July 27, 2014

Letter to a Dear, But Fictional, Friend...

AUTHOR NOTE: This is the last of a sometimes-series of fictional letters, to fictional friends, enmeshed in a fictional divorce and a fictional annulment that ended with the fictional remarriage of the one fictional spouse and the fictional Faithfulness to their fictional vows of the other. 

Sadly, this story has too many times become the reality for many Catholic Spouses and Families. God Help us...Holy Family, Pray For Us!


Dearest Friend,

So...now you must live what you have promoted. And how hard will that turn out to be? For now you must live all the compromises, all the errors, all the fallacies that have been up to this point. Now must the dichotomy between Objective Truth and your Errors be forever worked, massaged and neutered to make something that should never have been, the positive reality it will never be. I fear it may be a tiresome undertaking for you, for Truth cannot be born of Error, Dear Friend. You cannot make subjective truth be the equal of Objective Truth. Your errors must eventually fall, much like the errors of ancient times fell at the Crucifixion and the death of Our Blessed Lord. Have you forgotten?

Do I believe your second marriage will stand the test of time? I do not know, but truthfully, the facts lead me to believe otherwise. You cannot make a mockery of the first vows - neutering the very core of their meaning - and then expect the second vows to be anything but an unstable nuclear mass contained only by the passions. I fully expect a Chernobyl and have valid reasons for saying so - especially because of the marked affect this has had upon your children, though I hope I am wrong.

Your children... Do you even recognize, let alone acknowledge, the confusion they find themselves in? Do you really expect them to fully and honorably follow the 4th Commandment with regards to a new step-parent, when you have allowed them to so dishonor their True Parent to the point of estrangement? I know for a fact your former spouse's only egregious errors concerning the children was in Parent-Child relationships (something that was corrected long before now, but that has yet to be forgiven by you and most of your children, if I may charitably remind you.) Do you understand what this is doing to them? Do you understand that they violate the Greatest of the Three Theological Virtues - Charity? And with your tacit approval? How can you do this, my Dear Friend?! My Heart pains at the thought, but more so at the unjust and uncharitable actions you have allowed to happen, when it was well within your duty - your Parental duty - to stop it at the beginning! And before it hardened hearts too young and immature to fully comprehend the enormity of their errors!

I apologize for my passionate outburst, but...think about it? Who really is the winner here? You have your happiness with your new spouse and your former Spouse has the contentment of honoring the vows you both made made, as well as the Love for you. But what do the children have? Parental estrangement. A broken home. Dismissal of the 4th Commandment. Violation of basic Catholic Charity. Ignoring a Corporal Work of Mercy. You cannot be so unconcerned as to not think of this...or can you? Can you be so - pardon my bluntness - Selfish?

You know that I have been and will always remain one of your Dearest Friends...we've known each other far to long to be otherwise. But I must tell you that I am firmly in your former spouse's camp on this one. You have been wrong in your correction of your marital troubles and I can never condone what you have done - even as your friend. The cost has been too great and borne the most by those who were least able to bear the burden. And the present Parent-Child relationships are proof of that. Was so much transparency about your marital differences really worth the sacrifice your children were forced to make? Were you that weak that you needed them to help carry the burden of your decision?

You have painted yourself into a corner...I trust you know that? Especially with the children. The first time you come into their presence with a frown or a downcast and sullen expression - or God forbid, tears - the facade will start to crack and it will only get worse from there. So...my advice is that you had better be on guard. You had better mask your features before you hit the front door of your new home. You. Have. To. Make. This. Work. For the sake of your children!  You aren't strong enough, Dear Friend, to face the consequences if it doesn't. I know this, as do your other Friends. Any reasonable person - friend or not - who would read a synopsis of this matter would come to the same conclusion. Regardless, you owe your children this sacrifice. You owe them this honesty. Wouldn't you agree?

I hope my bluntness in writing to you does not break our Friendship, for I value it Dearly. You and your former Spouse have made my life the better, as have your children. I shall miss our evenings together setting and chatting or playing cards. You two were always a joy to be around and I shall always treasure that and the fond memories it will bring.

Write soon...and please pray for me, as I shall pray for you. Your former spouse continues to do likewise for you and the children, just in case you were wondering...and Justice also requires me to add that if the Love had truly been lost between you, there would be no reason to do so. 


Good Luck, my Friend, and God Bless.

Me



Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

Dusk On A Kansas Lake...

Evening on the lake with friends from work. Pictures taken with my Galaxy S5...



Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

July 26, 2014

REPOST : My Parents and Their Successful Marriage...




Today - The Feast of St. Anne - would have been the 67th Anniversary of my Parents Marriage. I re-post this tribute that I wrote last December in their honor - and in re-payment of a debt that shall forever be owed by a 
grateful son. 

