Sunday, January 22, 2017

The marchers don't need men to degrade them

One of the milder photos. The "pussyhats" were everywhere.

Donald Trump's got nothing on the participants of yesterday's "Women's March" themselves.

The female marchers degraded themselves so much more profoundly and efficiently than any lecherous man ever could.

What Trump said years ago in a secretly recorded video was terrible. It was a loathsome way to talk about women; it disparaged women, marriage, and human dignity itself.

Trump's words, however, never made me ashamed to be a woman. Yesterday's march did.

I won't post the disgusting photos on my page, but please, click these links and read/observe all. See what was said at this march, listen to the speakers, look at the photos, look at the signs. Take in the scene, figure out the themes (it won't be hard to do):

The vastness of the proud display of vileness and evil was shocking. How far have so many women fallen from an embrace of the virtues, from simple common decency. It is shocking how many of our sisters, living in the freest nation in the history of mankind, have become as crude and shameless as the depraved men they decry.

Think about it, logically, for a minute: How did the women of the "Women's March" respond to their disgust of Trump's degrading words? By degrading themselves on a scale worse than anything Trump ever said. Multiply what he did by a million, and you start to get the picture.

As one friend put it:
I watched some coverage of the 'Women's March' in DC and I have to say: I saw and heard MORE foul language, MORE crude terms for female and male genitalia, MORE misogyny (and even misandry), MORE mockery, MORE derision, MORE thuggishness, MORE rudeness, MORE law-breaking and MORE lunacy in those few minutes than I ever saw from Donald Trump in the 18 months of his campaign.

Who but the devil himself could have concocted such a plan? Take the evil, and multiply it! Make throngs of proud, elated, deluded souls feel as if they are giving women dignity, when they are doing exactly the opposite. Deceive them into believing they are lifting women up to the sky, when they are actually smashing women down into the filthiest muck.

It's a trick from the pit of hell, but that's the point. These women are blinded.

In its essence, the entire anti-Trump march was nothing more than a pro-abortion, pro-LGBT march. No one can plausibly deny it. The names of the sponsoring groups prove it. The explicit rejection of pro-life women's groups confirm it.

My hope and my prayer is the crux of Christian mission: That Donald Trump's sins are not imitated and multiplied, but that his sins are met with virtue. Not only our own virtue, as citizens, but that the people surrounding Trump would present him with the alternative: A witness of Christian truth. A witness of prayer and goodness. And guess what? As far as I can tell, that is what has happened to Donald Trump in the past few months. He has been surrounded by good, prayerful Christians who have, by all their accounts, seen him change. Let's pray it continues.

Any Christian who mocks the possibility and the movement toward redemption of President Trump has missed the point of our Faith.

Redemption of sinners is the point of our Faith!

While Trump has apologized for the words he spoke in the past -- and so what if the catalyst for that was his public humiliation? If any of us had our sordid pasts exposed and were moved to betterment, that's a good thing! -- the women who (literally) hate him have become like him. Times a million.

And no, it's not somehow better because the women degrade themselves, it's worse. Far better that someone sins mortally against me than I sin mortally myself.

Dear Lord, what have we become?

To the good Catholic women and men who went to this pro-abortion march to make a pro-life presence known, to plant seeds, to reach lost souls, I applaud you. We need you. You are full of courage. Thank you.

But to see some good Catholics openly supporting this march? Well, at first I was truly stunned, and next my heart broke. To the claim that the march had "some" worthy messages and would promote "some" good, I say same with Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood does STD testing and very basic cancer screening, for example. These are "some" good things we can identify in a terribly evil organization. But no faithful Catholic would proudly, happily march in a Planned Parenthood parade and excuse the overriding evil of the thing, would they?

Women of the march who hate Donald Trump:

You multiplied him over a million times.

You slimed us all.

That's not a win. You lose. Women lose. Men lose. Children lose. We all lose.

God forgive us.

To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.  -- Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Parents, do you know what the latency period is?

I admit that I was shocked to learn that many (most?) young and not-so-young Catholic moms in my Facebook book club were unfamiliar with what the Church calls "the latency period." We were going over the first three chapters of my book, Raising Chaste Catholic Men, and I discovered that this was a new term to most of the women who commented. I decided, and was encouraged, to put this in a blog post, so here we are!

An excerpt from Chapter Three, "When They Are Little":

Most of what you need to know about chastity and your sons’ [and daughters'] early years can be summed up in two sentences:

1.  Respect the latency period.
2.  Don’t freak out about stuff.

The latency period, or what St. John Paul II called the “years of innocence,” spans from about age 5 to puberty and is easy enough to understand. From The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality [Guidelines for Education Within the Family]:

This period of tranquility and serenity must never be disturbed by unnecessary information about sex. During those years, before any physical sexual development is evident, it is normal for the child's interests to turn to other aspects of life…. So as not to disturb this important natural phase of growth, parents will recognize that prudent formation in chaste love during this period should be indirect, in preparation for puberty, when direct information will be necessary. [#78]

Our Church tells us to respect the latency period of children, which would ideally last until the child hits adolescence; however, we live in a society that does not respect a child’s innocence. In fact, the world around us seeks to destroy innocence, by design. The educational establishment, advertisers, books, movies, television, and video games — all push to sexualize children at a young age. In fact, entities like SIECUS and Planned Parenthood, which have routine access to public schools, believe that children should be immersed in secular, relativistic sex education from birth. 

What to do when the latency period is violated? We must step in. Again, from the Church: 

A further problem arises when children receive premature sex information from the mass media or from their peers who have been led astray or received premature sex education. In this case, parents will have to begin to give carefully limited sexual information, usually to correct immoral and erroneous information or to control obscene language. [#84]

Okay, obviously there is more information from the Church about the protection of the latency period (read the entire Vatican document, as I did many years ago), but there you have it. What many moms and dads have intuited actually has a name: The latency period.

Everything in this culture wants to violate those "years of innocence," so be aware. Don't freak out, and all is not lost if your little kids are exposed to too much, too soon, but there should be a certain level of "sheltering" going on, for sure. That is part of your job as a parent.

What is your young, pre-adolescent child learning about if he is not learning about sex? Again from the Vatican document:

During those years, before any physical sexual development is evident, it is normal for the child's interests to turn to other aspects of life. The rudimentary instinctive sexuality of very small children has disappeared. Boys and girls of this age are not particularly interested in sexual problems, and they prefer to associate with children of their own sex. So as not to disturb this important natural phase of growth, parents will recognize that prudent formation in chaste love during this period should be indirect, in preparation for puberty, when direct information will be necessary. [#78]
During this stage of development, children are normally at ease with their body and its functions. They accept the need for modesty in dress and behaviour. Although they are aware of the physical differences between the two sexes, the growing child generally shows little interest in genital functions. The discovery of the wonders of creation which accompanies this phase and the experiences in this regard at home and in school should also be oriented towards the stages of catechesis and preparation for the sacraments which takes place within the ecclesial community. [#79]
As in the first years of life also during childhood, parents should encourage a spirit of collaboration, obedience, generosity and self-denial in their children, as well as a capacity for self-reflection and sublimation. In fact, a characteristic of this period of development is an attraction toward intellectual activities. Using the intellect makes it possible to acquire the strength and ability to control the surrounding situation and, before long, to control bodily instincts, so as to transform them into intellectual and rational activities. [#86]

How beautiful and amazing! Unlike what the culture tells us, not everything is about sex! And children can and should retain their innocence in their pre-pubescent years.

Imagine that.   :)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

State of the Blog Address (Or, Will the Bubble Burst?)

Quick answer: 

The Bubble will remain, but changes are coming.

Longer answer:

Nearly seven years ago, on April 3, 2010, the Little Catholic Bubble was launched, mainly for my Catholic friends who wanted a little boost in catechesis and fun but substantive Catholic conversation.

Back then, I had just turned 43, my oldest child was a freshman in college, and my eighth (and last) child was just a few weeks old. Today, I am about to turn 50, my oldest three children are married, and I have five grandchildren!

I have loved (almost!) every minute of writing the 723 published blog posts (with 385 more still in draft form), and fielding the incredible conversations in the comment boxes -- over 51,000 comments to date! And as for page views? I never imagined I'd get even 10,000, much less 3.4 million! I can't thank all of you enough!

Initially, I put off starting a blog because, as I told friends, "I have nothing to say." Turns out I did have some stuff to say after all. A huge motivation for all I've written was to establish a record of my thoughts for my children and grandchildren, as well as establish a place to access simple catechesis (the "Little Teachings" posts, among others). This blog serves as an archive of sorts.

Frankly, I've learned that, despite some hiatuses, writers have to write.

When I began the Bubble, Obama had been president for only about fourteen months. Back then, citizens weren't required to call men women, girls weren't forced to share bathrooms and showers with men, marriage had not been legally un-defined, and Catholic religious sisters who served the poor did not have to sue the federal government to live their faith. Yet.

Starting slowly, but gaining breakneck speed, the societal nosedive accelerated under the secular left for these past seven years, and a huge part of what I wrote about concerned cultural issues (popular and/or mandated sins) and how they affect our life as Catholics. Now that the people have voted to remove the "progressive" boot from our necks by defeating Hillary and the Democrats, we can all take a breath and figure out what comes next. For me, "next" is not primarily blogging.

But you had probably already guessed that, as my presence here has not been consistent for a while.

Because I'm too concerned about perfecting my blog posts (I agonize over word choice, syntax, punctuation, clarity, tone, etc.), it's been so much easier to spend my time and energy discussing religion, politics, and culture over on my personal Facebook page, where I am waaaaaay too somewhat active. Jotting down short thoughts with little editing brings about great, fast conversations in real time, and I can move on to the next topic easily. I also have my Facebook book club (Little Catholic Bubble Book Club), which has been amazing! I'm completely committed to keeping that going, and to growing it.

However, the thing I most want to do -- and must find time to do -- is write more books. I have four new books in my head right now (the first two are being actively worked on):

1. A book giving voice to the now-adult children of divorce
2. A book on Catholic dating and marriage
3. A book telling the story of my late cousin Michelle
4. A book compiling "Little Teachings" of the Faith (more than what I've written on the blog)

I am sure there are even more books in me. This is my season to write them, since my children are now in school all day and I have stretches of quiet time. I just have to discipline myself and get to it.

Bottom line: My creative energy, which is quite high, is simply directing me elsewhere right now.

Will I keep writing on this blog? Yes! But I don't want anyone to expect regular posts anymore. When I do write, it will likely be related to marriage and the family. Why? I feel more and more certain that I'm called to write about, speak about, and fight for marriage. Fatima's visionary, Sr. Lucia, predicted that the final battle between Christ and Satan would be for marriage and family. Marriage is primal. As St. John Paul II famously said: “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” Complacency on this issue has to end.

Meanwhile, there is plenty still here to explore for those who just recently found the Bubble, or for those who have been here for years. Sometimes I do a search for a subject on this blog, and I can't believe what pops up! Things I don't even remember having written! But it's good stuff, and worth a read, even years later. Dig around! Try searching "Protestant" or "marriage" or "contraception" or "conscience" or "surrender" and you'll see what I mean.  :)

I'm grateful for every one of you and for what we have built here. I am not disappearing. The Bubble is not bursting, it is simply slowing down a bit, changing direction, floating where the Spirit moves it....

Thank you for your support and understanding, and if you could spare a prayer or two for my new projects, I sure would appreciate it!

God bless you in the New Year, and I'll be back soon-ish!