Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Double Duty

Haha, I just said duty... just kidding.

Part one: I have a new blog addiction, it is Marc at Bad Catholic. He puts me to shame, really. I know it's not really that hard to do, but it makes it doubly painful because he's my age, actually a bit younger, and he has a better grasp on the Faith, and is already smarter and a better writer than I. Three cheers for lessons in humility! Anyways, I read two of his  posts recently, titled "Y'all Suck at Sinning" and an older one from March titled "How Not to Have Sex". They're brilliant, really, you should go read them and comment and like him on Facebook. And then you can subscribe to my blog because it makes me feel important. Back to Marc. The first of these articles deals with how we sin. Marc points out that, "back in the day," before the sexual revolution and relativism and all that, when you sinned you at least new it was wrong and you chose to do it anyways and you probably got a bit of a thrill from that forbidden fruit. Now, however, in our so called enlightened age of liberation, nothing is forbidden, nothing taboo, and so there is no longer a thrill in sinning because many of us don't even know it is wrong. Thus, that which was once forbidden, scandalous, is now oh so banal and boring (+1 for mini-alliteration). That is not to say that we should sin in the first place, as all sin is evil, only that the older generations at least knew and maybe even enjoyed the fact that they were choosing sin and it was therefore much more exciting. Now, however, sex is just sex. Which leads into the second article. It says many of the same things as the first, only it focuses more on sex. There's a line in there though, where Marc writes,  

"Might I take the moment to ask anyone reading this to be skeptical of a man advocating the eradication of a taboo, for the very word implies that human beings have been doing it forever, and it's a certain ugly pride to think yourself better and more brilliant than your hundreds of forefathers. If a thing is really old-fashioned - as in thousands of years of use - then it is not decrepit, not limping with a cane; it is a rugged survivor, probably wearing flannel. Abortion is decrepit. Wine is old. So when the common consensus of all of humanity is that sex is beautiful, doubt and feel free to mock the porno industry that says it's ugly."

There's a line there that really hit me, it's the part about the "rugged survivor." Here, I think of the Church as being any one of the following:
Bear Grylls. Ish.
Sir Edmund Hillary. First man to climb Everest, and the first man to reach the South Pole since Amundsen and Scott 
Ernest Hemingway. No explanation required. 
Sir Ernest Shackleton. Go look him up, you won't be sorry.
These men remind me of the ancient traditions and the Catholic Church. They survive, no matter what Nature can throw at them. So too, the Church and her traditions. And, with the exception of Bear, they all have awesome beards that I am massively jealous of. Then there is evil. Evil is seductive at first, but it soon leads one to decay. Just take these two as examples.

From the immortal imaginations of J. R. R.  Tolkien and Peter Jackson
Sorry about that, I was trying to make a point.

Part the Second: This is the "update on something interesting in my life and try to share some recently-found wisdom" section, so feel free to stop reading if you don't care. I have recently rediscovered the joy of writing letters. It started, as many things do, as a passing remark from a beautiful girl, lamenting that nobody writes letters anymore. I felt the same way, and that comment reverberated around in my head for a few days. Then I started writing, and i realized the many benefits of letter-writing. A letter, you see, is almost like a part of you. When you write that letter, ink from your pen, held in your hand, is transferred to that page. You hold that page with your hands, you seal the envelope. Then you send it. When that letter is received and read, you are being invited into that person's life. They are reading the words you wrote, touching the paper you touched, etc. And there is a certain excitement when you receive a letter that you just don't get with a text message, phone call, or email. It's a joy all its own and completely inimitable.

So I've been writing letters, and a young lady and I have recently decided, with, I believe, the help of the Holy Spirit, to stop being in constant communication and correspond only through letters. As difficult as it was at first to divorce myself from the instant gratification of immediate communication, I believe it will strengthen our relationship while still allowing us to protect our hearts. One of the dangers of modern communication is that you can quickly cross emotional boundaries without truly getting to know the heart of the person. Or you can get to know someone too well too quickly and cross into that "friend zone" from which there is only hurt and no true way out. I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of this and it is a constant struggle to find the right balance. Which is why this plan of ours is so genius. We are faced with interesting circumstances, which makes it all the more important that we guard our hearts and practice proper emotional chastity. It keeps us out of that "instant gratification" mindset and allows us to take the time we need to get to know each other better. Plus, you get to look forward to receiving a letter from a young woman quite regularly. It's very old-fashioned, I know, but I think it'll work and, like I said earlier, the traditions of old tend to have some wisdom to 'em. Time will tell.

Your prayers in this matter are greatly appreciated.
Gig 'Em and God Bless,

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