Saturday, December 02, 2017

Encuentrate a ti mismo

Nosotros, las mujeres, somos hechas para amar, para dar, para acoger, para hacerle placer al otro.  Es lo que hacemos cuando amamos a alguien.  Este deseo a darlo todo, hacerle placer al otro, acoger al otro es nuestra fuerza, pero también nuestra debilidad. Es por estos mismos sentimientos que somos facilmente manipuladas.

Me acuerdo muy bien como era cuando tenía 21 años.  Quieres estar con un hombre porque te gusta mucho.  Quieres pasar un rato con él. Pero no quieres sexo, no todavía.  Quieres hacerle placer, pero no quieres sexo.  Quieres un poco de afección, pero no quieres sexo.  No quieres rechazarlo, pero no quieres sexo. No quieres enojarte con él por insistir, porque tampoco no quieres ser rechazado por él, y no quieres herir sus sentimientos, porque lo quieres, pero no quieres sexo.  Terminas en aceptar más que lo que te deja cómoda, porque lo quieres, pero no quieres sexo.

Antes, la sociedad tenía reglas para proteger a sus hijas jovencitas, de buen corazón, amantes y generosas. Sabíamos que nos tocaba protegerlas y cuidarlas, no manipularlas y coger provecho. Pero hoy día a la sociedad solo le importa el amor sin límites (o más bien el sexo sin límites).  Todo lo que se ve en la tele, en las peliculas, en los libros nos habla de la libertad sexual e eliminar barreras y límites.  Hoy día, si pones límites, se te ve puritana y fría, anticuada y retraída.  Los padres se retiran de la vida amorosa de sus hijos porque "no es asunto suyo" lo que hacen los demás. ¿Entonces quien les va a proteger a nuestras hijas ahora?

Image result for si tienes que renunciar a tus valores para encontrarEres joven, etás enamorada y tienes confianza en este hombre, pero le das más que lo que quieres, porque piensas que puedes pararlo antes de que se pase algo más.  Pero él aprovecha de esta abertura para ir más lejos. Logras frustrarlo un tiempo en su empeño, algunos días, algunas semanas, quizas algunos meses.  Pero éstas reglas sociales, "prohibido encontrarse sola con él en la habitación" por ejemplo, o por lo menos "prohibido encontrarse en la habitación con puertas cerradas" si compartes un hogar con otros, son mojigatas y retraídas y nadie las cumple. Detrás de la puerta cerrada es fácil para él pedirte más, y reticente, cedes. Pero no quieres sexo. Y ya se lo has dicho, y él sabe, pero igual sigue tratando convencerte.Al final, cuando en fin te rindes, él está contento con si mismo.  Por fin tuvo lo que quería y supone que tu también estás contenta.  Porque, de egoísta, todo lo que ve es lo que él quería.  Mientras él se felicita por haberte dado lo que tu no sabías que querías, al fondo de tí, sientes un remordimiento profundo.  Lamentas haberte rendido.  Te preguntas como pudiste dejarlo pasarte.  Le hacías confianza a él, pensabas controlar la situación. Te sientes usada, como una puta. Tienes verguenza.  Quieres regresar en el tiempo y cambiar las cosas. Piensas que todo es por tu culpa.

Quizas ya no quieres estar con él, pero ahora que tuvieron sexo, tienes la impresión que te toca darle otra oportunidad, que te toca intentar construír una relación. Porque no eres esta chica, la que tienes un rollo de una noche. Porque, irónicamente, no lo quieres herir, al dejarlo enseguida. Pero la realidad es que se merece lo que le está cayendo por haberte presionado.  Pero no estas pensando claramente, porque el sexo nubla tu juicio.

La próxima vez que estan juntos, es todavía más fácil convencerte de nuevo, porque ya tuviste sexo, y con el tiempo dejas toda pretensión, porque ya sabes que no vale la pena tratar de decirle no.


Tal vez después de unos meses, o un año, se cansa de tí y pasa a otra cosa.  O quizas no se entienden más juntos y se dejan.  O te encuentras embarazada y él no quiere un hijo, entonces tienes que elegir entre ser madre soltera o abortar. Y no es únicamente el corazón que se te queda roto sino el alma también.  Esta parte de ti que no estabas lista a darle, que igual te tomó, nunca podrás recuperarla.

