Saving Graces

new mercies each and every day

Adoration and Divine Shortbread

Aug
28

Yesterday for TOB we went for adoration.  It was in this beautiful adoration chapel and the traffic was amazing, so many people came. We generally have guided adoration, which sometimes grates when all you want is silence but because we were visiting an already established adoration hour silence ruled….and I couldn’t deal. I was just so tired, my mind kept wandering and then I decided to give up trying.

At first I people watched, one man had his arms up in adoration the whole time and his lips moved in silent fervent prayer. An elderly lady came in with a cushion to sit on, showing she was going to be there a while, Mimoo knelt in the aisle as usual and so did this man behind her and they were so close to the ground as to be almost prostrate, a sign of submission. That in itself was beautiful I became filled with awe. Because my mind was tired I then decided to just be a part of this body of Christ and help offer up their prayers, whatever they were; to just be and realise that He knows my needs even when I don’t; to just be and worship with my posture and by being there no matter how distracted; and just be and rest in His presence.

When I realised that I was in danger of falling asleep I began to read and pray prayers from Pure Faith and came across a novena by the “Prayers when in the presence of the Blessed sacrament”. As I prayed this novena there was a place to put in my intention and marriage just popped into my head. I lately had not been praying fervently for marriage but yesterday it felt just right. After adoration we all migrated to the hall where a TOB session was in progress so we sat in as they ended and participated in the wrap-up and it was amazing, the insights people have, the thirst for truth the openness… and to be a part of it all wow.

Then afterwards everyone mingled… I can’t remember the number of times I said we had to go because honestly there were people to see and chat to and fellowship with, whilst we ate the most amazing desert which MA told me it’s called Millionaire shortbread… and I loved the name. It reminded me of the sweetness of the Lord, the richness of His mercies and of a recent reading, “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord”. Well in His creations He sure is sweet, in adoration He is sweet enough to let me be,  and in the rest I will trust it will be just as decadent. Now to get ingredients for some divine shortbread!!!

Coincidentally MA felt led to pray for marriage for us all as well during adoration Smile Oh well…
 ht

TOB and Sherry Turkle’s “Connected, but alone?”

Jul
30

After a long time blogging offline aka journalling, I just had to post this one. The break was mainly because I am lazy to type and I have a lot of posts to edit from by notebooks. So anyone willing to type for me? I have decided that I should just post anyway and maybe those posts in my notes will one day grace this page and ironically the topic is one that addresses blogging in a way.

BP sent an email today to the TOB group, thanks for the heads up, of a TED talk by psychologist Sherry Turkle on how we are ‘Alone together’ and he mentioned how technology has made living out TOB that much more difficult. A lot of what she said hit home, especially the bits on getting an immediate audience, and the feeling that you are being heard… all us attention seekers so get that, hence the irony that I had to write about this on my blog. Here is the video he shared.

Sherry Turkle–Connected but alone?

The video brought home the need for self actualisation, how we are created for relationship, and how so many people can feel so disconnected because of the way our culture has evolved, but as she said we need to learn to be alone so we can have real conversation, real friendship, and develop the virtues for friendship; tech is not bad we just need to be aware of what it does in our lives. At TOB on Mondays we have begun to go through Men, women and the Mystery of Love by Edward Sri using the DVD’s and we touched on virtuous friendship and this just brought home what I have been reflecting on the  past week, that I have been letting my friendships slack.

According to Aristotle “A virtuous friendship is based on aspects of selflessness and equality between friends. First, one must do good towards a friend purely for the sake of the friend. There is no other desired outcome but for the friend’s happiness. Next, one desires the friend’s existence purely for the friend’s sake and not for reasons of utility, pleasure, or the like. One must also spend time with the friend without ulterior motives of gaining something in return. In addition, one must be in accord with his friend, meaning they both desire the same things and can agree on how to go about achieving them. For instance, “..a city is said to be in concord when [its citizens] agree on what is advantageous, make the same decision, and act on their common resolution.” (1667a 27-29) Finally, one must be empathetic to his friend’s joys and sorrows, equally sharing in the burden of these emotions……

He argues that each aspect of a virtuous friendship directly correlates to a virtuous person’s relationship to himself……

The virtuous person, by Aristotle’s definition, is one who first desires and works for his own survival and wishes to do well for himself. He also spends time alone with himself……


