Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Hear Our Prayer"

I can relate to Elizabeth Hoxie's frustration with the common attitude toward the forgotten vocation -- marriage.

Don’t get me wrong. We love priests and religious. Our wedding was concelebrated by five priests and served by two of our Benedictine monk buddies. We named our firstborn Peter Melchizedek (yes, really). Our son will be unable to spell his name and fail out of kindergarten because his parents love the priesthood just that much.

We pray earnestly for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life every week at Mass, and we sincerely hope God will answer our prayers. At the back of our minds though we wonder, what about us? What about the millions of Catholics whom God has called to the Sacrament of Matrimony?

In marriage there is no superior looking out for your spiritual well-being, no bells to call you to prayer or habit to set you apart from the world. You are in the trenches, back to back with your spouse, fighting the war against evil. In the daily rhythm of ora et labora, our ora is half a Hail Mary snatched between dirty dishes and dirty diapers. Our labora is the thousand seemingly insignificant ways we choose to die to ourselves to love each other — an exhausting work which the world finds laughable.


Read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The real couple of "The Vow"

There's been a lot of talk recently about the new film, "The Vow." I haven't seen it and have no commentary to offer about the film itself, but I enjoyed reading this interview with the couple on whom the story is based. In real life, they say, their story is inseparable from their faith.

The recent Hollywood film is based on Kim and Krickitt's real-life struggle to stay faithful to their vows after a 1993 car accident just weeks into their marriage left Krickitt with no recollection of meeting, falling in love with, or marrying her husband.

Despite her memory-loss, Carpenter said she chose to love her husband “based on obedience to God” and not her feelings, “because the feelings had been completely wiped away.”

“We made a vow before God,” she told CNA on Feb. 27, “so I chose to love him.”

“I hadn't read in the word of God that you can divorce over a head injury,” Carpenter joked, adding that she decided to make the best of her situation and “get to know this man that I was married to.”

Read it all here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quote book

“Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” -- C.S. Lewis

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Meet the world's longest married couple


Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher have been married for 85 years. On Valentine's Day, they shared advice about marriage to questions asked via twitter.

Questions like:
12. At the end of bad relationship day, what is the most important thing to remind yourselves?

"Remember marriage is not a contest – never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win."

Read them all here. What a beautiful witness!

Friday, February 24, 2012

All the ladies ...

Check out this petition organized by Helen Alvare to allow women who disagree with the new HHS mandate to speak for themselves. As a non-contracepting woman, it is quite insulting to have the government insist that 98% of women are using contraception and loving it. As a friend mentioned he had remarked to his housemate the other day, "Do we know all of the women in the 2%?" It seems a very, very misleading statistic.

But enough of that rant! Please consider signing the petition here. It's a joy just to read the names on the list thus far.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Prayer request

I received this prayer request from Bryan Kemper about a Franciscan University of Steubenville student, very active in the pro-life movement for years, who has been given a few months left to live with leukemia. Please read his story and pray for Neal and his family.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pope Benedict on Ash Wednesday

"In these forty days may we draw nearer to the Lord by meditating on his word and example, and conquer the desert of our spiritual aridity, selfishness and materialism. For the whole Church may this Lent be a time of grace in which God leads us, in union with the crucified and risen Lord, through the experience of the desert to the joy and hope brought by Easter."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Eight lessons of pregnancy

Simcha Fisher has a wonderful list of lessons for everyone (yes, men, women, young and old) to learn from pregnancy. It's a great list, including:

2. You’re eating for two. A pregnant woman’s body is linked directly to her unborn child’s body: for better or worse, almost everything she takes in goes right to the little one. Guess what? There are no private acts of selfishness for anyone who is a member of the Body of Christ. Every poison we allow ourselves to ingest—pornography, gossip, habits of nastiness and mediocrity—they all hurt the most vulnerable members. Likewise, every wholesome and nourishing thing—acts of love, patient words, works of charity—these build up the weaker members and make the whole body stronger.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/simcha-fisher/eight-lessons-of-pregnancy-that-everyone-yes-everyone-can-use#ixzz1n2GSO7UR.

New York Times takes notice

Fr. Roger Landry, a priest in New Bedford, MA, who was also the keynote speaker for Ruah Woods' banquet last year, was profiled in the New York Times for his vocal defense of the Church's teaching concerning contraception.