Con el tiempo, encuentras a otro hombre y piensas "ésta vez, será diferente".  Pero no lo es.  Porque a pesar de ser herida, todavía eres esta chica amante, amable, generosa, abierta, lista a hacerle placer.  Y todavía no te das cuenta que poner límites es la cosa sana que hacer. Lo que se te pasó la primera vez, se te pasa la segunda vez y la tercera vez, quizas una cuarta vez y una quinta vez.

Tal vez terminas por quedarte con alguién que nunca hubieras considerado para ti, porque piensas que se lo debes, por haber tenido sexo, además, por esta razón, el lazo emocional entre los dos es más fuerte, y tu juicio es más debil. Así es que te encuentras con alguién que no comparte la misma visión del mundo, que no tiene los mismos valores, las mismas prioridades.  Con los años, se te ve más y más cínica, una mujer que lamenta mucho haberse rendido. Deseas una mejor relación, pero sabes que nunca la tendrás, nunca con él.  No te gustaría nada más que regresar en el tiempo y cambiar lo que hiciste. Construiste murallas que rodean tu corazón porque las diferencias entre los dos te han herido tantas vezes. Has hecho concesiones que nunca quería hacer.  No has podido enseñarles tus valores a tus hijos como querías, porque sus valores a él son muy diferentes.  Ya no crees en el amor.  No es para tí.

Tal vez terminas soltera y cínica.  Quizas lograste separar el amor del sexo, y aprovechas del segundo sin rendirte al primero porque te has quedado herida tantas veces.  Ya no te dejas sentir nada más.  O quizas cortas toda relación con los hombres porque "son todos parecidos".  No les das a ninguno la oportunidad acercarse y supones que todos tienen motivos ocultos. Murallas te rodean y te has encerrado el corazón. Ya no crees en el amor. No es para tí.

Cuando escuchas corridos que a otras mujeres, jovenes, les han presionado para tener sexo en contra su buen juicio, sientes una profunda rabia, silenciosa y impotente, al interior. Sabes que no estas sola, sabes que eso se pasa por todos lados, y no hay nada que puedes hacer.  Quizas quieres protegerle a tu hija, pero la sociedad esta en contra de tí, y aún si no crees este mantra de hoy día que dice que lo que hacen no es asunto tuyo (si alguién le hiere a tu hija, es definitivamente asunto tuyo), y le pones límites, no es cierto que la familia de su compañero hará lo mismo. ¿Ella aceptará éstas reglas? O se ira por el mismo sendero que tu, temiendo pasar por puritana, fría, anticuada y retraída, destinada ser otra mujer cínica más que ya no cree en el amor? Que no es para ella?

No es demasiado tarde para cambiar las cosas, si nos acordamos frenar ligeramente las emociones sin construír murallas alrededor del corazón.  Somos hechas para ser mujeres amantes, generosas, abiertas en lugar de mujeres cínicas, amargas, sin esperanza, llenas de arrepentamiento. Es mejor buscar la felicidad dentro de si mismo, encontrar lo que enciende nuestra pasión, este talento escondido, este desafio personal, esta meta de vida, en lugar de buscar la felicidad en otra persona. Al buscar la satifacción en si mismo, podemos más fácilmente cuidarnos el corazón e evitar atarse demasiado pronto a una persona.

Al sentirnos a gusto en nuestra propia piel, es más probable que nos daremos límites sanos, que no haremos concesiones para estar con una persona y que eliminaremos las malas relaciones. Pero eso es algo que toma tiempo, y por esta razón, nos toca proteger y cuidar a nuestras hijas, mientras se descubren, y enseñarles a nuestros hijos lo mismo.

Aún en una relación comprometida de larga duración, la satisfacción se encuentra en si mismo, no es la responsabilidad de su esposo. Nuestra felicidad depende de solo una persona, nosotros mismo. A pesar de toda circunstancia, la satisfacción y la felicidad siempre son posibles si decidimos encontrarlas en nuestro interior. El amor no es siempre lo que pensabamos que sería cuando eramos jovenes, pero puede ser lo que procuremos que sea.

