Tag Archives: eros

“This Saying is Hard”

This past Sunday, the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, we read the feminists’ favorite passage from Ephesians 5 (the full version).

Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the church,
he himself the savior of the body.
As the church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything [see my note below].
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the church,
because we are members of his body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.

To satisfy my curiosity, I have some questions for the Catholics who went to church this last Sunday. 1. Was the short or long version of the above read? 2. Did your homilist talk about it? 3. If yes, what did he say? 4. Did the homilist make light of the reading?

The homilist at my mass explicitly avoided talking about it. At the beginning of the homily he said, “I’m not even going to touch the second [epistle] reading.” Some of the congregation chuckled. He went on.

He said the readings talked about creeds. The Israelites after Moses’ death had to reaffirm their faith in God as the Apostles had to reaffirm their faith in Jesus. Many of the children of Israel left and served other gods and some of Jesus’ disciples left him.

Joshua, Moses’ successor, said, “As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” While Peter said, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We [the Apostles] have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

By leaving out the second reading from Ephesians, it left out a deep dimension of God’s Love. In Jesus’ future act on the cross (alluded to in the Gospel reading today and explicitly the last few weeks), He gave himself up for His bride the Church to make Her holy. In a similar way, the married bridegroom gives himself up.

Should we, the Church, Holy Bride of Christ, be offended that we are to serve the Bridegroom? He gave himself, his life for us. Does that diminish our freedom or worth or relationships? Does that mean that Christ is our master and we are His slaves? He is our Brother and Friend.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. –John 15:13-15

A bride is not a slave; she is the first friend of her bridegroom. We are to be "subordinate to one another under Christ." Friends do things for each other out of Love. We should try to do everything for Love [note: everything].

This is a very personal topic since I try as hard as I can to base my marriage on Ephesians 5, and my wife and I had it read at our wedding (by a dear, married sister in Christ). (I also referred to it in my post on the homosexual Bible study.)

What do you think?

Plan B: Not Abortifacient But Not a Panacea Either

When Karina at Netscape.com linked to yesterday's post about Plan B, she lumped me in with those whose "buzz on this ruling is overwhelmingly positive". While I do not believe that Plan B is abortifacient, and therefore needn't be fought by pro-lifers as such, that does not mean that I think over-the-counter access to it is a good idea.

First of all, it's only going to worsen the already pervasive and pandemic contraceptive mentality in this country. However, that alone would be unsufficient grounds for banning Plan B or restricting access to it. If our opposition to Plan B is really based on its contribution to the culture of licentiousness, we'd be lobbying for condoms, the Pill, and various other prevalent forms of contraception, which I think we'd find difficult to justify or achieve in our pluralistic society. If we wish to counter the contraceptive mentality, we need to do so through leading by example. "They will know we are Christians by our love." That love should be so abundant and effusive that those outside of and weaker members within the Body of Christ should marvel at it and weep at its absense in their lives. Furthermore, that love should be so superabundant that in order to be fully expressed and nurtured it must become flesh and be born as our beloved children.

Getting back to the matter at hand, I would certainly not classify my reaction to wide availability to Plan B as "overwhelmingly positive". Nor would I characterize my sympathizers' reactions as such. I do not rejoice in the popular pursuit of sexual pleasure and gratification as ends unto themselves, divorced from their proper place in sacramental marriage. However, my primary discomfort with OTC availability of Plan B has more do with medicine and Hippocratic concerns than sexual morality.

"[M]ake a habit of two things – to help, or at least to do no harm." I'm not certain it won't do harm, especially if its administration cannot be monitored by health professionals. The birth control pill, aka the Pill, of which Plan B is a very large dose, requires a prescription. Providing Plan B over-the-counter seems an odd decision in that light. Also, offering it OTC to those over 18 while requiring prescriptions for minors seems unpracticable. If it's really important to restrict minors' access to the drug, there should be more concern that adults will purchase it OTC and give it to minors. Most serious, though, is how little is known about the long-term effects of taking Plan B once, let alone multiple doses. I worry that Plan B will become a frequent and commonplace fail-safe for when primary means of contraception fail or are not used – either carelessly or deliberately – rather than a rarely used emergency remedy. We just don't know what repeated use would do to a woman's health, and that worries me. I pray that Plan B doesn't kill people like RU-486 has.

In sum, while I do not believe Plan B is a form of chemical abortion that should be fought by the Culture of Life, I am certainly not overjoyed by the prospect of it being available without prescription.

Reflections on a Homosexual Bible Study (Part IV)

Read Part I of "Reflections on a Homosexual Bible Study"
Read Part II of "Reflections on a Homosexual Bible Study"
Read Part III of "Reflections on a Homosexual Bible Study"

So, we addressed the first part of Sodom’s sin. How about the second part?

…[They] went and served other gods and adored them, gods whom they did not know and whom he had not let fall to their lot… (Deuteronomy 29:25)

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Reflections on a Homosexual Bible Study (Part II)

Read Part I of "Reflections on a Homosexual Bible Study".

In the next four chapter sessions, same-sex conduct was defended. Almost every well-known section of the Bible that dealt with it was analyzed to divert attention from its homosexual aspects toward something else. Only after attempting to strip down inferred homosexual aspects of each Bible passage was the most obvious disapproving Bible passage of same-sex conduct introduced from Leviticus.

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination." (Leviticus 18:22)

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An Exchange on Gay Christians (Part IV)

Read Part I of "An Exchange on Gay Christians"
Read Annie’s response to Part I.
Read Part II of "An Exchange on Gay Christians"
Read Annie’s response to Part II.
Read Part III of "An Exchange on Gay Christians"
Read Annie's response to Part III.

Well, either you've been lucky or careful!

I'd say it's sort of both. I don't know of any homosexuals in my family, so that's the "lucky" part. The types of folks I generally make friends with share my religious convictions, so odds are that even if any them have homosexual tendencies (and I strongly suspect a couple do), they would never act on them.

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