In response to my post “The Prince Charming”
Here is a feminine vision of the history by Denise Landim.
I want to make clear that the goal here is not to destroy the memory of our “sweet girl dreams” and neither discourage people who watch romantic comedies (I particularly like them too). But I would put a more real vision of what a Christian woman called to marriage, expect or should expect form someone with whom she wants to build a future and be unite with forever.
A Man of God
An overwhelming passion, an unforgettable love and dream wedding, it is difficult to find any woman who doesn’t want that. It’s also difficult to find someone who doesn’t want to live a “romantic comedy” that ends with that kiss in the rain or the” happily ever after”, after all, at all times and in all forms, films and TV insist on promoting the dream of “the Prince Charming” and the “Fairy Tale”. Often, ourselves, we feed the idea of a perfect relationship with someone perfect who loves us perfectly.
But real love, the one for the whole life, in the real world, it needs more than beautiful eyes, charming smile and a flower on the first date.It needs more than just opening the car door and to remember the anniversaries of the first date. Gestures of kindness and attention are important to nurture a relationship, they certainly are, but they aren’t enough to make it last.
When we know the Great Love Of Our Lives, the One who surpasses all our expectations, the one that fills us with care, attention, the one who loves us just as we need to be loved, the expected “Prince” turns into a frog and what we seek in a relationship changes. God changes everything! I still want to get married, but not for my own happiness, that too, but that, first, I make the other happy and for us build a holy family. The inversion of values is large, even though the romance still there, and I think it’s important to keep it up and make it resist to the end.
Really? Christian women who want to build a saint family seek a man of God rather than a character in a novel. We want respect more than charm and prefer a God-fearing heart than any wealth. We expect and hope for someone we can trust more than someone who has a well defined body. We expect loyalty and we promise unconditional support. We want someone who, despite his weaknesses, is a fighter(!) rather than someone with a mask of perfection. We accept mistakes when we are not only wanted because of the measure of our waists. We are capable of a great love when we have a “three way” relationship (me you and God ). Ah! And we know that we will not find a spouse who is already a saint (isn’t it women?), but we seek a husband who wants a lot to be one. We would rather build a saint than finding one ready. Women of God do not fear an unfinished work, we fear having to finish it alone.
We really need to ask God constantly and with great faith, the grace to learn to love others as He loves us. For men and women, this will always be the great challenge and at the same time, the right measure for the true “Happily Ever After.”
Here is the original in Portuguese:
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I’d like to make a review of what we have seen so far on this blog cause many people started seeing it after it was launched…
My very first post was a video What is your inner music?
One of my favorite post was Fr Joe’s “Is it ok to believe in space aliens?”.
My need for beauty was something I enjoyed talking about but I have a feeling that I need to continue to talk about.
I shared some videos that made me proud to be catholic, some about priesthood and one about the church.
After this comes a series of “confessions” stuff I don’t have an opinion but I let my heart speak. It was global warming (actually I don’t think is was a good post but it’s there anyways) . The other was about friendship.
I realize as I write this post that there was a series of post about Christian every day life quite interesting. The list: Living a Christian life, No pain no gain, my favorite prayers for everyday, He never let me lack of anything(I took as my own confession this translation to English of this very good post of my friend Denise), a story about the sign of the cross. The fish came a bit after but I have to include it on this list together with the post about the Catholic actor fired for not shooting sex scenes. the last post in the same context is another text from Fr Joe about being a good catholic.
And to fish a story I’ve found on the Toronto star about a video that wasn’t quite what everybody thought it was. Do you believe in everything you find in the web?
Well I’m not Michael Jackson but this is it! All I have written until now I hope you have enjoyed. I accept suggestions for further posts.
Please leave a comment after reading a post, it’s nice to have some feed back!
Peace be with you!
Well the title says already a lot of what I want to talk about.
We live in a world becoming every day less christian, in some places it is rare to see one of us. In some societies like here in Brazil we’re forgetting how to be Christians because we live in a christian country.
Let me explain: I see very often people taking everything as an attack to the church even the movie Avatar was taken as a “menace” to the faith.
Sincerely: We have more interesting things to do…
I think about the first christians, imagine if they didn’t buy something in a store because the store was consecrated to a god; they would starve, or go around naked… go out for a dinner would be a nightmare. More than that I don’t remember reading any of the fathers of the church speaking about how unfair was martyrdom, or that it was against freedom of conscience.
People have the right to the truth, if someone is directly attacking the church we have to defend ourselves and tell the truth, but lets just stop finding persecution in every new movie that comes out. If its against the law to tell someone not to interrupt her pregnancy lets go against the law, or whatever goes against our faith. I’ve heard that in china some christians went out in the morning to evangelize with their bibles and a blanket because the knew they were going to spend the night in prison.
Lets get the example of Avatar (the movie): People (christians) were saying that it was clearly proselytism for a religion I don’t remember the name but kind of worships the nature. Well as a human being I wasn’t at all convinced nature was worth worshiping. For me it was a story as any other, I had a lot of fun watching it, I’ve found amazing the 3D effects but once I left the theater all that “connect-with-the-nature” thing stood there and I went to the mass the following day. Point! The movie was cool and that was it. End of story. Is it only me? You go out of a violent movie wiling to kill everyone you hate? Because I don’t get influenced by a movie easily like that. Even Matrix, I’ve watched a dozen times maybe more (each one of the tree !) and I don’t think we’re in the matrix or there is any “Deus ex machina” controlling us.
Let’s live our faith as good christians, forgiving 70 times 7, praying for those who persecute us, giving the other cheek but also asking those who hit us without reason as the Lord did: Why do you hit me?
I remember a story of a martyr who was smiling and praying for his torturer. When the man asked him why wasn’t he angry with him the saint just said: “Your obligation is to torture me but mine is to forgive you.”
The best way to evangelize is to live our faith and to give the reasons of that for those who ask about it. It doesn’t mean we can’t go out to the streets announcing the Name of Jesus but this is going to be an extension of our life of faith. and that examples are more powerful than words.
Dear Fr. Joe: is it OK to believe in space aliens?
Q. I just read an article that the Vatican says it’s OK to believe in life on other planets. I thought God only created humanity in one place – isn’t the Vatican off-base on this one?
A. OK – good stuff!
The L’Osservatore Romano is the somewhat official newspaper of the Holy See. It runs in Italian daily and has weekly versions in a lot of other languages. It covers Vatican news and press releases and really is worth checking out if you have time. In May 2008, L’Osservatore Romano interviewed Father Jose Gabriel Funes. Father Funes is a Jesuit priest from Argentina and is an astronomer who serves as the director of the Vatican Observatory.
In this interview, Father Funes stated his belief that Catholics can believe in life on other planets. He went on to speculate that any alien cultures we may encounter in the future could even be free from original sin. Father Funes was clear that this was speculation on his part and that part of his reasoning was that it’s always a dangerous thing to put limits on our Creator.
Father Funes wasn’t the first Vatican official to say such things. Monsignor Corrado Balducci served as a theologian at the Vatican for many years before his death in September 2008. He was a distinguished author and a famous exorcist and was not at all afraid to make the “controversial statement.” Monsignor Balducci looked at how different angels are from humans. He felt that the gap between angels and us was so big that it’s probably filled by another being that we haven’t met yet.
Now, neither of these men were making claims to be sharing approved Catholic doctrine, but both were clear that believing in life on other planets is something Catholics can do and still be in good standing with the church.
C.S. Lewis wrote a trilogy about these ideas and I found it to be quite worth reading. A warning to Lewis readers: This is a series that is quite different from his other works. In these books, Lewis explored what it would be like if we encountered a planet where folks had not given in to original sin. These books are Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength.
In terms of God creating humanity in one place, we don’t really see that anywhere in the Bible or our tradition that I could find. In fact, when I was discussing this with a friend, he reminded me of the passage in John where Jesus says “I have other sheep that are not of this fold, I must bring them also and they will hear my voice; and they will be one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:16)
That passage points us toward the key in any discussion of this sort: the universality of our faith. Whatever we find in the future (or whatever finds us) it is important for us to remember that the things Jesus taught us, and those things he continues to teach us through the church, are for everybody. We are called to bring the light of Jesus to everyone. As I noted earlier, Monsignor Balducci pointed out that if we do encounter life from other planets, they may have never fallen into the “first sin” that brought us original sin and death. C.S. Lewis speculated the same in Perelandra. If that is the case, we will learn much more than we can teach, I think.
Enjoy another day in God’s presence!
Father Joseph Krupp