Sunday, October 08, 2006

The man was first.


Today's readings at Mass focus upon marriage - an old fashioned idea - yet one Hollywood celebrities seem to enjoy doing over and over.

I love the passage from Genesis, wherein the Father brought the animals to Adam for him to name - just like little kids get teddy bears and bow-wows to name and play with from their parents.

In His Providence, God recognized man needed a partner and created Eve from his side. So pay attention ladies - the man was first. Evolutionists ought to think about this as well.

Thinking about marriage however, one cannot help but recognize how it has disintegrated today in our society with the increase of divorce over the recent decades, along with the trend of couples more frequently cohabiting without benefit of marriage. Many of those who feel they do not need to be married to authenticate their union have done so after having endured a divorce or some other trauma in their own family. Many people in their desire for affirmation or self-preservation do not seem willing to admit the consequences of divorce upon their children. Granted, in some cases a marriage was bad from the beginning, perhaps there was abuse, or intolerable alcoholism, or some other mitigating circumstance, wherein there was no other alternative but divorce, or at best, annulment. That isn't my focus.

It's the kids. My own mother was divorced and remarried my father, I have an older sister and brother from her first marriage. There are negative effects in such a family. There had always been a sort of disconnect between my step siblings and myself. My brother really didn't like me, I'm certain he resented me. My mother resented my brother and sister, because every time she looked at them, she was reminded of her 1st husband, whom she despised. And my dad never adopted them. It wasn't a happy home. Nevertheless, this isn't about me.

It's about a woman I know. She has a little brother. Her parents were divorced when she was about four or five-years old I think, her brother was a baby. The mother was addicted to drugs and alcohol and rather promiscuous. As is often the case in divorce, the kids go with the mother. Though not homeless, my friend and her brother were pretty close to being so. Sometimes they would awaken in the morning not knowing where the mother was, only to find out a day or two later she had been in jail. An occasional ray of sunshine for them was when they would be placed in a foster home, although the niceties and kindness of the strange people who took them in baffled them. They didn't know how to act.

They moved a lot. The mother was drunk or doped up most of the time, the house was full of other types just like her mom, and of course, the kids were abused and neglected. Sometimes, when the mother was in jail, they scrounged in dumpsters for food. At school they were humiliated and rejected because they were dirty and poorly clothed. It was a horrible life.

One day when my friend was little, she was watching a cartoon on television and found herself identifying with a strong cartoon character who was a fierce animal. She was convinced she was watching herself - in other words, she adopted the beast as her interior identity. To this day she feels within her deepest self that this is her true identity - her true self. She is normal and functions ably in the workplace and society, nevertheless, interiorly she is always the outsider. Her self image had been shattered in her formative years and she found a means to cope and pull herself up and out of a near animal existence - by identifying with an animal.

It caused me to wonder, this concept of the "shattered image" many people have had to come to terms with in their life. It wasn't a great leap for me to view trans-gender or homosexual persons with the same compassion and understanding that I learned from my friend. Many of these people must have had some experience in their life that caused them to choose an identity contrary to their created being. What else could convince someone so fundamentally that they are indeed other than the norm of those around them, the person they were created to be?

It is not just divorce that shatters one's image of oneself, or one's identity, there are many dynamics at work. Yet, it seems to me, as the family disintegrates, and the stability of marriage is cast aside, society itself shatters, hence the children, the most vulnerable, have no compass.

My friend still lives with her brother, who has children from a broken marriage. They work and make a good living and home for their "family.' My friend is an uber-Catholic, if you will. She went through very much to get to the Church: aspects of the occult new age, fundamentalist Christianity, and so on. The abuse and dysfunction she discovered in the Catholic Church moved her to find greater stability in the strictures of the traditionalist movement. It demonstrates her need for moral absolutes, coming from a life wherein reality was what can only be called occult - that is, obscured and distorted. Thus in traditional Catholicism she has found the truth for which she had been yearning. My friend still has issues that she works on, but I see her growing and becoming whole. Grace builds upon nature, and God is allowing her to understand and find her true identity.

We must sometimes step out of our paradigm and try to understand one another - we never know what may have happened in the life of the person next to us. Prayer for one another is good. Pray for my friend who has helped me understand things a little better.

8 comments:

  1. therese1:20 PM

    Man was first in order to save the best for last...:)

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  2. Doesn't Adam look just like a Carthusian making his thanksgiving after Mass?

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  3. I just gotta say this...you mention that man was first. True.

    But also keep in mind that Genesis ALSO says that male and female, He created them BOTH, and thus it is both men and women who are a reflection of God...not Man alone. Man alone, yes, is God's creation, but it is in the love man and woman have for each other, and the life which results which is the true reflection of God's image.

    So men, before you get high-and-mighty about your rib, remember that without woman, your rib would mean nothing...it is your dedication to women which makes you worth the air that you breathe. It is woman's dedicatio to man that makes life worth the air that we breathe...and for both of us, it makes God's grace everything for we would not exist but for His grace.

    Hmm....this is a blogworthy topic. Not to take from your ultimate point for it is important, I am just commenting on a small part. This is a wonderful post and I thank you for the inspiration which has taken me in another direction.

    God bless!

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  4. Adoro - I was just joking about man being first - obviously God saw that he needed a woman - lighten up. :)

    (Nevertheless - the man was first.)

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  5. Terry..YOU lighten up! LOL! You inspired me to write a post I have been meaning to write!

    Check out my blog and you'll get my opinion on the subject!

    (yeah, Man was first...but as Jesus said...the first shall be last, and the last shall be first...)

    Draw your own opinion, my brother in Christ, in the meantime, if you could hold that door for me....

    :-D

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  6. Thanks Adoro - I am laughing and having fun!
    Therese' comment said it well - "He saved the best for last."
    But you know, since God brought Adam the animals first - is that why the dog is man's best friend? JK :)

    (I have two female cats.)

    (Wait until Ladt Fett sees my posts!)

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  7. Ahh...I have 2 dogs...a German Shepherd and a Greyhound. Incidentally, I have decided that my next German Shepherd will be named Benedict after our current Pontiff, the German Shepherd Benedict XVI....

    I do believe that dogs are a special gift to us, and as a single woman living alone, given what I know about human nature, I will live without a man long before I'll live without a dog in the house. And truth be told..I will not marry a man unwilling to tolerate dogs.

    Thus I think dogs were actually a gift given to us to assist in the discernment of those to whom we are meant to spend our lives. In common parlance...dog people and cat people.

    (for the record. I like cats, too..but prefer dogs.)

    :-)

    I need to go to sleep...been on vacation all week so tomorrow promises to be a very difficult day of great suffering for the souls in purgatory...such is always the first day back to work....

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  8. Ta da! The Lady arrives. Indeed this post is great. Good reflections btw on family life. Too often I've found myself wondering about people, why they do things, why people are the way they are. What I've learned is regardless of the why they ARE that way whether they feel transgendered or homosexual or even like the person you know who identifies as a creature. God knows the why and it does no good to hurl things at them like "You don't have to be that way. It's a choice." Perhaps it isn't for them. Acting on it may be but feeling it, believing it may not be. Our minds are powerful and yet fragile at the same time. Identity is something very important to a human person. That's part of why God brought the animals to Adam so that Adam could see that he wasn't any of those creatures. Just as a side note, what if God had not made Eve? Would Adam have known that he was a man? Just a random thought. Anyways..when he saw Eve he knew what he was by seeing another human being. Children find identity by observing their family and the other human persons around them. If no person is around for them to imprint on or identify with..well they will find identity somewhere else esp. if the atmosphere is violent. The worst case scenerio is when abuse causes a person to feel/believe that they are not human at all and thus do not have a human identity. So again they take one "on" if you will or "in" to themselves. I'm reading a great book right now called "Born only once" It deals with this situation of non-identity that some people have. Yes sure you can sit back and say "Can't they just look in the mirror and see they're human!" The answer is yes and no. Yes they see a physical human body, a human person, but they do not relate to that image a human identity. Thus, it's like they are X with a human body. Good post, TN. I'm glad you brought this up. I too have been enlightened by it to better understand why people feel/believe they are Transgendered or homosexual. The feeling/belief is not right or wrong... it is the acting out in a sinful way that is wrong and the Church has always taught that. God knows why people feel/think the way they do we don't. I'm rambling right now. Sorry. Thanks again for posting this.
    PS: I have no issue with the man being first. God wants men to be the ones taking care of business. So isn't it great to know that we can blame all the probs of the world on men? Afterall it is called the Sin of Adam not Eve...hee hee...(:

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