My parents, at the beginning of their marriage in 1947 on the left and their 41st Anniversary in 1988 on the right. (The other couple in the left photo is Dad's brother and his wife.)

[UPDATED PICTURE INFO:My eldest sister informed me recently the anniversary photo was on their 41st in 1988. My digital photo info did not have this noted, but she has the original with the date stamp. My apologies for my error. I noted the changes above.]



Their's was a contentious, unloving marriage for almost 20 years, but they eventually found common ground and became quite friendly and affectionate with each other. Did they ever love each other? Oh, sure...I have 3 older siblings and I'm here, along with my younger sister. So yeah... they loved each other. But in between? It wasn't easy for a young teen to see his parents act so, though I don't really remember what I thought back then. It probably was upsetting, to say the least...

Fast forward to Mom's later stages of her illness around mid- 1995, Dad's patient in-home care of his invalid wife and to part of a letter I wrote for my children a couple years ago:

"It was there - in this setting - that the final years of life played out for the old woman, amid the patient care of her husband. It was there that the years of a tense marriage, the years of bickering and of arguing, the years of missed moments of I Love You and I’m Sorry, came to their Truest Meaning. It was there that the patient acceptance of the Cross of their Marriage - and their response to the Graces the Sacrament contained - came to be their greatest comfort. It was there - I believe - that Our Lord smiled down lovingly upon them both and their 49 years of Marriage. And it was there that they taught their children the greatest lesson of all - the indissoluble bond between a husband and wife…"

Was my parent's marriage a "happy" one? Mostly no. Would they have met the requirements for today's C. 1095 annulments? Probably yes. And therein lies the the dichotomy of their pre-VII marriage and today's post-VII marriages - Mom and Dad CHOSE to stay with it...CHOSE to make it work...CHOSE to surrender self to the Sacrament, whereas today they could have availed themselves with a choice of a No Fault divorce and annulment, "moved on" to find their individual "good of the spouse" partner and assure themselves of a "Happy" and therefore "Successful" Catholic Marriage. But...if they had been able to do so, if Mom had found a new husband, would he have stuck with the in-home health care, thrice daily tube-feedings and constant vigil over her health? Or would Dad have had the opportunity to show his children the true meaning of "...for better or for worse" and what it costs the earthly self to have the Sacrificial Love for spouse that Bp. Fulton Sheen often spoke of? 

This, Dear Friends, is what "toleration" of divorce, liberal interpretations of C. 1095 and specious annulments do - prevent spouses from assisting each other to Save their own Souls, to sanctify themselves and to preserve their marriage. I thank God that my folks responded to the Graces of the Sacrament and stuck with it... their good example surely imprinted itself upon me and gives me the courage to defend my own marriage. 

Did Mom truly Love Dad? I believe so...I think she knew it was he who did a lot of the care for her, even though mostly comatose. I would like to think she was given that privilege by Our Lord. 

Did Dad Love Mom? Judge for yourself:

"...He walked a little closer to her casket now and gazed at her lying there. He then said something that took me by surprise and at the same time was just as unsurprising. He simply said “She was a good woman.” And I came to know then, just how deeply was the Love Dad had for Mom."

Stay with your marriage, Dear Friends...don't take the easy road. Don't deny your spouse and yourself the Graces and privileges of the Sacrament. Don't deny yourselves the True Happiness of a Truly Successful Marriage. 


Copyright 2013 David Heath - All Rights Reserved









 


July 24, 2014

UPDATE: Total Consecration To Mary...

UPDATE: On December 8, 2013, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception,  I made my "official" Total Consecration to Mary, along with a group of other parishioners. As the below older post indicates, I had done so on a personal level a couple years before. I just had never been able to co-ordinate the date with a free weekend, when I did not have my sons visiting, to make the Parish one. A recent article from Catholic Insight has another who has "taken the plunge". 

Terry McDermott, in a recent post at Catholic Insight, writes in Giving It All To Jesus Through Mary of the decision to finally make the Consecration, after a long spell of familiarity with the book but not much in the way of a decision to commit...much like myself. And also like myself, felt the trepidation of "can I live what I am proposing"? "Can I let go?" The answers came back "yes" to both questions. It was also comforting to know that I was not alone in my concern of not feeling the "...fireworks going off inside me" after making the Total Consecration. For that is not the way of Our Lady, anyway. She is quiet and unassuming, much like the feeling that comes with the Consecration. The only human aspect of it all is the unanswerable question to yourself of "Why did I wait so long? 

I urge one and all to read Terry's article, read the book by St. Louis DeMontfort and make the Consecration. I would assume that most parishes have one at least once a year, but if not, certainly ask the resident pastor. I can't imagine any priest refusing such a request...

The book is available from The Angelus Press here, or from Tan Books here.