Father Landry also gives sermons on contraception, something very few priests do. He says he relies on Pope John Paul II’s argument against contraception, which he summarizes. “That God has made us fundamentally for love,” Father Landry said, “and that marriage is supposed to help us to love for real. In order for that to happen, we need to totally give ourselves over to someone else in love, and receive the other’s total self in love.

“What happens in the use of contraception, rather than embracing us totally as God made the other, with the masculine capacity to become a dad, or the feminine capacity to become a mom, we reject that paternal and maternal leaning.”

Father Landry argues that contraception can be the gateway to exploitation: “When that petition is made for contraception, it’s going to make pleasure the point of the act, and any time pleasure becomes the point rather than the fruit of the act, the other person becomes the means to that end. And we’re actually going to hurt the people we love.”
Read the entire article for a glimpse into the passion, dedication and dynamism of Fr. Landry.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Quote book

"The cross is like a touch of eternal love upon the most painful wounds of man's earthly existence ..." -- Bl. John Paul II ("Dives in Misericordia #8).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Contraception denigrates me as a woman"

It's seemingly impossible to articulate to the world why the Catholic Church finds contraception against the dignity of the human person, why the HHS mandate is deeply flawed, and why we find all of this so offensive. It's not some arbitrary line of morality. It has to do with who we are.

Jumping into the debate with a will to articulate these truths in a very limited amount of words, is my good friend Valerie Pokorny, who guest blogged on CNN's opinion site this week. Her answer?

Should I so easily accept the implication that I need to alter a part of myself that’s working properly in order to be free or fulfilled? I find this premise tremendously offensive. To me, this exerts pressure tantamount to that felt by women who purge after eating to attain or maintain a particular body image. It encourages women to think that their value is somehow intrinsically tied to how sexually available and desirable they are.

Read it all here. If you read even a couple of the comments, it will become even clearer what sort of a cultural catastrophe we have on our hands.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nurture your marriage -- Tips 6-10

Continued from yesterday, five more tips to nurture your marriage:

6) Frequent confession.
This one might seem a bit surprising, but the more we receive God’s mercy and love, the more we are able to share that mercy and love with others, including our spouse. If you are getting into a routine of being upset with your spouse, frustrated or falling into patterns of selfishness, a visit to the nearest confessional can make a
huge difference. Better yet, arrange for a regular time to go with your entire family.

7) Take a look at what annoys you about your spouse.
Make a list, if you’d like. Then look at that list and consider how these faults or annoyances may cause you to grow. Can you learn to appreciate them in some way if you see that they are molding you into a better person?

8) Respect and honor one another, even when you aren’t together.
How do you speak about your spouse to friends? To coworkers? To strangers? Are you complaining or uplifting? Are you encouraging or rolling your eyes? How you speak about one another to others sets a tone for how you relate to one another and grow in appreciation of one another.

9) Take a Theology of the Body class together.
Discover God’s beautiful plan for your life, for your marriage, for your family. Grow together as you listen, discuss and put into practice the dynamic truth of God’s love for you.

10) Make a list of the ways in which your spouse is a gift to you.
Read the list to your spouse and thank him/her in person for their commitment to love you all the way to eternity.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nurture your marriage -- Tips 1-5

On Sunday, I spoke at a local parish about "nurturing your marriage." At the conclusion of my talk, I shared ten practical ways to nurture a marriage. Here are the first five:

1) Pray together.
Take five minutes at the end of the day to pray together, pray for each other, pray for your family, pray for your intentions. Write your own prayer together, if spontaneous prayer is somewhat of a struggle. If God is the source of marriage, then what better way is there for you to draw closer to each other than by drawing closer to Him.

2) Write down questions to ask one another.
Remember, every person – including your spouse – is an unending mystery. There is always something more to learn, something more to be revealed. What did you want to be when you grew up when you were five years old? If you could travel to any five places in the world, where would they be? What is your greatest fear?

3) Surprise each other.
Place notes in the sock drawer. Put flowers in the car. Go for a walk together after dinner. Pop in the video of your wedding day. Continue to find ways to surprise each other, to express your love for each other – always focusing on what you are giving and how you can serve your spouse.

4) Take stock of how you might be limiting your vows without realizing it.
• Pornography -- Am I being fully faithful?
• Giving all of yourself sexually, except the gift of your fertility by using birth control.
• Chatting with men or women online, kindling emotional attachments that detract from your relationship with your spouse.
• Making work a bigger priority than your marriage.
• Making your children a bigger priority than your marriage.