Y muchachos, cuando ella dice que no quiere,... realmente no quiere...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Find Yourself

We women are made to love, to give, to be welcoming, to want to please.  It's what we do best when we love someone.  But this desire to give all, to please, to welcome in, also makes us easily manipulated by our emotions.

I remember very well how it was when I was 21.  You want to be with a man because you really like him.  You want to spend time with him.  But you don't want sex, not yet.  You want to please him, but you don't want sex.  You want affection, but you don't want sex.  You don't want to reject him, but you don't want sex.  You also don't want to get mad at him for insisting, because you don't want to be rejected either, and you don't want to hurt his feelings, because you like him, but you don't want sex.  So you accept a little more than you're really comfortable with, because you like him, but you don't want sex.

Society used to have rules in order to protect its young, open-hearted, giving, loving daughters.  Because we knew they needed to be protected and cared for, not manipulated and taken advantage of.  But today's society is all about love with no limits.  Everything you see on TV, in the movies, in books is all about sexual freedom, and eliminating barriers and limits. Today, if you set limits, you are negatively seen as prude and cold, old-fashioned and backwards. Parents step out of their children's love-life because it's "none of their business" what anyone else does.  So who is going to protect our daughters now?

You're young and in love, and you trust the man, but you give a little more than you really want to, because you think you can stop it before it goes too far.  But he takes advantage of that opening and takes more.  You manage to disappoint him for a time, a few days, a few weeks, maybe a few months.  But those societal rules, "stay out of the bedroom" for one, or at least, "keep doors open" if you're sharing a place with other people, they're prude and backwards and no one uses them.  Behind closed doors it's easy for him to ask for more, and unwillingly, you relent.  But you don't want sex.  And you've told him, and he knows, but that doesn't stop him from trying to convince you.

In the end, when it's over, he's content with himself.  He finally got what he wanted and he assumes you're happy too.  Because, egoistically, all he sees is what he wanted.  And while he is congratulating himself for giving you what you didn't know you wanted, deep down, you immediately feel regret.  You are disappointed with yourself for giving in.  You're not quite sure how it happened, you trusted him not to go too far, you thought you could stop it. You feel used, you feel maybe somewhat like a prostitute. You feel ashamed. You wish it never happened.  You think it's all your fault.

Maybe you want to break up with him, but now that you've had sex, you feel you owe it to him to give him a chance.  Because you are not that girl, the kind that has a one-night stand.  Because ironically, you don't want to hurt him by breaking up with him after having sex, when in reality, he deserves what's coming to him for pressuring you in the first place.  But you're not thinking straight, because sex clouds your judgement.
The next time you're together, it's a lot easier to get you to have sex again, because you've already had it, and eventually, you give up all pretense, because you know there's no point.

And then maybe after a few months, or a year, he gets tired of you and moves on.  Or you really just don't get along and you break up.  Or you get pregnant and he doesn't want a child, so you either have to deal with being a single mother or have an abortion.  And it's not just a broken heart you have.  Your soul is broken too.  That piece of you that you didn't want to give him yet, that he took anyway, you can never get it back.

The next time you meet a guy, you think "This time, it will be different."  But it isn't.  Because despite being hurt, you are still that loving, giving, wanting to please girl.  And you still don't realize that setting limits is the healthy thing to do.  So the same thing happens a second time, and a third time, maybe a fourth time, and a fifth time.

Maybe you end up settling for someone you otherwise would not have settled down with, because you thought you owed him that, since you'd had sex, and because having sex with him made that emotional bond stronger and your judgement weaker.  So you end up with someone who doesn't have the same world-view as you, who doesn't have the same values, or priorities.  And as the years go by, you become a cynical woman, who deeply regrets having given in, who desires a better relationship, but knows she'll never have that, not with him.  You wish you could go back and change what you did.  You've put walls around your heart because you've been hurt so many times by the differences between you.  You've made compromises in your relationship that you wish you didn't have to.  You haven't been able to give your children the kind of moral education you want to give them, because his morals are totally different.  You don't believe in love anymore.  Not for you.

Maybe you end up single and cynical. Maybe you've managed to separate love from sex, and you profit from the latter without giving into the former because you've been hurt too often.  You don't want to let yourself feel anymore.  Or maybe you cut yourself off completely from all men, because "they are all the same". You won't give any of them a chance, and you automatically assume they all have ulterior motives.  You've put walls up around you, and closed off your heart. You don't believe in love anymore.  Not for you.

