Posts tagged love
Posts tagged love
“A woman in the presence of a good, real man, loves being a woman. His strength allows her feminine heart to flourish. His pursuit draws out her beauty. And a man in the presence of a real woman, loves being a man. Her beauty arouses him to play the man, it draws out his strength. She inspires him to be a hero.”
Note: Not hating on the Pope, just questioning Cardinal Walter Kasper’s intentions for the Church.
In two of his letters St. Paul affirms the indissolubility of marriage. In neither case is remarriage an acceptable Christian option:
“To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband, but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband – and that the husband should not divorce is wife” (1 Cor 7:10-11).
“Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and if she remarries another she is not an adulteress” (Rom 7:2-3).
When I was in high school I did not know a boy or girl who had divorced parents. Today the pain of divorce has touched almost every family including my own. Self- centeredness is frequently the cancer that destroys many marriages. The problem begins when a couple enters marriage with the wrong addition. We learned in school that the sum of 1⁄2 plus 1/3 is not 2/5. Before the top number can be added the bottom number must be the same. It is called the common denominator. The same is true for the math of marriage. He over his selfish ego plus she over her selfish ego adds up to divorce, disaster and destruction. It never equals one. Because the foundation is defective, the edifice of marriage cannot withstand the storms of married life.
St. Paul presents a very different equation in his letter to the Ephesians 5:21-33. His formula for marital success reads: he over Christ plus she over Christ equals one. Let’s examine his teaching in some detail. He introduces his instruction in verse 21 with the command: “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Notice how St. Paul places Christ at the center of his discussion. This is vital. Secondly, the charge “be subject to one another” is also important.
If the husband and wife are “subject to” or “submissive to” one another, there can be no question of who is in the power position. St. Paul is fully aware that original sin brought disharmony into marriages. The burning issue for St. Paul is not ruling, but authentic love. Genuine love has two essential qualities: self-sacrifice and commitment. Self- sacrifice requires surrendering my ego and my desires for someone else. Commitment means I will sacrifice myself when it is difficult, even painful. When love is perfect the self-sacrifice is total and the commitment is absolute. This is how Jesus loves. It is how fallen men and women can love in Jesus.
God identified the impact of original sin on married couples when he confronted the perpetrators in the Garden of Eden. He said to Eve: “yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gen 3:16b). Two ideas can be drawn from this
passage. First many women will long for their husband’s heart only to have a tyrant instead. Loving is not the strong suit of fallen men. Secondly, many women will engage their husbands in a battle for control. Submissiveness is not the strong suit of fallen women. Let’s examine what St. Paul specifically commands husbands and wives.
The Apostle’s instruction to wives is contained in the next three verses:
“Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands” (Eph 5:22-24).
This is a passage that does not set well with many modern women. The suggestion that they should be “subject to” their husbands is likely to bring about a stare that could freeze water at a hundred feet. Yet, St. Paul is not giving a suggestion, but a command. Clearly some explanation is needed. It is clear from verse 21 that submission is equally required of both spouses to each other. Marriage is a relationship of mutual surrender. Therefore the submission St. Paul is commanding is radically different from the obedience of an inferior to a superior, like a child to his parents. The model he uses is also fundamentally different from the thinking of the world. St. Paul is telling wives: “Let go of control, which will only bring about conflict and disorders in your family. Submit lovingly to your husband in the same way you are called to submit lovingly to Christ.
For any women who might think loving this way is easy, I would remark: “You haven’t tried it.” Submissive love is not difficult; it’s impossible! That’s the bad news. The good news is Jesus makes it possible through the power of the sacrament of marriage. Wives need to draw down on that potency. It is helpful to reflect that St. Paul is addressing the proper order in a Christian family. Consider the Holy Family. Joseph was the least holy, but he was the head. Jesus was the most holy and he was the most obedient.
St. Paul’s instruction to wives does not in any sense negate the gifts of women. Indeed, many women are more gifted than their husbands. Mary was more gifted than Joseph. Her submission to Joseph was a reflection of her submission to her heavenly spouse, the Holy Spirit. She was the willing recipient of the gift of love. She spoke the most feminine words ever uttered: “Let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:34). God established a natural order of love in the family. The husband is the head and the wife is the heart. When this order is violated the marriage suffers and the children become its victims.
St. Paul does not neglect husbands. Indeed, he devotes three times as many verses addressing husbands than he does wives:
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.’ This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Eph 5:25-33).
There is a great deal of richness in this passage. I can only hope to develop some of the important ideas here. The first thing that catches my attention is the Greek word that is translated as “love.” It’s the word the New Testament uses for perfect love. In the Garden of Eden Adam was afraid to risk his life to save Eve from that adulterous intruder, the devil. Husbands, in contrast, are commanded to model Christ who gave up his life for this bride, the Church. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her” (Eph 5:25).
