Sunday, June 28, 2015

#HobbitDiner







Saturday, June 20, 2015

C'est La Vie | Chopin and Flowers

Humanity is already 'saved' in principle. We individuals have to appropriate that salvation. But the really tough work- the bit we could not have done for ourselves- has been done for us. We have not got to try to climb up into the spiritual life by our own efforts; it has already come down into the human race. If we will only lay ourselves open to the one Man in whom it was fully present, and who, in spite of being God, is also a real man, He will do it in us and for us. Remember what I said about 'good infection'. One of our own race has this new life: if we get close to Him we shall catch it from Him.
- Mere Christianity



"Would you like to finish this pop?"
Little sister: "Thanks." in soft voice to pop, "You were always meant to be mine."


If you run from suffering, you run from the touch of Christ. 
-William Price III (here)







Storm rolling out. 
Have a blessed weekend, dears! 

Friday, June 05, 2015

More of a Reality

Now, the moment you realize, 'Here I am, dressing up as Christ,' it is extremely likely that you will see at once some way in which at that very moment the pretence could be made less of a pretence and more of a reality. You will find several things going on in your mind which would not be going on there if you were really a son of God. Well, stop them. Or you may realise that, instead of saying your prayers, you ought to be downstairs writing a letter, or helping your wife to wash-up. Well, go and do it.
-- Mere Christianity

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Feminism, Femininity, and Other Dirty Words (Part 2: Femininity)

//Part 1//

Somewhat ironically, a stereotype prevalent in much of Christian culture regarding feminists is this: that Feminism seeks to disregard the very nature of womanhood and manhood and have an androgynous culture in which everyone is sleeping with everyone else and maternity doctors no longer 'assign' the 'social construct' of gender to newborns.

Why is this ironic? Because it misses the whole point of Feminism, is why!

We all must have some idea of 'feminine' and 'masculine'; sometimes rather absurd caricatures. Story-time: I wouldn't want to be someone who exactly embodies everything I used to interpret as 'femininity': pink, ruffles, glitter, high-pitched voice, super-high heels, a sex object, probably wearing a corset, startlingly thin. Sounds rather cartoonish, doesn't it? Like some comic-relief in a sit-com who speaks in double-meanings. Some of those things aren't even bad: glitter, pink, ruffles, high-heels, and who is anyone to be a Judgey McJudgerson to you if you've got a higher voice? The sex-object thing is bad; not really into corsets, either; but everything, even objectively neutral traits, was tinted in a rather mocking light. Anything 'girly' was bad, meant weakness and stupidity.

Enter the Catholic Church, where people seemed to have (a) a much better, less-superficial view of femininity, and (b) as much respect for the girly as they had for the tomboyish. While acknowledging the differences between men and women (because there are differences, whether we like it or not; if there weren't, nobody would care whether a man became a woman or not, and judging by recent events, they care a lot), nobody was saying, "You're a girl and you're into traditionally-girly things, so you must be shallow, possibly a little stupid, and weak." or, "You're a man of the manly-man sort, so you must be macho, controlling, and never show that you have feelings, wot!"
Nobody was saying that if you're a woman who struggles to communicate her emotions, or is a strong leader, or likes sports/shooting/[insert traditionally boyish thing here], you've failed as a female and might as well hand in your woman-card and exit the premises. Nobody was going about to TOB Nerds and telling them that the subject was exclusively laddish. Women were not only allowed to be as smart and as strong and as capable as the boys, without having to sacrifice all feminine traits; they were encouraged to be. Men could be artistic and charitable; it was recognized that those traits were making them more into themselves rather than detracting from their manhood. (I don't mean to say there is no such thing as a sexist Catholic, mind. There are, no doubt. The Church is primarily a hospital for sinners.).

Where am I going with this? Well, Feminism really will have failed if it ends up teaching that, in order to be as respected as men, women must become men. Unfortunately, even if they don't realize it, this is exactly what some people end up asserting.
Unwittingly, the feminists acknowledge the superiority of the male sex by wishing to become like men. – Alice von Hildebrand, Privilege of Being a Woman
There's that saying, "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."

Yes, we are. People as women. We do not need to be as manly as possible to be equal in dignity with our male counterparts.

There is still more to chat about. If that is something you're interested in, stay tuned for part three. If you have something to contribute to the discussion, then please do (but be kind to each other, folks; the internet is not a place for us to pour our confused angst and ire at the nearest person we disagree with, right?).


God bless you,

Grace

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Humanity Arrived

The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man, but (before that) a baby, and before that a foetus inside a Woman's body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab. 
The result of this was that you now had one man who really was what all men were intended to be: one man in whom the created life, derived from His Mother, allowed itself to be completely and perfectly turned into the begotten life. The natural human creature in Him was taken up fully into the divine Son. Thus in one instance humanity had, so to speak, arrived: had passed into the life of Christ. And because the whole difficulty for us is that the natural life has to be, in a sense, 'killed', He chose an earthly career which involved the killing of His human desires at every turn- poverty, misunderstanding from His own family, betrayal by one of His intimate friends, being jeered at and manhandled by the Police, and execution by torture. And then, after being thus killed- killed every day in a sense- the human creature in Him, because it was united to the divine Son, came to life again. The Man in Christ rose again: not only the God. That is the whole point. For the first time we saw a real man. One tin soldier- real tin, just like the rest- had come fully and splendidly alive.
--Mere Christianity (Part 4 Chapter 5, 'The Obstinate Toy Soldiers')

Thursday, May 28, 2015

One Year a Catholic

Jesus- one year ago (by around nine o'clock tonight), I received You in the Eucharist for the first time. It didn't go like planned, with nervousness turning into hyperness and family members standing sullenly in another pew, surrounded by other candidates for Confirmation who were practically strangers, watching the pink-and-yellow pillar candles and the clouds of incense, in our parish of mauve carpet and pimply teenage boys with acoustic guitars. We sang They Will Know We Are Christians, Lord (was it a last-minute attempt to weed out the insincere?). Afterwards I had a laughing attack. Apparently, that's not quite acceptable in church.

I didn't feel much when receiving Your Body. Mostly numbness, or shock, that it was actually happening; that I'm Catholic now.

One thing I do know, or try to, anyway, is that You are Love. Reminders of You are in lots of little things- the April snow on brown grass, the colours of stained-glass windows stretching jubilantly across the floor, the sunset over downtown, those truly amazing clouds that sometimes sail over the sky, quiet hikes that smell like rain and too many blossoms. You are there- Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity- in Mass. You are Goodness, Beauty, and Truth, and You are the best Friend and Lover, and we are so startlingly unworthy of it all. You love each of us as though there were only one of us, and You are with us always, even to the end of the age.

And it is good.

Friday, May 22, 2015

In Which I Apply to Be Jane Austen's Next Protagonist


From Pride & Prejudice 2005


My Dear Miss Austen,

I am writing to apply for the position of Austen Heroine. I humbly submit, for your approval, my credentials:

- While I have little experience in wearing/looking good in Empire-waisted dresses, I am decidedly pro-apron and pro-floor-length nightgown. 

- I like to sing. I'm not good at it, but as long as there is an annoyingly-perfect woman who is secretly engaged to the local heartthrob singing louder, that matters little. I know not how to draw, paint tables, embroider cushions, or play the pianoforte; I am, however, well-practiced in conversing with pompous elderly men, as well as sitting through one-sided conversations with ridiculous women, and eating dinner among those with matchmaking habits.

- I have at least three sisters. 

-You have permission to list all the faults of my family in the first chapter, and save mine for later on, by way of a humbling realization that I've been a prideful git all this time, resulting in a timely marriage to a person of good standing and even better character.

- Speaking of marriage, some select relatives who shall remain unnamed have made tacky jokes about marrying me off since I was about twelve. That's real experience, right there.

- And I am perfectly willing to make all hypothetical future references to sex, menstruation, and pregnancy exceedingly vague. 

- One of my middle-names is Charlotte, which not only can be read-into as an obscure connection to Cambridge, but which is easy to work with, and a nice alternative to Mary and Elizabeth (coincidentally, I am closely related to an Elizabeth, and also a Samuel, and to a James. It's like we walked out of a Regency baby-name book.). So if you'd like to make the fictionalized version of me the niece of a countess, or something, do go ahead.

- I'm into battles-of-wits. I'm also into agonized walks, alone, through gardens, over-thinking my love-life; discussing things with close friends while we 'take a turn about the room', and judging said friends' potential spouses. Tension-filled dances are also all good on this end.

- As are gents with names like Fitzwilliam, Robert, Edward, Edmund, Frederick, and Charles. Nothing like a nice old-fashioned name. And a nice old-fashioned coat. And a nice old-fashioned declaration of love that opens with, "This is a charming house."

- Hypothetically, I would be completely cool with naming a baby girl after you. 

- I think that it is intolerably stupid not to take pleasure in a good novel. 

Please take your time in replying, madame, and thank you for your marvelous contribution to literature. 

Yours sincerely,

Grace 


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