open to life, and committing to a single spouse for life.

Somewhere along the way so very many have wandered off the path…

In the end, if we don’t respect our own faith and beliefs, how can we expect others to respect our faith and beliefs? I cringed when Obama argued that the Catholic stance on Birth Control being part of Obamacare was irrelevant because no matter what the Church said 93% of US Catholics admitted to using it anyway. I was humiliated at the thought that just because the vast majority of US Catholics were in mortal sin but rationalized it away, and Obama was using our own sin as an argument to degrade and humiliate a core belief of our faith. It would be ok if I could see that people understood that by nonchalantly committing mortal sin openly (even proudly) they were attacking the Church, and thereby God. A good description of such people might be the “Formosan Termites” of the faith, because they rapidly eat out the foundations and load bearing members of a structure until it collapses from the inside. I keep hoping that if more of us will stand up on the Catechism publicly it will become socially unpopular to either do or profess heretical beliefs and lead to a wave of social change back to the church for those so inclined or away from the church for those who cannot or will not accept its core beliefs.

As Pope Francis said – it not just about Abortion, or homosexual copulation, or contraception. We cannot allow ourselves to be hung up on single issues. These are hot buttons for sure in America, but we must instead embrace all of the Catechism with our whole hearts and live our faith in both our public and private lives. This means teachings on fasting on Fridays or substituting an alternate penance all the way to teachings on the Death Penalty and Social Justice which must also be observed. If you own a business this means that you must run it according to the Catechism. If we can be faithful in the small things, then the large things will seem ever so much smaller because our faith will begin to lift us up and over those obstacles.

Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems to me that a large number of american Catholics are divorced, or at the very least separated and involved in external adulterous affairs in regard to their bond with the Catholic Church who is waiting with open arms for them to come back. Lets hope our brothers and sisters in Christ can be rounded up before they wander and bleat their way off a cliff.

By all means – please comment if you agree or disagree.

Colin

I’m Sorry is Never Enough

3 Sep

Especially in marriage, people often think an apology is enough. Our society has grown more fascinated with forcing apologies from people than a North Vietnamese Prison warden. Most of the time these are mechanically given, or forced from people by direct threat or coercion. They are not sincere and generally carry little weight. Even when the apology is sincere, it alone carries little weight. In fact, thanks to the institution of forced apologies in society – insincerity has become the hallmark of the ubiquitous “I’m sorry” – we say it from wrote because we fear retaliation or severe repercussions if we do not.

As with James 2:20 in the bible, which speaks of faith not being present without works – what of repentance. True repentance, like true faith, is evident in works. When the heart is changed the actions follow. True repentance, it comes in two distinct stages. The first stage is when we are truly sorry for our actions primarily because we fear just punishments or reactions, and the second is when we are truly repentant for our actions because we have separated ourselves from our God and those offended through them.

The next time you apologize to your spouse, think about whether you are really sorry and why. I do not mean give it a glancing thought, but rather dwell on it for a bit and chew it over. Especially be mindful of anger if you feel coerced into the apology, as it can cause you to separate further from your spouse – and from God. Now the part you really don’t want to hear, but need to. The problem is yours. There is a difference between ownership and culpability, make that distinction accurately. Though the issue may not be your fault, as the husband you must make it your responsibility and lead by example and resolve it.

Realize that you can only change yourself, not your spouse. Both of you are obligated to do everything possible to serve the needs of the other. For many of us, that means effecting major changes in our thoughts, words, and actions – especially when we have done something to make our spouses feel an apology is necessary. It is the changes we make to correct the separation both from our spouses and God that are the true fruits of repentance and only they can provide the comfort of true reconciliation.

Oftentimes I use such situations to remind myself that I am a bound servant of God and my wife, and I work very hard to not let my mind attempt to rationalize that she is my servant too. You cannot expect to control someone and bond closely with them in true love. True love is joyful service and willing submission – not arrogance, exertion of power, control, and/or feelings worn on sleeves. Realize that the next time an apology comes up and understand that “I’m sorry” is the beginning of the process, not the end. Evaluate why offense was taken and how you can avoid such conflict in the future. Make sure that your words are backed up by thought, word, and deed. If you feel the need to rationalize, then remember that your wife cannot be expected to follow where you do not lead.

Your thoughts?
Colin

Impediments to Embracing Catholicism

27 Aug

Buddy_christ

So many seem so lost and confused about the faith today. I’ll call a spade a spade, say the unpopular,  and attribute it to poor catechesis and an overly permissive clergy and catechists who have allowed a few bad apples more concerned with “butts in the seats” than the truth to run with the ball. Take this for example before you get your shorts all in a bunch about my thoughts.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23473169

The job of the Catholic Church is to lead you to Heaven, not to coddle you and make you feel good. Sometimes that means telling you uncomfortable truths and rebuking you for heretical beliefs, gently sometimes – but firmly always. God is my father, not my “Buddy”, and to think of him otherwise demeans both Him and our relationship.

Here are some of the most common issues people struggle with. If you answer “Yes” to any questions below immediately consult the Catechism and keep reading and rereading all the references until you understand – understanding is at the root of believing. Keep questioning and investigating your Catholic faith. I have, and the more I learn the more I find that the faith comforting rather than conflicting. It also becomes easier to trust, and surrender to yourself to God and his will as expressed through the magisterium.

  • Faith – Are you struggling with submission to God? Do you still believe some things, but not all of what the church teaches as required beliefs? Do you avoid the confessional at all costs? Have you participated in any way in an invalid sacrament (such as a wedding involving a divorcee who does not have an annulment)?
  • Sex & Marriage – Do you think that the sexual morality taught by the church is out of touch with reality? Do you think the Church is morally “out of date”? Do you support Gay Marriage? Do you think that Divorce is OK? If you are married do you use artificial contraception?
  • Sin – Do you have trouble accepting that which the church defines as sin? Do you have issues believing that sin creates a barrier between yourself and God? Do you think that the Church needs to revise what it defines as sinful to keep up with modern standards? Do you doubt the efficaciousness of confession?
  • Real Presence – Do you not believe in the literal real presence of Christ in the eucharist or believe it a symbolic only? Have you ever received the Eucharist with unconfessed mortal sin?
  • Infallibility – Do you think that the Pope is infallible in all things? Do you truly understand how limited and tenuous the thread of instability is?

To be honest NFP was the biggie for me. I was adamant about not letting the church dictate my sex life. It made me angry, it frustrated me, and in the end it changed me. Learning the church was right and understanding why in a very personal way very much put the whole issue of obedience into perspective. It is only when we have humbled ourselves that we can truly learn and grow in faith. You can read about that experience here:  http://catholichusband.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/sex-intimacy-and-nfp/

Remember that faith is a work in progress, not a destination. We will all fall and falter. The important thing is to pick yourself up and keep pressing towards a goal you will only attain when this life has ended. Never let doubts or hesitation keep you down – root out heresy and disinformation in your faith and stay the straight and narrow path.