Aristotle summarizes these points by saying, “…one is a friend to himself most of all. Hence he should also love himself most of all,” (1168b 9-10) and “These are features [of a friendship] most of all of one’s relation to oneself; and so too are all the other defining features of a friend, since we have said that all the features of friendship extend from oneself to others.”” [ht voice/yahoo]

Are we comfortable in ourselves? Are we ‘okay’ being alone? Do we ever allow time for solitude? Do we love ourselves, does todays loneliness stem mostly from not knowing how to be by ourselves and hence how to actually have relationships? Do we know ourselves… a lot of the evidence points to no, we don’t know ourselves, we have problems having conversations let alone relationships and we are so plugged in to being connected without actually experiencing the connection… I wonder how this week will pan out as I try be more ‘present’ and not just connected. I will strive to strive for the common good of my family and friends and colleagues.. eish let the games begin Smile

I’ll wait for you…

Oct
10

There is this very talented artist by the name of Janette-Ikz ok I’m not sure if that’s her name because there are a lot of alliterations of her name “Mysterious Genetics = MissTerious Janette-Ikz” and her poem “I will wait for you” is phenomenal… I am going to learn it to use for our TOB rallies, talks and retreats because it is so powerful… all credit to Janette-Ikz of course  and the good Lord for blessing her with such awesome talent (words below ht)

I WILL WAIT FOR YOU” BY JANETTE IKZ

So it seemed that it was cool, for everyone to be in a relationship but me.
So I took matters into my own hands, and ended up with him.
Him who displayed the characteristics of a cheater, a liar, an abuser, & a thief. So why was I surprised when he broke into my heart?
I called 911, but I was cardiac arrested for aiding and abetting,
Cause it was me who let him in…
Claiming we were “just friends”.
It was already decided for me by the first date, that even if he wasn’t!
I was gonna make him ‘The One’
You know, I was tired of being alone.
And I simply made up in my mind, that it was about that time,
So I decided to drag him along for the ride,
Cause I was always the bridesmaid & never the bride.
A virgin in the physical, but mentally just a grown woman on the corner in heat!
Who was tired of the wait!
So I was gonna make him ‘The One’.
He had a… form of Godliness… but not much.
But hey, hey I can change him! So (honey) I’ll TAKE him, I mean he’s close… enough.
Ready to sell my aorta for a quarter, not knowing the value of its use to me.
Arties so clogged with my will, it blocked His will from flowing through me.
So, I thank Christ that His blood pressure gave this heart an attack,
That flatlined my obscured vision, put me flat on my back
Through my ignorance He sawed,
Through my sternum He sawed & cracked open my chest
To transplant Psalm 51:10
A new heart & a renewed right spirit within!
So now I fully understand,
Better yet I thoroughly comprehend,
How much I need to wait… for You.
See, the bad thing is that I knew he wasn’t you from the beginning..
Cause in the beginning was the Word
And he didn’t even sound or shine like Your Son
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,
And all he could whisper was sweet, empty nothings –
Which meant NOTHING.
He couldn’t even pray when I needed him to,
Asking him to fast would be absurd!
So forget about being cleansed & washed with water through the Word…
But I know You..
You were already praying for me.
Even never having met me,
Let me assure you, I will wait for you.
I will no longer date, socialize or communicate with carbon copies of you
To appease my boredom or to quench my thirstiness I have for attention
And short-lived compliments from ‘sorta kindas’.
You know….
He ‘sort kinda’ right, but ‘sorta kinda’ wrong?
His first name LUKE,
His last name WARM.
I, I won’t settle for false companionship
I won’t lay in the embrace of his arms,
Attempting to find some closeness,
But never feeling so far apart cause, I just wanna be held
Cause ”all I gotta do is Say” No!
No more ‘almost sessions’ of ‘almost coming close’
Passing winks & buying drinks,
I’ma, I’ma, I’ma flirt!
Who flirts with the ideology of,
‘Can you just tell me how much I can get away with & still be saved?’
NO more.
I’ll stay in my bed alone, and write poems, about how I will wait for you.
He won’t even come close,
Our fingers won’t even interlock
We won’t even exchange breath
Cause I have thoughts that I’ve ‘saved as’ in a file that God has only equipped you to open.
I will no longer get weighted down,
From so-called friends & family talks,
About the concern for my biological clock
When I serve the Author of Time.
Who is NOT subject to time,
But I’M subject to Him,
He has the ability to STOP, FAST FORWARD, PAUSE, or REWIND at any given time…
So if we could role play,
You would be Abraham & I would be Sara
Or you can be Isaac & I can be Rebecca – a servant’s answered prayer
I am bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh,
Made up of your rib Adam!
And once we meet, like electrons
I will be bound to your nucleus, completely indivisible atom.
We even speak the same math: 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, which really equals 1 if you add Him.
We were all created in His image,
But you have the ability to reflect, project & even detect the Son.
If I were to explain what you looked like,
You would have to look like a star,
A son of the Son..
I would gain energy simply from the light on me.
I would need you , in order to complete my photosynthesis
I await your revelation, but once again from the genesis, I will wait for you.
And I will know you… because when you speak I will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom,
Your ability to lead will remind me of Moses,
Your faith will remind me of Abraham,
Your confidence in God’s Word will remind me of Daniel,
Your inspiration will remind me of Paul,
Your heart for God will remind me of David,
Your attention to detail will remind me of Noah,
Your integrity will remind me of Joseph,
And your ability to abandon your own will, will remind me of the disciples,
But your ability to love selflessly & unconditionally will remind me of Christ.
But I won’t need to identify you by any special Matthews or any special Marks,
Cause His word will be tatted all over your heart.
And you will know me, and you will find me,
Where… the boldness of Esther meets the warm closeness of Ruth.
Where the hospitality of Lydia is aligned with the submission of Mary,
Which is engulfed in the tears of a praying Hanna.
I will be the one, drenched in Proverbs 31… waiting for you.
But to my Father, my Father who has known me before I was birthed into this earth
Only if you should see fit…
I desire Your will above mine,
So even if you call me to a life of singleness,
My heart is content with YOU – the One who was sent.
YOU are the greatest love story ever told,
The greatest story ever known
You are forever my judge & I’m forever Your witness
And I pray that I’m always found on a mission about my Father’s business
Oh, I will always be Yours!
And I will always wait for You Lord, more than the watchmen wait for the morning
More than the watchmen wait for the morning…
I will wait.

