Thursday, September 14, 2006

One Foot in the Grave, The Other in the Mouth

I feel like I need to clarify what I said before. In the passage from Matthew, Christ says that some have been given the gifts to withstand the tests of romantic love, while others have been given the gifts to remain celibate. The problem is, many of those with this second set of gifts try to force themselves into the vestments intended for those with the first, and the result proves disastrous. I feel that I fall in with the first group. But Tolstoy writes that those appointed to receive the gifts required for marriage are virtually nonexistent, and that it is for this reason that so many marriages fail, or at least become a hollow shell of what God intended the sacrament of marriage to mean.

This prospect really frightens me.

But, I think that what he says is skewed, at best, and entirely wrong, at worst. Perhaps it's only that we, as imperfect people, refuse to receive these gifts, and instead try to make it on our own. Maybe it's all tied into what God meant when he told us to ask and receive, seek and find. Nobody wants to go through life alone. But it could be that those who remain single receive the gifts which allow them to still live life joyfully, just as much as those who marry, if only they ask. We can't expect to always be happy, but we can choose whether or not to receive joy.Whatever happens, though, it's only a shadow of what will happen when we, the bride, are reunited with the Bridegroom.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Kreutzer Breakdown

If you ever plan to pledge the rest of your life to a member of the opposite sex, avoid reading Tolstoy at all costs.

I can't even begin to describe how depressing The Kreutzer Sonata is. The depression stems from the fact that my experience with women (and, most likely, yours) is more or less entirely in line with that of the main character, and the conclusion he reaches (which I can't even bear to relate for fear of depressing you as well) seems to be the inevitible end.

I pray for the contrary with every waking moment.

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."

Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."

[Matthew 19:1-12]

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Steve Irwin Is Dead

Steve Irwin, 44, was killed by a stingray barb through the chest while diving in Australia.

Apparently his wife is up on a mountain somewhere and hasn't heard the news yet.