Godspeed on your journey,

Colin

The Hard Truth of Contraception and Abortion

16 Aug

sauppe_pic2-240x336

The picture above is Fr. Timothy Sauppé, S.T.L. is pastor of St. Mary’s Church, Westville, Illinois, in the Diocese of Peoria. He wrote an article you really need to read.  It addresses the heart and soul of the Catholic Church and the next time someone tries to tell you that their marital choices aren’t affecting other people, or that  it’s none of God’s business – direct them to his article (or mine if you’re feeling generous). Contraception and Abortion are destroying the body of the Catholic Church, it is wasting away like that poor hamster your 7 year old can’t seem to remember to feed. Very literally, what you do to HIM you do to yourself, and if this article does not help you see the hurt you are inflicting on the Church, or if you are one of those many selfish cafeteria Catholics, then you may be beyond any compassionate outreach.

He opens like this:

June 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A stranger came into the sacristy after Sunday Mass. In an incriminating huff he said, “I have been away from the area for fifteen years; where are the people? And now you are tearing down the school? I went there as a kid.”

I put my hands up to quiet him from further talking and I calmly said, “Let me ask you a question: How many kids did you have?” He said, “Two.” Then I said, “So did everyone else. When you only have two kids per family there is no growth.” His demeanor changed, and then he dropped his head and said, “And they aren’t even going to Mass anymore.”

Go here to read the rest:  http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/priest-youve-contracepted-our-parochial-school-out-of-existence/

Yours with Prayerful Meditation,

Colin

Meditations for the Assumption of Mary

15 Aug

Fulton Sheen

I’m a huge fan of Fulton Sheen. For the feast of the assumption I have taken a few selected quotes of his to recommend for meditation. The Assumption seems like an excellent time to pray for our wives, the mothers of our children, entrusted by God to be the vessels and caretakers of his ongoing work of creation. It’s also a good time to meditate and pray for ourselves that we might be worthy of them.

Here are the four quotes to meditate on:

“In every friendship hearts grow and entwine themselves together, so that the two hearts seem to make only one heart with only a common thought. That is why separation is so painful; it is not so much two hearts separating, but one being torn asunder.”

― Fulton J. Sheen

“When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

― Fulton J. Sheen, Life Is Worth Living

“It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God. Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty life is unfinished.”

― Fulton J. Sheen, Seven Words of Jesus and Mary: Lessons from Cana and Calvary

“Most of us love a non-self, or something extrinsic and apart from our inner life; but a mother’s love during the time she is a flesh-and-blood ciborium is not for a non-self but for one that is her very self, a perfect example of charity and love which hardly perceives a separation. Motherhood then becomes a kind of priesthood. She brings God to man by preparing the flesh in which the soul will be implanted; she brings man to God in offering the child back again to the Creator.”

― Fulton J. Sheen, Life Is Worth Living

 

Yours in Christ,

Colin

Catholic Sexuality and the Marital Embrace

12 Aug

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

There is nothing in the world more contentious among Catholics themselves than what is permissible in their bedrooms by their religion. While the Catechism is fairly clear on this issue (and the Catechism represents that which must be followed and believed), many follow a variety of philosophies. These range from what I call the “Augustinian” view that sex is only for procreation and nothing more, only in one set position, and God forbid the woman actually enjoy it because an orgasm for her is a sin – all the way to the “Progressive/Rationalist” view, that what happens between consenting adults in their own bedroom is none of the Church’s or God’s business and basically anything goes.

The truth is a fair distance from each philosophy and it is clearly laid out in the Catechism (read it here for yourself  http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm). No matter who you ask you will get different answers on what is acceptable and what is not (trust me, I’ve asked priests and never gotten the same answer twice). The answers are in the Catechism for those who will take a moment to read it, and greatly expounded upon in the series of sermons that make up the Theology of The Body.

The “Augustinian” view is derived primarily from the writings of St. Augustine who though a Doctor of the Church and very wise did not write with infallibility, nor do his writings and recommendations constitute Dogma, nor Canon Law. Due to Augustine’s rather debauched early life and his need to reject his own sensuality, as he wrote in “Confessions” which is still widely read today, his harsh recommendations were his prescription for combating the lust and sin so prevalent in his earlier life which of which he was extremely averse. In paragraphs 2360-2363 of the Catechism it is made clear that sex is for bonding a couple, bring joy a pleasure as a gift from each to the other, and that it must always remain chaste and open to life. There are no prohibitions on positions, or frequency – but there are prohibitions on using your partner solely for your physical gratification. In remaining open to life and chaste, marital sex must be performed with no barriers to contraception and only with the person to whom we are sacramentally bonded in marriage.

The “Progressive/Rationalist” view throws the Catechism out the window. People tell themselves that anything they want to do with their partner is OK regardless of whether it fits in the context of sacramental marriage. Masterbation, trying to avoid pregnancy by pulling out early, bringing other partners into your bed, and using your spouse for relief instead of in a mutual giving where both of you give the other a gift of themselves and the other graciously receives it – are right out.

Sex in a Catholic Marriage is a chaste expression of love, the giving of a gift of oneself to another and receiving that gift in return. We men especially, often fail here to recognize that 30 seconds of foreplay and 10 seconds of thrusting, followed by 8 hours of snoring does not constitute a gift to our wives. Such crude behaviour masquerading as marital intimacy only breeds resentment, distrust, and unhappiness in the recipient of your “gift” who you just treated like a common whore, or inflatable female facsimile. The marital embrace should always be open to life and a spiritually bonding experience for the loving couple. This does not mean that a quickie in the morning as a gift from your wife is wrong, so long as it is a gift freely given and not demanded. Such gifts are much more likely to occur if there is a whole-hearted attempt to return that gift at an appropriate time and place when you can focus yourself on returning that gift rather than your own gratification.

Exercised in the proper context and within the principles of the Catechism, the marital embrace can bring Husband and Wife both to new levels of both pleasure and intimacy – bonding them inseparably in the process. Outside the confines of the Catechism, sex becomes the greatest  weapon in damaging relationships that there is. Infidelity, using your wife as a receptacle for your lust, and making demands instead of accepting gifts do more to damage marriages than anything else I know of. Such actions destroy the trust and intimacy that is the basis for both Love and the sacramental marriage and hurt both parties physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If you have concerns about a particular issue, then open the link to the Catechism above and see if it qualifies there as well as being loving gift to your spouse which is open to life. Ask yourself if you are having to apply pressure to your spouse. Even fearing your anger, disappointment, or disapproval will constitute an inability on her part to give herself freely to you. Take the time to learn each other both physically and emotionally and let your wife surprise you with her gifts. I assure you, a woman in love can be more creative than you can imagine in your wildest fantasy when she wants to please you. You should be setting an example for her to follow.

I know this post will likely produce a plethora of comments and additional questions, I welcome all of them – but ask that you keep them civil and polite.

