Amoris Laetitia

I have started to read it, about a chapter per day. The way my brain works is I analyze each sentence within itself, and within the paragraph.

Reading this is probably bad for my health.

Chapter 1 didn’t have much to pick at since it’s Scripture. Oh, Chapter 2, why ….!

Want to see what I plastered all over my facebook page? LOL

Unlike the rest of my FB feed, I’m slowing reading Amoris Laetitia. This is in paragraph 36:

“We need a healthy dose of self-criticism. Then too, we often present marriage in
such a way that its unitive meaning, its call to grow in love and its ideal of mutual assistance are overshadowed by an almost exclusive insistence on the duty of procreation.”

It’s not an Ideal, it’s what God has called us to do, if called to the vocation of marriage: to be of mutual assistance to each other, dying of self in service of the other spouse. An Ideal cannot be obtained, but if marriage is lived according to it’s vows, in the meanest sense, I fail to see how the “ideal” cannot be anything but achieved. And secondly, it is not I, or you, who informed our First Parents, and thus by continuation to ourselves [if this does not apply to us, then neither does the stain of original Sin], “be fruitful and multiply”. God said thus, and it is so.

[36]”At times we have also proposed a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families. This excessive idealization, especially when we have failed to inspire trust in God’s grace, has not helped to make marriage more desirable and attractive, but quite the opposite.”

What is the difference between an Ideal family and a Real family? I see idealized families on television, but I see Real ones depicted in all 73 books of the Holy Bible: I’ve seen stories of old couples who’ve never strayed from each other (Book of Tobit), wives leaving husbands due to hardship (i.e. Job), let’s split hairs when it comes to David, or his son, Solomon and all his concubines. No, theological foundations of family are not squared up. Secondly, to expound that the families depicted in the Bible are far-removed from the “possibilities of real families”, I have to wonder what this means. If I may step aside for a moment and say: There is a concept I teach my families – if you create the expectation their daughter/son/spouse will arise to the occasion; it will be difficult and successive failures until the goal is met – Yet how many of us boast of our failures? Assuredly, St. Paul tells us to do so, but in the context of God’s grace. However to merit God’s grace we need to be cooperating with Him! This paragraph suggests to me that we ought to consider ourselves as meritorious without having to change anything. To call God’s call to holiness excessive…!

“We also find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations. We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them.”

Is this Eau d’ Kasper?

“Yet we have often been on the defensive, wasting pastoral energy on denouncing a decadent world without being proactive in proposing ways of finding true happiness. Many people feel that the Church’s message on marriage and the family does not clearly reflect the preaching and attitudes of Jesus, who set forth a demanding ideal yet never failed to show compassion and closeness to the frailty of individuals like the Samaritan woman or the woman caught in adultery.”

I am so confused. In the upper portion of [38], he’s discussing how there are good, faithful Catholics who are able to attend Mass on the minimum of Sunday Mass, Reconciliation once per year during the Easter season, and remain faithful to their vows. Yet, he devolves into saying this is not a possibility for all. How so? There is marriage, religious life or priesthood, and consecrated virginity. Those are the choices for vocation (seems generous since the Protestants only offer the vocation of marriage). Let’s devolve into the ever-shifting world of emotions (think I’m qualified to speak on the level here?). People (Who precisely?) feel (uh-huh) that the Church’s (aka Christ’s message) on marriage and Family doesn’t reflect that of Jesus. Wait, what? A house divided does not stand! If there is a problem with the understanding of what marriage and family is supposed to be and it’s not supported, perhaps it’s because you’ve got the Gay Mafia running the pulpit? Or priests who are more concerned about keeping the lights on and passing the money basket than preaching the truth, the hard truth. You know what Christ did to the woman caught in adultery? He absolved her Sin – and then told her NOT TO FORNICATE OUTSIDE OF HER MARITAL VOWS EVER AGAIN. Go, sin NO MORE. That’s not fleshly compassion. That’s spiritual compassion – keeping her from eternal damnation.

“We need to find the right language, arguments and forms of witness that can help us reach the hearts of young people, appealing to their capacity for generosity, commitment, love and even heroism, and in this way inviting them to take up the challenge of marriage with enthusiasm and courage.”

Ugh ….. You mean with the language, you use, Pope Francis? You’re so focused on being “open” and “moderns” and “accepting” that you actually lose people; no that’s too loose a phrase: You lose SOULS. We have witness. We have arguments – Tommy Aquinas just wasn’t thorough enough for you? Generosity – you mean how CRS has coupled with people glorifying in their sin; how the West refuses to aid countries for not accepting the West’s cultural imperialism?