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On October 7, 2011 I made the Total Consecration to Mary and each month since I have privately renewed my Consecration before the Altar of Our Lady. Without Her Maternal assistance, I could not hope to keep my head above water, nor to save my Soul and those of my Family. It is to She that I owe my continued Faithfulness and Fidelity to my first and only spouse and to our Marriage Vows, as well as my Peace of Soul. She is Truly my Mediatrix before the Throne of Our Lord, who refuses Her nothing that does not go against His Will. And as He certainly does not Will the destruction of a Family, I can do no better than to ask for Her intercession for its Restoration. As well, for the Graces to Trust in His Divine Providence, if I breathe my last and she and I are still parted.
I recommend reading St. Louis de Montfort's Total Consecration to Mary.  Our Chapel offers a yearly enrollment, preceded by the 30 day preparation. 

So, all the above being said, this blog will rise or fall as Our Lady wishes, for...

"In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity."  (From the Prayer of Consecration)



Copyright 2013 David Heath - All Rights Reserved









July 21, 2014

Boromir's Death and Faithful Spouses

Boromir's death. It was the defining moment of The Fellowship of the Ring. In that one story arc, was summed up the whole of the Fellowship - Selflessness. Frodo's conviction to destroy the One Ring even at the cost of his life. Sam's conviction to defend Frodo's life at the cost of his own. Aragorn's conviction to defend them all with his. But it was Boromir's conviction - one made AFTER his fall -  that truly defined the Fellowship, in my opinion. His character could have easily ran away, so discouraged was he that he had no hope of redemption - especially with Frodo, who was obviously deeply affected by the treason of Boromir to the Fellowship's quest. Boromir was left sniveling and groveling on the forest floor, for Pride and Selfishness knows no rank or caste - it covers the noble as well as the peasant. They simply rejoice the more with the noble because the fall of nobles is greater compared to others.

But, Boromir did not fall completely. He recognized and acknowledged his errors and sought Frodo's forgiveness - and his own redemption. But his redemption was not to come with Frodo, but with Merry and Pippin, whose capture at the hands of the Uruk-hai warriors was quickly looming. Boromir - seemingly broken, confused and weak in the midst of his sorrow - ran headlong into the battle to protect the two Hobbit's from their impending doom. Alone and unafraid, devoid of any help from his companions, he fought valiantly in the defense of those under his care and against all odds of survival - for such was a vocation he simply could not walk away from, no matter the cost. Duty. Honor. Selflessness. 


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THUD! The first arrow comes unexpectedly. Borimir is stunned and drops to his knees, but only for a moment and then rises to continue the battle... 

The first arrow of mistrust and lack of faith between spouses has been released. The wounding begins and festers between two spouses who remain silent in their pain.

THUD! The second arrow flies and Boromir is brought to his knees once more. He falls, then rises slowly. He is done. Or is he? With an inner strength known only to the courageous, he rises a second time to defend those under his care. He fights with but raw courage now, his strength waning from the wounds he now bears...

The second arrow of doubtful Love of spouse and children has been released. The wound grows deeper now and more painful. The hurt, doubt and confusion becomes hardened in those who are Loved.

THUD! The third arrow flies and Boromir drops to his knees for the final time. His strength is spent. He has nothing left to fight with. All is lost. Or is it? As Lurtz, the Uruk-hai leader, stands before him to issue the final blow, Boromir looks up. You can see it in his face, as he summons every last ounce of courage and strength, every last drop of duty and honor. In those eyes, you can see his piercing reply: "Finish it, NOW! I have kept my faith...my honor...my duty! I have won, you pitiful creature!"... 

The third arrow of the breech of fidelity and permanency has been released. There is no longer the need to fight, no need for the sacrifice of self. No one who was being defended cares anyway, so just let it go! But, No! That will never be done...cannot be done. A vow was made that cannot be broken. Those he will protect until death now look into the eyes that are saying what they may never understand: I have kept my faith...my honor...my duty! I have won... 

Whether Noble or Parent, we cannot walk away from that which was willingly chosen, without our leaving a gaping wound within ourselves that can never be healed. Such are those Spouses who choose to remain Faithful by continuing to Live and to Honor their vows after divorce and annulment - true Knights of Gondor and true Shield-Maidens of Rohan. 

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Duty. Honor. Selflessness. Despite their failings. Despite contentious spousal relations. Despite the hurt caused to children. Despite the unrequited Love that seeks a recipient. Despite the papers that say they are free to do otherwise. They cannot walk away from what was vowed. They cannot walk away from the Sacrament. They cannot walk away from their vocation. They fight for a marriage with no hope of an earthly victory. They fight for a marriage with no hope of earthly redemption. They fight for a marriage simply because it is the right thing to do before Christ, to whom they owe First Allegiance, even before Spouse or Children. They stay Faithful because they continue to Love... 