Ever since the Fall authentically loving has challenged men. Loving like Christ is simply beyond any man’s natural capacity. Jesus, the faithful husband, set the standard as he uttered the most masculine words ever spoken: “This is my body, which will be given for you” (Lk 22:19). The sacrament of matrimony gives a husband Christ’s power to love as he loved, if he will draw upon it. Many men will admit that loving authentically is a challenge, and that loving the way St. Paul commands here is the greatest challenge of their life.
St. Paul’s quotation of Genesis 2:24 brings in another important idea that deepens our understanding Christian marriage: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.” Here we gain insight into Christ’s insistence on the indissolubility of marriage. Consider the following analogy. If you were to take a half-gallon of red paint and mix it with a half-gallon of white paint, the new oneness is a gallon of pink paint. How do you subsequently divorce the red paint from the white? But there is another idea here.
St. Paul compares the unity between a husband and his wife to the oneness of Christ and the Church, his Mystical Body. This amazing connection is the key to understanding Christian marriage. This is the ideal St. Paul lays before us in the verses we have considered here. What happens when a wife is submissive to her husband as to the Lord and her husband loves her to the degree of daily laying down his life for her? First the children are bathed in an environment of security and love. Secondly, they have before them the daily example of self-sacrificing love. Finally, the radiance of Christ’s love flows out from this domestic church to bring the love of Christ to a love-starved world. One example that rapidly comes to my mind is the marriage of Louis Martin and Zélie- Marie Guérin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux. The whole world has been blessed through this marriage.
—- By Jimmy Seghers
Honestly—-I don’t see any point of bringing this topic up in the October Synod. St. Paul was VERY clear about this, I don’t think there is an area where one truly Catholic can doubt if the Church have been doing it wrong in the past years.
This divorce and remarriage discussion is an obvious in-your-face attack of the family unit so as to destroy the Sacrament of Marriage, and in turn, the Eucharistic Sacrament.
“Let’s just go for fun! We’ll see how much we can push their buttons,” Amy teased her girlfriend, who didn’t like the idea of hanging around a bunch of Christians.
“Come on,” Amy insisted. “I hear their motto is ‘Come as you are.’ I just want to prove that they’re ‘come as you are … unless you’re gay.’”
…“After that, I realized God knows more about me than I know about myself,” Amy recalls, “and He wants to bring healing to these wounds, so I fully gave Him my heart and body—everything. As I continued to seek intimacy with Him, the lesbian struggles fell away. I’m not saying that’s how God works with everyone, but it’s how He’s healing me. The more I focus on God’s intimate love for me and try to see His masterpiece emerge, the less I want anything to get in the way of His work in me.”
I’ve learned this the hard way— and I wish I have told someone how they have been a gift to me and a lot of people before things were too late.
But this is important to read.
Robert Downey May Have Been A Drug Addict, But This Is Amazing
6th March 2014
I’m willing to go out on a limb here and guess that most stories of kindness do not begin with drug addicted celebrity bad boys.
His name is Robert Downey Jr.
You’ve probably heard of him. You may or may not be a fan, but I am, and I was in the early 90’s when this story takes place.
It was at a garden party for the ACLU of Southern California. My stepmother was the executive director, which is why I was in attendance without having to pay the $150 fee. It’s not that I don’t support the ACLU, it’s that I was barely twenty and had no money to speak of.
I was escorting my grandmother. There isn’t enough room in this essay to explain to you everything she was, I would need volumes, so for the sake of brevity I will tell you that she was beautiful even in her eighties, vain as the day is long, and whip smart, though her particular sort of intelligence did not encompass recognizing young celebrities.
I pointed out Robert Downey Jr. to her when he arrived, in a gorgeous cream-colored linen suit, with Sarah Jessica Parker on his arm. My grandmother shrugged, far more interested in piling her paper plate with various unidentifiable cheeses cut into cubes. He wasn’t Carey Grant or Gregory Peck. What did she care?
The afternoon’s main honoree was Ron Kovic, whose story of his time in the Vietnam War that had left him confined to a wheelchair had recently been immortalized in the Oliver Stone film Born on the Fourth of July.
I mention the wheelchair because it played an unwitting role in what happened next.
We made our way to our folding chairs in the garden with our paper plates and cubed cheeses and we watched my stepmother give one of her eloquent speeches and a plea for donations, and there must have been a few other people who spoke but I can’t remember who, and then Ron Kovic took the podium, and he was mesmerizing, and when it was all over we stood up to leave, and my grandmother tripped.
We’d been sitting in the front row (nepotism has its privileges) and when she tripped she fell smack into the wheelchair ramp that provided Ron Kovic with access to the stage. I didn’t know that wheelchair ramps have sharp edges, but they do, at least this one did, and it sliced her shin right open.
The volume of blood was staggering.
I’d like to be able to tell you that I raced into action; that I quickly took control of the situation, tending to my grandmother and calling for the ambulance that was so obviously needed, but I didn’t. I sat down and put my head between my knees because I thought I was going to faint. Did I mention the blood?