When you hear about other women, young girls, who've been pressured into having sex against their better judgement, you feel a deep, silent and impotent rage inside of you. You know you are not alone, you know this is happening everywhere, and there is nothing you can do. Maybe you want to protect your daughter, but society is against you, and even if you don't buy into today's mantra that what they do is none of your business, (because if someone harms your underage daughter, it absolutely IS your business), and you set limits for her, will her boyfriend's family do the same?  Will she accept those rules, or will she go down the same path, afraid to be seen as prude, cold, old-fashioned and backwards, destined to be yet another cynical woman who doesn't believe in love anymore? Not for her?

It is not too late to turn things around if we remind ourselves to gently curb our emotions without building walls around our hearts. We are meant to be loving, giving, open-hearted women, instead of cynical, bitter, hopeless and regret-filled ones. It is better to seek fulfillment within ourselves, to find that which ignites our passion, that hidden talent, that personal challenge, that life goal instead of seeking fulfillment from someone else. Once we realize that we do not need a romantic relationship in order to be happy, that our lives can be full thanks to other meaningful relationships with family and friends and through fulfilling activities, we can more easily guard our hearts from becoming too attached too soon to any one person.


If we are not afraid of losing someone, we will be more likely to set healthy limits, less likely to compromise ourselves in order to be with them and more likely to eliminate bad relationships.  Even in a long-term committed relationship, fulfillment is found within, it is not the responsibility of our spouse. Our happiness depends on one person only, our self. Fulfillment is always possible, and happiness is probable, even in a difficult (non-abusive) relationship if we look for it within ourselves.


Perhaps love isn't what we naively thought it would be when we were younger, but it can be what we make it to be.

And guys, when she says she doesn't want to... She really doesn't want to.

The Simple Things



Or "The Best Time I Ever had in a Pub".

Image may contain: people sitting and indoor
Photo: Glen Morgan's Irish Pub
It was a Tuesday evening in late April or early May.  I normally work evenings past midnight, but that particular week, I got off at 8:00.  My friend Marcia had just recently found a good job, and wanted to celebrate.  So we went to a pub in the Old Saint-Jean; Glen Morgan's Irish Pub.

No one goes out to a bar on a Tuesday. The Pub was empty, almost, except for a group of military men in one corner.  Since there was no one else, they had commandeered the music, and were playing all kinds of old classic rock songs and laughing and singing along and generally having a grand time.

After sitting by ourselves for a little under an hour, and observing them from our corner, Marcia and I decided we wanted to join in on the fun too.  So we went and sat at two available stools at the bar next to them, which immediately prompted welcoming cheers from them.  They bought us drinks and asked us what music we wanted to hear.

We talked, we listened to good old classics, we sang, and we had a great time.  When it was time to go, Marcia and I went our way, and that was that.

I don't remember their names, I have had no further contact with any of them, but I will always remember them with fondness for that one evening of simple pleasures shared in a pub, with no further expectations than enjoying good music and company.  Sometimes, it really can be as simple as that.  And as profound as that.

A few things have come up in recent days, which make me think, sometimes simple is best.  One being the place of men in Catholicism, and an article on the subject, posted by a friend.  Catholicism (at least in North America) seems to have gone the Pentecostal way, bringing in the "feels" and a lot of either theological and intellectual talk or some very emotional talk, all of which requires a lot of talking, either about feelings or very abstract things.  All this emphasis on feelings and thoughts takes away from the simplicity of just being and acting.  There are people out there who just don't need the bells and whistles or the complexities of theology, or feelings.  All they need is a simple faith, fostered through example.  They go to mass, just because.  Jesus is there.  He said "do this in memory of me", and that's all they need to know.  He said "love one another as I have loved you" and "love your neighbour as yourself" and that's all they need to know. It's that simple, and it's that profound.  And they lead through selfless example, like St. Joseph.  St. Joseph didn't need to know all the whys and hows and whatnots.  He was told not to fear to take Mary as his wife and welcome the child that was not his, and he trusted and he did so.  It was as simple as that. Do we still have a place in our Church for people of a simple faith?

