Tag Archives: Christ

Truth vs. Emotion

10 Nov

ocean-waves-hitting-rocks

We live in a society that has become obsessed with emotion and feelings. This has resulted in lasting damage, not only to the Institution of Marriage, but to the faithful as well. Before you can combat an enemy, you must first recognize it. This means you must recognize when you are being driven by emotions and feelings instead of by Moral Truth. This can be harder than it sounds when you are immersed in a wicked society that insists moral truth is determined by feelings, instead of a set marks determined by God, the Church, and the Natural Law.

Marriage is about Moral Truth. The vow you make when accepting the sacrament of matrimony stands alone. Let us be honest – whatever feeling you that you thought was “love” that caused you to get married is gone by the end of the honeymoon phase or rapidly fading. If you do not refill the emptying cup of emotion, with the endless cup of truth then you will be unhappy and estranged in no time. Your “feelings” are transient and thus irrelevant. Whether the other person keeps their vows is also irrelevant so long as the marriage is valid and sacramental. This means that the proper intent existed at the time of the marriage itself. I know, you think I’m being harsh. I’ve been married about 25 years and I’m speaking from experience when I tell you that if you think marriage is about romantic love, your happiness, sex, marital bliss, convenience, the mother or father you never had, or the parent that failed you.

Now I will move to the most uncomfortable truth of all – marriage is not about your happiness, it is not about your sense of satisfaction, and it has nothing to do with making your burden lighter in this world. Matrimony is a sacrament – and like all sacraments, it is based on solid truth regarding faith and morals. It’s not based on, nor is it dependent on your emotions or feelings. It is dependent only on your commitment and obedience. Let that sink in while you head shakes side to side so fast that your eyeballs spin.

You do know that if your head is going side to side right now and your eyes are wide with disbelief, that you have work to do. You need to start defining your emotions and feelings, and stop letting your emotions and feelings define you. You need to make the choice to love your wife each morning, make the choice to avoid conflict, make the choice to speak well of her, make the choice to smile, and make the choice to obey your holy vows at the bestowal of the sacrament of Matrimony. Moral truth will then dictate your actions and emotions, you will do what is required of you, accepting that you are bound whether or not your spouse keeps her vows. You will now waggle you head and say – “No way – that’s not fair!”. Neither was Jesus dying on the cross to save your bacon. Your human sense of justice is rather infantile – in marriage we are called to something higher. You might think of it as “Duty”, but it is a mandate from God that you freely accepted.

Now I’ll tell you the good news. Most of the time – and I do mean “most”, and not all of the time – because we live in a wicked world. Doing this will change everything in your marriage for the better in ways you cannot possibly imagine. No, it will not happen overnight. It will not happen in just 1 week, or 30 days. It will be a process. A process in which you will change your life, and the lives of you and your spouse in the process. Things will improve over time, To be truthful, after about 25 years things are still improving. I don’t even know where it stops. When you base you marriage on truth – things start changing for the better. When you base your marriage on emotion then everything becomes a drama laden and stressful mess. I also know that when you live a marriage based on truth, then your own emotions and feelings are much more balanced, pleasant, and satisfying. In doing so you will have a distinct positive effect on those around you, especially on your spouse. You will feel a growing sense of contentment and happiness in your service. Romantic love will still come and go in an ebb and flow over the years – sometimes like a gentle breeze, and sometimes like a hurricane. However, if you base your marriage on Truth then your “love” in the “agape” and “storge” senses of the Greek words for love will never waver. It is then only “eros” that bandies about, rising and falling. When everything else is in balance with truth, then even “Eros” spends far more time up than down.

Imagine what might happen if you lived other aspects of your faith in Truth, instead of feelings or emotions?

Pax Christi,

How Americans have Failed the Church – and our Children

19 Apr

Buddy_christ

You know, I keep hearing people arguing about the Church losing a whole generation because it was focused on moral issues out of tune with society and not focused on serving as the public demanded, and ignoring their lesser sins to keep people interested.

Crap – Total crap. When we lose young people it is because we have failed to instill proper moral and ethical values through religious education. When we waffle on issues of doctrine and faith, how can we expect them to hold firm? When we embrace with open arms and acceptance that which is antithetical to our faith and tell them it is good and must be accepted outside the Church, but inside the Church say something else – our faith loses both credibility and moral authority. We are losing because we do not follow our own faith except on Easter and Christmas. Our children do not go to church because we do not. They do not share Catholic Values when their parents and peers do not. They divorce because they came from broken homes and that’s what their parents did – you can fool yourself but the statistics are clear that children of broken homes are far more likely to end up divorced. If you don’t have an annulment don’t remarry. All of these kids rejecting the Church means more than a few Parents are failing to instill not just the values, but display an open example of faith for their children. When we don’t properly Cathechize our children we make them easy pickings for those who would talk them out of their faith with lies and misconceptions. When we ignore our faith – they see it. When we place God first in all things they see that too. America must accept that God has not failed us, nor has the Church failed us – WE FAILED THEM. Stop passing the blame to others, address the issue penitently and start LIVING OUR FAITH IN OUR DAILY LIVES!