So it has been written...so it shall be done.


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

July 16, 2014

LifeSite News: Don’t worry, divorce doesn’t hurt anybody...

John Jalsevac of LifeSite News has a gut-wrenching video and a heart-wrenching article on divorce and abandoning spouses that parallels my postings of late and in a much more explicit manner than I could ever hope to do. What I have tried to convey in words about the decimation of a family, the destruction of a childhood and the abandonment of the innocent is brought home in stark, vivid and emotional reality by Will Smith in an episode from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air TV Series. And then there is the accompanying Reddit thread John came upon...

You won't be able to stop the hurt in the pit of your stomach nor the desire to wrap Will Smith into your arms, though neither is possible. But it is enough that you feel it... Be sure and click on the link to read the entire article - its short, but powerful.



John JalsevacJohn JalsevacFollow John


Don’t worry, divorce doesn’t hurt anybody. Oh, except for all these people here…


There’s this famous scene from The Fresh Prince of BelAir where Will Smith’s TV dad, who walked out on him when he was a kid, reappears in his life, only to again ditch Will at the last minute, no explanation given.
Will's reaction to the second abandonment is some of the most heart-breaking TV ever made. Check it out:




But even more heart-breaking is a Reddit thread I came across while looking up more info about that scene. There I found now-grown men and women swapping stories of how their biological parents (usually their dads) simply walked out on them, without warning, when they were kids, leaving them with a lifetime’s regret and insecurities.

READ THE REST HERE...




Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL

Today, July 16,  we honor Our Lady, under Her Title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. She is my Queen, my Mother, and Owner of this Blog. I am Her Child; Her servant; Her slave. She wraps me in Her Love and secures mine for Her. She is the First Lady of the only two who will ever occupy this Heart; She is my comfort and my joy. She is who I turn to in my sorrows. She is my Intercessor before Her Son. 

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Pray for us!




"...I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.



Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

July 15, 2014

Divorce, Non Serviam and the Venerable Fulton Sheen



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NFD is now the law of the land. Once one is started, it will drive you - willingly or unwillingly - to the Petitioner's end. You will have very little say in the matter if you're a Respondent: if you don't want to sign the papers or you don't show up in Court, its a default judgement against you.  Here in Kansas (and maybe other states also... I don't really know) you have a chance to contest (see here) if you have enough money (and what respondent does?). You'll have very little to offer in the defense of your Marriage - civilly speaking - as it appears most everything and everyone is against you, including every state in the Nation. The first was California in 1969. The last was New York, which went into effect in October 2010 (the final "brick" to be clicked into place... and the same month and year our 22 year and 10 child marriage was civilly extinguished). You now find yourself and your marriage in the proverbial "no win scenario";  a"catch-22" decision;  the "Cornelian Dilemma".

NFD has been as much a scourge to Catholic spouses, parents and children as non-Catholics for close to a half-century. NFD has caused decimation and destruction to families and parent-child relationships and, in my opinion, does nothing but placate the singular desire(s) of the one spouse, while forcing the other to pursue courses of action that are neither wanted nor promoted. The seemingly incessant legal battles simply add to contentious spousal relations. One Catholic spouse is forced to participate simply in their own defense and, conversely, willingly participates in defense of the children, though they (the children) do not know it as such.  In short, NFD is nothing more than the live abortion of a nuclear family, its relationships and its children. In its warm and fuzzy nom de plume, we know NFD as the acronym for No Fault Divorce. Stripped of its modern-day beauty as a healing for marital woes and with it now standing before you and your family with its Full Frontal Nudity and ugliness exposed, it stands for 'Nuther Family Destroyed, for that is its inherent and unchangeable nature.

If you Google "Children and Divorce" you will find on the first page alone 8 entries on the subject which detail the "do's and do not's" of how to tell kids Mom and Dad are separating. [Note: here I used the neutral/nice derivative "separate", rather than the more stark and painfully descriptive 

"d-i-v-o-r-c-e". The former denotes the possibility of reconciliation, the latter the impossibility, which in and of itself, can be a hard reality for children to accept. They always want - and deservedly expect - the fairy tale ending to a family crisis that, sadly, will not be forthcoming.]

Years of research has been done that have established necessary guidelines and principles to be followed in telling children Mommy and Daddy can't don't want to live together and can't no longer Love each other as husband and wife. This professional research means that we Catholics should rely on their good judgment and expertise concerning children and their best interests when they are involved in a divorce. Why? Because one or both spouses have been emotionally compromised, which means that Reason has taken a back seat and that you need to sit down and let the professionals guide you. Why? Because of the innocent, whose lives you are about to radically change and forever alter. Besides, if you were unsuccessful in trying to heal your own marriage without seeking professional help, what makes you think you will know what is in the best interests of your children by following your past - and unsuccessful - actions? What makes you think you will know what you should and should not tell them? What makes you think you will do everything right that will preclude further damaging precious Parent-Child relationships?



