At the link, if you move your mouse over the different images, you’ll read an explanation of that image on the right side. He’s thought of just about everything and managed to include it all in a clever and thoughtful way.
Monthly Archives: August 2012
Msgr. Charles Pope does an excellent job explaining both, and hopefully quelling rash emotions regarding the passage from Ephesians. Don’t get yer knickers in a twist, gals, just listen! It’s good stuff.
Alright, so maybe it grates on modern ears today but don’t just dismiss what God teaches here. One of the great dangers of this passage is that it is so startling to modern ears, that many people tune out after the first line into their own thoughts and reactions, and thus miss the rest of what God has to say. It will be noticed that there is text that follows, and before a man gloats at the first line, or a women reacts with anger or sadness, we do well to pay attention to the rest of the text, which spells out the duties of a husband.
You see if you’re going to be the head of a household there are certain requirements that have to be met. God’s not playing around here or choosing sides. He has a comprehensive plan for husbands that is demanding and requires him to curb any notions that authority is about power and to remember that, for a Christian, authority is always given so that the one who has it may serve. And before we look at submission we might do well to look at the duties of the husband.
So what are the requirements for a husband?
Dear Cardinal Dolan,
Well, you’ve had an interesting week, haven’t you? I thought rather than talking about you I’d talk to you. Who am I? Nobody special, just a daughter of the Church. Just an Army wife, a homeschooling mom raising three kids, and an American citizen who’s very worried about her country.
You, on the other hand, are a breath of fresh air for the Church in America. You are the embodiment of the courage, enthusiasm, joy, and faith we need now more than ever. Your election to the head of the Bishop’s conference was music to my ears. It gave me great hope in many ways. God has not forsaken us here in the U.S.A., even though we’ve forsaken Him. He has given us you in this critical hour. I know I’m not alone here — any Catholic who’s paying any attention at all is grateful for all you’ve done.
I want to thank you for the leadership you’ve provided. I want to thank you for having a spine. Thank you for your forthrightness and fidelity. Thank you for fighting and defending and teaching and admonishing and for doing it all with your unbeatable smile. You’re a big bear — part teddy and part grizzly. It’s exactly what we need, so don’t ever change.
When this story of the Al Smith Catholic charities dinner first came to light my first thought was that the reporter had his facts messed up. I thought, “There’s no way Cardinal Dolan invited him!” Then came some disbelief, then an out loud, “What?!?” when I learned it was true.
The firing squad quickly took aim at you, and the Catholic blogosphere was soon crackling with a lot of angry Catholics who could not fathom why our Church leaders were inviting the worst President in history to dinner.
In my own small circle, I tried to encourage folks to take a deep breath and not rush to join in the condemnation. Cardinal Dolan, I said, has never given us a reason to doubt his strength or his loyalty. Let’s give this a chance and see what comes of it.
But I have to admit, I’m not crazy about it either The whole thing makes me nervous, to say the least.
The man sitting in the White House does not behave like a President, so I won’t call him that. He wants to be king, and he acts like a tyrant, so from now on, I will refer to him as the tyrantking. He is the enemy of life and freedom in America. I don’t think anyone can dispute that assessment. I think he is a wolf who barely bothers to put his wool on anymore.
He is the enemy of Catholicism, as far as I’m concerned. He uses the Church to cover his behind and give his evil policies some sort of legitimacy, thanks to apostates like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Kathleen Sebelius, and thanks to the inexplicable Fr. John Jenkins. (Why is he still the president of a Catholic university, by the way??)
After this last year and the all-out assault he has waged on religious freedom and the child in the womb; after his pathetic and manufactured “war on women” that revolves around contraception; and after all you have said and done to stand up to him and lead the Church in the battle to defend what is right, why why why do we have to invite the guy to dinner for drinks and a few laughs??
As of this moment, Catholics in America must decide whether to violate Church teaching and their own conscience, or whether to disobey the HHS mandate and risk their business and livelihood. The war is ON, and we’re gonna tell jokes and have a good time with the tyrant behind the oppression? Seriously?
Your Eminence, please tell me you have an ace up your sleeve. Please tell me there’s more to this that the rest of us just don’t know about yet. Please tell me you haven’t taken leave of your good senses.
In my head, the conversation is going something like this:
Cardinal Dolan is no idiot. True. This ain’t his first rodeo. True again. He’s certainly no Obama sycophant. Very true. He must have a good reason for doing this. I sure hope so. But c’mon, really? Are we suddenly no longer fighting for our lives against this guy and his evil policies? Exactly… This will end badly with one opportune photo, and Obama will milk it for all it’s worth right through the election. Yep. Okay Jesus, I trust in You. Please prove me wrong about this.
I’m waiting anxiously to hear what your thoughts are about this whole mess. Please reassure your worried sheep that you’ve looked at this from all sides and all is well.
I beg you, please promise me that you won’t gift the tyrantking two weeks before the election with a snazzy picture of you with your gregarious smile and him with his cocky grin. You know that’s what he wants — a snapshot to tell the country, “See? I love the Church and they love me! There’s no problem here! Vote for me!”
Your Eminence, we all know the stakes could not be higher this November. The last thing we need is to allow any confusion at all about the reality of what the tyrantking is doing to annihilate religious freedom in America. Now is definitely not the time to muddy the message about the Church’s opposition and resistance to his mandates and his abortion-obsessed agenda. The hidden blessing in all that Obama has done so far is that it has ignited Catholics and other people of faith and brought a unity that wasn’t there before. We can’t afford to squander that now. But surely no one knows that better than you.
You are the Cardinal, not me (obviously). You’re not where you are by accident or stroke of luck, but by the design of our mighty and loving God. I respect your authority, and even though I don’t see how this will end well, I choose to believe the best of you and your decision.
I will be praying that God gives you keen insight and wisdom, as well as courage to fight the good fight. I will trust the Holy Spirit to guide you and use you for the glory of God and the good of His Church.
And if a few sheep like me bleat on and on about what a colossal mistake it could be, well, pray for us . I, for one, will be delighted to admit I was worried for nothing.
I’m sure that’s the big difference between you and me. You’re a shepherd. Your job is to seek lost sheep and lead them home. Maybe your heart’s desire in all of this is a chance to try once more to get a certain very lost sheep to follow a different road. Most days it’s all I can do to just wish him well and want him gone from the White House. This “love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you” stuff is crazy, you know?
Maybe you are, too. Crazy like a fox. I guess we’ll find out.
In the meantime, lead the way, Smiling Cardinal. I’m still with you. With respect and gratitude.
Don’t shoot me, but I think maybe the choir is singing the wrong tune. At least I think they’re getting the lyrics mixed up a bit. So I’m sticking my neck out (I may regret it) and piping up. Here goes…
Honestly, more and more these days I find myself feeling like Eliza Doolittle. Words, words, words, I’m so sick of words… (Campaign season does nothing to help. Ugh.) Especially since words are being twisted into such wildly contorted things; words are being drained of their real meaning and stuffed with something cunning and artificial; words are being hijacked and deformed. And sadly, words have always made pretty powerful weapons.
So it’s all the more incumbent on us as Christians in a culture descending into an immoral abyss to choose our words wisely and use them well. Let’s make sure what we say accurately reflects what is true about the human person; about God; about marriage and the family. Above all, we must make sure our words aren’t crafted to cause harm but to shed light.
I want to scream when I read articles containing the ever-popular term “fertilized egg.” It’s a favorite of the abortion industry because it’s a handy dehumanizing term in their rhetoric war against the fact that life begins at conception. But I’ve also seen the phrase used by pro-lifers and people of faith.
The term drives me nuts because it’s wholly inadequate at best, and just plain inaccurate at worst. Fertilization is a singular event in time when a sperm joins with an ovum and once it happens, what you have is no longer an egg (fertilized or otherwise) but a newly-conceived human — an entirely new and distinct being.
Think of it this way: it takes yellow and blue to make green. Once you mix yellow and blue, what you have is not “yellowized-blue” or “blueized-yellow” but green. You could no longer separate the yellow from the blue if you wanted to. They have combined to create something entirely new and different and it has its own name.
We’re now caught up in a similar word-game with marriage.
I have a little bone to pick with well-meaning people who are using the phrase “traditional marriage” to refer to marriage, in an attempt to distinguish it from same-sex “marriage.” This idea is everywhere these days in secular as well as religious media. It posits that there is “traditional” marriage (between a man and a woman), and now other, more modern, progressive forms of marriage as well (same-sex couples). Christians and other people of faith have begun adopting this language right along with the rest of society.
I politely suggest it needs to stop. Language matters. We are not doing marriage any favors by using such terminology, no matter how good our intentions, or even if we’re just seeking clarity in dialogue. The world has decided that marriage will now be classified into types and that same-sex “marriage” is now one of those types. We cannot go along with that classification.
Marriage means something. It has an intrinsic and unchangeable nature. If we reduce marriage to simply an agreement between any two people who love each other then we have utterly destroyed the meaning of marriage. It will become a trivial, throw-away concept because its core will be only self-seeking.
In the same way that we do not call abortion “choice” because it isn’t in any way a legitimate moral choice but is in fact murder, so we cannot succumb to the easy temptation to call marriage “traditional” in order to set it apart from same-sex “marriage.” Two persons of the same gender cannot enter into marriage. It is ontologically impossible. So it’s quite silly for us to begin describing marriage as “traditional” vs. “same-sex” because it’s drawing a distinction between marriage and something that can never even exist in the first place.
Using the green analogy again, no matter how forcefully I insist that I want to make green with two yellows or two blues, it will never happen. It’s just not possible. The nature of green cannot be changed.
There is a better way to draw a distinction and that’s the way Deacon Keith Fournier has been doing all along: using the word true. True marriage only happens between a man and a woman. Some may feel that’s a more provocative term, but it is accurate and faithful to the integrity of marriage.
There is only marriage, and it only happens between a man and woman. That’s not my plan or your plan; it’s God’s plan. We have to understand this, and be unflinching in stating it and defending it. Whatever relationship of sexual intimacy, fidelity, and love exists between two men or two women, it can never be marriage. That’s not bigotry or discrimination or hatred no matter what the world says. Leave the hyper-charged feelings aside for a moment: refusing to call a thing what it isn’t is nothing but logical, reasonable, and factual.
For thousands of years human civilization has known that marriage is only between a man and a woman, as the foundation of society, ordered toward the raising of children, but now suddenly in our so-called enlightened age those of us who refuse to part with reason and morality are on the wrong side of history? Absurd.
So there’s my two cents’. Fellow defenders of true marriage, choose your words wisely and well. Don’t join the rest of the world in declaring what is true to be merely traditional.
Our challenge is to be unafraid and resolute without ever abandoning love. That’s not an easy task, and I admit I have failed often. We’re not wielding weapons, and we don’t seek destruction or discrimination.
For myself, I don’t write with animosity or any desire to wound. But like so many others in America today, I won’t be bullied into capitulation either. I won’t forsake what I know is true. I won’t call something that is not marriage, marriage. It’s that simple.
For the sake of true marriage and the family, even though I’m getting quite sick of words, words, words… silence is not an option.
It was a miraculously cool day in August, which I personally took as God’s wedding gift to us. (The high that day was only 76.) It was the only month he could take a 4-day weekend, and we had to wait til December for our honeymoon. But it was a gorgeous day, and this is one of my favorite photos. Is he handsome in that tux or what?
Happy Anniversary, my wonderful husband.