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Archives for January 2006

Brokeback Squadron

If you’re of a certain age, then we don’t have to explain why this is brilliant.

Yes, we’re lousy bloggers. But this makes up for it, we think.

Prayer Requests

Submit your prayer requests in the comments area.

Mailbag

Reader Lindsay (that brings us to seven!) wrote that Reese Witherspoon’s speech at the SAG awards was “Pitch perfect where us
better-halves are concerned. It was reminiscent of Familiaris Consortio—really, not kidding.”

She suggests reading the whole thing, so do that. But I’ll post this excerpt.

“…And I want to say that my biggest inspiration, obviously for this movie, was June Carter. She’s just an incredible woman. She was not only a very accomplished musician who played many instruments, she was a wonderful wife, who supported her husband and an unbelievably giving mother, and a great friend. And I think there are so many women who are the quiet, sort of silent, frequently unacknowledged center of so many people’s lives. And I think I’m just really honored to bring her out of a certain shadow and into the light in this performance. So, she really deserves it.”

Exchange

The wife: Here I am, wasting my prime on you.

Me: What???

The wife: You’re right. My prime is past.

Oh, by the by: Some people have been doing a thorough job of keeping up on Deus Caritas Est buzz on the Internets.

Me, I really need to sit down and read the thing all the way through.

KSRK: Quidam and My Friend

A real-life email from my pious but living-in-sin friend:

Things are moving along here …. I’m on the verge of formal engagement. Just have to buy the ring and think of a creative way to propose. Hmm. Something I’ve never done before. I feel like I’m approaching this momentus point-of-no-return, or rather, one of Frost’s fork-in-the-road moments. On the other hand, I feel like I’m just acknowledging a reality that’s already happened. And what has happened? I’m all entangled in this other being called M_________.

I’m heading into a future that I can’t see clearly. Life with M________ is not going to be simple, and we will have our difficult moments. She’s a kind of lost soul, looking for happiness. She’s generally not satisfied with her life, but partly because she doesn’t know what she wants to do. She thinks her happiness depends largely on having things, an illusion that she hasn’t yet woken up to. Choosing a future with this woman is like choosing a mission. A mission for life. My mission: M_______’s happiness and well-being. To be a light in her darkness. To show her the way.

Perhaps it’s foolish of me to take this road. Missions don’t always succeed. I really can’t, in the end, be responsible for M_______’s happiness, let alone her salvation. Only she can be.

Love has made me a fool.

My reply a month later:

Not sure whether I should attempt to advise you about your proposed proposal. Have you done it yet? Did she say yes? If so, God bless you and God help the both of you! Hallelujah!

I agree in part that it is, from one angle, simply acknowledging what has already happened — that you got yourself entangled with M_________. On the other hand it seems to me that if it’s taken you this long to come around to facing up to that — well, that’s a large red flag. If you’re still putting it off, then I’d say the red flag is continuing to unfurl. So what is the frequency, Kenneth?

I’ve been reading Kierkegaard’s Quidam’s Diary — a fictionalized account of his engagement and the breaking of it. So that may be adversely affecting my view of your case. (Search for KSRK at http://korrektiv.blogspot.com for details. Do you follow my blog?) If you’re going to do it, I hope you do it soon and start to churn out babies — that may be where the light could start to dawn for M_________. But if you’re hesitating, then maybe you should listen to your gut because if she is in such a completely different existence-sphere than you, then your mission is going to require an heroic amount of patience and renunciation of your highest aspirations on your part. Maybe you can deal with it in a Christlike fashion, but maybe it will just confuse both your path and her path. In other words, maybe, just maybe, you should consider whether you wouldn’t both be better off following your separate paths rather than trying to forge one that is going to make you both unhappy.

There’s still the priesthood and I can certainly see the parameters of a priestly vocation in your life. But if so, get on with it! Put your hand to the plow, enroll in seminary … and don’t look back.

I feel it’s my duty to submit that for reconsideration. But on the other hand, if you really do propose (or have proposed) and she says (or has said) yes, then I’m ready to celebrate, too. Just get on with it! You ain’t gettin’ any younger my friend.

OK end of cheap advice. Let me know what your status is. And I promise to write you a real account of my current adventures soon. Also, write to me about your adventures — this abstract business of being on a fool’s mission is all well and good, but I want concrete details. What have you been doing, where have you gone, what have you seen, how’s your sex life? Cough up some concrete descriptive thoughtful prose, that’s what’s wanting. And I will, too.

