Monday, 26 March 2007

Thou shalt not procrastinate

These last few days we've been busy panicking about our essays due today and finding distractions to keep us from doing them.The essays, the fifth out of six during the year, are on the Ten Commandments. 'If you were God which commandment would you leave out and why?' No, not really... We are writing on how the commandments place negative restrictions on deeds which weaken love, while at the same time promoting virtues which lead to love of God, neighbour and self. I got the idea for my essay from Fr. Stephen Langridge who talked to us about Evangelium Vitae, perfect for illustrating how the 5th commandment both prohibits the deliberate killing of innocent life while at the same time promoting a culture of life based on charity and justice. Cheers Fr. Stephen! This last week we also had a lecture from Fr. Angelus of the Friars of the Renewal on 'Spiritual Warfare', and our Catechism lecturer Fr. Francis Selman gave us a break and told us about the paintings in the Sistine chapel, as well as running through the liturgy of the Mass with us. On Friday we led Stations of the Cross for the final time, and then heard a wonderful Theology of the Body talk from Jane Deegan, a mother of three, on the spiritual battle in the sexual life of married couples. She illustrated some of her points using the story of a married couple she knew; the woman had been sexually abused and the man had been addicted to pornography, and though both were married in the Church they struggled for many years with the past, unable to fully give themselves in love and falling into their previous fears and addictions. It wasn't until the wife started praying for her husband, and then some time later the husband for his wife, that they began to realise true and unselfish love for one another. One question that Fr. Alex put to Jane and which no one seemed able to answer adequately was the question how do we convince non-Christians and even many Christians that sacramental marriage is superior to merely cohabitating with the promise to remain faithful to one another? Any answers you could send would be appreciated. On Saturday was Rachel's birthday. Rachel was a student of SPES last year, and now helps Fr. Alex as pastoral assistant, running Theology of the Body among many other things and generally qualifying for martyrdom. May she qualify for many years yet. Tonight we had the opportunity of eating dinner with some of the members of the Gospel choir that sing for 5.00 Mass. Led by Miko, the choir was originally invited by Fr. Alex to lead the music of the Mass in an attempt to bring young people to the Church, and now there is a fair number that come every week. It's not hard to see why. When we sang night prayer after dinner the choir members improvised a beautiful harmonized version of the opening hymn 'Now thank we all our God' that was undoubtedly a Gospel rendition yet with all the reverent awe of the traditional Lutheran original. Okay, back to the essay.

7 comments:

Jeanine said...

Hello Henry - I think I can only give a response, as opposed to an answer, to the question: How do we convince non-Christians and Christians that sacramental marriage is superior to merely cohabitating with the promise to remain faithful to one another? My response to the cohabitating couples: Do you feel free in your relationship? How much does fear drive your relationship? ... just a few thoughts that might draw out a deeper examination of the Truth! Good entry, Henry! J.

Henry said...

Thanks Jeanine,

I've been thinking about it as well and it seems that sacramental marriage is a much better guarantee of fidelity than an informal assurance between a couple. I've heard many people say that some days the only thing that keeps them from walking out the door are their marriage vows - 'until death do us part'! Unfortunately even vows don't stop the high divorce rate we have now, but if you understand that in marriage you and your spouse become 'one flesh', you are less likely to treat it flippantly and live in the fear (as you said) of it collapsing.

Any other ideas out there?

Henry

Anonymous said...

check this out:

http://www.catholic.com/chastity/Q7.asp

Anonymous said...

http://www.catholic.com/chastity/Q1.asp

Anonymous said...

great personal stuff on here:

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=176249

Anonymous said...

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=2582406

Anonymous said...

Personally, well I dont know if this is convincing, but just imagine telling your spouse that you didnt wait for them, when they did, deep down every guy would prefer to marry a virgin. Co-habitation causes fear, and eventually when it breaks up, as most do, then you are left with poor self-worth, the feeling of being used, insecurity around people of the opposite sex, sexual images that whilst will fade never completely go away, it effects your future relationships, and also if your woman its hard to trust guys again, even if they show you kindness. OK the extreme end of the spectrum perhaps for some, but personally I hope married couples will able to look their future kids in the eyes and tell them they waited for each other and they held out for God's best as an example of faith and love. Surely sex isnt meant to be this painful, cohabitation is bad for the soul.
We should be praying for our future spouses now in faith, that inspite of our mistakes, God's mercy and forgiveness will make our marriages fruitful and help us see our marriage partners through the eyes of Christ, who as the faithful bridegroom will never leave or forsake his bride whom he has taken a covenant with.