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
https://catholichusband.wordpress.com

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

Kathryn Gets a Horrific Diagnosis – and Needs a Miracle!

31 Dec

katheryn

Everyone –

Kathryn has had some major setbacks in treatment – Please pray with us.

-Colin

UPDATED 01.01.14 @ 2:06pm.

Kathryn started the chemo treatment late yesterday afternoon. It was suppose to take 9 hours for first treatment. 40 minutes into the treatment Kathryn had an adverse reaction. Her fever spiked, her hands and fingers turned purple and her heart rate went up to 230 beats per minute. She yelled out in pain which awakened Kathy. The doctors immediately stopped the treatment. They got her settled down and were about to restart the chemo, when some of the results came in from an earlier spinal tap, indicating that she had a fungus growing on her brain. The Doctors had to stop all chemo treatments and immediately and start her on a round of antibiotics, which took 1.5 hours. After the antibiotics were administered, they re-started the chemo treatment at a lower rate late last night. The problem with the lower rate is that it will take 22 hours to administer rather than the initial 9 hours. She will have to go through 5 days of this type of treatment in the hospital.

As for the fungus issue, the doctors think it was in very early stages and it has been rectified.

The doctors have decided to do a liver biopsy today to identify what is happening with the liver.

The family is VERY STRESSED!! It seems that there is an obstacle at every turn and it is getting to them. PLEASE PRAY FOR STRENGTH AND COURAGE FOR THE FAMILY!!

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Everyone,

Katheryn has a diagnosis. I have included the infor from the family below. The news is heartbreaking – but in Christ there is always hope. Please keep her in your prayers. Have masses offered, send cards or notes of support, include her in your rosaries and novenas, and/or stop to remember her and that she is fighting for her life each day. Even the smallest actions done with great love will have a positive effect. Please do not forget her family – I know in their position I my suffering would be just as great watching the child suffer (I have been the one suffering in the hospital). I promise that every prayer matters – even small short ones. For many of us Christmas is not over – please continue Christmas by remembering her each day and offering a prayer on behalf of Kathryn and her Family with great love and compassion. Pray for her doctors as well.

Mark Shea offered the most eloquent prayer I think I have seen yet, and I am reposting it here for everyone:

Father, hear our prayer for her complete healing in body, soul, and spirit.  Give her caregivers grace, peace, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, skill, creativity, and the proper technology to assist in your healing work.  Give her and all who love her grace, peace, strength, consolation, faith, hope and love.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Mother Mary and St. Luke, pray for them all.

To everyone who has been praying, sent cards, notes, and even just kept her in their thoughts – thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Please Share or Repost this anywhere you see fit, church bulletin boards, prayer groups on social media, facebook friends, etc…

Yours in Christ –

Colin

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REMINDER FOR EVERYONE THAT WANTED TO SEND CARDS:

All mail for Kathryn should be mailed to the following address:

KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch Road
PMB # 335
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

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UPDATE POSTED 12.31.13 @ 2:03 PM.

HELLO EVERYONE

The final diagnosis is that Kathryn has a very rare blood disorder. It is NOT Cancer, but it is treated in a similar matter.
She has Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)

Here is some info on HLH and a link for you to read more about the disorder:

“Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare but potentially fatal condition in which certain white blood cells (histiocytes and lymphocytes) build up in organs including the skin, spleen, and liver, and destroy other blood cells. This causes fever and damages the liver and spleen, resulting in enlargement of these organs. HLH may be inherited or it may be caused by certain conditions or diseases including infections and immunodeficiency (inability of the body to fight infections). It most commonly affects young infants and children.[1][2] Treatment includes antibiotics or antiviral medications to treat or prevent infections, and chemotherapy and immunotherapy prior to allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation”

LINK: http://www.histio.org/document.doc?id=243

The good news is that Kathryn’s doctor Dr.Rishikesh Chavan, MD was a resident in Houston and worked under two doctors that wrote the treatment protocol for HLH patients.He is the one that finally identified the disorder when all the other doctors were stumped.

Kyle and Kathy are seeing GOD’s hand in all of this, because if they had not gone to Tulane Hospital, they would never have had Dr. Chavan as Kathryn’s doctor.

