"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Laughing with him - not at him ...


What?

34 comments:

  1. I was just now thinking of posting the same thing. Too funny. Give Mrs. Rabitowitz some extra lettuce.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will - she'll get over it. LOL!

      Delete
  2. Every time this pope opens his mouth, I'm reminded of Lincoln's words (as oft-quoted by Adlai Stevenson) - "It hurts too much to laugh, but I'm too old to cry." These days, I'm feeling mighty old...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember those that mourn are blessed, for they will be comforted. I think too of the Rule of St. Benedict on the restraint of laughter. We have devotion as well to Our Lady, who knew sorrow and Our Lord, who was a "man of sorrows". You are not alone.

      Delete
    2. Indeed. This is good to hear, and know, and remember!

      Delete
    3. You are just experiencing a cultural shock...it is the communication style in our countries and means maybe different from what you understand. Think about it. I used to have the same when I started communicating in English. Everything made me angry or laugh or cry, believe me, we have to walk closer to other cultures. But if you want , I apologize for him, if he has made you cry

      Delete
    4. Thanks Mrs. Wells.

      Delete
    5. He doesn't make me cry - he just makes me shake my head in wonderment. Yes, there certainly is a communications issue, in that the common vernacular can be quite different across languages. And yet there is something about this man that is so, if you will, vulgar, so crude. The comment about punching in the nose, for example - could one imagine Leo XIII or Pius XII saying this?

      In fact, given the context of what he said, I don't think I actually have much of a problem with the actual content. It's the way he said it, and in today's age the substance of something is too closely associated with the style for worlds to be tossed off as casually as he has. As I have said in the past, if he doesn't realize this then he is a fool - and if he does, then he's a brilliant Machiavellian. People often point out - correctly, I might add - that the United States is not the world, and a pope must minister to the entire world, not just the West. This is very true - and yet, he cannot ignore it either. He cannot simply toss off what he imagines to be witty bon mots and think there are no consequences. I understand that he regrets the choice of words, which proves the adage "act in haste, repent at leisure."

      I do not doubt the truth of the Church, nor do I doubt that it will survive this papacy, whether it be a glorious reign or a train wreck. But communications do matter, and one cannot continue to blame the media, nor certain writers, for the way in which his words are transmitted. At some point one has to look at the man himself and ask whether or not the substance is being communicated nonetheless. We can talk about sycophants and ultramontanists and neocons and all kinds of labels - but if the content matters, then the way in which it is transmitted matters as well.

      It's now been over 20 years since I converted, and probably 40 years since I first developed an interest in Catholicism, and I can say that if I were considering it today, based on this pope's style AS WELL AS substance, I doubt that I would be so accommodating to allow the Holy Spirit to work within me for that conversion. And to the extent that other people - Catholic and non-Catholic alike - feel this way, then that will live as the legacy of the tragedy of Francis.

      Delete
  3. Terry
    I imagine that pope Francis does not mind if you laugh at him or with him....but he said, only iif you mck his mother he will punch you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I could never mock his mother - I grew up with Italians and know them well I think. I'm convinced that is why no matter what he says I seem to get it. He could have sat around a kitchen table in my neighborhood and say exactly the same things and no one would be confused at all. He's a very ordinary pope - very much in touch with ordinary people.

      Delete
  4. By the way..I am pregnant with my third kid...Pfwiu! just what Pope said is the 'responsable' number ...
    If we are gonna take everything he sais so literally ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed!

      Congratulations and prayers! I trust he would never place limitations.

      Delete
  5. I wonder how the large families felt about the pope's "breeding like rabbits" comment, not to mention his labeling them irresponsible. My mom had four c-sections. She was told after her first pregnancy (because of pre-eclampsia) that she shouldn't have any more. I'm glad she didn't listen or the other nine of us would never have been born. I also have a niece who's had six c-sections. Dr. Bruchalski at Divine Mercy Care talks about their obligation to help protect the health of women who are generous in giving life.

    The pope's comment was just one more head-shaker and, to be quite honest, as an NFP teacher who loves families that trust God so much they let him do the planning, I find it heartbreaking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually Jackie Parkes (Catholic Mom of 10) appreciated what the pope said - her comments at Catholic Herald are very good - I hope to post on it.

      The Holy Father said explicitly that there are are others family planning options and I assumed NFP would be among them. This actually opens the way for Catholics to promote NFP - at least that is how I see it.

      As for the comment in reference to breeding like rabbits - he used the expression in context - in doing so it seems clear to me he was using a secular cultural term as a means of recognition - 'I know this is what the world thinks, but Catholics are responsible parents and the Church offers alternatives to artificial contraception' - that is how I understood the conversation.

      Delete
    2. The context:

      Pope Francis: I think the number of three children per family that you mentioned – it makes me suffer- I think it is the number experts say is important to keep the population going. Three per couple. When this decreases, the other extreme happens, like what is happening in Italy. I have heard, I do not know if it is true, that in 2024 there will be no money to pay pensioners because of the fall in population. Therefore, the key word, to give you an answer, and the one the Church uses all the time, and I do too, is responsible parenthood. How do we do this? With dialogue. Each person with his pastor seeks how to do carry out a responsible parenthood.
      That example I mentioned shortly before about that woman who was expecting her eighth child and already had seven who were born with caesareans. That is a an irresponsibility That woman might say 'no, I trust in God.’ But, look, God gives you means to be responsible. Some think that -- excuse the language -- that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood. This is clear and that is why in the Church there are marriage groups, there are experts in this matter, there are pastors, one can search; and I know so many ways that are licit and that have helped this. You did well to ask me this.
      Another curious thing in relation to this is that for the most poor people, a child is a treasure. It is true that you have to be prudent here too, but for them a child is a treasure. Some would say 'God knows how to help me' and perhaps some of them are not prudent, this is true. Responsible paternity, but let us also look at the generosity of that father and mother who see a treasure in every child.

      Delete
    3. Exactly right, Mary Ann. Those who, like you, are put off by the comments are being marginalized like on this blog and others. It's yet another irony of the hypocritical and self-serving pseudo-humble and pseudo-obedient rhetoric that they use: they will tell us, on the one hand, that we beat people over the heads with doctrine and so on, and then when you disagree with their opinion of Pope Francis or something similar, you are in turn beat over the head with quotes and passive aggressive chiding and made to think that you're "anti-papist" (against the papacy as such) instead of against the peculiar and disorientating twists and turns of one man - this pope.

      Deep down, I sense that they while they will constantly mock the faith of others as being "weak" and misconstrue their struggles as being "anti-papist", it is actually their own faith that is weak, for if it is so dependent on squaring every circle of a pope's casual remarks - so as to appear to be faithful and pro-papist - then their faith must be conditioned by the constant ebbs and flows and not as steadfast as it should be in the papacy as such.

      Delete
    4. Mary Ann - In response to your wondering about how large families felt: I have a large family. 6 kids aged 9 years - 8 months, with plenty of fertility ahead. So, who knows how many we'll end up with. I read the pope's comments and never once thought the "rabbits" comment applied to me just because I have a lot of kids. It so plainly doesn't.

      We're all so easily aggrieved, implicitly demanding the pope speak blandly so as to not offend the sensitive spirits or tempt those that lie in wait. You say you find it heartbreaking. True, honest heartbreak is a spiritually powerful thing that shouldn't be squandered on imagined victimhood.

      Delete
  6. I love your choice of photo!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks be to God for good Catholic women. Elena just left this comment on another post:

    elena maria vidal8:00 PM
    About a month ago, the Pope said this: "In a world often marked by selfishness, the large family is a school of solidarity and sharing; and this attitude then becomes a benefit for the whole society." (From Zenit, http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-address-to-the-italian-association-of-large-families)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I feel that poor irresponsible Italian woman's pain tonight. An irresponsible breeder myself, I know what she was likely faced with at each C-section after the first 2 or 3--pressure from her medical team to get her tubes tied. "No" she likely replied each time, "I believe in Catholic Church teaching."

    Perhaps she was like me, working 1:1 with NFP instructors for a decade, both CCL and then Creighton, and still getting pregnant repeatedly, despite all the charting, fertility sign-checking, and 6-8 weeks of abstinence on more than one occasion. No matter. She is one irresponsible parent, held out for all the world as an example of a woman brazen (and/or stupid) enough to tempt God.

    I wonder where her faith is tonight, as her community laughs at her stupidity and tells her that even the Pope has now said we shouldn't behave like the rabbits they have probably long been accusing her of being.

    The message to most will be: do the smart thing and take care of the problem quietly through a sterilization. Problem solved, no more embarrassment of the entire world knowing what an irresponsible parent you have been.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Pope was not saying that.

      Delete
    2. I read the actual transcript, and I felt horrible for that Italian mother. Honestly, put yourself in her shoes and imagine how you would feel. The pope was clearly stating she was irresponsible for continuing to get pregnant. I don't know how you can get around that?

      I have a lot of children, and so do most of my friends. Many of them have read the comments and have a similar reaction, so I don't think I am oversensitive.

      Luckily, I have a pretty good sense of humor and a good sense of self-esteem. I've never really cared if people thought we were irresponsible for having all these kids, but I know other women who aren't as thick-skinned, and these comments smart.

      Delete
    3. I'm sorry - It's late and I guess I'm not getting the discussions over this. Someone sent me a link to some of the other online conversations and I guess that has influenced my responses.

      I'm sorry - really. I don't understand birthing and babies.

      As an aside: My sister had health problems and had several children - the Dr.'s told her not to have more kids, my mother told her to use contraception or the other thing, and she refused - this is when the pill first came out. She told my mother the Church forbade it, though she wasn't a practicing Catholic. She had all the kids and lived - to this day she does not practice the faith or go to Church or Mass - there are no impediments keeping her from the Church - there is nothing but a lack of faith keeping her from the sacraments.

      My point is she had 7 kids, not one practices the faith or goes to church - not one has had the sacraments nor have they been educated in the faith. Responsible parenting is to provide for the children all their material and intellectual needs possible - yes. Likewise it is the duty and obligation of the parents to impart the faith and to prepare them for heaven. That is the chief duty and responsibility of parenthood.

      Parents need to be alive to do that - physically and spiritually.

      I'll leave it at that.

      Delete
  9. +JMJ+

    Terry, I finally understand the papal media wars, thanks to this tweet from Ross Douhat: We've gone from "bad pope says something wicked awful" to "cool pope sticks it to conservative Catholics." Quite!

    The only thing that marred Pope Francis's visit for me was the number of people who compared Pope Benedict to him very negatively. When I wondered aloud why it was that if I said something nice about Pope Francis, everyone would respond with something else nice, but if I said something nice about Pope Benedict, everyone would respond with something mean, I caused an uncomfortable silence. They knew that they were willing themselves to like one and to dislike the other. Whether or not they understood that they were also being played by the media, I'm not sure. Of course, the reverse happens with people who are on #TeamBenedict rather than on #TeamFrancis--but the principle is the same.

    So getting butthurt over an out-of-context remark from Pope _____ is exactly the same as crowing over that remark's supposed support for an agenda that you're peddling. It doesn't even matter who the Pope is at this point. We are so easily jerked around by people who know how to write clickbait headlines that it takes my breath away!

    Now excuse me while I finish listening to that Art Bell interview of Father Malachi Martin. (What?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the Art Bell/Malachi Martin interview, it's part Catholic, part Twilight Zone. If only Catholic media was so delicious...

      Delete
    2. Enbrethiliel - I'm so surprised that Pope Benedict would be thought of in a negative sense - esp. in the Philippines - shows you how much I know. What a gross misunderstanding of the papacy and the role of the Pope. It's too bad. I thought it was just an American thing - party politics and sports team competitive thinking - whose side you on and all of that.

      I read something at Creative Minority one of the writers was pontificating on how inappropriate the Pope's language was - a disgrace to his office - or beneath the standards of a pope. This from someone who just lets loose anything and everything when it comes to trouncing people who disagree with him or when he disagrees with what the pope or someone in the hierarchy says he doesn't like.

      As you say: "We are so easily jerked around by people who know how to write clickbait headlines that it takes my breath away! "

      Delete
    3. I have my suspicions it's due to an attempt at inculcating secularism in the Filipino youth, courtesy of some Liberal Party activists (certainly not all) and the Makati elite.

      Delete
    4. +JMJ+

      Social media exposure has a lot to do with it, too. Pope Francis just looks better on your Facebook feed: he's frank, funny, and endearing. People enjoy sharing the tidbits about him. And yes, there's a sense that he's "sticking it" to certain Catholics whom the average Filipino Facebook user might not like so much. Moreover, having him all over your feed (which never happened with Pope Benedict) reinforces the idea that he is "close to the people" in ways his predecessor was not.

      In contrast, similar tidbits about Pope Benedict (that he had a cat named Contessina, liked to play the piano, brought back the red leather papal shoes, etc.) aren't so endearing. And not just because those sound like things Imelda Marcos would do. (What? "Contessina" is so her; she's musically talented; and do I have to spell out the shoes???) People couldn't "relate" to him, so they took that to mean that he wasn't likeable.

      Delete
    5. +JMJ+

      Scott, have you heard of the Tumblar House audio featuring William Biersach and Charles Coulombe? They're the most "delicious" Catholic media that I can think of--and many o f the talks are currently free on YouTube! I know they're controversial because Biersach and Coulombe are defenders of Father Feeney (whom I knew absolutely nothing about until their talks and articles got me to do some research), but there's so much gold in their talks that I wholeheartedly recommend them.

      Delete
    6. Feeney-ites! Yikes! Those I've met probably would have voted for Hitler had they been alive at the time.

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. +JMJ+

    Am I the only one who wonders where LTG is? Didn't he speak out against what he called "supersized Catholic families" years ago?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think he may have - he's a single dad now. I like him - I think single dads have it worse than single moms. Is that bad to say?

      Delete
    2. +JMJ+

      I like him a lot, too. I'm saddened to hear that news--and also guilty that I've been bugging him through e-mail about other things, although I hadn't known he'd be preoccupied.

      And did you forget that it's dangerous to ask me about single moms? =P Single motherhood: I'm against it!

      Delete


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.