Colin

The War on Women

31 Jul

20130731-190524.jpg

This has been really bugging me. It seems many vocal people seem to feel that The Catholic Church is waging a war on women. They say this, of course, while ignoring another growing religion which I have seen to be barbaric in its treatment of women. I’d like to think that they have been brainwashed and do not actually know what Catholics believe about women and marriage, but they are too well conditioned to accept words. I feel the time has come to do as St. Francis admonishes us and preach the Gospel always, using words only when necessary.

The War on Women, is it really being waged by men, or by a few women trying to accomplish I know not what? Everyone has a scapegoat for their unhappiness that they vilify to make themselves feel empowered rather than trusting in God. Ask a woman and its all about gender, ask a black person it’s all about race, ask a devout Christian and it all about the proliferation of non-Christian beliefs into the main stream. The point is that nobody wants to admit its really about them.

Now the part that’s going to really bake your noodle, if it’s all about them then why am I writing this? Lets us start with some basic background, and then move to how you as a husband, father, fiancée, boyfriend, or single man looking for the right woman can help to change things for the better.

Given the state of women in today’s society, I don’t see the liberation they thought they were signing up for. I see a lack of respect, a lack of responsibility, and a general lack of good manners in how men are seeing women thanks in large part to the attitude changes some women have propagated. Those of us left who try to hold a door for a lady, stop to help change a tire, or carry groceries are frequently reviled and or rebuffed for our efforts. Sexual liberation hasn’t accomplished much either. I see women being passed around like a tap at a keg party. Used, and then handed off to the next person. Sex is so frequent and liberal that men expect it by the second date (or sooner) – because women have been obliging and in doing so set that expectation themselves. The number of rapes and sexual assaults continue to rise as liberated women have imbued men with a false expectation of no-strings sex. Divorce runs rampant as women have become disposable. Think of the term “Starter Wife” which came into vogue only in this generation.

When a man sees a scantily dressed woman acting seductively, is he thinking marriage or sex? Is he thinking wife or sexual plaything? Does he see the mother of his children? A woman whose company and counsel he will value forever? For men this is rhetorical question, but for many women it becomes problematic. A woman may feel pressured to dress and act a certain way to compete when it comes to being noticed, but by dressing and acting a certain way men will tend to assume her intentions are carnal and short term with little thought that they might be otherwise. Whether we like it or not, how we dress and act sends very clear messages to those around us. We accept this as fact when it comes to success in business but not in pair-bonding. Why not?

As a husband, I have to admit that I enjoy when my wife dresses seductively or uses body language to say the same thing to me. The feeling I get when such signals are sent to me by the one person in the universe I want most to receive them from are one of the great gifts the sacrament of matrimony bestows. I also admit it makes me uncomfortable when others ogle or send signals of their own, especially when they persist in spite of the ring she is wearing or her making her disinterest clear. It bothers me most that so many in this world ignore the sanctity of marriage, it’s not like a wedding band is hard to miss. I don’t feel alone in this though, as I can be pretty oblivious at times and my wife has noticed other women sending such signals even when I missed it, until it became blatant, and also had a definite reaction to it. There is a sense of exclusive belonging between bonded partners in a sacramental marriage that manifests itself in a sense that you belong to your spouse and they to you. Before you get all worked up, open your bible (even you protestants) to 1 Corinthians 7:4 where it will say:

“The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”

Pray on it, think on it, sleep on it… Take note that each has authority over the other, one of the hardest things in marriage can be surrendering yourself to your wife and for her the same issues can exist. You must care for each other, nurture each other, and work together in achieving salvation.

As a man you can make a huge difference by acting with a sense of chivalry and respect. Open doors for ladies, be respectful in your speech both with and around them, avert your eyes when faced with lust provoking sights, treat all women as though Christ were standing next to you watching your every move. Teach your daughters what they should expect in a husband, and show other women that they can be respected and recognized without resorting to degrading themselves in dress or action. Build up your wife and daughters. Their self esteem will be both a sword and shield. Ensure that they know with certainly that they do not wear their value on their face or chest, nor do they carry it in their groin. With a proper example, they will demand better from then men around them. Change will not be instant – but neither was the decline, but change will happen and things will improve if we persevere. If this constitutes a war on women then so be it, but I prefer to think of it as winning the hearts and minds of women to restore the partnership between couples which God himself ordained.

A sacramental marriage must be freely chosen by both parties. A couple must remain free to choose throughout their marriage. Love itself is a choice one must make anew each day, as husbands you must work to make that choice an easy one. No husband wants a wife who’s heart is not in the marriage, who’s love and commitment are forced, half-hearted, or given with reservations. Marriage is like making love, it’s always at its best with an enthusiastic partner who is fully focused and actively participating.

Sacramental Marriage has lost its revered place in society. Why are women who take pride in the husbands, homes, and families ridiculed, belittled, or even scorned for doing so? Why are women who choose to be homemakers asked by other men and women alike why they are wasting their lives? What about being a success and having a career? Since when was being a Mother not a full time Job? How is letting strangers raise your children, teach them their ABC’s, witness their first steps, anything but a destruction of motherhood? All for what? A few dollars that barely pay for day care and other expenses associated with working only because a woman has been convinced it is necessary for her to feel important? Why the shock and surprise in our society when a woman freely chooses such a life and finds great joy and fulfillment in her labors? In the end is that not what we all seek, but few ever find? Can we not be happy for those who have found it instead of looking down on them? Motherhood is the most important job in the world, you’ll only have children a short time in your lifespan. Focus on them, you can have a career later. Teach them well all the things one cannot learn in school. You’ll get one shot at this only, there are no do-overs.

A husband has a duty to ensure that he does whatever he can to ensure his wife’s hopes and dreams become reality, especially because he realizes that as they become one, her dreams become their dreams and her happiness becomes their happiness. As a husband and father of 3 daughters, I fear for them greatly in finding a man who understands commitment and responsibility. Being married should help a woman achieve her dreams within her marriage and not end them. A sacramental marriage should provide the freedom to explore interests, not quash them. Granted there are restrictions and both must work before play, but it is in both working and playing together toward each others goals that an unbreakable bond is forged. If you expect your wife to support your dreams you must support hers. Sharing in those dreams with her will be your greatest source of joy and happiness. I’ve found myself exposed to all manner of things I would never had pursued of my own interest by sharing some of my wife’s dreams like becoming a HAM radio operator, and I discovered that in encouraging and sharing her dream I also shared in the joy and happiness the hobby has brought her. When was the last time your wife expressed a dream or desire and you went to work to make it happen for her? If its been too long, then maybe it’s time to do it again.

Remember one man cannot hope to singlehandedly change the world, but one man’s actions in the imitation of Christ can change another’s persons life and outlook. Paid forward, it can become a wave of positive change the world over.

Papal Comments on Gays and Divorcees in the Church

29 Jul

20130729-155605.jpg

Today Pope Francis is being accurately quoted by the media HERE but they are drawing some very disturbing conclusions which the Catholic Church has not expressed support for.

