I interjected that I would much rather work than be at home doing nothing. The priest responded that I should have children and stay home with them. I replied that God is in control of that. The priest agreed and then suggested that I should spend more time shopping to keep busy, and Josh could spend more time working.
After mass the deacon was handing out blessed flowers to the mothers. As I walked by without taking one the priest questioned the fact that I did not have a flower. I responded that I do not have any children. The deacon confidently added “yet” and the priest countered that I was a wife. I continued walking as this conversation took place and left the church without a flower.
In the car I told Josh that while the priest’s gesture would have been perfectly pastoral for some women struggling with Mother’s Day jealousy, I really, really don’t think that the nurturing associated with being a wife is the same as being a mother! And I wonder what he would have told a single woman? “Oh, but you take care of your pets/houseplants!”
Back at Josh’s parents house I informed his mother that I am a failure in my role as a wife because I don’t know how to fill my time with shopping. She said that the priest was clearly giving advice based on what he sees, and that it works well for many of the couples around here.]]>
Alright, now that they’re gone, I want to have a very clear, straightforward discussion with the two of you that are left. And by straightforward I mean that there will be absolutely no pictures included since images are confusing. Here are the basic facts to keep in mind about humor. Especially online.
Humor should never be used online. The only exception to this is when you’re emailing a friend who knows you well and you have room for 10-paragraph disclaimers explaining your joke before, during, and after the joke. As my professor of amusement in seminary told me: tell them what’s going to be funny, tell them the funny thing, and then tell them what you just told them was funny. Of course that could just been a speech book that I read once, but the point still holds. There is only one acceptable way to use humor, and that is the way in which it is so carefully explained that no one will find it enjoyable in the way that evil humor is.
Remember that there is a reason that both the “choleric” and “melancholic” are referred to as “humors.” Humor isn’t funny. Making people approach things in anything other than a directly didactic manor is not a laughing matter. We should all take our work online SERIOUSLY the way that God and Saint Josemaría intend us to. Everything that you say online must be carefully calculated to have the most serious, salubrious effect. It does not matter if the result is both soporific and sanctimonious as long as it is salvific. Now chant that five times fast and I’ll guarantee that you’ll be holier.
The reason that you must never for a moment slip into humor is that anyone may read what you say out of context, and that may damn their eternal soul, for which you will be soul-ly responsible. It does not matter how clear you make it that you like to joke. Even if you change your profile picture to something outrageous, yea, even then you must expect everyone to take each individual statement with the utmost seriousness, and therefore you must utter type it with the greatest gravitas. It is utterly unreasonable to think that people will have the opportunity to learn truth in a straightforward fashion from another source. It is most obvious that the briefest of encounters with less than seven score characters from your keyboard may be utterly crucial in determining their eternal destiny.
Goodness is bound up in writing to the public-schooled lowest common denominator the same way that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. Cling to unambiguously easy statements with the same vigor that you cling to your virtue and vodka. Or your guns and your religion. Or whatever it is that you cling to. Never, never, expect any grain of sophistication from your reader. For example, questions such as “is the Pope Catholic?” should only be used in private discussions with your confessor lest you cause radical traditionalist weaker brethren to stumble over your sedevacantist questioning and lack of fealty to the Pope. And while you’re at it, try to avoid using phrases like “fealty to the Pope” since everyone will assume that you’re talking about the fourth vow of a certain Jesuitical organization which will not be named here.
Embrace a starkly monolithic Catholicism. And then force and enforce it on others. After all, if Jesus thought it would be good to make Peter the rock on which the Church is built, how much better is it to have a Church built entirely of one stone?! Paul was out of line in more than one place in scripture, and never mores so then when he mislead people into thinking that it was okay to be different from each other. If you think that something is insulting, unclear, or less than perfectly congratulatory, it is. Do not be lured in by the evil Paulists who will tell you that there is beauty in diversity and that it is okay for some to be somber instructors while others are smirky, snarky, stumblers who say whatever they think.
Furthermore, pay no thought to those who are attracted to humor. The need for humor is intrinsically disordered and those who give into such an inclination give into acts of grave depravity. All healthy people will naturally be drawn to the monolithic Catholicism explained above. Those people who are not attracted to boring didactic Catholicism, for instance many Episcopalians, should simply be entrusted to the mercy of God who judges all with justice. Anyone who appreciates humor is nothing other than a temptation sent straight from the devil to lead you into compromise. Ignore all of your nagging fears about losing some because you were unwilling to become anything other than an uptight Catholic in a group of uptight Catholics in order to draw uptight Catholics closer together. That is, after all, what the Church explains that Paul really meant. Christ died for the many, meaning that Christ died for those who can give true glory to God in the somnolent splendor of un-funny truth.
Recognize that there are varying degrees of perniciousness in humor. Humor which engages in jabs at your expense should always be assumed to be the epitome of evilnessssssssssss straight from the serpent outside of Eden. Humor which pokes fun at your friends is the second worst, humor about the Church is next, and humor about your enemies is best.
