Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Can a Catholic Be Catholic and Disagree with Church Teaching?

This is a follow up to the idea that voting for a candidate who fails to live up to the Catholic ideal is a mortal sin.

I spent the first five years of my marriage completely eschewing church. I was pretty happy with my Mass-less schedule. My husband was in grad school and Sunday was the one day when I could generally rely on him being there when I woke up. Grad school is a bear. Going to mass was a really low priority. We decided when our kids came along that we would NOT baptise them and I think that was correct- we didnt baptise them because we had no intention of bringing them up Catholic.

I guess around 5 or 6 years ago a friend told me I was the most Catholic non practicing Catholic she knew. After all, I was born and raised Catholic and had happily walked away from the church. I was pretty convinced during that time that i'd never really be a Catholic again. Still, I was somewhat fascinated with Catholicism on an academic level and spent a lot of time investigating the Church's teachings- especially the ones which seemed most annoying to me.

I found a level of logic which surprised me. I gained a respect for the logic and scholarship of the Church. And I grew more comfortable with the more irritating aspects of the faith as I became aquainted with the reason behind the teachings.

Our kids were finally baptized a year or so ago, having been back in church for a number of years. Maybe 5ish years.

We don't rush things around here.

The question is, can I continue to stubbornly disagree with church teaching and still be a Catholic. The answer is no. You can't either.

However, you can submit to church teaching without agreeing wholeheartedly. You can accept the church's teaching without agreeing wholeheartedly. How?

It's pretty simple.

All you have to do is acknowledge that you are at point A while the Church is at point B.

And then realise that you, one small person, with the brain of an ant, are no match for the great theologians of the Church.

You can merely hope to gain enough understanding via educating yourself to get 1/2 way to where the Church is.

And you get the rest of the way there through prayer. Glory Be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. World without end, Amen.

Meanwhile, you can still love the gays, vote for Obama, and probably even watch Desperate Housewives. God can work on you during the commercials.

You may not be the perfect Catholic if you struggle to conform to the teachings of your church but the good news is those who find it easy to conform to the teachings and "rules" of the church may find it really REALLY tough to fulfill the rest of the teachings of Jesus. But everyone who tries is Catholic. Or maybe catholic. And none of them are any better than the others.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Vote and Mortal Sin

Today I awoke to read that casting my ballot for Obama is a mortal sin.

You know, opinions are like assholes. And if yours is that voting for Obama is a mortal sin you can have an opinion but you are an asshole.

The UCCB has spoken about voting. They put out a pretty darn good document about civic duty and voting is part of that. In that document they fail to say that casting your vote for a democrat is a mortal sin and I think there is probably a reason for that. Chances are good that the reason is they know the matter isnt so clear cut.

I am pretty sure that for most Catholics abortion is a big issue and Obama is certainly not a pro life candidate by most common measures. Still, the so called pro life party has managed to effect little change despite their control of the White House for 8 years. Obama's statements on abortion are clearly not in line with Church teaching, which isnt surprising given that he isnt a Catholic. But they are not the statements of a radical pro abortion politician either.

Some of us hate abortion but also see that the presidency isnt a simple choice between more abortion and outlawing abortion, Rarely are things just that simple.

While no one issue on its own is more important than the dignity of human life, the variety of issues our country currently faces, coupled with the scant chance that McCain could end abortion in this country adds up to a clear conscience for me.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Some thoughts on my lovey

It was one of those blankets with pink, yellow and blue stripes. It had a satin edging. When I was little, at my grandma's, I got tangled in it while in a crib and my earliest memory is of my mom coming to my rescue by cutting it in half and sewing the cut edge up with a yellow zig zag stitch and giving it back.

So I had it forever and it wore away, bit by bit, til all that was left was a bit of satin edging and some knotted stringy pieces of the original blanket.

One day when C was a baby I cut off the knotty pieces and put them in my underwear drawer. So then it was just the satiny edge, which was my favorite part anyway. When we moved to NJ we first went to stay in IL and we stayed at a flea bag hotel in town called the Red Rooster. While we were out of the room a maid stripped the bed, taking MY pillow case off MY pillow (where I had stowed my blanket.)

The blanket got thrown away, we presume. We found the pillow case in the laundry. As soon as we got into our house in NJ, which was not for about 2 weeks, I got out the knotty bit of string which is all that is left of my blanket.

I have 2 other which look just like it did in its hey day but they are of no use to me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Im not entirely stupid

but there are a few things I just can not understand. Things like how the picture gets in my TV. And what makes the radio play. And how the telephone works. Especially cell phones because Im pretty clear on the old fashioned kind being a little like the homemade telephone with the string and the cup.

I hate to fly. And yesterday as we were literally hurdling through space and bumping down from a million feet in the air i realised that not only do I not know how planes fly, I actually do not entirely believe they can and do. I was dead sure we were going to crash at the end. There were high winds in IN and we took off late. Coming down we endured a few nasty shifts where the plane dropped and my stomach stayed up and then FLOPPED down at the last minute. If motion sickness is a personal failing, I have failed it all now.

At any rate, the children seem to have survived the weekend and my Dad seemed really pretty cheerful about the whole experience.

A few things I learned this weekend:
I hate bars
I really hate smoky bars
I really REALLY hate loud smoky bars.
The sneaking suspicion that Im OLD was confirmed. Give me a couch and a beer over a bar anyday!

The wedding was nice. The weather co-operated to a large degree, if not fully.

We got to the car in the airport parking lot and had the flattest tire I have ever seen in my life.

That's the way we roll. always about a step behind.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

What I think about Sarah Palin

It is really pretty cut and dry for me.

When you have a 5 month old and you have enough money to ensure that you can be there for your baby, you should be.

And if that means turning down the veep slot, then so be it.

I left a lot of things undone to be there with my kids.

Its the one issue on which I am apparently more conservative than the conservatives. And I am sure its considered appallingly anti woman by the more liberal people I know.

Mothers of infants belong with their babies. God's design for motherhood couldn't be more apparent in our biology.

The oft heard "What if they don't want to be home with their babies?" line confuses me. Why would you want to be anywhere else? What could possibly be more enthralling than the small person you have been entrusted with?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sick Day

One of the problems which confounds me is what to do when I have a cold. Im not up for arguing today, and so...school will get done in a half assed lazy way which I don't care for.

My son isnt feeling well either. In view of the fact that he has a 2 hour football practice in 93 degree heat later I can't get really excited about drilling grammar with him when he is crying about a headache already.

But part of me knows that if we were regular schoolers he'd have to go off and do a full day in spite of his sinus pain and football practice. Maybe I'm babying him too much. Maybe Im babying ME too much.

In any case, we leave for practice in an hour and whatever didnt get done today will be there tomorrow.