While the issue of Gay Catholics was the most sensational, the most disturbing was the medias insinuation that divorcees who had remarried might be allowed to partake of communion, despite willfully and defiantly living in a state of mortal sin – compounded by the fact they the cause another to sin in the process. I’ll address them both now…

The church’s stance on Gays is not new, it is the behavior and not the person which is judged by church teaching. See the catechism 2357-2359. Compassion and acceptance of the person is required of Catholics, acceptance of the behavior is explicitly forbidden. This cannot and will not change.

As for the divorcees receiving communion – since the church cannot recognize a civil divorce nor grant one ever, then without an annulment any Catholic divorces and their new pseudo-spouse are barred from communion for living in a willful state of mortal sin. The cardinals may review this issue, but unlike the author of the article I fully expect that the result will be a retention of the status quo. Anything else is going to require theological justification that I cannot see happening, and would degrade all of the Catholic teachings on marriage and family – perhaps causing a schism.

Pope Francis has been very compassionate, but also very orthodox. The prohibition on divorce is a core Catholic belief as taught by Christ himself, it is Dogma. To attempt to change it is unthinkable, as is any attempt to remove adultery as a sin. I have to expect the Pope was misquoted or taken out of context.

According to the teaching of the Church, if a couple is validly married, nothing but death can break the marriage bond. A valid marriage cannot be annulled, and an invalid marriage must be proven as such to the Church prior to an annulment being granted.

A valid Catholic marriage results from four elements:

(1) the spouses are free to marry
(2) they freely exchange their consent
(3) in consenting to marry, they have the intention to marry for life, to be faithful to one another and be open to children
(4) their consent is given in the presence of two witnesses and before a properly authorized Church minister. Exceptions to the last requirement must be approved by church authority.

Read more about sacramental marriage and requirements HERE.

This teaching is hard to accept, but Christ never claimed it would be easy. This is a mandate from Christ himself – not some ordinary man. In fact, the divorce issue was the reason Henry VIII declared himself Gods representative on Earth. The sad truth is that there are songs sung to this day about how many wives he burned through. If you are divorced and remarried (unless your spouse has since deceased) you are living in mortal sin and the only way to fix it is to either obtain an annulment (nowhere near an easy or cheap process) then marry again, divorce your false spouse and choose to live a chaste life, or reconcile with your rightful spouse. It is in knowing that the union is indissoluble that we find both comfort and great strength to overcome obstacles together. Without that knowledge and certainty it is all too easy to give up, and even easier when society hangs no shame on the failure. God weeps not just at the covenants broken, but at the pain we cause ourselves in doing so.

In short, divorce is not allowed. An annulment is not a divorce. You can separate from a spouse and remain chaste until their death, or reconcile your marriage. This teaching of the Church is key to the Sanctity of Marriage and the stability of the family in a world that has run amok with narcissism, hedonism, and selfishness.

“Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery” (Luke 16:18; Mark 10:11-12)

“A married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives . . . Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive” (Rom. 7:2-3)

“To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband)–and that the husband should not divorce his wife” (1 Cor. 7:10)

Yours in Christ,

Colin

Has Religion Fallen from Grace or Have You?

13 Jul 20130713-175850.jpg

Today I read an article in the Wall Street Journal here which expressed the idea that religion is in trouble, that people are turning away in droves from organized religions which they view as rule based and corrupt. More importantly, the article says that people are fed up with religion which does not change with the times. It says in brief, that they are seeking their own path and finding happiness in spirituality and their own self-defined morality instead. The article even claims that very word religion has fallen from grace.

One thing we know – people in today’s society, they don’t seem to be willing to accept any moral or religious truth that does not conform to their expectations, wants, and desires. They will blindly follow any theology that preaches what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.

People have become all too comfortable and selfish, they know that what is right but it’s not what they want – so they look to charlatans or each other for affirmation. The natural law is written on the hearts of mankind by God. We are endowed with an innate knowledge of God’s existence and his expectations of us through it. It’s why the belief in God in some or another form pervades every culture on earth.

I disagree with the article however, on one critical point. While I agree that many are seeking affirmation of their beliefs and leaving the Catholic Church and religion in general – the author failed to mention the ever growing traditionalist movement which you can read about here.

Just as many are fleeing to the truth, hard is it may be for them to accept. They are seeking the truth. Seeking to hold themselves and be held by their communities to a higher moral standard. Moral truth does not change, only social whim. Many see the unchanging Catholic Church as a solid foundation, and take comfort in the teachings of Christ as handed down from Peter and the other popes in unbroken succession since the crucifixion of Jesus.

When you are traveling to a distant destination, you must stay the course if you are to ever arrive. if you wander aimlessly, not only will you not arrive, but you will become hopelessly lost. Many now see clearly the benefits not only to themselves but society, but most importantly it is filling the void in their hearts and souls which agnosticism has failed to do for so many.

Colin

The Rationale of the Pro-Abortion Movement

10 Jul

20130710-222244.jpg
Alrighty then!!!

Now follows something I never thought I would do. I am going to re-blog the opposition. Why would I do this you ask? It’s simple, after reading their rationale for abortion I came to the conclusion that none of them took a single course in classical humanities. I’m going to call this the “Lysistrata defense” after a play by Aristophanes. I’ve never been so shocked at how far we were gone as a society before.

Read this from The Burnt Orange Report:

“For those of us guys who like girls — you know, like them like them — and want to have relationships with them that may last anywhere from a few minutes to many years, we need to think about how this bill, by curtailing the bodily autonomy and sexual freedom of women, hurts us, too. We need to stand with women in their fight to control their own bodies.

How #HB2 Hurts Straight Texas Men

Your girlfriend’s/wife’s life will be in danger. Making abortion inaccessible for millions of Texas women is going to put them in danger if they ever need to terminate a pregnancy. Black markets for unsafe abortions will emerge, and women will be pushed into potentially fatal back-alley abortions. That’s your girlfriend’s life we’re talking about.

Your freedom to choose is at stake, too. While it is ultimately a woman’s choice whether to have an abortion, many women choose to make that decision with the man involved. Do you want that decision ready-made for you by politicians in state government? Not if you value freedom, you don’t.

You want to decide when and if to have kids. This bill will force thousands of Texas men into unplanned fatherhood by making it impossible for women to access an abortion in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. Even if you want to have kids, you probably don’t want an accident to make you a father before you’re psychologically ready and able to care for a child. If you don’t want kids, you don’t want the narrow, personal views of politicians in the state government to force you to have them.

Your sex life is at stake. Can you think of anything that kills the vibe faster than a woman fearing a back-alley abortion? Making abortion essentially inaccessible in Texas will add an anxiety to sex that will drastically undercut its joys. And don’t be surprised if casual sex outside of relationships becomes far more difficult to come by.
It’s clear: if the Legislature basically takes away a Texas woman’s right to choose, having sex becomes a much, much riskier proposition for women and men.

