Catholic dating tips: Lessons from a strip-tease dancer

Why do many men go to clubs to watch a strip-tease dancer do her art?  Well, she can simply go out naked on stage, gyrate, and spread her legs, but there would be nothing exciting about it.  It’s just that: there is no more room for imagination.  As Einstein said, imagination is more powerful than knowledge.  So to arouse men’s sexual passions, a strip-tease dancer has to invite men to a journey of discovery by making them think and guess what lies more beyond than meets the eye.  A strip-tease dancer must turn herself into a rosebud with her petals all wrapped up, and then slowly bloom before men’s eyes, opening each petal one by one as the Spring opens skillfully and mysteriously her first rose: the outer coat, shirt, and bra; the skirt, the shoes, the stockings, the half-slip, and underwear.  And finally there is nothing left to see, but a woman gyrating on stage.

Count Dracula: A Christological analysis of Bram Stoker’s vampire

Dracula and his bride

Count Dracula and his bride

In Bram Stoker’s Dracula (I will be using the Dracula (Penguin Popular Classics) edition in my quotes), the Count is portrayed as possessing supernatural powers which, if we examine closely, are the antithesis of the salvation wrought by Christ on the Cross:

Read more at Monk’s Hobbit: Count Dracula: A Christological analysis of Bram Stoker’s vampire

Petition to save the historic Simbahan ng Balayan church school and convent in Lipa, Batangas

Immaculate Conception Parish Church (Simbahan ng Balayan, Lipa, Batangas

Immaculate Conception Parish Church (Simbahan ng Balayan, Lipa, Batangas

There is a petition circulated by the Lopez of Balayan of Batangas Foundation addressed to Archbishop Ramon Arguelles in Change.org:

Archdiocese of Lipa: Don’t betray history. Save centuries-old Balayan Church school and convent from destruction

 

Read more at Monk’s Hobbit blog.

Mother Teresa on Natural Family Planning by Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB

Mother Teresa of Calcutta; 1986 at a public pro-life meeting in Bonn, Germany

Mother Teresa of Calcutta; 1986 at a public pro-life meeting in Bonn, Germany

One positive effect of NFP is that men and women acknowledge their roles and responsibilities in the creation of a new life. A second positive effect is a change in the way spouses view each other and their mutual relationship.

Couples who use NFP attest to the benefit.  NFP is really a study of fertility in which a couple learns the workings of their reproductive systems. Acquiring this knowledge can bring about profound changes in the way people view their bodies and the bodies of their spouses. This reverence toward the body seems to increase particularly among men, even those who say they have “finished their families.” Many men report new feelings of awe towards their wives as they see the changes they go through every month. The man develops a sense of gratitude for the gift of fertility a woman gives him every time they make love.  She in turn develops a sense of gratitude that her husband is cooperating with her fertility instead of asking her to destroy it.

In this way both come to see that every act of intercourse is a reaffirmation of their marital commitment. Their mutual trust increases. Economist George Akerlof writes:

It seems reasonable … that the probability of a breakup is higher for couples in uncommitted relationships than for those in committed ones.

Armed with the knowledge of their fertility, the husband and wife can make mutual decisions on when to make love based on their situation in life. These decisions spark a dialogue, which keeps open the lines of communication. The couple sees that not every sexual act, especially one that can result in a pregnancy that would be detrimental, is an act of love.

This can bring about a change in behavior that is beneficial to marriage. Spouses become less selfish, less centered on their own sexual needs. Abstinence becomes a sacrifice made for the good of the other. These benefits are available to couples regardless of whether they are newly-weds or have been married for twenty years.

In light of all this, why should anyone expect the Church to change its teaching on contraception? Why should a Church, speaking in the name of God who is love, give its blessing to something that has led to abortion, divorce, reproductive health problems for women, poorer relationships between the sexes, more children living in poverty and more men becoming socially dysfunctional?