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As a Catholic you must, in my opinion, follow professional guidelines, despite your passions telling you that your personal "irreconcilable differences" are the new benchmark of divorces and as such you are justified in establishing your own guidelines and forgoing those set by professionals. There is just one problem with that, however... you can't. Well, Hmm...I guess you can, since we poor mortals have Free Will and all that. And can choose to exercise it however we want. But you shouldn't. Why? Because it isn't entirely ABOUT YOU when children are involved! Whatever else you feel your spouse is, in Our Lord's eye's and by virtue of their Marital vows, they remain your children's Mother or Father. Because of that, you have neither the right nor the privilege to set your own rules when telling your children about your divorce. You have neither the right nor the privilege to exclude your spouse from the discussion. You have neither the right nor the privilege to break Spousal confidences to your children to support your positions. You will, however, have every right and privilege to consider and to follow what Our Lord said concerning His Children:

"But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea."

We Catholics, knowledgeable in our Faith and knowing the high regard Our Lord has for children, should think twice about compromising any of them, don't you agree? They do, after all, truly belong to Him, do they not?



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Consider the following established guidelines, most of which are repetitive in any of the links that you click in your search:
  • Do not keep it a secret or wait until the last minute. 
  • Tell your child together with your spouse. 
  • Keep things simple and straight-forward and don't share more information than your child is asking for. 
  • Tell them the divorce is not their fault. 
  • Admit that this will be sad and upsetting for everyone. 
  • Reassure your child that you both still love them and will always be their parents. 
  • Do not discuss each other's faults or problems with the child.
    (Source for the above here)
  •  Pick a relaxed time of day, when there are no impending commitments.
  • Acknowledge that it's a sad situation and that your child is likely to experience big, painful feelings. Allow your child to cry, become angry, or have other natural reactions. 
  • Reassure them that you and your ex-partner love them and will keep them safe, whether you're together or not. 
  • Avoid blaming the other parent. This isn't the time to share adult problems with a child. When kids are in their teenage years, you may want to share more information.
  • (Source for the above here)

  • Don't speak badly about your spouse in front of your child.
  • Don't force your child to choose sides.
  • Don't use your child as a messenger or go-between.
  • Don't argue or discuss child support issues in front of your child.
  • (Source for the above here)
If you leave your spouse out of the family discussion, you've already demoted him or her in the eyes of the children to a mere figurehead. If you break Spousal confidences with the children to re-enforce your position, they will run to your side to be willingly wrapped into your emotional cocoon. Re-enforce the subjective notion to your children that your spouse hasn't loved his or her children since the onset of marital troubles, and they (the children) will backdate that to day one of their existence and will forever be at odds with one parent - and the Fourth Commandment. Is this good parenting? Is this sacrifice for the good of the children? Is this Love?? 


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I am not and never will be an advocate of divorce to solve marital troubles. My opinion and experiences are firmly anti-divorce and I am convinced the whole process does more harm than good to the children involved, mainly because many of the above principles must be and have been egregiously violated. Children are forced into adulthood and effectively isolated from one parent, which will possibly take many decades from which to recover. I am into my 5th year of this travesty and some of mine have yet to forgive and seem willing to let it remain so. Heartache and sorrow multiplied by infinity...

 A friend once wrote that "...a divorce destroys the marriage of the future and an annulment destroys the marriage of the past."  A true enough statement, but I might add that buried within its framework is another stark and hidden Truth - what is left in-between are the children, caught in the void between a marriage that will never be and a marriage that never was! How is that in their best interests? How is that being a good Catholic parent? How does that reflect Parental "Love"?

The Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, speaking on The Three Forms of Love (transcript here) stated very succinctly the fallacy of divorce + remarriage = happiness:


"...Instead of seeing that the basic reason for the failure of marriage was the refusal to use married love as the vestibule to the Divine, the divorced think that the second marriage can supply what the first lacked. The very fact that a man or a woman seeks a new partner is a proof that there never was any love at all, for though sex is replaceable, love is not." 


And he offers also, the remedy to what was stated above:

"...Now, what kind of love is agape? Love is...something that is unreciprocated; is loving when love is not returned. It's loving people not because of their functions or their color or anything else, but loving them simply because they are persons."

Love
is loving your Spouse, as Christ Loved us. It is Loving your Spouse despite the harsh words and criticism's he or she spits at you, as Christ Loved those who did no less to Him. It is Loving your Spouse by willingly and lovingly carrying the Cross they refuse, as Christ does for us when we refuse our own. Christ never abandoned His Cross for Love of us...how can one abandon the Cross of their Marriage - and the consequent Love of spouse - should a marriage become a difficult one?