It becomes much, much riskier for women who currently count on access to safe, legal abortion because now an accidental pregnancy could mean death or serious infection. It also becomes riskier for us men, who may well end up fathers well before we intend.

Almost half of all pregnancies are unplanned and unintended. Of those, over 40% currently end in abortion. What happens to those 40% if this law passes? Are you willing to roll the dice with your girlfriend’s health and safety?

So, my fellow men, listen up. We need to stand with our Texas women in this fight: for our sisters, mothers, friends, girlfriends, and wives, so that they can have the freedom to control their bodies.”

If you can stomach further reading, need a few laughs, just want to see for yourself that someone actually posted tripe of that ilk, or just want to leave the original author a thank you note for being so helpful in making my point about how contraception and abortion degrade women then click here.

If you that that was sad and funny at the same time then check out their follow up here.

Yours in Christ,

Colin Corcoran

cc70458@gmail.com

**Please feel free to write or comment on this post, I’d really like to hear from those that are able to have this experience and how it is changing their marriage, their wives, their lives, and their perspective on the Catholic faith.

Are You Really Catholic?

6 Jul

Eucharistic Adoration

Eucharistic Adoration

What a question! My question to you is whether you can answer honestly to yourself?

It’s probably not really your fault right? You think that, in truth – it’s the fault of people soft pedaling the truth to keep “butts in the seats”, watered down CCD classes, deficient PSR programs, and poor catechization in general. Have you ever been in a Catholic Church where the priest preached these uncomfortable truths and watched people walk out? Be honest… I have witnessed this myself. Imagine how parents react to children coming home with concerns that their CCD teacher or PSR teacher is contradicting what “Mommy and Daddy” say and do, or their example in the home? Ask yourself honestly, are you part of the solution or part of the problem. There is no debate, no rationalization, and no convincing to be done – these are the beliefs of the Catholic Church and they are immutable. None of this is open to argument or disagreement. These teachings will never change to meet the times, and their permanence is a reminder that God does not change his mind. It grants us a sense of security and surety in this life that right and wrong are in fact moral truths, and not subject to social whims or determined by a majority vote.

That seems to be the first and hardest step in making any lasting change. If that that query is too difficult then try the following easier questions and then judge your own answers, use them to determine if you are in keeping with the Catechism. Remember that Catholicism is not a cafeteria you can pick and choose from. Either you accept the teachings of the church in toto, or not. While you may think you are fooling others, the way you speak and conduct yourself will give you away. Catholicism is about teaching Truth – it is not based on majority opinions or votes, nor is it based on feel good psycho-babble spouted on television and popular media. Catholicism is unchanging, no Pope can or will refute dogma – thereby the stance on artificial contraception will stand until the end of days, whereas the issues of married priests is open to papal authority. If you seek to change the Catholic Church to meet what you want to believe then you are not really Catholic (yet). My advice there is to read the Catechism then pray before the Blessed Eucharist until you understand the teaching or teachings, in situ, and embrace them.

WARNING: This reflection of conscience is intended only for Catholics to better understand which areas of the faith they may have trouble with. Some or all of these teaching may make you uncomfortable, as may your own examination of conscious. None of these areas are optional, to be Catholic you must believe Church teaching on ALL of them.

Do you believe, and follow, ALL of the churches teachings in your daily life. This means the ones on capital punishment, birth control, abortion, social justice, heaven, hell, purgatory, the real presence in the Eucharist, Marriage and Divorce, etc…?

Everybody can get one or two, but be honest since you’re not even talking to me – I’m more a figment of your imagination created by your reading of this blog, think of me as an active conscious…

Do you think it’s alright to execute a criminal when an alternative exists? During the Gosnell trial did you want blood, or mercy? Did you remain silent or even agree with those around you who discussed the trial and supported death for Gosnell? Did you ever stop to consider that life is sacred, no mater how abhorrent the actions of the person? One cannot be Catholic and support the death penalty in our society (which has an alternative). Because this one is NOT OPTIONAL, so derisive to many, and evokes strong feelings by people with deep seated convictions, I am going to put the text from the Catechism inline here:

2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity with the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” 68

Abortion is wrong because it is cold blooded pre-meditated murder. The only choices involved are a choice to commit murder to cover up a mistake on our part, or to murder someone because they are inconvenient. Where does it end? When we start killing the old and sick because they are inconvenient? What about the poor, the mentally ill, or the uneducated? Who will stand up for you when you become inconvenient? Where again did Jesus kill anyone? How then, is murder in any form, following Christ’s example? Here is an excerpt fromt the Catechism to get you started in your reflection, then read the whole thing here (Euthanasia follows Abortion – so no need to search or skip around).

2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.72

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.73My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.74

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76

2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,”77 “by the very commission of the offense,”78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”80

“The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”81

2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, “if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.”82

2275 “One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival.”83

“It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material.”84

“Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity”85 which are unique and unrepeatable.

Do you think artificial birth control is acceptable? Here is a spoiler, I once did. I was wrong, but it was not until I understood the teaching more fully that i could not just accept it – but embrace it. Read about my struggle with this issue here. Do you think it doesn’t debase a woman to use her for your pleasure? Did you once think about the increased cancer or stroke risk she undertook for taking birth control hormones to provide her the ability to be used by you without fear of pregnancy? Did you ever resent your spouse for asking you to be open to life? Since the pill was introduced widely in the early 60’s did you see society moving forwards or backwards? Are marriages more stable? Do you consider a child a gift or a hinderance? Have you even read Humane Vitae? Do you deny that no matter how thin the condom, the barrier turns a deeply loving and spiritual exchange (including messy bodily fluids) into nothing more than assisted masterbation? Thanks to birth control, do you feel free to compartmentalize sex and pursue partners you would never consider for marriage or motherhood? Do you believe that sex outside the marriage covenant is always a sin? I could go on for hours – but by this time you know where you stand regardless of your rationale for that stance. Before you start contemplating, whet you appetite with this quote from Humane Vitae (Pope Paul VI) and then read the whole thing here and ask yourself if Pope Paul the 6th did not predict with perfection the results of the widespread use of artificial conception over 40 years ago:

17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

How do you view the catholic teachings on social justice? Have you even read the catechism and reviewed the teachings on the subject? Are those teachings compatible with your current political stance? Do you give of you time and resources to help the less fortunate or do you expect others to do it? To be honest, many right wing Catholics seem to have the hardest time with these teachings. They have bought into unfettered capitalism and exploitation of workers to increase profits to the point that they feel somehow entitled to continue doing it. Do you think that an employers have a responsibility to those they employ? If you employ people, do you conduct your relations with your employees according to the maximization of profit or catholic teaching? Do you feel entitled to live better than others, even at their expense and the expense of their children? Now are you beginning to see why Americans especially find these teachings difficult? Ask yourself truly if you are serving God in your life, Jesus set us an example of serving others – not being served by others. Take these thoughts and sit in an adoration chapel for one hour in silence, listen to what he says to you – then answer this question honestly. Do so after reading this directly from the Catechism, there’s enough stuff in here to have most Americans running for the hills, but these beliefs and their practice in your daily life are NOT OPTIONAL:

IV. ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

2426 The development of economic activity and growth in production are meant to provide for the needs of human beings. Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community. Economic activity, conducted according to its own proper methods, is to be exercised within the limits of the moral order, in keeping with social justice so as to correspond to God’s plan for man. 209

2427 Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. 210Hence work is a duty: “If any one will not work, let him not eat.” 211 Work honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work 212 in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish. 213 Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.