5) Be present to each other.
Put the phone away. Get off of facebook. Have a conversation. Take away the other distractions and learn to show your spouse that he/she is the most important person sitting in front of you right now. A great privilege of marriage is to reflect to another person that they are unique, unrepeatable, someone God believed was worth creating and worth redeeming.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Really, google?


Google has a short, sweet, innocent little cartoon to celebrate Valentine's Day on their homepage today ... or is it?

The brief story deserves all of the adjectives above, but the concluding screen shows six different couples. The second one to pop up -- in the bottom center -- is two men in tuxes, holding hands. It's slipped in ever so carefully to allow it to seem perfectly normal. No big deal. Just like everybody else.

This is exactly the problem. Google, without probably realizing it, is sending the message that our bodies don't matter, sexual difference doesn't matter, love is not willing the good of the other but feeling great, and marriage can be whatever combination you'd like.

It's not to say someone with a same sex attraction is incapable of love. That is certainly not the case! We are all called to love and to be loved. Yet, a romantic relationship is only fitting between a man and a woman. Our masculinity and femininity remind us of the giving and receiving in love, and the "Eternal Gift" that we know as the Trinity.

Of course, this topic deserves many pages, not merely a couple of sentences. But the point just now is to point your attention to Google's inconspicuous way of changing the terms of love and marriage.

St. Valentine!


It's Valentine's Day ... the day of pink hearts, conversation hearts and heart-covered cards. Well, actually, today is St. Valentine's Day. And St. Valentine is the patron of engaged couples. And bee keepers. But, sticking with the theme of the day, let's focus on his patronage of young people, the engaged and the married. (Side note: I wonder if his intercession for those who are fainting is related to his intercession for the aforementioned individuals?) It's a great day to ask the intercession of this much-forgotten saint:

Dear Saint and glorious martyr; Teach us to love unselfishly and to find great joy in giving. Enable all true lovers to bring out the best in each other in God and in God in each other.

Love is Patient and Kind,
It doesn't envy or Boast and it's never proud,
Love is not rude or selfish,
It doesn't get angry easily or keep track of wrongs.
Love doesn't delight in bad things
But it rejoices in the truth.
Love always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.
Love never fails.

Learn more about the saint here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What are you doing Wednesday night?

If I wasn't teaching Theology of the Body for Teens, I would definitely be at St. Cecilia in Oakley:

St. Cecilia Parish will host a panel discussion and Q&A at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in response to the recent government mandate that will require all institutions that provide health insurance to cover the cost of contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugS and sterilization for their employees - all practices that directly violate the Church's teachings.

All are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information, email Dan Egan at Catholic4areason@gmail.com.

What should I do?

Another recent high school question: "If I'm in a relationship and I don't think my boyfriend really loves me, what should I do?"

Short answer: Break up.

Long answer: Why are you in this relationship? Are you staying and settling because you aren't confident that "anything better" is waiting for you? Are you comfortable where you are now? Are you hoping that your love for your boyfriend will miraculously transform him into a man who loves you?

Chances are, staying in this relationship is not going to "make" him love you. In fact, you can't make anyone love you. Love has to be freely given.

If your boyfriend is abusive, disrespectful, rude, selfish, or any other characteristics that are the opposite of authentic love, the pain of the break up will be less than the pain of staying together for a longer time.

The truth is that we learn how to love in our friendships and relationships, including our dating relationships. If a pattern of authentic love is not in your current dating relationship, this blueprint will remain with you in future relationships. The sooner you end it, the sooner you will be able to strive, with God's grace, to a new and more complete pattern for love.

Staying in the relationship is also not doing your boyfriend any good. He will be learning love from this pattern too, and if you allow him to continue in selfishness, abuse or any other non-loving practices, then you are (unintentionally) allowing him to become comfortable in a pattern that is not really love.

So, do both of yourself a favor and end the relationship. Wait for someone who will truly love, respect and cherish you. Begin developing the virtues that you will need to learn love and to help another person to grow in love in the future. Pray for your (ex-) boyfriend, that God will lead him to become the man He wants him to be.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quote book

"For the 'civilization of love' it is essential that the husband should recognize that the motherhood of his wife is a gift: this is enormously important for the entire process of raising children. Much will depend on his willingness to take his own part in this first stage of the gift of humanity, and to become willingly involved as a husband and father in the motherhood of his wife." -- Bl. John Paul II in "Letter to Families"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A step in the right direction

I wasn't expecting to get a text this morning instructing me to google something with the words, "Victoria's Secret." At first I suspected it was some sort of spam, but in reality it was a friend alerting me to the news that a lingerie model has quit because of her faith and because of her desire to respect her husband.

