Friday, October 26, 2012

Truth... and Reason

I'm beginning to think there is more to this idea that men should be the "head of the household".

There is the obvious - men are physically stronger; but that's not it.  It goes deeper than that, and it isn't that women are in a lower class, and need to be told what to do either.  It isn't that at all.  Being the head does not make you the boss.

If men are the head of the household, it goes without saying that women are the heart.

Peter Kreeft compares men, in a talk that he gives, to reason and women to faith.  In general, this is true.  We are complementary.  He goes on to say that Christianity is a marriage.  Not just between Christ and his bride the Church, but between man (Adam) and Eve (woman), between Reason (which started with the Greek philosophers) and Faith (which started with Judaism and is completed in Christianity).

When a "divorce" happens between faith and reason, the Church weakens.

I know quite a few men, who seem to be fountains of knowledge (and reason).  My father is one.  I often turned to him as an adolescent when I wanted an answer to something.  Back in high school, a friend of mine was constantly asking questions; searching for answers.  My brothers are both well-read and sources of all kinds of information.  Another friend, back in University was the same, and now, when I get together with him and his wife, the conversation is always stimulating. My husband, although not interested in matters of faith, religiously reads the news every day, and when in doubt over what to do about some household problem, I often turn to him.  I have more recently been in contact with other men who seem to almost know everything, and others who ask the most interesting questions in their quest for knowledge.

For years, I have had to be both faith and reason when it comes to teaching my children about God.  I have spent hours searching for things which might awaken their senses, or stimulate their minds and desire to know Him.  A girl gets tired doing this on her own all the time, and oh, at times, how I wish someone would just step in and take over.  I'm afraid I'm not doing such a good job in the "head" department.

10 years ago today

... I was in the Prince George Regional Hospital, in Prince George BC, holding a little baby, Gabriel, in my arms.

He was supposed to come after the Halloween Party that I had planned at the French Canadian Club, but he decided to come sooner.  So I missed the party.  That I planned.  Oh well, such is life.  Someone else made things run smoothly.

Gabriel has since turned into an intelligent, young man, who enjoys sports, friends, logic, games and movies.

Happy birthday Gabriel!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

101 reasons to be happy, Reason number fifty-six

Someone else who FEELS YOUR PAIN.


There's nothing like a little sympathy from someone who's been there, done that. :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What a little Chartreuse will do

So, my husband went to go play volleyball and took the three youngest hobbits with him yesterday evening, and I went and drank 1/2 a glass of Chartreuse, and proceeded to sing loudly along to drunken Irish, American and Canadian songs on YouTube   Then I finished the bottle, managed to get myself plastered, and started a conversation with a friend in which he found me very funny and through which I giggled and snorted at myself (it was not pretty) the whole way through because I could not spell anymore and I had suddenly become dyslexic.  I temporarily could not find my Hotmail, which I found extremely funny (even though it is right there on the bookmarks bar at the top of my screen). I sent my friend my book that I just finished, and amazingly, this morning I still do not quite regret having done so, although perhaps I may yet.  Oh those nasty monks...  (wink, wink)  (Oh my aching head)

When my husband came home, I went to bed whereupon I proceeded to finish the most intense rosary I have ever prayed.  I cried the whole way through.  The last Our Father was extremely intense; THY WILL BE DONE.  Please God, make things better.  ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.  Give us this day our daily bread - not the physical bread God, the spiritual bread - please - give me that.

I will admit to having perhaps "yelled" (in my mind) at God a couple of times.

This morning, excepting the headache, I am surprisingly at peace.  I'm guessing the "holy water" made by the monks managed to "disinfect" my insides and give me courage to do a number of things I probably never would have otherwise.




Friday, October 19, 2012

Questions

I've been thinking about this for a few days now, and finally wrote something down in words.

It all has to do with this quote from the song Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons that a friend shared with me earlier this week :
Love, it will not betray you,
Dismay or enslave you,
It will set you free
 And I'm just going to copy/paste what I already wrote :

It's one of those things that just rings so obviously true. But I've been thinking... I have questions, like how does this apply in circumstances where you are constantly around people that you must love (family, coworkers, whatever) but who consistently directly or indirectly (with or without knowing it) hurt you with their ideas, attitudes, incapacity to work things out, whatever?

How does one show love to a person one doesn't even trust anymore anyway? I'm not talking about caring for their safety or well-being or even just doing nice things for them. We're all capable of being nice to people we don't like.

What is love anyway? I guess the answer to that is the same as the answer to What is truth?

So if love is that Trinity, that everlasting and complete sharing of self from Father to Son through the Holy Spirit; if God created us in his own image, and to share in his love, then love is first of all, that quest for God and secondly, the mutual sharing of that same quest for him with other men (and women) around us. Love is, in its highest form, challenging each other in our quest to learn more about God, to follow Him and serve Him.

This is what makes marriage a sacrament, that mutual challenging, the uplifting, the praying together and for each other, because the end is always to be more and more like God and with God.

But that kind of thing isn't exclusive to couples, to love your family, friends and coworkers is essentially the same. It's a mutual sharing of who you are, but for which the same goal is present, the uplifting of the other person, the mutual challenging in faith, the looking towards higher things, praying with and for each other.