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta got to the heart of the matter when she addressed a National Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the U.S. Senate and House of representatives on 3 Feb 1994:

I know that couples have to plan their family and for that there is natural family planning. The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception.

In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys the gift of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily.

I also know that there are great problems in the world – that many spouses do not love each other enough to practice natural family planning.We cannot solve all the problems in the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all, and that is to destroy love. And this is what happens when we tell people to practice contraception and abortion.

The poor are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. Once one of them came to thank us for teaching her natural family planning and said: “You people who have practiced chastity, you are the best people to teach us natural family planning because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other.” And what this poor person said is very true. These poor people maybe have nothing to eat, maybe they have not a home to live in, but they can still be great people when they are spiritually rich.

When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread. But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted,unloved, terrified, the person who has been thrown out of society – that spiritual poverty is much harder to overcome. And abortion, which often follows from contraception, brings a people to be spiritually poor, and that is the worst poverty and the most difficult to overcome.

Whether a couple is using NFP to bring new life into existence or to avoid a pregnancy through the use of periodic abstinence, there is an element of sacrifice involved. Blessed Mother Teresa described the payoff for confronting the fear of that sacrifice as part of her statement to the Cairo Conference on Population on 9 Sept 1994:

God has created a world big enough for all the lives He wishes to be born. It is only our hearts that are not big enough to want them and accept them… We are too often afraid of the sacrifices we might have to make. But where there is love, there is always sacrifice. And when we love until it hurts, there is joy and peace.

And where there is joy and peace, marriage and the family can thrive.

Taken from Fletcher Doyle’s NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING BLESSED OUR MARRIAGE, pp. 36-40.

(Thanks to Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ for sharing this piece.)

What the Popes say regarding contraception

What the Popes say regarding contraception, in case one would think Pope Paul VI Humanae Vitae’s condemnation of contraception is a novel idea, an opinion that better theologians can easily brush aside:

Pope Pius XI: “But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious.” (Casti Connubii, n. 54)

Pope Pius XII: “Our Predecessor, Pius XI, of happy memory, in his Encyclical Casti Connubii, of December 31, 1930, once again solemnly proclaimed the fundamental law of the conjugal act and conjugal relations: that every attempt of either husband or wife in the performance of the conjugal act or in the development of its natural consequences which aims at depriving it of its inherent force and hinders the procreation of new life is immoral; and that no ‘indication’ or need can convert an act which is intrinsically immoral into a moral and lawful one.” (Address to Midwives)

Pope Paul VI: “Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.” (Humanae Vitae, n. 14)

Pope John Paul II: “This is the reason for the intrinsic unlawfulness of contraception: it introduces a substantial limitation into this reciprocal giving, breaking that ‘inseparable connection’ between the two meanings of the conjugal act, the unitive and the procreative, which, as Pope Paul VI pointed out, are written by God himself into the nature of the human being (n. 12).” (Speeches, 27 Feb. 1998)

Pope John Paul II: “With regard to intrinsically evil acts, and in reference to contraceptive practices whereby the conjugal act is intentionally rendered infertile, Pope Paul VI teaches: ‘Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good, it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (cf. Rom 3:8) – in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general’.” (Veritatis Splendor, n. 80; inner quote from Humanae Vitae, n. 14).

Ten Commandments of the Modern World: A guide for Filipino Freethinkers

Lady Gaga’s concert in the Philippines has sparked a new controversy on whether Catholic teaching on the four last things–death, heaven, hell, and purgatory–still makes sense on the modern world.  It appears, however, that modern Atheistic Western Civilization cannot make its own values; it only proposes an idea opposite to what the Catholic Church teaches, as we can deduce from the ideas espoused by the Filipino Freethinkers.  The Church proclaims the light of the world who is Christ.  The Filipino Freethinkers proclaim the shadow of that Light.  So the Filipino Freethinkers can do nothing but object to the Ten Commandments, and in doing so they form their own Ten Commandments:

  1. There is no God.  Science has explained everything.  I define what is right and wrong for me, and I don’t care what is right and wrong for you.  As long as we don’t hurt each other, everything is fine.
  2. You can use the name of God in vain and make fun of him.  He does not exist anyway.  (Insert blasphemy here).  The right to freedom of expression is protected by the Constitution.
  3. Sunday is just one of the days in the week.  Sunday is not the time for going to mass but for shopping or playing sports or watching concerts.
  4. We honor our hominid ancestors via evolution and we thank Darwin for breaking our bonds with Adam and Eve.  Mother and father are discriminatory labels.  That should be parent 1 or parent 2, since both parents may be of the same sex.  Actually, the proper term should be couples, because couples does not imply a child.  Marriage is only for sexual union, and a child is an unnecessary burden which can be avoided through contraception and abortion.
  5. The aim of each human being is to live life to the fullest.  Those who live an unsatisfactory life do not have the reason to live, so they must be killed.  Thus, abortion, suicide, and euthanasia are ok, especially for the unborn, the infirm, disabled, the disfigured, and other useless members of the society.
  6. Marriage is not a sacrament but a contract between two parties, which can be revoked anytime.  Adultery, concubinage, and fornication are  natural relationships like marriage.  Homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia should not be discriminated by bigots.
  7. There is no such thing as private property and fruits of personal labor.  The government owns everything and I am the government.
  8. It is ok to lie in order to protect one’s self-interest.
  9. I want your wife.  I want your husband.
  10. I want whatever you have.

Why is it that Catholic priests are celibate when other apostles have wives?

QUESTION by defenderben:
Submitted on 2012/03/12 at 5:01 pm

7. Bishops must be Married.

FACT: In 1079 AD celibacy was first enforced for priests and bishops by Pope Gregory VII. Before this time, they were permitted to marry.

Question #1: Does the Bible teach that a bishop (overseer) must be married AND ALSO have children as one of the conditions of being qualified to be a bishop?

Answer: 1 Timothy 3:2-5 o YES NO o

“A bishop, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)” 1 Timothy 3:2-5

Question #2: In the very next chapter of the Bible after bishops are told they must be married with children, does the Holy Spirit warn that “forbidding to marry” is a “doctrine of demons”?

Answer: 1 Timothy 4:1-3 o YES NO o

“But the Holy Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.” 1 Timothy 4:1-3

8. Peter was married

FACT: Most Catholics believe that Apostle Peter was the first Pope and was not married. As one Roman Catholic leader said, “if Peter had a wife when he first met Jesus, he got rid of her quick!”

Question #1: Did Peter have a wife?

Answer: Mark 1:30 o YES NO o

“Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her.” Mark 1:30

Question #2: Did Paul say all the apostles including Peter had a right to be married?

Answer: 1 Corinthians 9:5 o YES NO o

“Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?” 1 Corinthians 9:5

REPLY

Submitted on 2012/04/06 at 10:29 pm | In reply to [defenderben].

defenderben,

The ideal bishop is to be like Christ who never got married: “They have renounced marriage 9 for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it” (Mt 19:12). The first apostles like Peter are married; they were called by Christ after they were married not before. But notice that Peter said that “they have given up everything and followed [Christ]” (Mt 19:27). You can deduce that he also left his wife, so that he can become a spiritual father of many. As Christ said, “And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.” (Mt 19:29)

Celibacy or not marrying for the sake of the Kingdom of God is a new idea in the time of the Apostles. Thus, during their time it is difficult to find bishops who are unmarried. So the next good thing is to choose a bishop from the married, but he must be married but once. Nevertheless, the idea of an unmarried bishop is still being proposed as an ideal to follow. And it would take centuries before this ideal became a firm discipline in the Catholic Church.

Paul has a right to take a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles (cf 1 Cor 9:5). But after enumerating his other rights as an apostle, he said: “But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing this to secure any such provision” (1 Cor 9:15). Thus, we can deduce that Paul did not marry.