“Part of being a man is being chaste because chastity is hard. It is not easy. A real man is chaste because chastity is one of the hardest virtues to conquer, especially in our day and age. It requires absolute self-denial, a hallmark of masculinity.” – Fr. Ripperger



Shades of Grey

monday memes | Funny Book Meme Monday:


Marriage and The Jezebel Spirit.

“Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, a Jezebel spirit roams about the world seeking to convince women to usurp authority within the family – take the scepter from the man – while an Ahab-like spirit infects countless men causing them to flee from responsibility – shrink from exercising their God-given authority. Granted that men and women are equal in their human dignity, God has brought order to this equality. Remember that Adam was created first and then came Eve. First the head of the family was created and then the helpmate – created from Adam’s side making Eve the heart of the human family. But then came sin and with sin infection within the divine institution of marriage. The key to restoring marriage – the key to defeat the Jezebel spirit and the weakness of Ahab is found in St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians: Wives should be submissive to their husbands as if to the Lord because the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is Head of the Body the Church, as well as her Savior. As the Church submits to Christ, so wives should submit to their husbands in everything. . . “

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Knowledge and Beauty now

Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice. Human culture has always had to exist under the shadow of something infinitely more important than itself. If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure the search would never have begun … Life has never been normal …Plausible reasons have never been lacking for putting off all merely cultural activities until some imminent danger has been averted or some crying injustice put right. But humanity long ago chose to neglect those plausible reasons. They wanted knowledge and beauty now, and would not wait for the suitable moment that never come. Periclean Athens leaves us not only the Parthenon but, significantly, the Funeral Oration …. Men … propound mathematical theorems in beleaguered cities, conduct metaphysical arguments in condemned cells, make jokes on scaffolds, discuss the last new poem while advancing to the walls of Quebec, and comb their hair at Thermopylae. This is not panache; it is our nature

Learning in War Time C.S. Lewis



Apparently, this painting by Norman Rockwell is often used as  a Rorschach’s test. People see all sorts of emotions in it and there doesn’t seem to be any general consensus on its tone.  I didn’t know this until recently. When I first saw the painting, I was just surprised it was a Rockwell. It seems so different from his other paintings.


Women and The Church

The article “Catholics Stop Being So Weird about Women”  is rather popular on my facebook feed these days. I found it wanting:

Always, when you get specific about women’s roles, there will be a good woman somewhere who is serving God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength, and she will think, “But I’m not like that.”

I sympathize with anyone who tries to write about the role of women. It’s so tempting to just say, “Let’s keep it simple. Wives, obey your husbands. The end.”

I tried that myself, as newlywed – tried obeying the hell out of my poor husband. Later, I realized that what the poor guy really wanted was to live his life with the weird, cranky, specific woman he fell in love with.

He didn’t want The Catholic Wife; he wanted me.

We can talk about women’s roles and men’s roles. We can pin them down to an extent because our natures are different. But we also must acknowledge that  there are always exceptions to the rule.I do not have that classically feminine personality but I acknowledge there is one. Does it make me feel less feminine? Sometimes, but I still have my role as wife and mother despite my personality quirks. The principle “obey your husband” still applies to me. My husband might be considered moodier than the masculine ideal but the principle, “protect and provide for your family” still applies to him.

And yes, I’m also pretty sure my husband wanted me, his quirky Catholic wife not some abstraction of the feminine. I may not be the quintessential woman, my husband may not be the masculine archetype but at least we accept that there are masculine and feminine ideals and they are there to guide us not ostracize us.


To Be With Child

On a physical level pregnancy is healing, as the baby’s fetal cells actually “repair and rejuvenate” the mother throughout pregnancy and the rest of her life. But there is something healing about carrying your husband’s baby that goes beyond the physical. There’s an intimacy felt that is not felt otherwise.

We are happier. I rely on my husband and appreciate him more. He helps me more and takes extra care of the household. We are also quicker to forgive one another’s shortcoming. To overlook them, not to make them more than what they are and work together.

Sometimes I sense him smiling at me- and a feeling of satisfaction sweeps over. I suppose husbands find their expecting wives rather endearing.  Maybe it’s because pregnancy seems to bring out that feminine quality, that satisfaction of  being. I think men are captivated by this since it’s so different from their own masculine experience of becoming, of constantly providing for the family and proving himself a man. . . Whatever it is, I am enjoying it.



Men’s Brain Vs. Women’s Brain


Rules for A Happy Successful Husband

The Thinking House Wife writes a list of rules for men. I think it be best to see such a list written by a man but I present it here for reflection:

In the spirit of the previous list:

1. Be decisive and confident. You’re in charge.

2. Show affection, and don’t criticize. [I have benefited from criticism given in the right spirit.]

3. Train your eyes.

4. Compliment your wife often. [I prefer good -natured teasing. But compliments are nice  when they are truly meant.]

5. Discipline your children.

6. Listen. [Rather vague, No?]

7. Take your wife out on Friday night, even if just for coffee. [We are poor, tired, homebodies. What catholic family has money for a weekly date night?]

8. Fix something around the house and contribute to daily chores. [I think couples fall into this naturally. I present household problems I can’t fix to him and he addresses them on his terms. He helps with the daily chores that we both somehow consider to be his.]

9. Never indulge anger or impatience.

10. God wants to help you. Confide in Him.