Starting today, Kathryn will be treated with chemo over the course of the next eight weeks. The doctors will monitor her progress and how she handles this first treatment. then the decision will be made on how the following treatments will be handled. Whether they will require additional hospital stays or not during the eight weeks of treatment.

One of the biggest concerns, that the doctors have is that her liver enzmes are at 2,000 and they should be at 35.

SO PLEASE PRAY THAT THE LIVER STARTS TO REPAIR ITSELF TO AVOID PERMANENT DAMAGE OR THE NEED FOR A TRANSPLANT.

Also, we have been asked by many people if they can send donations in for the family. I am currently setting up a special benefit account at a local bank for Kathryn. I will update everyone once I have this done.

PLEASE GOD, ALLOW YOUR HEALING MERCY TO FLOW THROUGHOUT KATHRYN’S BODY!!!

Kyle and Kathy Gardner have asked us to continue posting updates for them on this event page to answer the questions that many of us have. This allows them not to have to field so many phone calls.

So I will be posting updates as they call us with any new information. If you would like, please contact us directly via FACEBOOK messaging and we will answer any questions of their behalf for now.

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UPDATE*** POSTED ON 12.31.13 @ 8:56am,

The Gardner family is meeting with the Doctors this morning to go over the treatment plan.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THEIR DISCERNMENT THIS MORNING!!

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Latest on Kathryn (12/26/2013)

26 Dec

 

Kathryn and Santa Holding Hands

Kathryn and Santa Holding Hands

All,

My apologies for not getting this out yesterday. I left it sitting unsent in a browser window while I helped my wife finish up Christmas Dinner. Thinking I had already finished it, I didn’t get back to it until asked by a multitude of readers this morning. Thank ALL of you who reminded me, in doing so you also reminded me just how many people are following the plight of one little girl and her family at Christmas.

Kathryn and her family gave me a great gift this year in particular, especially for those struggling with the holidays. Christmas is not about YOU or ME, Christmas is that one short time each year when we celebrate the Birth of Christ – and in doing so try to emulate his love and compassion for all humanity in some way – with great love.

In answer to those who have asked, Cards and notes arriving late is not a problem – and NO she is not nearly out of the woods yet, the diagnosis has not been made nor has any long term treatment begun as yet. So continued prayers are very much appreciated. Here is the address for those who missed it earlier:

KATHRYN GARDNER
857 Brownswitch Road
PMB # 335 
Slidell, Louisiana 70458

Now onto the latest update approved by the family –

UPDATED INFO ON KATHRYN GARDNER !! SHE IS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!!!

A PICTURE OF KATHRYN HOLDING SANTA’S HAND TODAY!

Okay, We have a lot of good information. First of all Kathryn was moved into her own room late yesterday evening. The Doctors have been monitoring she all night and this morning.

Kathryn had SANTA CLAUS visit her today with a huge bag of goodies.. THAT WAS AWESOME! But the best gift was that the Doctors gave the okay for her to go home tonight and spend CHRISTMAS AT HOME WITH HER FAMILY!!!

!!!!!!!!!! PRAISE GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The medicine she is on is stabling her enough that the doctors feel confident in allowing her to go home for Christmas. She will have to return on Monday, December 30,2013 to start the treatment plan to treat the autoimmune disease she is dealing with. The doctors are still waiting on a couple of results to come back before they label the disease, so we are not out of the woods yet, but this is a great set in the right direction.

Due to Kathryn’s immune system being so weak, the Doctors have asked that she not be exposed to many people, especially anyone that may have a fever or is sick. I know many of us want to go by the house and visit, but Kathryn is still sick and and NOT feeling 100%. She is still very weak and tired and sleeping a lot.

SO PLEASE, IF YOU WANT TO VISIT:
PLEASE CALL THE HOUSE IN ADVANCE! PLEASE DO NOT JUST SHOW UP! SHE MAY NOT BE UP TO SEEING VISITORS AND BECAUSE THE DOCTORS HAVE REQUESTED THAT HER EXPOSURE TO OTHERS BE AS LIMITED AS POSSIBLE.

Please allow the Gardner family to spend some quiet time together as a family during this Christmas season.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY THAT THE TREATMENT WILL WORK AND PRAISE GOD THAT SHE IS ABLE TO SPEND CHRISTMAS WITH HER FAMILY!!!

I’d like to thank all those who have read about Kathryn, followed her plight, shared with their friends, and kept her in their thoughts or prayers. Each of us can make a difference in another persons life for the better.

Thank You and Bless You All!

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 easier 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. Your 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

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.

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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