2428 In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work. 214

Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community.

2429 Everyone has the right of economic initiative; everyone should make legitimate use of his talents to contribute to the abundance that will benefit all and to harvest the just fruits of his labor. He should seek to observe regulations issued by legitimate authority for the sake of the common good. 215

2430 Economic life brings into play different interests, often opposed to one another. This explains why the conflicts that characterize it arise. 216 Efforts should be made to reduce these conflicts by negotiation that respects the rights and duties of each social partner: those responsible for business enterprises, representatives of wage- earners (for example, trade unions), and public authorities when appropriate.

2431 The responsibility of the state. “Economic activity, especially the activity of a market economy, cannot be conducted in an institutional, juridical, or political vacuum. On the contrary, it presupposes sure guarantees of individual freedom and private property, as well as a stable currency and efficient public services. Hence the principal task of the state is to guarantee this security, so that those who work and produce can enjoy the fruits of their labors and thus feel encouraged to work efficiently and honestly…. Another task of the state is that of overseeing and directing the exercise of human rights in the economic sector. However, primary responsibility in this area belongs not to the state but to individuals and to the various groups and associations which make up society.” 217

2432 Those responsible for business enterprises are responsible to society for the economic and ecological effects of their operations. 218 They have an obligation to consider the good of persons and not only the increase of profits. Profits are necessary, however. They make possible the investments that ensure the future of a business and they guarantee employment.

2433 Access to employment and to professions must be open to all without unjust discrimination: men and women, healthy and disabled, natives and immigrants. 219 For its part society should, according to circumstances, help citizens find work and employment. 220

2434 A just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. To refuse or withhold it can be a grave injustice. 221 In determining fair pay both the needs and the contributions of each person must be taken into account. “Remuneration for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level, taking into account the role and the productivity of each, the state of the business, and the common good.” 222 Agreement between the parties is not sufficient to justify morally the amount to be received in wages.

2435 Recourse to a strike is morally legitimate when it cannot be avoided, or at least when it is necessary to obtain a proportionate benefit. It becomes morally unacceptable when accompanied by violence, or when objectives are included that are not directly linked to working conditions or are contrary to the common good.

2436 It is unjust not to pay the social security contributions required by legitimate authority.

Unemployment almost always wounds its victim’s dignity and threatens the equilibrium of his life. Besides the harm done to him personally, it entails many risks for his family. 223

Most of us believe in Heaven, but Purgatory and to a lesser extent Hell have a sparser following. Do you believe you will be judged at the moment of your death? Do you believe in purgatory? Do you believe in Hell? Do you believe in a final judgement where the good will be saved and the wicked will be punished? Do you believe that purgatory exists for the purification if souls, that they might enter into Gods presence? Do you think everyone gets into heaven or do you believe that mortal sin can bar your entry? Do you believe that only Catholics, Christians, or all good persons judged worthy achieve Heaven? Are you arrogant or prideful enough to think you would go to Heaven if you died right now? These questions are like my lower intestine, odious and loaded with danger. There is too much good stuff here to quote, so read it ALL for yourself here directly from the Catechism before you silently re-contemplate your understanding of eternity. I suspect most people will learn something new during this process.

Do you believe in the real presence in the Eucharist? Have you ever sat for an hour of Eucharistic adoration? Do you treat the Eucharist with reverence always, especially when receiving communion? Does the consecration portion of the mass touch your heart? Have you ever felt the need to drop to your knees when receiving communion? Do you attend confession regularly before communion? Have you ever accepted communion in a state of mortal sin? More importantly, have you ever not accepted communion because you knew yourself to be in a sate of mortal sin? For those not familiar with Eucharistic miracles – you should read this book by Joan Carrol Cruz (http://www.amazon.com/Eucharistic-Miracles-Phenomena-Lives-Saints/dp/0895553031) and educate yourself. It might even help you by providing the evidence you need to believe (Including some which survives to this day). I have found contemplation quietly in Eucharistic Adoration to be most beneficial in developing a personal surety in the real presence. One you have this surety the mass will NEVER be the same again for you. You can Read the Catechism about this subject here, where it will also cover Eucharistic Adoration.

Marriage and Divorce – One is a sacrament and one is an abomination. How many Catholics justify a civil marriage to a divorcee without an annulment – without truly believing they are committing adultery and mortal sin? How many long to come home, but unable to get an annulment are barred from the sacraments – basically outcast (usually becoming Lutherans, rather than accepting God’s plan and separating). This is one of the harshest teachings, you can put a spouse aside, but you cannot remarry unless the marriage itself was invalid. You cannot then take up without another without committing adultery yourself and lead taking another into sin with you. Further, the Catholic Church under the last few popes has been limiting the grounds of invalidation greatly. What makes marriage so special is that it is a covenant which cannot be dissolved by man. You cannot marry another persons spouse regardless of circumstance, including a civil divorce. Anyone married in the Catholic Church remains so in God and the Church’s eyes unless an annulment is granted. Are you faced with this predicament? Are you willing to take the painful steps to rectify it, or would you rather turn your back on God so that you don’t have to face the pain of undoing your sinful action? Is reading this making you uncomfortable? The permanence behind the sacrament is part of what gives it it’s power. Going to another Church does not make that woman your wife, any more than stealing a car transfers the title. Woe to those who father children in such a union. Do you consider the gravity of marriage when you interact with your spouse? Have you ever reflected on the permanence of the sacrament of matrimony with fear and trepidation rather than comfort and joy? Has the indissoluble nature of your marriage really sunk in? If so, how has it changed your interaction and attitudes with relation to your spouse? Is it a comfort and joy that there is surety in this sacrament? Do you really think that society knows better than the magisterium the natural laws of man handed down from God through the Church? Do you presume to think that our short history of social experimentation (which has failed in the past) holds the answers you seek? Are you willing to submit to your obligation to God and your spouse and fulfill it to the best of your ability through His grace? Since this is very important sacrament and the teachings cover so much ground – I recommend you read the Catechism on the subject entirety HERE before beginning your contemplation.

By now, chances are you’re pretty angry. Probably at me, but don’t shoot the messenger. The Church? Well, it never changed it’s stance on these issues – realize you changed to meet others expectations and in doing so began to worship the mob of humanity instead of being obedient to God. The fact is, you cannot truly be a Catholic unless you accept all of the teachings of the Church. Some of them are hard, very hard even. However, they are even, eternal, and balanced and they apply to all the faithful equally. The answer is not rage or upset, the answers you seek are found in prayer, study, and Eucharistic Adoration. I wish you well in your endeavors, and will pray for the success of all who are trying to reconcile with God and come home to the Church. Remember God is omnipotent and does not change his mind, he has a plan in which your salvation is an integral part. Confession and repentance are highly recommended, your local Catholic priest can handle the details.

PS: If you’re not angry, upset, or surprised by your answers and how they compare to the Catechism then congratulations you are a properly catechized Catholic. Unfortunately you are likely not the majority. Fortunately, after other people read this our numbers may grow as they begin down the road towards being catechized properly.

Yours in Christ,

Colin Corcoran

cc70458@gmail.com

**Please feel free to write or comment on this post, I’d really like to hear from those that are able to have this experience and how it is changing their marriage, their wives, their lives, and their perspective on the Catholic faith.

Following Christ in Marriage

5 Jul

20130705-165212.jpg

The recent encyclical from Pope Francis, “Lumen Fidei” which for those readers who slept through Latin in high school means “Light of the Faith”, had a plethora of profound wisdom on faith and morals. For me the following section is especially poignant, though you have to read a bit to get there. It got me thinking about the example Christ set, and how it relates to marriage.

52. In Abraham’s journey towards the future city, the Letter to the Hebrews mentions the blessing which was passed on from fathers to sons (cf. Heb 11:20-21). The first setting in which faith enlightens the human city is the family. I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage. This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan. Grounded in this love, a man and a woman can promise each other mutual love in a gesture which engages their entire lives and mirrors many features of faith. Promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love. Faith also helps us to grasp in all its depth and richness the begetting of children, as a sign of the love of the Creator who entrusts us with the mystery of a new person. So it was that Sarah, by faith, became a mother, for she trusted in God’s fidelity to his promise (cf. Heb 11:11).

 

Loosely translated, a marriage without God is rudderless and adrift. Doomed to aimless drifting searching for land while dying of thirst, or doomed to be dashed on rock and reef when salvation seems within our grasp. Harsh isn’t it? This passage applies to marriages in relation to God, not just Catholics, but people of all faiths who recognize Him. This is the part where people tend to rebel, it’s all about playing your part in HIS plan as he intended from the beginning by making the moral choices in the situations in which you find yourself. Free will allows you to cut away from the path he intends for you anytime you want to. If you truly have felt his mere presence and peace even once in your life, you will never want to be apart from it again. The same is true of marriage – once you have found and nurtured true love into a burning fire in your heart, you never again have a desire to go back to darkness and cold.

The Holy Bible is replete with references to the church as the Bride of Christ. I’m not big into quoting chapters and verses or playing the Sophist with semantics so I’m referencing key stories and concepts. If these are unfamiliar to you then you need to read the Bible. Let us examine a few examples to see how Christ’s example for marriage is relevant to our own lives:

He sacrificed himself for the Church, that all of its members might have eternal life (this includes non-Catholics). We must be prepared to do the same in our marriages, it is what we are called to by his example. In almost all cases the sacrifices required of us to preserve our families are pedestrian in comparison to his sacrifice, but we are not perfect. However, our free will allows for us to overcome imperfections. Humans are capable of emulating Christ in this. Mere men step between assailants and their families and the families of others facing almost certain death during robberies and home invasions. Father Maximillian Kolbe was sainted, in part for asking if he could please be brutally murdered in place of a man with a family in a German concentration camp (the man he saved was a Jew). Military men sacrifice themselves every day to ensure the safety of not only their families, but the families of their whole country. No greater love has a man than to lay down his life for another, said Jesus. Now, think honestly for a moment of your wife. If you are not willing to die for her, are you truly in love? Platitudes about how your wife does this or that or doesn’t love you are meaningless. Jesus’s example was clear as a bell, he died even for the sake of people who despised him, proving that great love is not always returned. Take another moment and consider what might change in your wife if she had no doubt that she was so important and loved by you that you would willingly die for her – if you are honest with yourself you will know that her feelings and actions toward you would change. So lead, make the change first and love with all your heart and soul. Would you die for a home, a car, or a raise? For any earthly thing? After all what would be the point! If you cannot love your wife, then neither can you truly receive love – because it is in learning to give that we learn to receive. Love is also one of the few things that transcends death, along with regret, and your memories. Love with all your heart and soul, make sweet your memories, and do not make any choices, or fail to make choices, which you know will cause you regret.

Jesus forgave. Not only did he forgive, but he refused to condemn. Think of his conversation with the adulteress at the well, he forgave her and condemned her not. Now consider your reaction to any failings of your spouse. Do you forgive and refuse to condemn her? Have you stopped to consider that humans are their own harshest judge? By forgiving her, refusing to condemn her, and continuing to love her she will only feel her remorse more deeply than if you lash out at her. Reaching out with love is the most effective thing you can do, and often one of the hardest. Keep in mind that you too have failings and that you are setting an example for both her and your children in how to deal with such adversity. Follow the example Christ sets for us, that your wife, your sons, and your daughters might emulate your example. This is, no doubt, the second hardest thing to do.

Jesus suffered. It is the nature of man to suffer and die in this existence. In fact, we can only be sure of 3 things in this life: Gods love, Suffering, and physical death. Suffering can be alleviated by sharing the burden. God provided a help-mate to Adam to ease his suffering as he would in turn ease hers and provide comfort to each other. He as our creator reminded us that it s not good for man to be alone. While the suffering associated with life is unavoidable, the way we deal with that suffering defines whether we are overburdened or not. In married life the suffering is increased by the fact that there are two now living as one. If you keep secrets hidden from your wife those become burdens she cannot help carry – and the same is true for her. Such burdens tend to weigh on you more heavily as time passes if unshared until eventually their weight crushes you, and you spouse with it. Wisdom is in changing the things you can, and accepting those you cannot, what remains are burdens you must work together to carry to their destinations. Don’t let selfishness push a burden onto you spouse alone, nor allow pride to facilitate refusing her assistance, and you will be surprised at the results. This is the easiest of the three to address and the most pervasive in our progressive and secular society which teaches a “do what feels good or makes you happy for the moment” mentality. Long on instant gratification and very short on lasting happiness.

All this from just paragraph 52 of “Lumen Fidei”, goodness knows what other pearls of wisdom are waiting for you to discover in Pope Francis’s latest encyclical. You can read it or download it FREE here direct from the Vatican (shame on the USCCB trying to charge for an electronic copy):

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20130629_enciclica-lumen-fidei_en.html

Sincerely,

Colin Corcoran

cc70458@gmail.com

**Please feel free to write or comment on this post, I’d really like to hear from those that are able to have this experience and how it is changing their marriage, their wives, and their lives.