The Catholic Church and her Bishops should begin to work more diligently to assist Catholic Spouses in preserving their Sacramental marriages by (1) enforcing and applying the Canon Laws that concern reconciliation and (2) remind couples in PreCana conferences the serious nature of and what is meant by Fidelity, Permanency and "till death we do part". By doing so, they may correct the backdoor problems currently being experienced in Catholic Marriages and which is the Raison d'être of the Synod. If assistance in repairing the foundation of the marriage can be done at the earliest stages of cracking, rather than simply abandoning the marriage to build anew, much of the Synod's necessity for existence would be moot and perhaps more fervent and vibrant parish familes would result. It obviously has to start with the spouses themselves, for without their willing co-operation in the preservation of their own marriages and families, no amount of force - Canonical or otherwise - could ever hope to preserve "what God has joined together..."

I could find no more fitting ending to this post than that written by Chris Faddis, who discovered - or perhaps already knew - the Agape Love the Venerable Bishop Sheen spoke of:

“Till Death”

As if I could keep you longer, I placed this ring back on your finger today. It had fallen off a few times.

Oh, that this ring could keep you here longer. It is a mark of our commitment; it is my promise to love you with my whole heart, and yet there is a love greater than mine that will take you soon. How could this mere piece of gold compare to the love of God, which loves you completely, wholly, and perfectly?

It cannot, so I will hold your hand a little while longer. I will keep putting this ring back on your finger. But when the time comes and He asks you for your hand, you are free to go. Go to that perfect love which makes all things new. Go and be whole again. For now, till death do we part. 

(From It Is Well: Life in the Storm by Chris Faddis, available from http://itiswellbook.com/)

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

July 7, 2014

Defending Marriage and Femininity, Ann Barnhardt Style

Ann Barnhardt once again defends marriage - and femininity - in this 2011 commentary she re-posted recently. Ever the black-is-black, white-is-white (what is commonly known as Objective Truth) writer, she spares not her own sex, let alone we men. Regardless, I find nothing I don't already agree with, having been there already. I directly count myself as being self-emasculated, to a certain extent, by not understanding the non-reciprocal Love she speaks of (do any of us truly understand at the moment of our "I do's?) and lived by Christ, until a bit over 4-1/2 years ago. The road to my enlightenment started well before my then-wife's pronouncement of the big "D", though it remained but a shadow within my understanding. I just couldn't seem to let her go...could not "un-Love her - despite my frailties as a husband - and simply could not grasp the "why". It was puzzling to me, for she gave me many excuses for not loving her - and still does. But yet I do and always will...just as Christ does for me: "And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them in like manner and Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

The below excerpt comprises the defense of marriage I spoke of above, but please click the link at the end to read the entire post in context, for it reeks of Truth. The kind of Truth that should make men/husbands - as well as women/wives - squirm, if the slightest hint of imbalance is apparent in their marriages. 

(The underline emphasis is mine...wasn't sure if Ann's original bold-highlighting would show when this posted...)

"...And now to the issue of submission, or subjugation. Should wives be subject to their husbands, as St. Paul exhorts? You’re damn right they should. All day, every day. The fact that this question even has to be asked is, by itself, evidence of how far gone our culture is. I truly believe that most people in Western Civilization go through their entire lives without ever actually experiencing love. They experience lust, and they experience various forms of attachment, but most people never actually love. To love IS TO SUBMIT. To love is to make oneself SUBJECT TO ANOTHER. To love is to freely choose to put another above yourself, to literally live for another. Within the context of marriage this dynamic of total self-gift obviously meant to flow in BOTH DIRECTIONS (as the love between God the Father and God the Son, and between Christ and the Church) and is equally expected of men vis-a-vis their wives.

I just finished a book of private revelation from the mid-18th century titled “The Life of Saint Joseph as Manifested by Our Lord, Jesus Christ to Maria Cecilia Baij, O.S.B.” Poor St. Joseph tends to be somewhat overlooked, but this fine book details his exemplary life. It is also completely romantic in the most perfect and pure sense of the word. St. Joseph loved the Blessed Virgin Mary. He really, really loved her. And she loved him. They were mutually submissive in perfect love to one another, but the Blessed Virgin, as the wife, was the more submissive, and St. Joseph, as the husband, fulfilled his role as the guardian, provider and caretaker of both Mary and Jesus. For example, when Joseph and Mary were deciding together their movements during Our Lady’s pregnancy, Mary would always know exactly what God’s perfect will for her and Joseph was because she was receiving interior locutions from Jesus Himself who was in her womb. Joseph would always first ask Mary what she perceived God’s will for them to be, but Mary would ALWAYS turn it around and defer to Joseph, asking him what he had perceived in his prayer, and then joyfully confirmed his words. Even though Mary knew exactly what God’s will was, she always submitted to Joseph in this way, thus bolstering, supporting and underpinning her husband’s masculinity and proper role as head of their household and decision-maker. See how that works? It’s called LOVE.

Jesus did the same thing in relation to His parents. From the moment of His conception, He was in possession of full reason, though voluntarily limited by the physical development and state of His body. Jesus knew He was God, and Mary and Joseph both knew that Jesus was God, but He still submitted Himself to them as their Child because He loved them. Jesus subjugated Himself fully to all of humanity on the Cross, because He loves us perfectly. Perfect love is indeed the submission of the lover to the beloved..."

READ THE ENTIRE POST HERE...


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

July 4, 2014

St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal, July 4 – Patroness of victims of adultery, jealousy and unfaithfulness

From Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites, help for those who suffer from and are victims of adultery, jealousy and unfaithfulness...and I'd personally lump divorce and annulment in there, as they both are by-products of the other three. 

Be sure and click the link below the excerpt to read the complete article...it's well worth the time.

St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal
A.D. 1336.


St. Elizabeth of Portugal, painting is in the Museo Colonial de San Francisco in Santiago, Chile.

St. Elizabeth of Portugal, painting is in the Museo Colonial de San Francisco in Santiago, Chile.

ST. ELIZABETH was daughter of Peter III, king of Aragon, and granddaughter of James I, who had been educated under the care of St. Peter Nolasco, and was surnamed the Saint, and from the taking of Majorca and Valentia, Expugnator or the Conqueror. Her mother, Constantia, was daughter of Manfred king of Sicily, and grandchild to the emperor Frederic II. Our saint was born in 1271, and received at the baptismal font by the name of Elizabeth, from her aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who had been canonized by Gregory IX in 1235.


Her birth established a good understanding between her grandfather James, who was then on the throne, and her father, whose quarrel had divided the whole kingdom. The former took upon himself the care of her education, and inspired her with an ardor for piety above her age, though he died in 1276 (having reigned sixty-three years,) before she had completed the sixth year of her age.

Her father succeeded to the crown, and was careful to place most virtuous persons about his daughter, whose example might be to her a constant spur to all virtue. The young princess was of a most sweet and mild disposition, and from her tender years had no relish for anything but what was conducive to piety and devotion. It was doing her the most sensible pleasure if any one promised to lead her to some chapel to say a prayer. At eight years of age she began to fast on vigils, and to practice great self-denials; nor could she bear to hear the tenderness of her years and constitution alleged as a reason that she ought not to fast or macerate her tender body. Her fervor made her eagerly to desire that she might have a share in every exercise of virtue which she saw practised by others, and she had been already taught that the frequent mortification of the senses, and still more of the will, is to be joined with prayer to obtain the grace which restrains the passions, and prevents their revolt. How little is this most important maxim considered by those parents who excite and fortify the passions of children, by teaching them a love of vanities, and indulging them in gratifications of sense! If rigorous fasts suit not their tender age, a submission of the will, perfect obedience, and humble modesty are in no time of life more indispensably to be inculcated; nor is any abstinence more necessary than that by which children are taught never to drink or eat out of meals, to bear several little denials in them without uneasiness, and never eagerly to crave anything. The easy and happy victory of Elizabeth over herself was owing to this early and perfect temperance, submissiveness, and sincere humility. Esteeming virtue her only advantage and delight, she abhorred romances and idle entertainments, shunned the usual amusements of children, and was an enemy to all the vanities of the world. She could bear no other songs than sacred hymns and psalms; and from her childhood said every day the whole office of the breviary, in which no priest could be more scrupulously exact. Her tenderness and compassion for the poor, made her even in that tender age to be styled their mother.


READ THE REST HERE...



Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

July 3, 2014

Divorce, Fortitude and Standing with Mary

Edwin Faust wrote an article for the June 1997 The Angelus entitled Wives and Warriors: The Nature of Fortitude. In the article, Faust stated that Fortitude is "...broadly understood to mean the courage that allows one to advance in the face of adversity", taking the form "...of that patience which allows one to endure suffering, transforming it from an obstacle into an aid to faith and salvation." He makes the natural progression from there, through Thomas Aquinas, that patience is more admirable than a warriors courage, and that when it is prolonged, patience turns into Longanimity, which then becomes a daily way of life that penetrates and marks the individual Soul. And his answer to what makes such fortitude possible? Love. And I might add to that, not just a natural Love, but the Love Christ showed to us from His Cross.

It takes no strength, no fortitude, no courage to file for divorce. No-fault divorce is the law of the land and so the Petitioner will always win. It makes no difference if one spouse wants to heal and reconcile; it makes no difference if one spouse falls to their knees and begs forgiveness; it makes no difference if one spouse documents the many reasons why the divorce is wrong (as if one needs a further reason than children); it makes no difference that the only legacy that will be left to the children will be as some nameless statistic in some sociologist’s research. It only matters that the Petitioner wants out of a troubled marriage and will de-construct the family in order to get what is wanted.  

It takes no fortitude to destroy a marriage and a family. It takes no courage to "fight" to gain a no-fault divorce. It takes no strength to sit in a chair while someone else takes the marital responsibility you do not want and gavels the end of your marriage. No! All that it takes is for the Passions to subdue Reason, and for you to nod your head up and down when questions are asked of you. And that itself begs the question: how can one swear to tell the truth before man, when one cannot even uphold the Truth of their marital vows sworn before Christ? How?? And that is just the beginning of the never-ending compromises that become part and parcel with any divorce. So...who truly has the fortitude, strength and courage - the Petitioner who takes the easy road out of marital difficulties or the Respondent who never stops trying to reconcile, to heal, to fight and to defend their Sacramental Marriage?

We are, perhaps, on the road to establishing the Protestant “personal relationship with Christ” meme within Catholic Marriages. If the the “I’m OK, you’re OK” touchy-feely catholicism gains any more of a Canonical foothold within the Sacrament of Matrimony, it will disintegrate the foundation of those who are Faithfully living their vows after years of being abandoned – by their spouse for a new Prince/Princess and by the Hierarchy through easier and even more-specious annulments. To ease the divorced and remarried outside the church back into full communion by somehow “relaxing” the moral code set forth by Christ, is to effectively destroy two-thirds of the marriage bona. There would be no need for Catholic Marriages, would there? There would be no need for Fidelity and Permanency, would there? It could also bring more pressure to bear upon the innocent spouse to simply cave to this “new evangelization” and to just “move-on” to a new, more "happier" and more "fulfilling" life. And possibly risk further dismissal from a Hierarchy that is apparently more interested in condoning sin than converting the sinner; more interested in preserving illegal alien families than the Catholic ones in their own Dioceses. The inverse of Mr. Spock's statement to Captain Kirk - "The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many" - certainly takes on new meaning, if one takes seriously all the "un-official" comments and quotes coming from our Bishops, Rome and the Cardinal Kasper's of the Church. 

The highwayman's shout to "Stand and Deliver!" should be the rallying cry of abandoned spouses everywhere to the Synod members. "Stand!", Dear Cardinal's, and defend the Sacrament of Matrimony from the assaults of Satan, who seeks to rob it from us. "Deliver!" back to us our marriages, our spouses, our families and our ability to sanctify each others Souls. Urge the Bishops to enforce the Canon Laws that urge the reconciliation of spouses! Demand that any Catholic spouse obtain permission of their Bishop before seeking civil action! You have our prayers! Do not fail yourselves! Do not fail the Church! Do not fail the Sacrament! Remember also, the “battle cry” of Juan Donoso Cortes in his Essays on Catholicism, Liberalism, and Socialism, 1879, which, more than anything else written by myself or others, could be applied to those who remain Faithful to their vows and who continue their defense of their Sacramental Marriages:

In this singular warfare we all fight through forced enlistment; here the system of substitutes or volunteers finds no place. And don’t tell me you don’t wish to fight; for the moment you tell me that, you are already fighting; nor that you don’t know which side to join, for while you are saying that, you have already joined a side; nor that you wish to remain neutral; for while you are thinking to be so, you are so no longer; nor that you want to be indifferent; for I will laugh at you, because on pronouncing that word you have chosen your party. Don’t tire yourself in seeking a place of security against the chances of war, for you tire yourself in vain; that war is extended as far as space, and prolonged through all time. In eternity alone, the country of the just, can you find rest, because there alone there is no combat. But do not imagine, however, that the gates of eternity shall be opened for you, unless you first show the wounds you bear; those gates are only opened for those who gloriously fought here the battles of the Lord, and were, like the Lord, crucified."

A Beautifully written mission statement for those who understand what Catholic Marriage is and why we must defend it, beyond all earthly success, is it not?

I - and others like me - are ready and most willing to continue our defense of this Sacrament and our marriages if the Synod should not. We will continue remain Faithful to our vows, to "Stand and Deliver" at the Foot of Our Lord's Cross our Marriages, our Spouses and our Families, comforted and consoled only by the Presence Our Lady. And as She never abandoned Her Son nor His Church in Their greatest hour of need, so we also will never abandon Them – nor our Spouses and Families, despite the vast array of Wills pitted against us. 

As Catholic Spouses, we can do no less…



Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved