Monday, May 10, 2010

Twilight and Jesus Christ

"Don't you know me, Phillip, even after I have been among you such a long time?" -John 14:9

Ever wonder why our culture pees its pants in excitement every time another installment from the Twilight saga comes out? It isn't too difficult to figure out. There is something incredibly beautiful about a saga which presents a mystical realm in our midst; bumping shoulders with us...perhaps even longing for us. The realism of the atheistic intelligentsia may have persuaded us to accept our situation without making recourse to the supernatural, but atheism and realism are aesthetically bankrupt concepts. We believe them to be true, but we do not wish they were so. Thus the vampiric phenomenon lives on in its mystical charm and subtle dread...all of us secretly wishing that the universe was a little more deadly.

Human beings long for these things, and God has hidden them from us. We have completely passed by the time of his visitation as if it were a mere story; too good to be true but not realistic. But I put to the world that things are not as they necessarily appear. Edward Cullen managed to hide his identity in an unsuspecting town of realists, and we the audience have the priviledge of looking omnisciently into his life, silently approving of his beautiful yet haphazard self-revelation to the human Bella Swan. How could it be that this tired old world is any different? It isn't.

In the shadows of subjectivity, far away from the grasp of scientific knowledge, Jesus walks among us today. Most laugh and-to their own misfortune- call it a myth. But to the blessed few who bump shoulders with the God-man who passed through the sieve of history as if he were mere man, refusing to settle for history but demanding to know who he is....for those blessed few a world far more beautiful than any saga written by the hands of man opens up.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Striving for New Thoughts about Masturbation

"Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Mt 28:20a.

"Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disorded action. "The deliberate use of the Sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." -Article 2352 of the Catechism of the Catholic church.

The subject of masturbation is a frustrating one. Frustrating due to its immanent possibility as habit in the life of all youth, frustrating due to its complete silence in all scriptural testimony, its harsh censure without clear reason in Magisterial policy, its smooth and psuedo-philosophical rejection in Protestant ministries, and its frightening approval from Liberal cronies and amoral doctors. The Christian world has an ethic without reason conerning masturbation and the secular world has no ethic at all. Both positions-in my view- are entirely unhelpful and profoundly irritating. Even more irritating is my complete inability to make any positive contribution to this sexual dilemma.

I doubt that it will do any good to "pray through" the issue, as if one can expect a further objective revelation from God that can be added to his Word. I have tried to do this before. I usually end up getting an experience of complete peace which is later followed by an experience of resurging censure from my conscience. Both are anthropological residue and have no necessary link to the Holy Spirit (especially since both contradict each other!). Attempts to deduce a general sexual ethic from scripture that one can extrapolate from and interpose have usually failed. The fact that masturbation is "self-oriented" is quite a foolish argument. So is going to sleep. So is making a pot of coffee or reading a paperback novel. So is going for a run or making a tasty-as opposed to bland- breakfast. There are far too many things in this world whose ontological value by divine writ are for our enjoyment.

Appeals to the sin of lust are unhelpful. With discipline and resolve of mind the sexuality (whether in intercourse or in self-stimulation) can be cultivated without fantasy or controversial thoughts of the other. It is possible, available and common to express the sexuality without making any recourse at all to any entity.