My youngest son's second year of catechism has started up, and the first meeting we looked at the story of the Creation.  In the beginning was chaos. God put order in the chaos, and created the world, the universe.  There are laws of physics and chemistry, so that there might be order in the universe, so that the mixing of two elements always creates a similar reaction, so you always know what to expect, you always fall down, you never fall up, or sideways, and fire always burns, but ice is cold, and you can use these properties to your advantage. In the same way, God gave us laws of human relationships.  If everyone just followed those laws, there would be order in our relationships and there would not be the chaos that we have in society today.  We would not need to complicate things in order to make up for the fact that we were not following the basic laws God set out for us, the 10 commandments.  If people cared more about getting to know the other person, and less about getting sex, if sex were put back into the sacred context of marriage, things would be a whole lot simpler in society. If people cared more about people than about making money, then there would be a lot less chaos in the world. When you ignore the basic laws, you complicate your life.  Sin complicates things, always.  You need to lie, to cheat, to cover things up.  Sometimes, you even need to kill other people, because they get in the way.

You know when things are simple, you're probably going down the right road.




Sunday, August 20, 2017

When you lose a friend...


Grief comes in waves, like the ocean slapping up on the shore.  It hits you when you don't expect it.


I look at the photo where we are together, and sometimes all I feel is a dull ache, and other times, sadness hits me with sudden, overwhelming pain.

I am not sure why our friendship is dead, just that it is, and that you seem to want it that way. I know our friendship centered around one particular activity that you have suddenly, without warning, given up, but for me, it was more than just that activity, we talked about so many other things as well.

I am still not sure how we went from being "a team that could be the bomb" (your words, not mine) and three short days later, you stopped talking to me.  We used to talk to each other almost every day, even if it was only a few short lines.  We had projects together, we saw each other frequently.  And suddenly, overnight, without warning, you disappeared.

It hurts, like someone took a big chunk of my soul and left it gaping with nothing to fill it up with, and no stitches to close the hole with.

Had you gradually faded out of my life, it would have been so much easier, but you ripped yourself out of my life and I am left wondering why, guessing that there is more than what you are telling me, unsure whether to wait it out or forget you completely.

I go through the days with a void in my soul, I keep busy, to try to forget.  I live happy moments, I laugh, I see people I love, but always, there is the void, that gaping hole that I struggle to close and heal.

I don't understand.

My soul lies in fetal position and cries with the pain.  Little by little, it hurts a bit less... I can breathe now, I can look at the photo without the hole ripping open again.  I can remember moments with you, with fondness and not feel the wound tear, but I cannot yet feel happiness at having had that friendship because the pain of losing it is still too strong.

I do not understand.

I must let you go...

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ask your kid a question

The following is a list of questions to be asked (without prompting) to each of my children, with the answers of each of my children, written EXACTLY as they said it.

Some of these are quite astute, and others are just... funny...

This was done December 24, 2016.  Jean-Alexandre was 22, Dominic was 18, Maryssa was 16, Raven was 15, Gabriel was 14 and Nicolas was 11.


1. What is something I say a lot?

Jean-Alexandre: "I don't know, shuliyan."
Dominic: "I don't know... LET GO OF ME!!"
Maryssa: "What?!"
Raven: "Vamonos"
Gabriel: "Let go of me"
Nicolas: "Go to bed"

2. What makes me happy?

Jean-Alexandre: "I don't know, books"
Dominic: "Uh... (thinking...) coffee..."
Maryssa: "Books"
Raven: "Soccer, a clean house, books"
Gabriel: "Nothing"
Nicolas: "Hugs!!" (hugs me)

3. What makes me sad?

Jean-Alexandre: "I don't know, bad soccer teams"
Dominic: "Gabriel"
Maryssa: (Gabriel pokes me) "That!! Exactly that!
Raven: "When the dogs pee inside"
Gabriel: "Everything"
Nicolas: "Someone in our family dying"

4. How tall am I?

Jean-Alexandre: "Kinda tall"
Dominic: "5'7"
Maryssa: "I'm 5'5, you're a little taller"
Raven: "Medium sized"
Gabriel: 'Tiny"
Nicolas: "I don't know!!"