According to one story:

[Kylie] Bisutti had decided to leave the lingerie company awhile ago. On Dec. 1, the day after the nationally televised Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in which Bisutti didn’t appear, the model posted to her Twitter page, “For all of you that were looking for me in the Victorias Secret runway show this year, I wasn’t in it. I have decided not to model lingerie Because I personally feel that I am not honoring God or my husband by doing it. My marriage is very important & with divorce rates rising I want to do everything I can to protect my marriage and be respectful to my husband. God graciously gave me this marriage and this life and my desire is to live a Godly faithful life, I don’t however judge others for what they do. Everyone is convicted on different levels.”

I'd post a link, but the unfortunate reality is that all of the news stories are unable to report that someone know longer wishes to be seen publicly in her underwear without showing her in said undergarments. Consequently, I'm not about to post a link, but the above quote from ABC gets to the point quite nicely.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happy feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita!


Of whom Pope Benedict XVI wrote in "Spe Salvi" --

The example of a saint of our time can to some degree help us understand what it means to have a real encounter with this God for the first time. I am thinking of the African Josephine Bakhita, canonized by Pope John Paul II. She was born around 1869—she herself did not know the precise date—in Darfur in Sudan. At the age of nine, she was kidnapped by slave-traders, beaten till she bled, and sold five times in the slave-markets of Sudan.

Eventually she found herself working as a slave for the mother and the wife of a general, and there she was flogged every day till she bled; as a result of this she bore 144 scars throughout her life. Finally, in 1882, she was bought by an Italian merchant for the Italian consul Callisto Legnani, who returned to Italy as the Mahdists advanced.

Here, after the terrifying “masters” who had owned her up to that point, Bakhita came to know a totally different kind of “master”—in Venetian dialect, which she was now learning, she used the name “paron” for the living God, the God of Jesus Christ. Up to that time she had known only masters who despised and maltreated her, or at best considered her a useful slave. Now, however, she heard that there is a “paron” above all masters, the Lord of all lords, and that this Lord is good, goodness in person. She came to know that this Lord even knew her, that he had created her—that he actually loved her. She too was loved, and by none other than the supreme “Paron”, before whom all other masters are themselves no more than lowly servants. She was known and loved and she was awaited. What is more, this master had himself accepted the destiny of being flogged and now he was waiting for her “at the Father's right hand”.

Now she had “hope” —no longer simply the modest hope of finding masters who would be less cruel, but the great hope: “I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me—I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good.” Through the knowledge of this hope she was “redeemed”, no longer a slave, but a free child of God. She understood what Paul meant when he reminded the Ephesians that previously they were without hope and without God in the world—without hope because without God. Hence, when she was about to be taken back to Sudan, Bakhita refused; she did not wish to be separated again from her “Paron”.

On 9 January 1890, she was baptized and confirmed and received her first Holy Communion from the hands of the Patriarch of Venice. On 8 December 1896, in Verona, she took her vows in the Congregation of the Canossian Sisters and from that time onwards, besides her work in the sacristy and in the porter's lodge at the convent, she made several journeys round Italy in order to promote the missions: the liberation that she had received through her encounter with the God of Jesus Christ, she felt she had to extend, it had to be handed on to others, to the greatest possible number of people. The hope born in her which had “redeemed” her she could not keep to herself; this hope had to reach many, to reach everybody.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

And I thought vending machines were to sustain life

There just has to be a positive news story out there somewhere, right? Well, this one is not. Marcel Lejeune is alerting readers to the fact that Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania is now selling the Plan B chemical abortion pill in vending machines. It's for convenience, of course, that we are now able to encourage young college women to behave sexually however they so choose, and then head to the campus building that provides easy, confidential access to a pill that supposedly erases the effects of what they did last night. With the ease of purchasing a coke or a pack of M&Ms on a whim, college women can now purchase death for their own children.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Thank you!

Thanks to all who attended the Melanie Pritchard and Fr. John Parks presentation last Wednesday. Approximately 250 people were in attendance, listening to the talk, enjoying music by Lee Roessler, and meeting other young people from the Tri-State area. It is always a blessing to have so many teens gather in one place to learn more about chastity and to grow in their relationship with God.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Quote book

"Those who share in the sufferings of Christ preserve in their own sufferings a very special particle of the infinite treasure of the world's Redemption, and can share this treasure with others." -- Bl. John Paul II

Friday, February 3, 2012

Should women pursue, Part 2

The following is the rest of my answer to the question, "Is it wrong for a woman to take matters into her own hands (in her relationship with a man)?"

OK, now on to dating and who should pursue who. Here’s the deal … men are initiators, providers and protectors. Now this doesn’t mean that women have to stand in a corner and do absolutely nothing, but if women are aggressive or start pursuing the man, then I think that’s where a lot of our problems in society come from. If women are pursuing, then men don’t have to rise to the challenge. They don’t have to risk. They don’t have to be vulnerable. They can basically sit back and get what they want without having to do anything.

And maybe that seems nice to some guys at first, but over time I think they feel like they’ve been robbed of their masculinity. I think they can feel like their ability to provide/protect/initiate has been questioned, and this can lead to resentment of the woman. Because she didn’t trust him enough to let him lead, or because she is taking matters into her own hands, he can feel like he’s not even a necessary part of the relationship. He can feel used.

And his response could be expressed in a number of ways. A) He could sit back and bask in laziness (ala most sitcom men these days). B) He could become violent or abusive in order to gain control. C) He could leave the relationship because he’s not sure if he ever wanted to be there in the first place, or if he wanted it for the right reasons, etc.
So, on the other side, what happens when a woman allows the man to pursue her? First, she shows that she respects the man and appreciates/respects the gift of his masculinity. She shows that a relationship is not just about her, but that she acknowledges the need and the good of the presence of the man.

Secondly, she shows that she trusts the man, and that she trusts God – “let it be, Lord, according to Your word.” She is willing to entrust herself to God’s care and to His will, knowing that His desire for her is so much better than her own. I think it encourages her to see God as the Giver of a good relationship, instead of making a relationship her god. She is able to grow in prayer (and this is one of things that the woman is able to “do” – pray for the man to have the courage, clarity and strength to pursue a relationship, if it is God’s will).

Thirdly, in giving the man the “space” to pursue/initiate, she allows him the opportunity to determine if he is really interested in her without being manipulated. He is able to stand on a more firm foundation before risking a relationship. I think that’s a big part of it … because she doesn’t throw herself at him, he has to take more of a risk, so he wants to be sure he is doing the right thing before proceeding. If the woman is pursuing, then a man can take a relationship a lot less seriously, but if he has to put himself on the line, then he is going to give it a lot more thought, prayer and discernment. This makes for a better relationship for both the man and the woman.

Now all of this is making relationships sound like a big deal. They are! Our culture treats dating like just another random activity. So, we don’t tend to think about all of these things or consider why casual dating may not be the best training for our future vocation. So, all of this talk about giving the man “space” to discern God’s will, etc., plays into dating as being purposeful. It ties in with the idea of dating/courtship as a discernment of marriage. It doesn’t mean marriage to this person is inevitable or that it should be assumed that it will occur, but that if these two people did not believe in the possibility of God calling them to marriage, then they wouldn’t be in a relationship.

I think women can signal that they are interested, but this is done in different ways. Sometimes women do this by flaunting themselves (not good!) and sometimes they might think they are expressing their interest, but the guy has to be very in tune to pick up on her interest because it may not be super explicit/obvious. But girls can signal their interest by saying yes when the guy asks them to go out. And they can signal their interest by not hiding their interest. Some of the “signaling” can be rather subtle. Again, a lot depends on the girl. But she has a responsibility to ask herself in all of her actions/words/thoughts whether she is grasping for a relationship or receiving the possibility of the relationship.

So, should a girl ask a guy out? I strongly believe the answer should be “no.” If she does, it sets up a pattern for the future with her taking the lead, being in control, etc. And it leads the man to question why he’s in this relationship, etc. (See three points about man’s response above.) From a secular perspective, there’s a book called, “He’s Just Not That Into You” that explains that women should really wait for the man. They say that if he doesn’t ask the woman out or if he doesn’t risk something and initiate, then he’s not really interested in the girl, and she should drop her interest. They say if he doesn’t take the lead, then he’s not really interested, and so a strong relationship is out of the question unless he’s really interested. Therefore, the girl is better off being interested in someone who is really interested in her. This perspective is not only religious, though our faith plays a huge role in understanding our masculinity and femininity.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Should women pursue?

We were recently speaking at a local high school where time ran short to answer all of the students' questions. I promised to answer as many as possible on the blog in the coming weeks.

