Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Evangelii Gaudium and marriage

There's a post at dotCommonweal about Evangelii Gaudium that touches in part on what Francis wrote about marriage ...

66. The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children. Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple. As the French bishops have taught, it is not born “of loving sentiment, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of life”.

I've posted before about this idea the pope mentions ... that love is not a feeling but a duty or obligation ... and that concept still bothers me. The church's attempt to trivialize the emotion of love and to redefine it as duty fails - there is nothing necessarily "mere" or "ephemeral" about love and duty cannot substitute for it. The question to ask is why the church keeps propounding this idea.


Anonymous Victor said...

(((Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will.)))

Crystal! Truth be told I really didn't come here to read your post cause how can I possibly be of help when most educated journalist in this twenty first century still can't make heads or tale as to what His Holiness is saying but I'm sure that GOD (Good Old Dad) knows what he talking about.

Long story short, I just came here to apologize tor some of my so called godly cells and to say that you're the first to know that for Advent I'm going to put an end to these maggot parasite godly cells who think they control us humans. From my experience anybody who does not want to follow these imaginary forces and with the help of "Jesus Christ" "IT" can be done. Longer story short, I'm going to silence them at least till the coming NEW YEAR and who knows what will happen after that? "IT" is UP to you CRYSTAL but what do you say we give these godly cells "ONE" more crack before then and......

How can a little retardo as yourself tell U>S (usual sinners) "I" mean us maggots, no, no, us parasites. Never mind folks we godly cells are just fooling around with Victor's so called four per sent age cells just like we did during his turd, "I" mean third nervous break down during the mid seven teas, "I" mean seven he's, WHATEVER! Anyway Victor had not slept for days so obviously sleep was not available so the sisters, "I" mean his wife took him to the hospital to get a needle so he could get some rest. Boy did we gods ever have fun with him before he got anything, we gods made him feel like he was on cloud nine if YA get my Canadian Snow den, "I" mean snow drift now?

OK! As we gods were saying, the old doctor with a white beard had no choice but to bring out the dolly while questioning Victor's body cells and when Victor saw "IT", this beautiful doll, he started to get excited and literally jumped on "IT" and while he was comfortably laying down mind YA, stuff like: "Welcome to the Victor, Harvey, Alphonse, Joseph Comedy Special" started to come out of his mouth. Long story short magic crystals, Victor got some of the alien gods exited and started literally entertaining angels so when he got to the mental hospital, the alien gods literally sat him in their chair and gave him a small yellow note pad from their desk. YA see some of what we gods have to put UP with cause YA give these Animals, "I" mean these pup pets, no, no, these good loving human beings a dollar, "I" mean an inch and they want a mile. Longer study, "I" mean longer story short her, "I" mean shorter, we gods then placed him in a padded loving room and let Victor's bodily cells have a good cry. We kept him there for only 13 days and then sent him back home and warned him to behave or else cause he's not a god like us and....

END YA SAY godly maggot parasites? DON'T BE LIKE THAT! BE NICE NOW!

Go Figure figer brothers and sisters? :)

God Bless Peace

11:27 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Thanks, Victor ... interesting country music :)

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Hi Crystal!

You wrote: "the pope mentions ... that love is not a feeling but a duty or obligation...". Which Pope?

I am reading the articles you posted and they are interesting and I find it interesting that you went to philosophical articles about the topic.

Also, you know that st. Thomas is speaking about agape right? Which the articles you cite really give a reduced understand of that concept.

I do however, want to have a discussion with you about "love" in general, starting from an experiential human perspective - are you interested? For example, I do believe that men and women perceive this thing we call love in slightly different ways on an experiential level - although you may not agree with this statement, I've seen it often in my experience.

Also, what's experiential wrong with saying that love entails willing the good of the other?

If you want to do it offline - sne dan email to me at east.coast.(insert my last name here) @ gmail.

7:28 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Henry :)

I was paraphrasing the document bit I posted from Francis ...

"Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple."

I think I mentioned the philosophical stuff from Frankfurt and Rorty because someone told me about that philosophy page when I asked them questions about the topic. But even the religious view is philosophical .... beliefs taken from Plato and Aristotle about selfless love - agape.

I don't know a lot about love - I've read some stuff, and I've experienced it myself, but I didn't understand all the stuff I read and my own feelings are pretty mixed up :) But I'd like to talk about it if you do. Posting here is ok.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Thanks for agreeing to engage in this mutual exploration of this important topic my friend.

Like you, I’ve experienced many aspects of this thing we call “love” - I’ve love my mother and father, my sisters and brothers, my former wife, some dear friends, and former pets such as my cats and dogs. So this subject - love - is something that I am extremely interested in understanding in its fullness. And I strongly believe that the need to love and be loved is one the most - if not the primary - fundamental need of every person.

So, it seems to me, that the first problem that confronts us is the problem of method. How will we investigate our object? Well, since we are dealing with something that occurs in me (and in you), something that has to do with my consciousness, something that has to do with my “I”, it is on myself that I must reflect. So I must engage in an existential inquiry because, after all, “I” am the one who says “I love you!” You don’t say if for me and I don’t say if for you.

And it’s only after I have undertaken this existential investigation, that I think it would be usefully compare my results with the views of others, e.g., thinkers, philosophers, theologians, etc.

Now, since we both love movies, I’d like to suggest that we watch three movies to help us sharpen our personal views on love?

The movies I suggest are 1) The Kings Speech; 2) The Vow; and 3) A Heart in Winter (A French Film) and I am proposing them because they seem to touch upon several aspects of this thing we call love in beautiful ways.

I hope you agree and if you’d like to suggest other films please let me know.

Thanks my friend and have a good night!

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Forgive the typos in my earlier post!

I'd like to add another film - an older "religious" film - "The Keys of the Kingdom."


7:07 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


I've seen The King's Speech. I've sent for the Keys to the Kingdom and the The Vow and the French movie from the library. Except for the one with Gregory Peck, they sound like they will be excruciating to watch but I'll try ;) I guess I don't watch many 'romantic' movies normally.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Henry said...

“Excruciating” – really - why?

Since you’ve seen “The Kings Speech” Crystal, let’s start with it, OK? BTW, I think it’s a beautiful film!

Do you believe that it portrays “love” in a truly accurate human way?

If yes, utilizing the Greek words for love as your backdrop, which word or words would select as the one that refers to the type of love being demonstrated?

Did watching the film provoke a desire in you? If yes, which desire?

I’ve already asked and answered these questions for myself but I’d like to give you the chance to come up with your own answers before I share mine with you.

11:13 AM  
Blogger crystal said...


I wrote a new post where we can talk about this more and tried to explain better what I meant.

The movies - I think that you wanted me to notice about them is that when people are in love, they will stay together even if one of them has an impairment or an illness. And I think by this you're pointing out love as agape or love as an action.

I agree that if people love each other they will do this. But the church wants to say that people who are married but who don't love each other romantically should still stay together, that the "staying together despite all difficulties" is what married love is. I don't think that's true. I think that is "duty" but not romantic love. And I don't see the point of people being married without romantic love - why not just be friends instead?

7:54 PM  

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