So my question is : How do you love someone who DOES NOT want this? How do you show love to someone who ignores it? How do you give a piece of your soul to someone who rejects it? Is it possible to love someone like that WITHOUT being betrayed, dismayed or enslaved? And how does one do this and still remain FREE?

And if the world is to be saved by love, then just being nice isn't enough, is it? I wish I knew the answer to that.

Dear Children

(Sigh no more - Mumford and Sons)
Just a few thoughts that I have written over the years, beginning with the earliest and ending with the most recent (today's thought, actually) on dating, relationships and marriage; a few things I'd like my own children to think about, or anyone else who's single :

1. Don't rush into things.  Marriage typically lasts a VERY, very, long time.
2. Don't ever compromise on the important things.  It doesn't matter how perfect the other person seems otherwise, there ARE other fish in the sea.
3. Have fun together.
4. Take long walks in the park.
5. Go to bed early.  There will be tomorrows.
6. Make sure the other person is willing (and able) to talk things out.  Brooding, walking out, refusing to talk, ignoring you, those are NOT good signs.
7. Enjoy sports together, or some other active activity.
8. Talk about the important issues - abortion, euthanasia, contraception, etc... and make sure that you are on the SAME side.
9.  Be sure that you are comfortable telling the other person anything: past hurts, hopes, dreams...
10.  Don't settle for someone you are not physically attracted to, we are both body and soul, and thus the physical is as important as the spiritual.
11.  Don't get involved too quickly.  Keep it friendly, keep it relaxed, have deep conversations on higher subjects than yourselves, get to know his/her mind before you commit to a relationship.
12. Make sure your opinion counts and is not brushed off by the other person.  (Make sure you respect the other's opinion as well, or you are not ready)
13.  Choose the person who challenges you in your spiritual life, who desires to learn more about God and discuss it with you, who desires to pray with you and for you.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

God's Plan

Sometimes things happen and I just have to wonder why.  WHY GOD?  WHY ME? WHY NOW? Or even why-do-I-need-to-know-this-I'd-rather-remain-oblivious-I-was-happier-oblivious.

I'm going to make a wild guess here and suppose that Ruth, when she married Naomi's son, did not ever expect to be following Naomi back to Israel, as two recently widowed women.  And yet, that is exactly what happened.  Naomi's husband and both sons died, and all three of their wives were now widowed.  Ruth probably asked the same questions I've just been asking.  WHY ME?

How could she know that once in Israel, she would meet Boaz, marry him and have a son.  How could she know that this son would eventually become the grandfather of the great king David?  She didn't.  God's plan  went beyond her lifetime.

Being the wife of a non-practicing but baptized Catholic, whose mother I am told, considered becoming a nun, I imagine said mother, now in Heaven, praying for her son.  Sometimes I wonder if I am not the answer to a prayer that she has probably been praying for a very long time.  If nothing else, at least his children (hopefully) will have faith.  Or at the very least, they will have been shown the faith.

Still, even knowing that God has plans beyond our comprehension, comes the day when I find out about something I'd never really known about before and I realize - THAT right there, that is what I have always been wishing for.  That thing, that idea, that is truly my heart's desire.  AND I CAN'T HAVE IT.  I will most likely never have it.  Things will never be like THAT for me, because of this or that circumstance in my life.  I'm not talking about things here, it's not a thing I wish to possess, but rather an idea, that is truth and goodness and right - except I can't have it.

I go through months (maybe a couple of years?) of why-am-I-here-and-not-there, and why-is-my-life-all-valleys-and-never-mountain-peaks?  Then I get over it.  Things won't be like that for me, but I can live with it you know?  I'm a happy person just the same, we all have unfulfilled desires.  Life goes on.

Then BAM!! He does it to me again.  And this time it isn't just an idea, it's more like a picture of how things could be, maybe even more than that; a concrete breathing example of exactly what I would like.  Except that it is unattainable.  And WHY OH GOD WHY did you show me that?  Do you WANT me to be tempted?

Well, no.  Wrong word.  I'm not actually tempted.  I'm not going to go out and get what I want the wrong way, because ironically, if I did go out and force it - it would be ruined and I wouldn't have it after all.  And I'd likely become a bitter person and I don't want to be a bitter person.  So no, no temptation there.

God, do you WANT me to suffer?  Is that it?  Or are you just trying to tell me something?  Because it would be nice to know whatever it is that you are trying to tell me IN PLAIN ENGLISH.  (Or French - I understand that as well, or even Spanish.)

Perhaps it is my own attitude that is still wrong, and this is what you wish to purge me of?  I'm guessing I'm doing something wrong, because if I were doing something right, I might have expected some sign of hope of getting my heart's desire the right way, instead of some example of one way to get my heart's desire the wrong way.  Perhaps you wish to tell me that all I really need is YOU, and that even though this thing I so desire IS good, and true and beautiful and to be desired, YOU transcend everything else, and IN you I will be complete.

That rings more true to me than anything else I've written so far.

So be it, God, so be it.