Saturday, August 30, 2008

Abortion thoughts -

I'm in a debate on one of the boards I frequent with a woman who's very pro-choice and insists that she would abort if she became pregnant. She called the preborn child a parasite and compared it to a tapeworm.

Needless to say, I disagreed with her.

What might need to be said is that she and I are friends, so I feel a particular tenderness toward this woman, and a need to protect her from some of the other, even more passionate remarks, of some participants.

A parasite is another species which invades the body. A baby is the same species, created as the natural outcome of an important human activity: sex. The primary purpose of sex is to create new life.

So - there are a few things we need to think of, when we talk about abortion:

Is the unborn child alive? At what point does it become a human life? At "quickening?" at the point of viability? A few short years ago, viability was pretty late; now it's possible to save babies born as early as 20 weeks. In a few years... who knows how early a wanted baby's life can be saved?

And, who benefits from abortion? Certainly not the baby. Even the mother, who "chose" the procedure, suffers. If she didn't, there wouldn't be organizations like Feminists for Life, or Project Rachel.

Nope - the people MOST LIKELY to benefit from abortion are men. The men who don't have to own responsibility for their sexual pleasures. The male-dominated OB-GYNs who perform the procedures; it's a damned lucrative industry.

Women being exploited for the benefit of men.

And abortion promoted as a feminist "right." Yeah, right. And donkeys fly.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Politics and Abortion - Lies and TRUTH

Read the news, the commentaries, and the TRUTH about abortion at Father Z's blog. (some interesting poetry about abortion from the classic Latin poet, Ovid, too - a pagan, not a Christian, I might add)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Well Lady Check -

Well, Lady -
"Annual" women's physical today, stirrups and all - only for me it had been a lot more than one year since I'd done the last.

Now that I'm fifty a few more tests get added to the mix. I'm scheduled sooner rather than later for a mammogram (more indignities to save my life) - and I have to have a fasting blood sugar, lipids and the works. Lots and lots of stuff for Old Ladies.

I'm just sitting here complaining, that's all.

yuck, gross.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Exquisite - Kathleen Battle sings "Ihr Habt nun Traurigkeit" from Ein Deutshes Requiem (Brahm's "German" Requiem). Herbert von Karajan conducts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Best line in the movies. Ever.

I'm sorry - I have NO IDEA who to attribute this to; it was sent to me via email this morning. I'll keep looking, though, okay?

I had NO IDEA! Did you?

Did YOU know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a REPUBLICAN???

Yep! He was!

Now that I think about it, though, it only makes sense. The Republican party was the party of Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation. The Republican party was the party of Reconstruction.

The Democratic Party grew strong in the South precisely because it opposed those laws and policies imposed on her, after the Civil War, by the Republicans.

George Wallace, governor of Alabama during King's historic works and the nightmarish school desegregation imposed by Federal Law (I remember watching on CBS News when I was a child) was a Southern Democrat. The Democrats opposed, vehemently, desegregation and other Civil Rights legislation.

What else could King have been, but a Republican?

However, Obama and the Democratic party have made Dr. King their token figurehead as they seek to brainwash blacks and win their votes.

Do you think I'm going to be quiet about this little bit of information? Uh.... no.

Monday, August 18, 2008

One Cool Dude

He's black. He's passionate. He's articulate. He's... a Republican?

oh, yeah! Go, Alfonzo!

And, if you have a half-hour to listen/watch, and don't mind some rough language (maybe he's just plain-spoken?) you can check this out, too.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Nathan Winograd has this blog about animal rights, right here at blogspot. On Friday he posted about the deceptions of a proposed mandatory pet sterilization law in CA. It's rather an interesting piece of work, actually.

What I find intriguing is - two things, actually -

I was disappointed that Mr. Winograd doesn't allow comments on his blog, but a friend has informed me that he's received numerous death threats from his book. Go figure. We can push for freedom of speech in this country, so long as you don't offend the wrong people. sigh.

Second, I couldn't help but notice as I read, the staunch parallels between his beef against these California/Los Angeles animal shelters, for their heavy euthenasia policies, very very strongly parallels the conflict between contraception and abortion.

He points out that the law to sterilize animals, cats and dogs particularly, got bogged down in so many amendments that it ended up being rather invisible - "This isn't about sterilization, is it?" "No, it's not," the dialogue is supposed to have gone.

Forty years ago, Pope Paul VI warned that the increase of artificial birth control would, inevitably, lead to the murder of unborn children via abortion. The link between disrespect for procreative capability of human beings and the willingness to kill is tragic, and indisputable.

Very interesting, indeed.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

playing with a villanelle

As I stand inside the pyre
let me not shrink from these flames,
which round me lap up, higher and higher -

There is nothing more I can aspire,
No greater hope, no dearer claims
As I stand inside the pyre

Than that of sanctity entire
while dross burns amidst false blames
which round me lap up, higher and higher,

til all at last is purged, inspire
and I, in Love's pure holiness, re-names
As I stand inside the pyre.

I flinch not, tho agonies grow nigher
and humiliations leave no fames
which round me lap up, higher and higher.

So here I stand, my Love, my Buyer
no pretense offer up, nor games -
As I stand inside the pyre
which round me lap up, higher and higher.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Anniversary reflections - a Confession of sorts

I haven't blogged in a few days. Anniversaries hit me rather hard, and Tuesday, the 12th, was the 32d anniversary of my wedding to the man I now refer to, in my nastier moods, as "the Faerie Prince." We can also call him DH - because "Dear Husband" also shares those initials for his name.

DH was one of my best friends in high school, and I simply could not bear the thought of ever facing a future in which he was not a central figure. We dated for a year, and married.

We both had our issues. I was the daughter of a mentally ill mother; he was fighting a secret issue that I didn't learn of until later. I was wounded, emotionally. I saw him as strong, decisive, heroic. I expected him to fill my "love tank."

He couldn't.

When we returned from our long weekend honeymoon, he took to a chair in the evenings and hardly had a thing to say to me. Suddenly, this beautiful boy who had been my best friend became a cold, silent, almost-hostile stranger. For years the memory taunted me, infuriated me; I didn't know how to fight back against such neglect and contempt.

But believe me, I did my best. I became consumed with thoughts of "justice" and "right." DH wouldn't be warm or companionable to me? I shut down. I became, I'm sorry to say, more passive-aggressive in the things I refused to do to be a good wife and friend to him.

I didn't know what his struggles were. What's worse, at that point in my life, I didn't care. I'd married him so I could be dear and important to someone; if he wouldn't give me that which he'd promised, then I'd be damned if I'd stick my neck out for him, either.

I was no help to him in his struggles, in his sorrows. I made his journey even more difficult than it had to be.

I do not absolve him from his part of the failure. He ought to have been honest, before. Of course, we were young, we were ignorant; that kind of honesty was simply not possible for us at that point in our lives. But later on, he ought to have been. Instead, he sat in the counsellor's office and smirked and said, "I know a good marriage takes a lot of work, but frankly, I don't want to be bothered." (I ran into that counsellor, ten years later. She remembered us vividly because of this one comment.)

But I'm sorry, now, that I wasn't a better, a more mature, a more independent woman. I might have done him some good, and in that, I failed miserably.

I am praying for him, and for his deliverance and his conversion. It's a small bit of restitution that he'll never see or know of - but I deposit it "on account" with my heavenly Father Who does see and know all, and Who will distribute it rightly, in His own way.

Okay. What ABOUT "Tolerance"?

Got an email from a very nice-sounding lady who asks, "But isn't it important to be tolerant?"

Well, of course it is! The problem comes when we use the word "tolerance" when what we really want to convey is "approval." There are a great many things I tolerate, of which I most decidedly do not approve.

A woman is living with her boyfriend. I do not approve of this arrangement; I think it is detrimental to her dreams for her greatest happiness. However, I am not at her house grabbing her possessions into a box and demanding that she move out right this minute: I am tolerant of her decision, even though I dislike it.

Get the difference?

We are seeing a great misuse of words. People scream about "tolerance," especially those groups like the radical gay lobby, or the anti-marriage people... okay, let me be candid, here: it's liberals who talk about tolerance. Conservatives practice tolerance, liberals are among the most intolerant of disagreement of any group of people I've ever met. They're all for peace and harmony... so long as it is on their terms. They will brook no disagreements.

They call for "tolerance" of their ideas and their causes, yet they practice none, demanding the suppression of opposition and even resorting to dishonest or illegal means to get what they want.

This is not tolerance. It's an attempt to engineer society for their pleasure.

And it is, worst of all, dishonest.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Catholic Sex - Being Open to Life

I've already pointed out that there are three basic rules for Catholic sex:

1. Sex must be limited to husband and wife.
2. Sex must be open to life, and
3. Sex must be approached with reverence and respect - both for one's spouse and also for the vast Mystery of which marital sex is analagous.

Being "open to life" certainly deserves some elaboration. It is, after all, one of the requirements for what the Church recognizes as a sacramental marriage, a valid marriage.

First of all, being open to life does not obligate us to bear children. For example - I am fifty years old, decidedly perimenopausal, and my chances of being able to conceive, were I presently married, appear to be negligible. Moreover, there are couples who suffer the agonies and heartbreak of infertility. Does this mean our marriages would be invalid? not honored by the Church?

Of course not! The point of the matter is that we do not willfully and deliberately seek to thwart the natural outcome of our union, in the marital embrace, with our spouses. If, by some miracle, I or some infertile couple were to conceive, that child would be welcomed - not hindered - from that conception.

And therein - the deliberate and willful attempt to thwart the natural outcome of that activity which is created by God to result in conception - lies the issue of being open to life.

Conception occurs as the natural consequence of sexual intercourse. Sperm meets egg - voila! a new life is begun. This is a marvelous, almost mysterious occurrence - one that inspires awe in all of us (I've noticed that even women who scorn having their own children can go ridiculously and disproportionately ga-ga over puppies, kittens, and foals, which are produced by the same mechanical means).

Fruitfulness is one of the commands that God gave Adam and Eve, our first parents. It is a mandate as well as a privilege to be able to multiply.

Moreover, being childless was considered a curse from God. Remember how Sarah, then Hannah (mother of the prophet Samuel) begged God to remove the curse of their infertility? Throughout the Scriptures, and throughout history, childbearing is a blessing and a joy, both for husband and wife.

Does that mean we have to throw away all common sense and self-control and have as many babies as our bodies will allow?

No! The Church has never taught that husbands and wives have to leave conception, and the number of children they bear, to mere chance. The lament - taken to ridiculous extents in Monty Python's Meaning of Life,and I'm normally a Python fan but I'll make an exception to that one, of Catholics being condemned to bearing a child every year is just not realistic.

Yes, it happens - and for some families that is their choice! but that it happens is not the fault of the Church.

According to the Church, if one doesn't want to make a baby, one must refrain from that act which naturally leads to conception.

This shouldn't evoke groans and protests from the crowds. After all, insofar as Judeo-Christian history goes, we've only had a brief period of treating sex like an inalienable right and a purely physical right at that - something like forty years out of several thousand. Jewish law required periods of sexual abstinence during a woman's "uncleanness" - during her menstrual period and for several days afterward, until she had undergone ritual cleaning.

Interestingly, the green light for Jewish couples to resume marital relations also coincides with the beginning of the woman's approaching fertility.

Sex should never be motivated by selfishness. One of the worst wrongs arising out of the push to approve and accept artificial birth control is that it can dangerously reduce sex to little more than a recreation. We take away the "risk" of conception, we remove the reverence of the ultimate meaning of the act itself. We - and I say this as one who used to actively contracept - do little more than mutually masturbate one another.

Rather than an act of self-donating love, entered into with the full realization that our union could result in new life, and reverencing the fertility that God endowed us with, sex becomes an animal pursuit of personal physical gratification.

Think about why artificial contraception was developed in the first place. It wasn't to protect women from untimely pregnancy; it was to allow males unfettered access to sexual pleasure. Men have had access to condoms for generations. They, after all, are never infertile. And with the development of contraception for women to use, they are absolved, not only of the burden of self-control, but also of the responsibility for choosing self-control. How many times have you heard men criticizing their pregnant wives or girlfriends for becoming pregnant - because she was supposed to be "taking care of that"?

Too many.

We've inculturated a whole generation of males, and are well on our way to ruining subsequent generations, to believe that abstinence and self-control are burdensome , unreasonable, and unrealistic. Everything in our pop entertainments and in the subtle and direct messages we are adopting as a culture says that sex is nothing more than physical pleasure.

I have a lot more to say about this, later.

Friday, August 08, 2008

No Gay Gene!

A major British gay activist has admitted that there is no such thing as a "gay gene."

I'm glad to see that one such activist has had the honesty and integrity to admit what a lot of us instinctively knew already.

God would be a liar to "create" a homosexual and then to prohibit homosexuality. He doesn't work that way.

More later.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Oh, is this cat in need of FlyLady, or WHAT!

more cat pictures

A committed mother declares:

I will not be the killing hand! Inspiring article here.

Tomato Hornworm...

... Noms mah Maters. Me Madz.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

and the temperature outside is ...

One Hundred Degrees. Ninety here in the living room.


Wedding at Cana - Giotto di Bondoni

Catholic Sex - a recap and emphasis before moving on -

We've seen how the Catholic Church views sex as an amazing gift from God - one which reflects His Oneness and integrity, one which serves as metaphor and analogy of our ultimate union with Christ in Heaven.

And - in case I didn't make it quite clear in my last post, let me give a bit of emphasis to a little bitty detail that is going to be very very important in my next couple of posts:

There is only one epistle in the New Testament that was written to Jewish converts to Christianity: The Epistle to the Hebrews. All the others were written to Gentile (Read: Pagan) converts to Christianity.

Get that? Gentiles, not Jews. That means the early Gentile Christians were converted to Christ out of nonJewish cultures, out of cultures where sexual licentiousness was the norm, not the exception.

Talk about your major Culture Shock!!!

So, when you read St. Paul's epistles, or any of the others, but especially St. Paul's, since he was the Apostle to the Gentiles, remember: these things were written to people for whom the Christian paradigm was a MAJOR conversion! Not just in opinion, but in complete and total world view.

And so - when Paul is talking about sexual morality, he was addressing people for whom, previously, there had been no limits, no taboos, no prohibitions, no exclusions.

This is an extremely important thing to remember as we address issues of homosexuality, abortion, and birth control.

See you in a bit! Descartes and St Thomas Aquinas are begging me to come sit with them for a while!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Catholic Sex: Marriage is a Living Metaphor

Have you ever wondered that Christ would refer to himself as the Bridegroom, and His followers as his Bride? Or that St Paul would pick up that metaphor and use it in his own epistles to the various churches scattered throughout the Roman Empire?

Well, let's go back a bit - a long bit! - to this fellow named Abraham, and his wife, named Sarah. They were Chaldeans, and God tapped him on the shoulder and said, "You. I'm going to give you more descendants than you can shake a stick at!" and Abram (that was his name, back then), said, "Who, ME???" because he and Sara didn't have any children at all at that point - and as she pointed out when the angel came and repeated the promise to her, that in one year she would have a son, she was past the age of "knowing pleasure." (Gen. 18:12)

"Knowing pleasure." That's a polite euphemism for having sex, ladies.

Now - one of the things that is significant about this event is that Abram lived in a very pagan culture. Sodom and Gomorrah were bad enough that they had to be destroyed, but they weren't singular in their licentious culture. The culture was pagan - polytheistic, and utterly licentious where sexual matters were concerned. Let's just say that there were no taboos.

But out of that strange world, God called Abram, and renamed him Abraham, and his wife Sarah - and he had him leave all that behind and go to a far land, and Sarah gave birth to Isaac when she was supposed to be past the point of knowing sexual pleasure - and Isaac fathered two sons... and so on down to Moses.

Now - the immediate thing is that Abraham and his descendants didn't worship a plethora of deities; they worshiped the One God. And the strangeness increased as the descendants of Abraham multiplied in Egypt, until a fellow named Moses came along and led the Israelites, who worshiped the One God out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.

And along the way, Moses was given the Law of the Hebrews, which established the code by which this One God expected His people to live. And part of the ethos that distinguished this people was that God commanded them to live in monogamy - One man, One woman, one lifetime. (It didn't always work, there were some who took multiple wives, but that's another sermon) -

And this was really radical! In a world where men possessed multiple wives and concubines, and had sexual liaisons with other men and with boys, and with beasts (remember your Greek mythology about Zeus coming as various beasts to seduce women? It wasn't isolated to just mythology; the myth reflected a cultural reality)... This God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob declares, using Moses as His mouthpiece -

"I am the Lord your God. Don't live like the Egyptians, from whose bondage I have delivered you - I am the Lord!" - In other words, the way we live as a people reflects the very nature of the God we claim we believe in.

And throughout history, God used the metaphor of marriage to describe His love for Israel - the wife who would, despite His tender care, prostitute herself with false gods. He even moved the prophet Hosea to become a living metaphor, himself, with the prostitute Gomer, to demonstrate to Israel His never-failing, never-tiring love for them.

Now. What does this mean to us? We are His people, if we are Christians. And our own marriages are a metaphor of fidelity - Him to us, and us to Him.

But more than that, our marital love, expressed in the sexual union, is a profound metaphor of our ultimate union with Christ when we get to Heaven. The Marriage Feast of the Lamb is not just Christ's union with an analagous "church" institution; we are the Bride - you and I, male and female as Bride - being wholly united with Him forever in a Mystery so profound and so beyond human comprehension that it can only be called the Beatific Vision.

Our joy in the marriage bed is invited - it is ordained by our very emotional and physiological construction - it is celebrated in the Scriptures: the Song of Songs is an incredibly erotic Book, and it's in the Bible. Don't argue with me that it's just poetry representing God's love for us - the very fact that the language and imagery is erotic ought to affirm for us that He intends the erotic union of husband and wife to be a joyous, blessed event!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

We interrupt the sex talk -

to bring you this inspiring LOLcat:

more cat pictures

Catholic Sex: We are Male and Female

In the Beginning... God created this immense expanse of the cosmos, and very particularly the earth, and He filled it with all sorts of delightful vegetation and animal life - and all was Good. But then He took some dust and fiddled around with it, and when He had breathed into it, He had created Man.

Now, Man is not a gender, but a species. "God created man. Male and female He created them." Male and female. Two genders, both reflecting in their bodies and in their unique natures, masculine and feminine, the Personality of the Creator.

It is very profound that God has chosen to give us a body - that physical part of us that is so often an embarrassment and a discomfort, a source of suffering and a reminder of our severe limitations. The body becomes not only the house of our own soul, but it is also the Temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 6:19).

Moreover, when we marry, and our bodies are united in the act of marriage (sexual intercourse) St. Paul says that we do become one flesh! and our sexual union with our spouse proclaims the "great mystery" of Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:31-32)

In being created male and female, God has given us a visible physical complementarity - the man's straight linear body shape to our various curves; the corresponding angles of the genitals for perfect union in the marital embrace only further signify the mystery of our complementarity.

But our complementarity goes beyond the physical. The perplexing psychological and spiritual differences between men and women have boggled thinkers and theorists for millenia! and, in all likelihood, will continue to do so til the end of life on Earth.

So this business of marriage becomes ennobled - not as the historical, practical means of securing lands and properties, titles, political allegiances, and even more mundane considerations of having a woman to keep house and a man to provide some practical and social security and stability -

In marriage - in the very deliberate joining of two distinct and often-disparate lives, we become a Theology - a study and revelation in the Nature and Person-ality of God!

For Catholics, a sacrament has two parts: a verbal and a physical. In our Communion, for example, the words of the Consecration are united with the elements of bread and wine to form a Sacrament; in Confirmation, the words are united with chrism oil. But in marriage - the words are the vows exchanged at the time of the wedding - and the physical element is their very own bodies, freely given in the consummation of the marriage on the wedding night!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Catholics and (shhhh.....) sex

It's common knowledge the whole world over that Catholics are incredibly paranoid about sex. Sex is only for making babies, and all other elements of sexual activity are going to send you straight to Hell, do NOT pass "Go," do NOT collect $200.

So - imagine my utter shock to learn that the Catholic Church sees sex in a truly poetic idealism, as something so profound and splendid that it staggers the imagination.

Okay - let's get this out of the way first of all, shall we? There are THREE BASIC RULES about Catholic Sex:

1. Sex must be limited to marriage.
2. Sex must be "open to children."
3. Sex must be engaged in with a spirit of respect - not only for one's spouse, but also for the great Mystery of which sex is a part.

Beyond those three rules, I believe it is safe to say, Anything Goes.

Noodle on that for a while - I have a date with Descartes (pray for me!) -
I'll be back to elaborate over the next couple of days.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Pelosi kills the lights -

Well, hell, ? the woman has a book signing or something to go to.

This is the same Nancy Pelosi, btw, who is blocking every effort of President Bush to release for off-shore drilling. Anything to thwart the President and to make him look like an ass.

I swear, if we didn't have term limits, I'd vote for Dubya again. I really would.

From James re: recent desecration of the Eucharist

I receive an email from my friend James this morning, and I believe it's well worth sharing (yes, I have his permission):

> I gather most of you have heard about PZ Myers of the
> University of Minnesota desecrating a consecrated host and
> posting a video on you tube - he placed a rusty nail (an
> instrument of the Crucifixion) through a consecrated host.
> What is most distressing is the volume and intensity of the
> blasphemy.
> While I know there is much discussion and thought about how
> to respond, I think the simplest and most urgent course of
> action is when there is persecution without, the bonds of
> unity and communion should be strengthened within.
> Tomorrow is a good opportunity to make reparation and heal
> the wounds of our Divine Saviour - it is Good Friday once
> again. In addition, I know that there is a call tomorrow
> for a Day of Reparation - spend an hour before the Blessed
> Sacrament and fast the entire day.
> And if family obligations and duties of life prevent
> participating in the First Friday Devotion perhaps recite
> the Chaplet of Adoration and Reparation.
> I recall meditating during the Chaplet at a First Friday
> devotion and thinking what is the sacrilege and what is the
> outrage - where is it and who is doing it? Well, today it
> is very concrete and obvious and it appears more pervasive
> then I ever imagined.
> I think the best course of action is increasing our
> devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and promotion of Real
> Presence. Perhaps the streets need to be filled with
> Eucharist Processions.
> God bless,
> James