So, to begin: "Is it wrong for a woman to take matters into her own hands (in her relationship with a man)?"

I find that many people today don’t understand the concept of receptivity/being pursued, partially because they don’t want to understand it. They aren’t open to even hearing the message because they’ve already decided that receiving is bad and pursuing is all about power and control. So, it’s hard to even begin the conversation!

Hopefully we can all agree that love involves both giving and receiving. And both people have to give and receive. But there is also an “order” to love. If two people are dancing and both are trying to lead, then it’s not going to go so well. It will be a bit messy. So, there is a kind of “priority” to one person giving/leading/pursuing and one person receiving/being pursued. Now for ages and ages, philosophers (and random people) assumed that receiving made someone “less” or inferior. And that’s why for years people thought that women were the “second sex” and were inferior, because they received, so they didn’t have the same “power” and were therefore not as good as men.

Well, then Thomas Aquinas got involved and he noticed something about God. God is a Communion of Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and God is love. If love is giving and receiving, then that means there is both giving and receiving in God. God is perfect. Other theologians since concluded that if there is “receiving” in God, then it can’t be bad or inferior for human persons.

If we look at Christ, and specifically if we look at Philippians 2 (the verses on which Kenosis is based), we see that He “received” Himself from the Father, but He is not “less” than the Father. He is “equally” God. And over time, philosophers and theologians were able to see that if Jesus Christ, who is fully God, could receive Himself from the Father and not be any less than the Father, then receptivity does not make someone less.

So, if we get back to the man/woman thing, we see that a woman receiving/being pursued doesn’t make her inferior. But there has to be an “order” to love, and both giving and receiving. Now, women also give; they don’t just receive. But the way that they receive is also a form of giving. For example, if a man opens a door for a woman, and the woman receives his gift, then she is also giving to the man, by allowing him to give, affirming his masculinity, etc. I think this is a lost art. We tend to want to outgive and never receive, because we are so afraid that if we receive something we are “less,” or it makes us vulnerable or we feel like we “owe” something.

And here’s the really amazing thing … when we ladies allow men to pursue us, instead of pursuing men, the guys respect us more, they cherish us, they really love us, they are willing to sacrifice for us. It invites them to see our value and dignity and to fight for it. It invites them to decide that we are worth the sacrifice and the risk. It enables the man to see that he is really interested in the woman – he is interested in her for who she is, and he is interested himself, instead of feeling pressured into it by her. And a woman allowing herself to be pursued invites the man to grow in masculinity, to take a risk, to initiate a relationship with her. So, it’s a win-win situation because both the woman and the man are invited, challenged and inspired to grow in the gift of their masculinity and femininity.

Now, at the same time, waiting to be pursued is not easy, and I think that’s the other reason why a lot of women give up on the idea. They decide the wait is too long or too difficult, and they decide to start pursuing (grasping) for a guy. But this is lose-lose, because the woman and man switch their “order” or their roles, and they don’t stay too happy where they are. Men may feel discontent or consider that they didn’t initiate the relationship and therefore lose interest. Women are forced to keep grasping in order for the “relationship” to continue.

It brings up another very important point – the purpose of initiating/pursuing is not power but service. If it’s just a power trip or an opportunity to boast about how strong one is, then people are right to be disgusted by the idea. But when men properly understand the idea of pursuing as a matter of love and service, then both the man and the woman are able to thrive.

So, practically speaking the whole pursue/being pursued thing involves giving and receiving from both the man and the woman. The woman has to open a space for the man to be able to pursue (instead of her pursuing/initiating/grasping), and then man has to open a space for the woman to consent to his gift of self by giving herself.

More on this topic soon ...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And now for some good news ...

The Susan G. Komen Foundation is no longer supporting Planned Parenthood! Read the story here.

Bad news for coffee fans

First of all, let me confess how much I love coffee. And secondly let me confess my enjoyment of strolling through the Starbucks drive-thru in order to grab a quick cup of coffee, a java chip frappucino, a caramel macchiato or a scone.

And now, the bad news.

Starbucks is a vocal supporter of same-sex "marriage." Rumors have circled on the topic for awhile, but this can't be any more obvious.

It's quite the disappointment that I can't even buy a cup of coffee without supporting an agenda with which I vehemently disagree. Why does coffee have to involve a moral and anthropological issue?

Well, I guess it's see you later to the latte and enjoying more Mystic Monk coffee in my French press.

You can read more here and can inform Starbucks of your thoughts on the matter here.