Theology of the body in SA!!!

Sep
19

And I’m back… after a bit of hiatus and it’s because I am bursting! Bursting with evangelical spirit and wanting to share everything I learnt this weekend. We were highly blessed to have Jason Evert here in South Africa and we were hosting him! Well specifically MA our TOB mentor and we went around with him to the school and different parishes as he gave his talk “Romance without regret” and even though I’ve heard it all before it came at a time when I needed to hear it again… and again and again…

What I specifically needed to hear was that I am NOT too fussy, that I deserve the best because I am a daughter of God, that the Lord has a plan for me, that I should seek the Lord in all things and the details will be taken care of, that if I run after God I will not need to go hunting of this “perfect spouse” (no such thing)… all I’ll have to do is look to my side and see who is running with me…and to work on becoming the spouse I want to get, to become the woman of God that God wills me to be. Smile I’ll be posting a lot on what struck me most soon.

On my amazon wish list is this book that Jason and Crystalina wrote called “How to find your soul mate without losing your soul”… and I have been telling myself I’ll buy it… then Jason came with copies and I never had cash on me… finally got the cash and just plum forgot and then it was too late coz I was singing in the band so when I got to the back the books were finished arrggghhh!!! So I still need to get the book and here he was autographing them too. well, I got the “Pure womanhood and Pure manhood” books autographed so that’s ok. Here is a clip they did quite recently on their book

                      

TOB Tuesday: Meaning of Original Solitude

May
10

image_thumb9_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb Been a while ha? What with Easter Monday being a holiday and last Monday as well because of Workers day it’s been a while. And I had missed the one before that because of vigil dance practice, the things I do… sigh. Anyway, today was a good session and we discussed original solitude. Yes ‘tis still Monday but this will only get published tomorrow so ‘tis still TOB Tuesday post.

We are now in Chapter 5 of Man and Woman He Created Them which is all about the Meaning of Original Solitude. MA highlighted that we need to delve into and understand that there was solitude before there was unity… and why this is important. The unity part we kinda understand, so where does the solitude come from? “Moses allowed you to divorce … but in the beginning, it was not so…  we are still in the beginning. And in the beginning man and woman were not together… or were they? MA explained something I’m still finding a bit difficult to comprehend; that as told in the creation story “man” as in mankind was created, and man imaged God, but man was not male nor female… man was… man. Man was mankind and as such embodied both male and female sexuality not one or the other. So when ‘Adam’ is put to ‘sleep’ only after he awakens is he male and there too is now Eve, female. Note the quotes ‘Adam’ in quotes is generally ‘mankind’. Let’s explain.

So everyone put in quite a lot of info so this again is précis of all that was said. For the intention of a relationship, there needs to be two entities, we need at least another for a relationship to be possible. God is relational in that He is 3 persons. He created us in His image but we are not 3 persons in one. So how and when do we reflect God’s image? Always but more so and more perfectly when we are in unity, then we mirror the communion of three persons – a true reflection of God. “Let us create man in our own image” i.e “Let us create a communion of persons that reflects us” thus making man always relational. Thus ‘Adam’ was not just man but mankind. Through carrying out God’s commands to till the earth and name the animals ‘Adam’ reaches self-actualisation and realises that he is different from the animals and he longs for a deep communion with someone like himself (or should I say itself mmm).

In that solitude, Adam realises that he needed God. This is true for all mankind. In solitude we get closer to God, we ‘find’ God and begin to know ourselves better, we self-actualise. We realise that we are called to communion and relationship. So after the ‘sleep’, Adam is reawakened, in a sense ‘reborn’ as two, Isha and Ish, (Adam and Eve in the English translation). This name change is significant for only after the ‘split’ the creation of woman from the rib is there male and female. The maleness and femaleness of ‘man’ is only evident after the creation of Ish. As man we only complete each other through the definition of our sexuality, that is mankind has sexuality and one cannot be without the other, both are needed for there to be mankind. Then we began wondering so was ‘Adam’ not a perfect creation, if he was humanity why did he need to split into male and female, and did God not know this as he created Adam, or He did and …

And what about free will is it truly free if God knows what is going to happen and it’s a plan He has set in motion… how’s a plan free will and…? yeah we digressed… but we did come to some important points. Like the bible shows us the reasons such as it is not good for man to be alone we need communion with each other. It does not show us the ‘thought processes’ of God as such.  Free will is not about God laying His plan and we having to conform, for we sure can go astray. It’s about us making a choice for the good, a choice to love. A choice. And this ‘splitting’ of Adam (mmm beginning to sound a bit schizoid) is the introduction of choice. The beginning of free will for then man began to choose to love, to choose to complete a perfect union of giving and receiving thus truly reflecting God.  Truly reflecting and sharing in love…for love ain’t love till ‘tis chosen freely right?

MA explained that the call to evangelise is the call to reflect God in our lives so that people can say gee-whiz because we will be reflecting ultimate love. MdK gave a simple analogy I loved. See God as a teacher and ourselves as little kids and His pupils. As a teacher, He knows what we need to do in order to pass, i.e. to study, to concentrate, to attend lessons, but He cant do it for us. As a diligent teacher, He will give you all the help you need, the tutorials, the prompting, use techniques to make you see and understand why it is better for you to work towards passing. But the work still has to be done by me. Just because He can see that you are going to fail does not mean He will pass you regardless. It will hurt when He sees you wasting time and throwing away your books but He will continually keep showing you the right way.

So it is in life, the Lord puts all sorts of cues for us to be reminded of our path and of His will. And that path leads to ultimate joy when we align our ‘free will’ with His ‘divine will’. MA then gave this titbit from Christopher West, that when we think of Adam and Eve, think of their perfect relationship with God before the fall which mirrors the perfect love of God. ‘Adam’ was created for a perfect relationship. That is mankind was FIRST created for relationship THEN for conjugal union. God created relationships as a communion of persons before ‘male and female’ were in being. Therefore when people talk of sex before marriage being a non-issue or being for pleasure alone, remember this: we were created for relationship and communion before sex, so let our relationships follow the same path, great relationship and friendship before conjugal relations.

Adios… for now

Sexual-education in schools

Apr
12

It’s crazy the things our children are taught in schools. Sad that their parents are all so clueless as to what to teach, or even how to counter what their children hear.  Here is a plug for a book read by someone (MA?) in the TOB group that may be brilliant. It explains what children are being taught in sex-ed and why it is all so wrong. It’s called “You’re teaching my child what?” by Miriam Grossman who is a physician so she should know what she is talking about.

TOB Tuesday: Creation of Man

Apr
12

image_thumb9_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb[4]_thumb We have gone to the beginning, and there we find the creation of man. Two accounts nogal, one is Elohist and the other Yahwist. We learn that the second account is the earlier one, the Yahwist account as it uses the name Yahweh. The first one is from the Priestly tradition using the name Elohim, thus more thought out and revealing of God’s nature. We learn that the earth is created for man by God, for man to go forth and subdue it and procreate. Man is created at a pinnacle time, not in succession like the rest of creation but after God took a pause… “Let us create man in our image, in our likeness” (Gen1:27).

The Elohist account, the more mature one, defines man according to his relationship to God – as an image of God – thus not as of the world – not as a mere creature but like God.  We image God in that we have reason, intellect and will and our spirit likens God’s spirit. He breathed into us the spirit of life after forming us from dust, from nothing. So even though we have bodies… and boy do we have bodies… we cannot be reduced to just our bodies. It is an objective account, giving fact – created male and female, in the image of God and sent forth to be fruitful and multiply. Then there was a whole bunch on incontrovertible metaphysics that lost me… something about ‘being’ and ‘good’ being convertible… oh well LOL.

Then we shared – about sharing in the inspiration. We should not worry so much about how far we are from God and heaven that is the ideal and just because we are far we should not think we have failed. Does one aim for distinctions or just to pass –> hopefully for distinctions. We need to study scripture to get to a point of ”I cant live this on my own, I need God” the point of salvation, where the human and the divine meet. We live heaven everyday by calling out “God  I need you, I am a sinner” so the text helps us for it gives us another standard, God’s standard and the world baseline is not the standard. And we can show other this standard, this truth by living it and not harping about it and bashing it in. You cant have compassion without truth, but you can teach the truth compassionately.

Having an abortion after rape does not make it better or OK, it’s a double trauma, and why emphasize on the sin of homosexuality more than that alcoholism? When it comes to premarital sex and homosexuality both are wrong. Though the former is true to the attribute of who we are, it is still morally wrong. Homosexuality also then also has the extra attribute of being disordered; even if society tries to tell you that there is no difference whether or not I have sex with a male or a female. So why are others born homosexual, blind etc.? To show the greater glory of God, just likes this weeks gospel were Jesus heals the blind man.

Someone then asked how we can be compassionate when we meet ‘evil’? How do we show compassion when there is paedophilia, alcoholism, murder? We are all made to love, willing the good of the other, and if one you loved lived a way contrary to their own fulfilment and happiness we could do our best to bring them out of it. Our obligation as Christians is to be a light to the world, to hold up to the nations the light of Christ through our love not our judgement. We need to tell the world the truth so they know it.

MG gave an analogy of poison in the cup. He said if there is poison in a cup on a table and there are 3 persons A, B and C. ‘A’ knows its poison and will not drink it no matter how pretty attractive of good smelling it is or whatever promise of euphoria it promises. ‘B’ knows its poison and drinks it anyway coz it tastes oh so good and cannot resist the temptation of ecstasy. C does not know it is poison and drinks it because it tastes all so good. Will not both C and B die? They will regardless of whether or not C knew it was poison it will still kill him. So it is with sin, just because it looks oh so good, is oh so pleasurable does not matter how you dress it up, it’s wages are death. And ‘A’ should do his best to let ‘C’ know that it is poison, not in a  judgemental way in a compassionate way, now there’s a doozy!

How do we teach the truth without saying “In the bible it says…”,  how do we not bible bash? Henri Nouwen is a philosopher and I have his name in my notes so if what I am attributing to him is false let me know. He says … saying “In the bible it says” is not Catholic. We live in a Protestant country influenced by Protestant thought. The bible only came into being 400AD or so.  So how did the apostles and disciples teach and evangelise before then? They went out and argued and lived the common sense of the truth of Christ. So we argue and live thus when it comes to TOB, that we have infinite dignity because we are created in His image, therefore no one has the right to take that life away.

We use natural law to help us present a reasoned argument of what is morally right and wrong. We use the truth because the truth speaks to the heart. Like the apostles drew from the resurrection power of Christ and went out to make disciples so too should we draw from His resurrection. Mass, prayers, spiritual reading are all ways of nourishing our reserves and of allowing ourselves to draw from the resurrection experience like the apostles did. The bible is not a manual of how to’s, but a nourisher to allow for reasoning and to come to a conclusion.

But then if we all decide a conclusion, what is law? Because our reasoning is all different? Then what is the word of God? Reasoning will go wrong without the Holy Spirit and without nourishment, its the truth of God that the Holy Spirit guarantees – and the gates of hell will not persist over it. There is only ONE story of Jesus Christ, not 2, not 20, not thousands; one story of Christ and the resurrection and the WHOLE story is within the WHOLE bible.

Moral of today’s session: We all have the capability to love and hence that is our universal calling.

TOB Tuesday: What is meant by beginning?

Apr
05

image_thumb9_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb[4] So we are finally beginning the long journey of going through “Man and Woman he created them: A Theology of the Body” by John Paul II. I wonder if it will take us 5 years too LOL. Hey, this tome is huge.

This TOB Tuesday we go through my notes of the first session. Session one began by exploring “What is meant by the beginning?”. Why the focus on the ‘beginning’?  JPII’s talks begin as the bishops are preparing for a synod on “De muneribus familiae christianae” – The duties [or role, gifts, tasks] of the Christian Family. This has been fundamental from the beginning a phrase Jesus uses when talking about marriage, and to figure out why He appealed to the beginning we analyse scripture. We see the beginning referring to Genesis, to the two creation accounts written there. How man and woman were created by God, in His image and how they will leave mother and father to become one.

When chatting to the Pharisees in Mt 19, He brings this out and emphasises how in the beginning we were created thus, quoting a scripture well known. He then goes on explaining that divorce was only instituted because of the hardness of man’s heart for, in the beginning, it was not so. That God’s intention was very decisive, that what He joined in union, no man could sperate; and this was from the very beginning.

So we will delve into this beginning to discover what it means to us today and how it affects our lives and families. MA mentioned that JPII was an ethicist, he was concerned a lot with what one ought to do and how our actions fit in with Divine Law, Natural Law and Moral Law. For instance, how do we reveal contraception as a violence against human nature? As human we like to judge issues on a case by case basis, e.g what if she was raped, what if the child will only live 1 month in abject pain. But we are reminded not to involve ‘cases’, not to try and change the law to suit us, but to love first and not judge first. We are called to go to the beginning to original man; authentic man, true, real, genuine, true to God’s plan, without sin, true to love. We are to be reminded that Love is gift and we image God in that gift.

Now to learn how to image 🙂

Reasons to NFP or not to NFP…

Mar
24

So Simcha at I have to sit down has this most brilliant post. I just spent an hour reading comments… and its amazing. She has based it on why doesn’t the church make a list of”grave/just/serious” reasons to not use NFP. Go over there and take a gander! Inspiring!!!

TOB Tuesday: Is TOB practical in todays world?

Mar
09

image_thumb9_thumb_thumb_thumb So we had our last pre-lent TOB session last night and it was fun. We had a debate. Yes, a debate.

MA noted that most sessions we always touch on how we actually want to live the ‘TOB life’ and how that can be difficult as we are in the world – not of the world but in the world. So we split up into groups, one for TOB and one against it being practical in our lives. And of course I was for TOB – blegh – against would have been so much easier. For todays TOB Tuesday, I am just going to highlight some of the points brought up by people (super edited of course) admittedly some were hilarious and said in jest but in today’s world, people are actually crazy like that. Against:

  • pornography  hurts no one, is healthy and helps to support poor porn-stars, it’s an economy that will always be there
  • sex before marriage is like a test drive – one needs to have sampled the merchandise, and it ensures the couple is sexually compatible, thereby balancing the emotional and physical aspects of a relationship
  • and we are going to get married anyway
  • it’s ok to explore one’s sexuality and in a committed relationship its ok because it’s a safe environment to explore one’s sexuality
  • the world is overpopulated and as such NFP is wrong and irresponsible as it depletes resources and it’s un-natural to abstain
  • its ok to use contraceptives to stop the spread of disease, especially if you are prostitute because soliciting is your job
  • God gave people the means and ideas for contraceptives and after all it is ‘my body’
  • people are happier when they live together and a verbal commitment is just as good as a written one, it also has less hassles if they decide to separate as they do not need to go through the process of divorce, and this is good for the children who then will not go through the trauma of a divorce
  • we cannot condemn homosexuality because we all need someone to love and if one is made that way who is it for Christians to condemn, because God says we must love not judge
  • there is no harm in dancing or dressing provocatively, it’s just expressing yourself, just to feel good and to be self confident. It’s not a girls fault if a guy can’t keep his eyes to himself or control his base urges. We should not be ashamed of showing what God created
  • and we need to move with the times, what worked long ago does not work now
  • we want womyn priests, because they would be less likely to molest and abuse little kids
  • masturbation is just by yourself and frequent ejaculation is good to reduce testicular cancer, it does not harm anyone and is a good stress reliever

and For:

  • TOB is the truth and no matter how difficult it is it leads to happiness, deep down in everyone’s heart is a desire to love and be loved authentically
  • it speaks to the dignity of our bodies
  • the pornography industry feeds human trafficking and child pornography which does affect our society
  • overpopulation is a myth, with a few societies using up the bulk of the world’s resources. Some western societies will soon be facing underpopulation
  • pornography objectifies women and men, which translates to lack of respect for one’s dignity e.g. who wants their mother, daughter, sister treated as dirt? Then why treat other women that way?
  • sexual attraction is normal and a gift but it has its time and place where it can be truly transcendently beautiful,
  • contraception, masturbation and porn have destroyed the fabric of society, where prostitution becomes a valid job and yet half of these women have to be stoned to carry out their ‘job’, where divorce and lack of commitment are the norm, where children do have parents but adult parental units who want to be their ‘friends’
  • how does premarital sex contribute to one’s happiness as a person, in light that no true commitment is there and love may not even be present? most people delude themselves that they are happy in this situation whilst their hearts cry out for true love
  • abstinence is the best way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases
  • the Lord tells us to do a lot of things which we ignore or we listen to the devil, just because we can do something does not mean it is from God and even good things can be used in an evil way, whilst science in itself is not evil, what it can be used for may be evil
  • the priesthood is about fatherhood and engendering life so by natural law women can not be fathers, and hence cannot stand in persona-Christi and become priests
  • relationships are made stronger with common goals, priorities, communication and understating, not with premarital sex
  • going through adversity and challenges strengthens relationships and builds character, such as abstaining together for a greater good
  • we do not live in a bubble were our actions do not affect others, so dancing and acting provocatively will affect others and is not just about you, and the message it sends is that you are available and want all eyes on you, whether that is your intention or not
  • NFP is all natural and does not introduce poisonous chemicals into our bodies, it follows the natural cycles of a women’s body and strives to understand better how our bodies work
  • artificial birth control has been known to cause depression, obesity, blood clots and even death
  • even condoms cannot prevent disease a hundred percent
  • research has shown that a husbands semen may be beneficial to a woman pre – during and post pregnancy – nature working at its best

OK so I have to admit that the ‘for’ side was not well articulated and it just seems difficult to put into practical terms everything about our dignity and the deep hunger within us and morality.

MA gave us a précis highlighting that when talking to non-Christians it is possible to impart TOB principles by focusing on morality dignity and respect. As Christians though we need to focus on where we are headed not where we are. We need to learn that pain and struggle are a part of life.

She noted that one of today’s main problems is a lack of parenting, that parents do not allow their kids to wait or be denied so as adults that have not learnt any restraint. It’s the life of a junky, what makes me happy now, I want that, I get it… oh no a low is coming what’s next to get me that high again?

It’s about instilling morality, just because I have a ring on my finger will not stop an affair, my conscience has to have been formed by some morals for me to know that that would be wrong. And how do we form our consciences, they have to be formed in the Truth, the mass, catechesis, scripture and prayer. If this is not in place the next question would be what was my intent, for instance, what is the moral code of self-defence. MA then sent a little note per email that I thought summed it all up:

“Just as a last word:   instead of trying to answer in a self-righteous way in defence of TOB which puts others off, we can try to work from a moral framework that encapsulates just what John Paul is saying. (he uses the framework – or hermeneutic – of GIFT) What is  this framework: (bearing in mind what I said about Morality as choosing between good and evil and what is meant by ‘good’) We are all made for love – we are all looking / searching for love;  very often what we think is ‘love’ is the counterfeit i.e. it doesn’t grant us the happiness and joy we thought we’d get from it – instant pleasure, maybe, but lasting happiness – not usually. How do we love?  By making a total gift of ourselves because if we don’t, we risk objectifying the other or being objectified and who wants that? So with all the issues  that the no.2 team brought up last night, in light of this framework,  can you think why they are ‘not right’ or why they are not fulfilling and don’t lead to true happiness?  Give this some thought!”

Next week we have a guest speaker Dr Heinz (every time I say his name I think of baked beans)  who is an NFP fundi, and he will give us an NFP talk. See you all then.