5. What's my favourite thing to do?

Jean-Alexandre: "I was going to say read books, but actually, it's being on your cellphone"
Dominic: "Soccer"
Maryssa: "Read, drink pisco, travel"
Raven: "Watch soccer games, read books, make empanadas"
Gabriel: "Freaking soccer obviously"
Nicolas: "Go to mass"

6. What is my favourite food?

Jean-Alexandre: "Well, it's not your favourite food, but every time I think of someone's favourite food, I think of lasagna"
Dominic: "Ummm... (thinking...) I have no idea"
Maryssa: "Flan (with a smirk, because SHE wants me to make HER some)
Raven: "Seafood stirfry"
Gabriel: " You don't have one"
Nicolas: "French toast"

7. If I could go anywhere, where would it be?

Jean-Alexandre: "Mom, I'm not even thinking of you, but France was the first thing that popped into my mind, it's probably Chile or something, even though you already went."
Dominic: "Um, that one place... What was it? I don't even know what it's freakin' called. That one place... With your soccer team?" (Me: "Chile?") "Yup"
Maryssa: "Scotland"
Raven: "Argentina? Chile?"
Gabriel: "Anywhere"
Nicolas: "Scotland"

8. Do you think you could live without me?

Jean-Alexandre: "Yes, what kind of questions are these?"
Dominic: "Yes"
Maryssa: "No"
Raven: "No"
Gabriel: "Easily"
Nicolas: "NOOOOO!! (hugs me again)

9. How do I annoy you?

Jean-Alexandre: "Asking me stupid questions"
Dominic: "Talking too much"
Maryssa: (Thinking a looooooong time, then she asks what I wrote and says, "You should also put: One. Hour. Later.") "Okay, got it, when we ask you a question, and after you look at us and ask "What?!" for the fifth time. That's about when we walk away."
Raven: "You don't really annoy me"
Gabriel: "Talking to me"
Nicolas: "By getting all mad when I hug you"

10.  What is my favourite TV show?

Jean-Alexandre: "Uh... I don't know, Fraser... (laughs) Do you even watch Fraser?"
Dominic: "Soccer"
Maryssa: "Buffy"
Raven: "Soccer show"
Gabriel: "You don't watch TV"
Nicolas: "Friends"

11. How old am I?

Jean-Alexandre: "I don't even remember, maybe 44? How old are you?"
Dominic: "80"
Maryssa: "43"
Raven: "43"
Gabriel: "80"
Nicolas: "43"


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Smile

My daughter wrote this for an assignment she had for school:

“Smile at strangers and you just might change a life”  
-Steve Maraboli-

I always believed that if you smile at a stranger or to anyone, can lift happiness in them. I’m the type of person that loves to smile at someone just because. It feels good because I’m the one who made them smile even if it was just for a few seconds and it’s a really good feeling. This quote explains exactly that and that’s why I chose it. The part where it says “change a life” means to me that when someone is having a bad day just the slightest smile can make their day or even when they are having a good day it can make their day even better. I personally love to smile to random people because it makes my day better. I knew this quote because my grandma said it. She is Catholic so she thinks a smile was God’s gift to humans.
To some people it’s not a big deal but it is to me, it’s like a friendly sign. Some people don’t think that this quote is that good because they don’t think that a smile says a lot of words and they don’t think that it can change a life. It depends on the person, because the person might think the smile is special, nice, and sometimes weird depending on the smile.
My daughter, smiling

About the author is that he is a bestselling Author, and Behavior Scientist. He has travelled to about 30 countries to share his videos and quotes that he has done just to talk about them and say what they mean. He has also written books like the book “life the truth and being free”. That book is about how to save the world without losing ourselves as Steve would say. He inspired millions in the world because of his quotes and books and videos. Steve Maraboli specializes also in Motivational Psychology and Leadership Dynamics.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Against the Unweaving

