Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent Memories

Today is the First Sunday of Advent.

This causes me to fondly remember a fellow who helped with the first RCIA series I taught.

He was an RCIA veteran, as well as being a retired firefighter.  He would mildly chastise me if I forgot something important like closing the evenings with a prayer (yikes) or if I cut my baby's amazing mop of hair.

He had a charming sense of humour and loved to be of service.

When Advent came that year, he surprised me and the rest of the RCIA group by showing up with a lovely handmade Advent wreath, and kits he had put together for each of the candidates to take home and complete.

And then he presented me with the wreath he had made to show everyone.

I still have that wreath.  I am not always good about having it out and ready on time, but I do always think of it...and the fellow who made it for my family.

I only taught with him for the one year.  He was diagnosed with cancer over the summer and died very quickly.  I suppose that was a mercy for him and for his dear wife.

Advent always brings his memory back.  Rest in Peace, Ray!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Condoms and Catholicism

The mainstream media has once again gotten all excited about what they've perceived as a weakness in the Church's stance on something.  In this case it's condoms.

The Pope, bless him, made a statement about how the use of a condom by a male prostitute may show that he's developing a moral sense.

No, this does not mean that the Church endorses condom use...ever.

But is the Church against condoms?  Is the Church against guns?  Garden tractors?

A condom is a piece of rubber (or something).  In and of itself it has no morality.

It is its frequent use as a means of birth control that is the problem.  If a male (presumably homosexual) prostitute uses a condom, it is not going to be for birth control.  So the Holy Father can actually see the USE of a condom, with the intent to reduce harm, as a sign of a good development.  That there is a condom involved is rather peripheral.  The user is showing concern for the other party and attempting to prevent further evil from occurring, in the form of disease. 

I've seen this likened to someone seeing that a murderer stops torturing his victims before killing them as a sign of a developing sense of compassion.  The murder is still obviously evil, but it is not compounded evil.

The Holy Father, by making statements such as the latest one public, is showing that he believes we have the intelligence to understand what he is saying.  He is not dumbing things down for us.

Let's respond by showing that we do have the intelligence he knows is there, and thinking with the mind of the Church.

And I do thank the poster at Catholic Answers for being the catalyst for this post.