You’ve spoke, Pope Francis, of marriage being an unattainable ideal – why would you send a mixed message- of accepting the challenge? Challenges are achievable. A marathon is a challenge. I cannot go out and complete one tomorrow because I have not trained for it. However, if you create the impression in our youth that they can be chaste until marriage, then they will meet it. Show them how instead of shying from that challenge and showing instead how to put a condom on a banana (speaking of unrealistic expectations, but I digress). You’re right in saying the Church has failed, but you’re wrong to insinuate that because the pulpit and evangelization has failed that we ought to limp into the hands of cultural damnation.

[41] Marital problems are “often confronted in haste and without the courage to have patience and reflect, to make sacrifices and to forgive one another. Failures give rise to new relationships, new couples, new civil unions, and new marriages, creating family situations which are complex and problematic for the Christian life”.17 [emphasis mine]

If one is speaking of the “Christian life”, I hardly think images of divorce, separation, civil unions, “new” marriages (one marriage ’til death, no?) come to mind. Those are the images of the world, the unsaved, the heathen/pagan, and damned.

….

I need to stop reading this. I’m reading it like a tired social worker who wanted to be an academic.

Maybe I’ll be less expressive of my angst tomorrow … Ha!

 

 

Analysis

I can see how what I said a week ago can be a point of contention.  At some point in a convoluted discussion among several students and the professor I had made the comment that sometimes students may know more than a professor; the one at the bottom of the totem pole may have a better grasp on the matter than the one at the top.  Naturally, that can be upsetting to some people if they do not let the other possibilities come to mind.  However I had not expected to be called out on it this evening.
Professor comes up to me before the session began and said, “What was it you said last week? That the intern knows more than the supervisor?”  I countered with, “Well, I didn’t say it like that.  I can’t recall exactly.  Why?”  I hedged.  He’s defensive; getting into my full line of vision, dominating the physical and social space around me.   Plus, I would like to get the full context of the matter again – what exactly was it that I had said that put him on the defensive?  Was he interpreting it in a different manner than I had perceived myself as stating it?  He did not offer clarification.  He’s trying to establish order, and I can only assume that he feels that I am questioning his judgment, knowledge and experience in the field.  I did not have the opportunity because he took the pause in my words (when I’m still thinking and reflecting to come up with a response!!) to say “I’ve never had an intern that knew more than me.  It doesn’t work that way.”
Well let me tell you what does work that way.  He comes from the psychoanalytical Freudian training and paradigm.  From what has been mentioned in class he does stand behind the current paradigm of EBP (evidence-based practice) and a slight eclectic mix of other modern theories and perspectives.  However, what I had insinuated with my comment last week, and I was unable to defend, is that other fields and professions have their own perspectives and paradigms.  I’m very EBP, along with multisystemic theory, systems theory, positive psychology, empowerment and the strengths perspective.  I move within these with a lot of ease.  I see things from many perspectives; many facets.  A student or an intern may not know or comprehend more, but understand a different view or facet.  A student can appear to know more than a professor because they are not caged in the paradigm.
Professor is focused on tradition and principles, and often makes statements that draw attention to “how things should be done, and are done.”  He’s mentioned that therapeutic practices are not to differ from what everyone else is doing; well, Rogers and others broke away from the behavioralists.  Rogers disagreed that people were merely functioning on conditioning (classical, intermittent, interval & ratio), and formulated the humanistic approach that incorporated emotions and reactions; a further extension from Rogers was existential psychology.  Sometimes there has to be people who break away from the norm, the “way it has to be done” in order for there to be growth.  For my Professor, principles are not rules; rules may be broken but not principles.  I understand the concept, but support it only so far, as can be noted.
On several occasions he has stressed the appropriate need for joining professional organizations.  He has pushed local, state and national organizations.  The class he is teaching is one of the introductory courses, yet he pushes this need to professionally belong more than any of the other professors in the program.  Belonging-ness: making sure that students are not put off by him, always making nice.  At times, appearing more as a comedian than a serious professor; he’s ingratiating himself: he has to belong. 
ESTJ
2nd interesting link (has a spot-on humanized description) 
Kiersey’s Typology

How to Teach Confirmation Year 2??

That’s my issue to figure out during the summer.  I taught Confirmation 1 this year, and I follow my kids into the following year.  It’s been trying to teach a class that is so mixed: some have Faith, others do not; some have family that encourage a meaningful practice of faith, others not; some have a relationship with God; others are ambivalent or worse.

I want them to be confirmed next May with a true Catholic faith, knowing the basic prayers, understanding our Faith and foundation of Truth and Tradition.

But how do I teach a loving, giving relationship with God?