Archive | July, 2013

The War on Women

31 Jul

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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.

Most Influential Blogger Award Nomination

29 Jul

most-influential-blogger

Huzzah!

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer 7 questions.
  4. Nominate ( no limit of nominations ) other bloggers for this award and link back to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the award requirements.

QUESTIONS:

1. If you could create your own planet what would it look like? Novus (Stargate Universe)

2. If you could visit one nation you have never visited before, what nation would that be? The Vatican

3. Who is your favorite saint? St. Michael

4. What is your favorite animal? Green Treefrogs

5. What is your favorite song? Adagio For Strings, Samuel Barber

6. If you could meet one person who is still alive who would you choose to meet? Jesus Christ

7. Name a book that you have read (other than the bible) which has influenced your life and describe how it influenced you. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis, as it was key to understanding how to live my faith rather than practice it.

And now for the Nominees……

1. Praying For One Day

2. Brutally Honest

Papal Comments on Gays and Divorcees in the Church

29 Jul

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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

Self-Defense and the Catechism – What you Must Believe

15 Jul

There have been a lot of things flying around the Internet since the Zimmerman verdict. Most of them overly emotional, inflammatory, and obvious props for one political agenda or another. Based on what I have been reading, a great number of poorly catechized Catholics out there on both sides are twisting and misrepresenting the Church teaching on the subject.

While I am not a Priest or Deacon, I can read at a 4th grade level and thereby understand the very simple Catholic teaching on the subject. It all boils down to this one quote:

2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.”65

If you want to read the rest then click here.

The content of anyone’s heart is impossible for anyone to judge but God. For God, intent in ones heart is the crux – are you seeking to stop an attack or are you seeking to kill? One is moral and one is not. The laws in many states attempt to enshrine this morality in their code of justice.

Anytime a life is taken by an act of man, it affects us all. Whether it is right, or wrong, is irrelevant to the grieving family. The person who takes the life is also changed forever as well – whether it was right or wrong, it remains a tragedy and our Heavenly Father weeps for both souls.

The sanctity of life will never be protected by Gun restrictions, more laws, more police, or longer prison sentences. It will only be protected when everyone comes to recognize this simple moral truth that we have lost:

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

Until the truth of the natural law is recognized, nobody will be safe. All those gun restrictions make you less safe by denying you the right of self-defense, all those laws burden society further, and longer prison sentences just assure that the problem perpetuates itself. We must have the faith to face each other with respectful words not fists, to disagree respectfully instead of threatening force, and treat others with respect and courtesy at all times, and of course when attacked – defend ourselves as appropriate with appropriate and moral force in keeping with the Catechism.

It is in setting this example for our children and communities that we will find the peace and security we seek, not in the machinations of the state, nor in a restriction of liberties which simply make us weaker, angrier, and more wary of intent of our fellow human beings.

Imagine what might have happened if one night a neighborhood watchman asked a youth, “Excuse me young man, I don’t recognize you – could you please explain your business here?”. Then imagine if the youth replied, “Of course Sir, I’m going to wait for my father at his girlfriends house #123 on Blueberry Lane”. My point is, that respect alone by both parties could have prevented a tragedy – and that is why God weeps for all of us – his prodigal children.

Colin

Understanding or Faith vs. Rationalism

14 Jul

Faith vs. Rationalism, it’s the David vs. Goliath of our age. There are those people who will only believe in that which can be scientifically measured, categorized, and quantified. Then there are those who have faith, a sense of self assuredness that what they believe is true regardless of their ability to prove it. Last and most certainly least, are those pitiful few, like myself, who have neither anymore. Those who have experienced death, experienced the change in outlook which immediately precedes it, felt the terror which accompanies it’s icy grip, the darkness and confusion which follows, and a short relative glimpse of what lies beyond, no longer have need of faith. They have the proof of their own memories and experiences that survive resuscitation. This does not mean that they have all the answers. I later learned that it is not uncommon to retain only key concepts and not be able to express the supporting precepts. It would be like a blind man trying to describe colors he saw in a dream which don’t exist in nature, with no common frame of reference there cannot be effective communication. There seems to be just as much that can only be remembered and not understood, once one is back in corporeal form.

Rationalism will explain what happened as the effects of drugs administered before and after resuscitation. Rationalists will blame hypoxia for causing hallucinations. They will call the darkness, light, and presence of the divine as the machinations of a dying mind comforting itself as it approaches it final end. Any retained memories will be attributed to coma-like dreams, since with no brain activity memories could supposedly not have formed. The very common distortion of time itself around the death experience is also attributed to hypoxia. the funny thing is that too many peoples across too many cultures and backgrounds report experiencing basically the same thing – a rationalist would call this suggestion. I for one, spent a good bit of time in a coma and I also fully recollect the eclectic dreams – some exhilarating and some terrifying which I experienced between periods of interminable consciousness which were undetectable to anyone but my wife. Dying is a different from a coma as is night from day. I also question how so many, across the whole world have had experiences so similar that when specific religious idealogical constructs were removed the core components are identical. No matter what the evidence, they will rationalize what they want to believe to be the case and invent alternative theories for everything. The root of the problem is that they know that what they are doing and thinking is wrong, deep down, they know… and they are using their rational mind to try to overcome the natural law and allow themselves to bury the truth so that they can better accept pop psychology and science as their “Gods”. The rational atheists who have had NDE’s and come back devoutly religious speak volumes on the subject. In truth, all rationalism can say about faith and God is that since they cannot prove the existence of God that he does not exist. This is narrow-minded view espoused by supposedly broad minded people who tend to have a tendency to belittle anyone who dosen’t agree with them. I could just as easily argue that if they cannot disprove the existence of God then he must necessarily exist. Our own history shows scientists all too readily make grievous errors and erroneous assumptions, clinging to them like a shipwrecked sailor who finds a piece of flotsam in a storm. Until, the evidence is so overwhelming that it can no longer be denied. More importantly, rationalism will never offer any answers to the truly meaningful questions like the enigma of our condition, the meaning of life, and the truth of our existence.