Luckily, somebody did take control of the situation, and that person was Robert Downey Jr.
He ordered someone to call an ambulance. Another to bring a glass of water. Another to fetch a blanket. He took off his gorgeous linen jacket and he rolled up his sleeves and he grabbed hold of my grandmother’s leg, and then he took that jacket that I’d assumed he’d taken off only to it keep out of the way, and he tied it around her wound. I watched the cream colored linen turn scarlet with her blood.
He told her not to worry. He told her it would be alright. He knew, instinctively, how to speak to her, how to distract her, how to play to her vanity. He held onto her calf and he whistled. He told her how stunning her legs were.
She said to him, to my humiliation: “My granddaughter tells me you’re a famous actor but I’ve never heard of you.”
He stayed with her until the ambulance came and then he walked alongside the stretcher holding her hand and telling her she was breaking his heart by leaving the party so early, just as they were getting to know each other. He waved to her as they closed the doors. “Don’t forget to call me, Silvia,” he said. “We’ll do lunch.”
He was a movie star, after all.
Believe it or not, I hurried into the ambulance without saying a word. I was too embarrassed and too shy to thank him.
We all have things we wish we’d said. Moments we’d like to return to and do differently. Rarely do we get that chance to make up for those times that words failed us. But I did. Many years later.
I should mention here that when Robert Downey Jr. was in prison for being a drug addict (which strikes me as absurd and cruel, but that’s the topic for a different essay), I thought of writing to him. Of reminding him of that day when he was humanity personified. When he was the best of what we each can be. When he was the kindest of strangers.
But I didn’t.
Some fifteen years after that garden party, ten years after my grandmother had died and five since he’d been released from prison, I saw him in a restaurant.
I grew up in Los Angeles where celebrity sightings are commonplace and where I was raised to respect people’s privacy and never bother someone while they’re out having a meal, but on this day I decided to abandon the code of the native Angeleno, and my own shyness, and I approached his table.
I said to him, “I don’t have any idea if you remember this…” and I told him the story.
“I just wanted to thank you,” I said. “And I wanted to tell you that it was simply the kindest act I’ve ever witnessed.”
He stood up and he took both of my hands in his and he looked into my eyes and he said, “You have absolutely no idea how much I needed to hear that today.”
A teen mom, and I admire her!
When we decide to love, we can make a difference in someone else’s life.
Take a two-income, quasi-New Age, newlywed couple with two Greyhounds and the resolve never to have children or to embrace any form of organized religion. Add ten years of hunger for something more. What do you get?
A large Catholic family, of course. And one in which the second youngest, while watching Pope Benedict depart the Vatican, solemnly declares, “Now I’ll be pope: Pope Awesome the First, with my Swiss Guard army. And if my army men don t give me any new video games, I’ll punch them in the face.”
In words often as sassy as those of her little Pope Awesome, Catholic homeschooler Cari Donaldson here relates how her best friend’s newborn baby, a portrait of the Virgin Mary, and the words of the Miraculous Medal called her forth from a selfish, secular way of life into the welcoming arms of the Church.
Six children in ten years have banished all her hopes for a tidy secular life, and, in her upscale town, where “Cats, not kids” bumper stickers are seen, have raised countless eyebrows along the way. Undaunted, Cari declares that “If we’re to be a traveling carnival freak-show by New England standards, then we’re going to be a carnival freak-show for Jesus,” although her husband has stopped her from airbrushing onto her van a mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe riding a unicorn over a sparkling river.
Above all, Cari tells of the awakening of her love for the Eucharist, the deepening of her love for her husband and her children, and the humility and faith these experiences have nurtured in her. To Jesus she confesses, “You taught me to be open to the lives You wanted to bring into the world through me. I rose above myself just enough to let You bring the blessings of these children into my life. I was sometimes scared and sometimes angry, and always at a loss about how I was going to mother these children, but I knew that it would be Your grace, and not my shortcomings, that would triumph.”
Through Cari’s remarkable tale of her conversion and the joy she’s found as a Catholic, you’ll be reminded of the many profound, lifelong blessings God gives you through your Faith, and, yes, even through life’s small troubles and joys like little Pope Awesome punching his Swiss Guards in the face that come along every day. Cari’s tale will help you come to share her conviction that we never know what God has planned for us tomorrow, but, for sure, it will be better than anything we could have planned, even in our wildest dreams.
I <3 <3 <3!!! ^____^
"If I were to live my life over, I’d always want to be with you. Nothing else matters to me as much as you"
Makoto Shinkai: 5 cm per second
I think a love like this is possible. I can never think that it’s crazy or pathetic. I guess people want to love that certain someone with all the passion they have, not wavering, not flickering. THAT, is love, not thinking of anything in return.
I have a love-hate relationship with this movie! Music, sceneries, —— superb!
Do not let your hope die, stake your lives on it!