If you have an e-reader, and enjoy fantasy/sci-fi check this trilogy out. (It's also available in paperback on amazon, but costs a bit more)
It was on a list of deals of the day, in an e-mail I received awhile back, and I'm not sure why, but I looked at it, thought, "Hey... fantasy/sci-fi, $0.99... what do I have to loose?"
I think this is one of those "nothing happens without a reason" moments. If you don't mind some crass details, (like, for instance, when someone sniffs, it's enough to know that they sniffed, I don't need to read the word snot as well... but whatever) once you get over how confusing it is to keep all the different countries straight and the different creatures... once you get into the book, it just takes you along for the ride.
And then you start to notice certain things that sound rather familiar... certain doctrines, certain teachings... talk of redemption... and by the time you hit the third book... you're reading stuff like this:
Gilbrum gestured for them to stop before a knotted wall of mangroves. "My point is that the Liche Lord and the Technocrat were both deceived by the Abyss, one way or the other. Deception is insidious. It takes root where its presence is not suspected. The dwarves of Arx Gravis learnt this to their horror, and this is why they are afraid to act: they lost faith in their scriptures, and now they no longer trust their own judgement."
"So what can be done?" Shader asked. How could the truth in the Liber be separated from the lies? Was the task even possible anymore? How could his own reasoning be trusted, if it was founded upon Nousian morality?
"I cannot say," Gilbrum said. "But if this Nous of yours is anything like the god once worshipped by the dwarves, then you must act as he would act."
"And how is that?" Shader said.
"With love."
and you're starting to wonder if the author isn't Catholic:
Could it be that it was about something else entirely, like good and evil. That's what Shader had always believed: do the former and avoid the latter. Maybe that's what he meant by being harder. Maybe it wasn't just about avoiding evil; maybe it was about rooting it out and excising it wherever he found it. Isn't that what surgeons did to gangrenous limbs? Cut away the bad so that the good might live on?
If only it were that easy. If only he could rip from the Liber all that Blightey had contaminated it with. The problem was, Blightey wasn't that crude. There were no obviously evil passages in the Liber. If there were, they'd have been removed centuries ago. What the Liche Lord had done was much more subtle. He'd woven together strands from various traditions and sown the seeds of confusion. The early Templum fathers had fallen for the wisdom he'd offered: the wisdom of popular appeal.
But when you hit the end of the third book and you are reading stuff like this:
His eyes were sore from poring over the text with only the flickering light of an overhead strip of crystal to read by, but at least he'd found something to go on: Causa Salutis, the inscription on the pendant, appeared in one of the more obscure passages in the Second Book of Unveilings, toward the end of the Liber.
That particular book had always struck him as a confusion of mythological images that had no authoritative interpretation. It was seldom, if ever, read at public worship, and yet Ludo had studied it assiduously, as if that's where he hoped to pick up the first strands of the golden thread. "The cause of our salvation will be," is how the passage translated from the Aeternam, "the Immaculata" - the immaculate one - "who crushes the deceiver beneath her heel.
You know... you just know... the guy HAS to be Catholic...
Turns out, he did a 6 month postulancy with the Carmelite Order in Melbourne, Australia.
What I liked about this book? There was no moralizing, no easy answers, no trite theology. And the story line was GOOD, and well-written. A Catholic author, writing from a Catholic perspective and DOING A GOOD JOB OF IT. There is too much crappy Christian lit out there, we need to be reading and sharing the good stuff...
Available from amazon.com in paperback.
Also available: The Nameless Dwarf

Thursday, May 29, 2014

It is what it is


Something someone said the other day kind of struck me.  My friend's husband left her, and among other nasty things he's said about her, he said this: she was lousy in bed.

Image result for love
I'm sorry, but that's not even possible.  That's a figment of modern society's imagination and too much porn.  It's the idea that sex is a sport, and that people are expected to perform somehow, to keep things interesting and if they don't, then they're lousy in bed.

As if switching it up, or switching partners was what made sex interesting.  As if just being with someone you find genuinely interesting wasn't enough to make sex interesting.  As if you could find sex boring with the one person you think is the most awesome, most interesting person you know.

There is no such thing as being lousy in bed. If you think, (and it IS all in your head) that a person is lousy in bed, it is because YOU are not genuinely interested in them.  The problem, my friend, is with YOU.  YOU are having sex with the wrong person.  YOU are having sex for the wrong reasons, and most importantly, YOU don't even know what sex is really all about.  YOU will never be satisfied, you will always be looking for something different, better, newer, because you think it's about performance, and novelty.  When the novelty wears off, you will be off again, looking for something newer.  The latest girlfriend will be demoted to "lousy in bed" status, along with all the others.  Sex is a competition, a conquest to you, and once you have won, once you have conquered, sex becomes anti-climactic.  The challenge is gone.  You will need to find a new challenge.  See?  You never cared about the person behind the bodies you "made love" to.  You were never genuinely interested in them, you only showed interest as long as it served your own purpose.