Faith is based on the acceptance of “Mysteries”, which by definition cannot be understood, at least not in our current existence. Take for instance the size of the galaxy – your mind is incapable of grasping it in totality, much less the size of our universe. It is readily apparent that there are truths which we are not able to grasp or only able to grasp in the most rudimentary way. As for mysteries, I have learned that they must simply be accepted since all the introspection or measurement in the world makes them no clearer. We might put a number on the size of the universe, but the meaning of that number and the ability to adequately comprehend such distances and size is beyond our limited capacity. They mysteries of God, and our existence, are the same. They are incomprehensible and, therefore, we are required to take on faith that which we cannot truly understand. Miracles happen every day. They have happened for ages. Those with faith recognize God working in our lives, while rationalists insist there must be another explanation which they just cannot posit at the moment. In doing so they reveal that their bias is to disprove that which does not agree with what they want to be true, and when that fails, denigration and name calling abound. Faith is a beautiful thing. It is a gift which allows us the understanding necessary to prepare for our salvation. For a species with such a relatively short lifespan, we seem overly preoccupied with worldly things. Instead of preparing for the next life, we revel in this one to the exclusion of all else.

Belief is not a sign of a weak mind, but rather a strong one that is willing to persevere in the face of scorn and ridicule. This is exemplified in Jesus’s example through his arrest and Passion. Belief is not a refuge for those who cannot think. Many of history’s greatest philosophers and scientists were religious. Even Albert Einstein famously said with great conviction that “God does not play dice with the universe.” He very much believed in God, as did Newton, Oppenheimer, St. Thomas Moore, and Thomas Aquinas. Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates all believed in a supreme god in a pantheon who guided the universe. A number of highly respected quantum physicists including Gotswami and Tipler have “fallen off the wagon” and professed that new developments in quantum physics prove the existence of God, in at least a basic sense of a creator of and guiding force in our universe. They are not the only ones, nor are they crackpots. Both are highly respected professors and researchers in their fields who felt their convictions so strongly based on the evidence that they were willing to challenge the secular and atheistic amalgam of the scientific community to much derision. Both have even written detailed books explaining their research and providing the supporting mathematics. One might find fault with some of their assumptions about God and existence after our corporeal bodies are gone, but the core belief that there is a God and that our consciousness survives death are not in doubt for them. They believe. They believe because they have faith that they are right in their belief.

The most important thing is that it does not have to be a contest. Faith is not necessarily at odds with science. In fact the Vatican strongly supports scientific exploration and discovery in all fields. Nor is it necessary to argue or belittle the existence of something which cannot be proven or disproven. Those who have experienced death and seen even a glimpse of what lies beyond are sure. This issue will never be settled by rational arguments or heart rending testimonials. In the end, it remains a mystery we all will know the answer to in time. If you die and simply cease to exist, then it will not matter what you believed. However, if you die and experience what I did, then it will matter more than you could have imagined. Very few get my opportunity for a second try.

Some tidbits I learned from my experience:

  • All you can bring with you is Love, Regrets, and Memories. Love as much as possible, regret as little as possible, and create as many happy memories as you can for yourself.
  • Small acts done with great love are more important by far than large acts done for other reasons.
  • Do nothing of which you will be ashamed. Every little thing, good and bad, will be reviewed and weighed. It is not about being better than another person but meeting a fixed standard. Less evil than your peers is still evil. Life is not a contest of strength or power, but one of Love.
  • Diligent effort in the right direction counts in your favor, it is about recognizing the Natural Law and struggling to stay the course. My conversion to Catholicism was driven by the efficacious sacrament of reconciliation and the fact that what I remembered from my experience about what I needed to be doing fit the Catechism perfectly.

You can take or leave these as you choose, it is not for me to determine if any of them even apply to you.

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.

Has Religion Fallen from Grace or Have You?

13 Jul

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

Treatise on Tolerance

13 Jul

Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Many of you know my thoughts on tolerance. Some even question them on occasion. In truth I am not a very tolerant person, its just that I am not tolerant of Ideals. People are imperfect, they utilize their free will to make bad choices which I believe are part of God’s plan to bring them back to Moral Truth and the Natural Law. I try very hard to be tolerant of people (I don’t always succeed – but that is not for lack of effort). I think of Jesus words NOT condemning the adulteress, he was clearly condemning the ideal and not the person. Then one day I stumbled across this particular gem from Archbishop Sheen and it went straight to my heart, where it has since taken up residence, along with the St. Bernadette’s “Mine is not to convince, but only to inform”.

In 1931, Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen wrote the following essay:

“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance-it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.”

“Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil … a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons … never to truth. Tolerance applies to the erring, intolerance to the error … Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in the laboratory.

Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.”

Given my own imperfections, I feel incompetent to judge others. I have made my share of mistakes and it took more than a tap on the shoulder by God to bring me to my senses. As he loves each of us unconditionally, I strive to do the same for each person – not their actions, and not their ideals. By separating the two and focusing on individuals, I find the task much less insurmountable. Not condemning a person is not the same as condoning their actions and I frequently find myself in a position where I have to stop for a moment and remember to separate the two. This can take some practice, but it can also bring you greater peace – especially when espousing uncomfortable moral truths in the hopes that others might avoid the rocks and shoals in the sea of life.

Sincerely,

Colin

The Rationale of the Pro-Abortion Movement

10 Jul

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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

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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.

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Is Marriage Bondage or Freedom?

4 Jul

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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.

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