20130705-165256.jpg

Is Marriage Bondage or Freedom?

4 Jul

20130704-155630.jpg
What a question! Yet asked by so very many every day. Am I a slave or free? An answer we should all know, but yet we ask?

In truth we are always free because only a free person can enter into marriage, but how do you feel? Well that answer depends on the relationship you have with your spouse, and that is largely in your hands. I’ll explain…

As for men, we may find ourselves asking if we are being taken for granted just as often as our partners, which might come as a surprise to them. We generally toil at our labors to support and provide for our wives, our children, and even our children’s children – seemingly harnessed like a domesticated animal until death. Putting aside our personal feelings whenever they might interfere with our ability to provide. Often performing labor we detest because we need to provide, and seeking refuge and respite in the home and the affection of our wives when our labors are complete for the day.

Our wives could see it differently. They are left to deal with the home and children alone. They suffer every bit the indignity and revulsion one can imagine in our absence, cleaning up the remains from the overflowed toilet. Caring for sick children who soil linens repeatedly through no fault of their own. Cleaning a home in a never ending pattern, knowing that their labor will be eternal because the activities of life do not permit otherwise. Today’s society, and in some cases materialism and greed, has left many wives further overburdened by the need to work outside the home instead of making a choice to do so. Creating a situation where there is simply not enough of her to go around over the long haul.

There is a difference though, when a man returns home he expects that his labors are over and that he may rest. A wife’s labors continue until her family is safely asleep. Then they begin again, at first light if not sooner.

Now, you both enter into this arrangement knowing what was expected of you but not quite realizing how hard it would be or how different it would be from dating. It can be a huge letdown to toil in that manner as a man or a woman simply because it is expected from you. Just as when dating we both seek the affection, approval, affirmations, and attention of our spouses. In fact, those needs only increase after marriage because they are part of the expectations as well. You had your view of what married life would be and she had hers. Of course, if children were produced then both of your whole worlds and expectations got turned upside down overnight. Just as you wish to be appreciated for you labors and accomplishments, remember to appreciate hers. Truth be known, hers is by far the more important and difficult job.

Marriage is a symbiosis in all aspects – even sex, which seems to be the source of so much consternation in marriage. The trick here is to not be selfish, either of you. Your wife is a human being and not a machine, she needs a break from the continual effort and chaos from time to time, and that does not mean a quickie in the hall closet with the kids beating on the door. Though she does need diversions and to feel desirable, loved, and wanted. I think acts of spontaneous passion are good more for her self esteem than anything. No matter how inflated your ego, 5 mins in a closet will either whet her appetite or disappoint her and leave her feeling used. She will decide which based on what you have taught her to expect, hopefully she has high expectations. One must realize that this constitutes what I call a 68′, that’s where she takes care of you, and you owe her one. Make sure that you make arrangements for a babysitter and a nice dinner out with a movie or other activity to ensure that in your next interlude the focus is completely on her for several hours. Instead of a cycle of conflict which escalates – start a cycle of bonding which escalates. If you approach her with a sense of entitlement she will quickly feel used and resentful. This can happen to men too, as anyone who’s had difficulty with conception and had their sex life dictated by thermometers and charts can attest. Performing on command is fine and even exciting on rare occasions but very quickly can transform sex from your greatest tool for both joy and bonding into a crowbar of resentment and drudgery which will pry you apart. If nothing else just imagine what a 68′ from her will be like and start an arms race to see who can outdo the other in returning affection within the marriage covenant. Such a sexual relationship will invariably lead to a deeper bond, variety and exploration, and dramatically changed moods and attitudes towards each other – including making infidelity unthinkable enough that the thought doesn’t even enter either mind.

Affection is the same, and should be given and received outside of sex for the relationship to thrive. Woe to the man whose spouse shies from a kiss because she is not receptive to a sexual encounter at that moment. It is very important for you to ensure that she doesn’t ever feel that your love and affection are dependent on her sexual performance. It demeans you both, and leads down a destructive path. She must know that you feel affection for her even when you have no interest in sex. Public displays of affection are good because they let your spouse know that you are proud to proclaim you affection and love publicly (but not lewdly). Though it may fluster you sometimes, there is nothing like being really kissed and told you are loved by a whisper in a public place by your wife. Kiss her back, there is also no shame in the natural physical response, it lets her know she is still attractive and boosts her self esteem too. In this way you can feed each other and kindle feelings that eventually build to a crescendo like keeping a sauce on simmer.

Friendship is the most important aspect of your marriage. If your spouse is not your best friend then your priorities are wrong. You may have a same sex friend or other friends – but your spouse needs to be your confidant. Trust her with your secrets, your hopes, your fears, your dreams. This will help her better understand you and lead to her feeling like she can trust you. Never judge each other when you open up. Next put into action plans for her thoughts and dreams to become reality, whether its learning to fly a plane, operate a ham radio, go back to school, etc… If it’s important to her, it should be important to you. Whether you are able to succeed or not in helping her achieve these dreams, she will never again see you as holding her back from them. She will instead see you as a partner helping her achieve them, and hopefully she will do the same for you.

This is the beginning of symbiosis – where we give freely to our spouse that which they require not only physically to survive, but to really live. The irony is that this will require greater and greater sacrifices from each of you to accommodate the other. There is a transition period which can sink you if you allow hopelessness or despair to prematurely derail your efforts. It is on you to persevere, the time required will depend on how much damage you have already done and the length of time it takes her to trust in you and in the seeming change in you. She may be suspicious or worse – be honest and show her this blog. Explain yourself honestly, deception will erase your gains and more, if she knows what you are trying to do she might even join in up front – speeding the process. Be patient, trust takes time as does true love.

A symbiosis is not slavery, a symbiosis is a relationship where you give and receive from each other those things essential to our survival and happiness in this life. If you have a marriage where you have felt this you’ll understand how you can feel like you could never leave, and nor would you ever want to. It is not bondage but deep and abiding love which joins you and you are not a slave – but a willing servant who gives of freely yourself to ensure the happiness and well being of another who does the same for you.

You are always free. Free to break your covenant with God and your Spouse. Free to break your family apart out of selfishness and greed, and you a free to choose to keep those Covenants, free to sacrifice of yourself for your wife and family, free to make your marriage into a place of refuge and joy apart from the world – insofar as that is possible. Marriage makes you a willing servant, not a slave – and is a Holy calling to be carried out in according to Christ’s example, even unto death.

There is a book out I very much like called “The Love Dare”. It is FREE on kindle today and can be downloaded here Get The Love Dare FREE on the 4th for Kindle. If your marriage is hurting, this can be just the medicine it needs. What have you got to loose. This book is for either partner in the marriage.

Colin Corcoran
cc70458@gmail.com

**Please feel free to write or comment on this post, I’d really like to hear from those that are able to have this experience and how it is changing their marriage, their wives, and their lives.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 556 other followers

%d bloggers like this: