This is sad news, especially in light of how Mel Gibson had become a little bit of a folk hero to Christians of all stripes– but this is especially tough news in light of Catholic teaching regarding divorce. Now, Mel did not file–and his wife is Episcopalian (as I understand) – which is a bit of an ironic twist- but it seems that he’s not taking his marriage too seriously if these news reports are true. Lets hope for a reconcilliation.
Today I heard a comment by an individual jokingly state something to the extent of “getting revenge for her Catholic upbringing” — I have little doubt that this, probably 55 year old person really has left the Catholic upbringing in the dust; but it reminded me of another comment by a Catholic reared in the 70′s who described himself as a recovering Catholic. I can think of other similar instances. Personally, I wish I had a more Catholic upbringing, and that makes me wonder— WHY OR WHAT led so many who grew up in the faith to set it aside and harbor such bad thoughts? Some of these folks still claim their Catholic identity, and some have moved on to “other things”. I know some would blame Vatican II for this; but some of this happened before Vatican II was over— so there was a problem for the Baby Boomers and “Generation X”. I don’t have an answer, I just see the wreckage— BUT WHAT WAS SO BAD that people make such harsh comments about growing up Catholic?
It seems to me that receiving communion standing and in the hand has been a bad thing. Being that we are both body and soul, it seems that our bodily posture would impact our overall disposition as it relates to the Eucharist (Christ himself of course). Imagine kneeling before the Almighty as He comes in the form of bread and wine—and receiving him on your tongue–not touching him with our hands — acknowledging in a physical sense our awe and devotion and unworthiness to receive Christ. On the other hand (literally) there is receiving standing up in a line, putting your hands out and popping it in your mouth–then moving on. Certainly, you can stir yourself to devotion on a spiritual plain– but isn’t it easier to do that when body and soul are aligned? I’ve never in my life received the Eucharist kneeling—but I wish I could do so. We can see how Catholics (at least in America) in general have lost a sense of what the Eucharist is all about–I can’t help but think that if we went back to the more traditional form of receiving Communion, that it might help stem this problem.
A recent news story that just won’t go away (and frankly has given the Media a reason to take more shots at the Pope) is that regarding the Pope’s comments on condoms in connection with his visit to Africa.
Apparantly, people have been bent out of shape that he reaffirmed the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church regarding artificial contraception – specifcally, in this case, condoms. Pope Benedict went so far as to say that condoms can worsen the problem of AIDS. The true sense of his comment has been misunderstood not only by the media, but by many Catholics as well. So, how can throwing condoms at the AIDS problem worsen the situation?
First, we have a problem with human sexuality in this day and age – it is completely divorced (and not to mention, the increase in divorce corresponding with the availability of the “pill”) from its true purpose — that of having children. I mean even in ancient times, folks didn’t necessarily understand how one caught a cold, but they understood the connection between sex and children. What has happened in our day, due to this effective “separation” of children from sex, sex has turned people into mere objects for one another. This is highlighted through the use of birth control — including condoms – as when one would use a condom in a sexual act, one essentially is to USE that other person for thier own pleasure (sure maybe that person too might think, in an egotistic way – yes, well I’m also giving that other person pleasure, but please – get real). In Africa, where there is an existing problem with the way women are treated there (essentially they are already victimized as objects to a great extent), throwing condoms at Africans to solve the spread of AIDS can worsen the problem as it just can lead to more USE and makes that ability to USE women as an end more engrained. ITs like saying, by ALL MEANS, USE WOMEN, as long as you use a condom.
Further, condoms to a great extent, can enable promiscuity, and lets face it, AIDS doesn’t arise in a culture where people have values of respecting sex for what it is — a gift of tapping into the creative power of God to transmit new human life. The Pope highlighted this very fact by explaining the view a responsible approach to sexuality – in particular, that taught by the Catholic Church can solve these problems AT THEIR VERY CORE — The problem is USE… and it is USE that is the opposive of LOVE.
Hopefully the suggestive name of this Blog will help spread devotion to the Brown Scapular–and, will also include various thoughts regarding the Catholic Faith–especially as it relates to current events. I formerly operated a blog on Xanga, which allowed a great amount of customization to the blog layout–while wordpress does not allow such a luxury. Oh well, I’ve done the best that I can do to make my site “appropriate” in its appearance by adding an image of Our Lady Of Mount Carmel (to the extent the cropper program would let me fit it in the header on my main page).
Happy Feast of the Annunciation