Tequila!

Gosh.

Father Neuhaus tempts Mark’s ire by commenting on this editorial in America magazine.

I thought that Father Villa hit on something in his letter in reply. But still, even those who regard the Jesuits as a shaky lot must have been comforted to see them invoke the Catechism:

“As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, homosexual men and women are to be treated with “respect, compassion and sensitivity” (No. 2357).”

I believe this is known as the argument from authority, with the authority being the Catechism. I agree with the claim wholeheartedly, but I do admit to a measure of surprise in seeing America take this tactic.

Taking a break from eros…

…to note the gastronomical glory that is the 100×100. Our God is a God of superfluities. A billion stars in the sky, a hundred slices of cheese, a hundred patties of beef.

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Deus Caritas Est Roundup

Eros, eros, eros

From Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird:

“Gynecologists interviewed by the Wall Street Journal in December said business was booming for the $1800 to $5000 hymenoplasty (the re-creation of the hymen), for men who want to deflower their non-virgin women (surgery obviously good for one night only).”

Questions for discussion:

What’s the difference between the $1800 version and the $5000 version? On the one hand, you don’t want your psuedo-virgin to think you want less than the best for her (or is it for you? – love is so very complicated). On the other hand, it’s not like it’s supposed to last or anything.

Why is business booming? Why is this such a thrill? Is it the primitive “taking possession” thing – getting to pretend you’re the bold explorer, going where no man has gone before? Or is it playing on the transgressive thrill of the old-fashioned taking of a girl’s sexual innocence? (Echoes here of porn-spam emails: “See young teen virgins – their first time!” Why is this more attractive than “See a full-bodied woman – a real pro in the sack!”) Or is it a purely physical thing? What?

All those questions get at the man’s reason for wanting such a thing done – and the News of the Weird Item does suggest that the procedure is done “for men,” even though it’s done *to* women. But there are also questions of why women are willing to go along with this and get their hymens “re-created.” News of the Weird has reported on the past on the popularity of Brazilian waxes, anal bleaching, and labial cosmetic surgery, and in each case, the reason is that women want to look like the porn stars that their men admire so. Is this more of the same?

Eros and Agape, continued – thanks, Amy.

A commentator on this sorry blog once asked, “Matthew, why are you so obsessed with articles about porn?”

Answers:
1. I am not so obsessed. I am merely obsessed.
2. I am not obsessed with articles about porn, but rather, the thing itself.

And so…an article about a priest who converted a porn star, who, it is being claimed, edged a little too close to that particular fire.

Transforming eros is no mean feat.

"God’s Image is in all of these folks…"

…it’s just in some a little more roundly.

Priest blesses Hooters. Who says eros and agape can’t get along?

Deus Caritas Est over at Amy’s

Some initial thoughts here, and a summary of reactions from others here, which will be updated as reviews/stories come in.

UPDATE:

Andrew Sullivan. And again.

Newsday.

Der Spiegel.

First Things first peek.

John Allen in the National Catholic Reporter.

Something I found through the National Catholic Register.

Rocco Palmo in Beliefnet.

Magister’s background piece.

More as I run across them. Thanks as usual to Amy over at Open Book, who actually pays attention.

UPDATE: More Allen.

KSRK: “A Possibility”

KSRK: Guilty?/Not Guilty? (April 2-5)

Joke of the Month

A man appears before St. Peter at the pearly gates.
“Have you ever done anything of particular merit?”
St. Peter asks.

“Well, I can think of one thing.” the man offers.
“Once, on a trip to the Black Hills out in South Dakota,
I came upon a gang of high testosterone bikers who
were threatening a young woman. I directed them
to leave her alone, but they wouldn’t listen. So I
approached the largest and most heavily tattooed
biker. I smacked him on the head, kicked his bike
over, ripped out his nose ring and threw it on the
ground. I told him, “Leave her alone now or you’ll
answer to me.”

St. Peter was impressed. “When did this happen?”

“Just a few minutes ago ..”

[From Fred H.]

Believe and Live the Word of God

Dear children! Also today I call you to be carriers of the Gospel in your families. Do not forget, little children, to read Sacred Scripture. Put it in a visible place and witness with your life that you believe and live the Word of God. I am close to you with my love and intercede before my Son for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.