Expect to be understood. Rejoice (somberly) in the fact that as long as you keep yourself spotless from any stain of the world humor online, everyone will understand exactly what you say. More importantly, they will be given the gift of insight into your deepest heart and will understand what you mean. It is only humor that prevents us from truly connecting with others. As long as you keep yourself far, far away from all appearance of humor God will bless your relationships. Everyone will read your words with graciousness, assume that you’re a truly wonderful person who means no harm, and grant you precisely the charity which you withhold from them in your disdain for all humor.
I’m sure that I will be back later to update these instructions, but in the meantime I would love your help with expanding them. I want to eventually be the (or, better yet, thee!) authoritative source for a lack of humor online. Then people will really know that I am Catholic, even if I utterly fail to be Christian because of that whole love thing.]]>
And you don’t have to be a geek (just odd) to be amused by this one:
For some reason I started caring in a way that I have never cared before. Youch. I have always cared in the sense of seeing blogging as an especially honest form of sharing (hence why I try to not have it show up when people search my legal name!) but I have kept my emotional involvement reasonable.
I also avoided blogging about blogging. Until I decided that this little blog is supposed to be where I can say whatever I want. I have even been working on “about” pages that are deliberately snarky in order to make people who do not like snark go away so that I will not offend them in actual posts.
But then the saintly marriage post… I tried to make it clear. I let it sit for a week. Then I got Josh to edit it. I actually changed things around again after it sat some more. I posted it. I ignored the appreciative comments and was entirely drained by those that seemed to completely misunderstand what I was saying. It was as if there was TRUTH as clear as I have ever known it, and there was a range of responses from one that had only skimmed the post to those who profoundly misunderstood me due to their own situations in life.
The thing is, this is normal with blogging. And it is fine. Except somehow I was not fine with it this time. So I wondered whether I needed to keep personal posts private, to start another blog that I would only give out to a select few, to close comments on certain posts etc. etc. I considered that perhaps this blog could only exist without wearing me down if it were faithful to the Magisterium1.
But in any case, I was frozen. I had oh-so-many posts to put up, but simply did not feel like I could handle it. So I withdrew just like I always do.
Until I decided that I should go back to letting people leave themselves. Honestly, if I cannot find a way to not be drained, then I will certainly stop. But maybe it was just a weird fluke? Or maybe a gift so that I could have just a bit of a clue about how other people experience blogging. Before this I never understood how people could take things so personally.
So now I return to blogging about blogging in the hopes that it will keep me from faithful to the Magisterium type posting. Because that is something that would not be good for any of us!
1. You do know what that means, right? In my experience, when the phrase “faithful to the Magisterium” is found on a blog it generally indicates that the blog is devoted to tearing others apart and complaining about the imperfections of all other members of the Church, particularly non-militant bishops.]]>
Ever wondered how to take better pictures inside churches? Wonder no more! I found the answer while browsing Flickr. A non-Catholic photographer is kind enough to share the secrets.
My method for getting tripods into cathedrals and shooting is this:
1) Go in the exit and act like you are lost if someone asks
2) Wear a long matrix-coat and stuff your tripod up inside like a shotgun. Try not to walk with a limp.
3) Stride confidently through the crowds like you are in a hurry on a photo assignment.
4) Work your way into the pews and have a seat. You can even pretend to be Catholic and say a few Latin words as you sit down. I suggest “Pater Noster (My Father) or Quid Pro Quo (Rub Beads and go to Heaven)”
5) Slide out the tripod and assemble along the ground, When other parishioners look at you suspiciously, give them the sign of the cross.
6) Watch for old people in the main aisle, because they have trouble getting around tripods. Jump out, take your long exposures at 100 ISO, then sit back down.
7) If securty comes to get you, blame Stuck In Customs and that will confuse them long enough so you can make a getaway.
8 ) Don’t worry about getting caught. The church is much more leniant than they were during the Inquisition. Most big cathedrals do have crypts, but they are full of dead saints and they have never put a photographer in there.
9) If you see a tourist with a tiny camera taking a picture with the flash on, please tell them to stop. The flash does nothing in that situation. It’s just embarassing for them, really.
10. See #9. It’s your duty to stop tourists from using flashes… next thing you know, they’ll have their flash on when shooting the Eiffel Tower at night.
Do you have any tips for taking good pictures inside of churches?]]>
Anyway, the point of this post was not to once again reveal my ignorance, though I suppose that is always good. What I want to know is whether my more traditionally inclined friends (and no, I don’t mean those who think of Paul VI as an anti-pope) care about tonsures and I just somehow always missed it.
If not, why not?
Do people care more about veiling because it is something which they can personally do/require their wives to do? Or because it is an older tradition? Or something else?
Please enlighten me!]]>