I’m playing catch-up again, as usual. Carnival 173, hosted by the fabulous Sarah R., is also helping me stay busy while I wait for my laundry to finish, but no time spent reading is time ill spent.
Heidi offers us “In the Company of God…and Mary…and Mom,” the replay of her defensive conversation with her mother about Catholic versus non-Catholic Christianity. Thankfully, I’ve never had that conversation with my mom, but I can sense that it’s coming. My whole family has been Catholic since my dad converted three years ago, the same year my brother received First Communion and I came back to the Church. I’m still the most involved. ACE is my first big step into the land of pervasive everyday Catholicism, though. It’s helping my parents realize that my reversion isn’t just a fad. I don’t want to make them feel bad, and I don’t think I’m better than everyone–there are plenty of faithful non-Catholic Christians out there who make me look like a Satanist! I just know that God has challenged me to really live up to his call, so I’m doing it.
Matt’s story of a rather noisy period of adoration at Absolutely No Spin makes me appreciate silence. Before Sunday Mass and during the Communion hymn, I always have some trouble focusing, but God helps me find the quiet space in my heart that I need to communicate with him. I relate most closely to Matt’s humble frustration when I go to Mass with my family. I pray for a few minutes in thanksgiving after Mass. They don’t. Sometimes I find them standing in the aisle, waiting for me to finish, which makes me feel rushed. I don’t fault them; I only started making thanksgiving relatively recently. I just wish things could be different between us.
Denise, the Catholic Matriarch, comments on holy matrimony versus civil marriage. Now that California is messing around with the definition of marriage again, some Catholic theological scholars are proposing that the Church should stop enacting civil marriages at the same time it does sacramental ones. The state (of California, at least) and the Church consider marriage to be two very different things. In a fascinating turn, Denise notes that in states that affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman, sex is seen as both unitive and procreative, as in the Church. Without the intrinsic procreative dimension, marriage can be defined far more loosely.
Alessandro of Miserere writes about “The Right (and Duty) to Kneel.” I agree that the Eucharist doesn’t receive the reverence and love owed by the faithful. I disagree that kneeling is the only way to show this. I think communion/altar rails are great, and though I’ve never been to a Tridentine Mass, I’d like to attend one someday. I’m somewhat biased, since kneeling and genuflecting are so difficult for me with my weak knee, but I think a deep bow can be just as satisfactory. It works even better for me, on some level, because I don’t bow to anyone or anything else, and I’m not grimacing in pain while being united with the Real Presence. I’d rather push for greater reception of the Eucharist on the tongue than for reception while kneeling. After the train wreck that is the “Spirit of Vatican II,” we might be best taking things very, very slowly.
Finally, Alessandro also collates opinions on “good enough” marriages. As I wrote about yesterday, the new feminism has a new view on marriage and children. There’s some wisdom in marrying Mr. Good Enough as opposed to waiting too long for Mr. Perfect. Another FOCUS Conference talk I listened to, Libby McCartney’s “Can a Catholic Woman Have It All?” suggested similar ideas. Women can certainly have marriage, a family, and a career, but not necessarily all at the same time. Sometimes God asks us to have faith that the ones he sends us are the best, whether we recognize that or not.