I cannot fathom how anyone can be in love with a person, genuinely find them interesting, think that they are the most amazing person on earth, want to know everything about them, discover that the more they get to know them, the better they like them, be physically attracted to them, and then find them lousy in bed.  There is no such thing.  It's impossible.

The real aphrodisiac isn't switching it up or switching partners.  The real aphrodisiac is having an intimate conversation, sharing something that you wouldn't share with just anyone:  Deep and profound moments; baring your naked soul moments; owning up to your faults and past hurts moments; light and breezy inside joke moments; getting into an argument, then talking it over and making up moments; discovering and discussing common interests moments; hurdling the obstacles life throws at you together moments.  Those are the real aphrodisiacs.

Sex is what it is.  It doesn't need to be improved on.  What needs to be improved on is the relationship with the person you having sex with.  There is no such thing as good sex or bad sex.  There are only people having sex for all the right reasons, and people having sex for all the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Where is Jesus?


At Gabriel's last catechism class, the kids went around to each parent and asked this question:  "Where is Jesus?"

I thought about giving the obvious, (yet, perversely overlooked) answer which I think I gave when it was Maryssa's turn, previously; "In the Eucharist."  I decided against it.

Jesus can be found in many obvious places, such as prayer, meditation, or nature.  Most of the other parents mentioned these.  I thought about mentioning "in other people, when you really need them most." But I ended up going with prayer as well; "in the stillness of an empty chapel", meaning, in front of the tabernacle, in front of the host, the blessed sacrament, in the silence, alone, in the semi-dark. (I was thinking of this moment.)

Thinking about it later, I realized that where I see Jesus the most recently, is with a friend of mine.  I literally see his presence there.  Her husband left her, and their 7 children.  Without going into details, the relationship has never been an easy one, and the husband has been very nasty towards her.  She was the one with a job when he left, and she was also going to school when he left.  He was taking care of the kids, when she was gone/sleeping, but now she has to do everything.

I honestly do not know when she sleeps.  I know she has friends and family closer than I am to help out a bit, but I do not know how she still manages to function or even be alive.  Except I know this:  there is a huge group of people praying constantly for her.  Her family is around her. Her friends are as close as they can be.  I'm thinking it's the prayers keeping her going.  I don't see what else is.  Coffee can only keep you going for so long.  The husband left in late December, we're at the end of May.  I can almost see Jesus beside her, holding her up, keeping her walking straight.  Keeping her mentally stable on very little sleep, somehow, somehow, giving her the strength she needs to carry on.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Prayer

Was going through my Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church e-mails just now, and I thought I would share a couple of little bits about prayer.  Sometimes, it's good to be reminded of things we already know.

 Why is prayer sometimes a struggle?
The spiritual masters of all times have described growth in faith and in love for God as a spiritual, life-and-death combat. The battlefield is man's interior life. The Christian's weapon is prayer. We can allow ourselves be defeated by our selfishness and lose ourselves over worthless things or we can win God.
Often someone who wants to pray must first conquer his lack of will power. Even the Desert Fathers were acquainted with spiritual sluggishness ("acedia"). Reluctance to seek God is a big problem in the spiritual life. The spirit of the times sees no point in praying, and our full calendars leave no room for it. Then there is the battle against the tempter, who will try anything to keep a person from devoting himself to God. If God did not want us to find our way to him in prayer, we would not win the battle. (YOUCAT question 505)
Is it possible to pray always?
Prayer is always possible. Prayer is vitally necessary. Prayer and life cannot be separated.
You cannot keep God content with a few words in the morning or evening. Our life must become prayer, and our prayers must become life. Every Christian life story is also a story of prayer, one long attempt to achieve ever greater union with God. Because many Christians experience a heartfelt longing to be with God constantly, they turn to the so-called "Jesus prayer", which has been an age-old custom particularly in the Eastern Churches. The person who prays it tries to integrate a simple formula the most well-known formula is "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" into his daily routine in such a way that it becomes a constant prayer. (YOUCAT question 510)