October 11, 2010


FR. LOYA 10-09-10[Sr. Helena’s superfluous comments in brackets]

p. 24—We are persons. Everything JP2G says is based on this. “Nobody else can want for me.” “I must be independent in my actions.”

PERSONALISM:--We are only persons because God is a Person (we are made in the image of)--a person is always worthy of love, honor, respect, dignity--inalienable--we don’t just have instinct like animals, we can choose--self-determination--the only appropriate response to persons is LOVE. We are made for LOVE—to give and receive love. Anything less than this is dehumanizing, depersonalizing--verb “to use” can be used in different ways: tool, pleasure--The opposite of love is not hate but “use.”

In his marriage prep, marriage counseling, Fr. Loya tries to help couples to examine how they’re relating to each other.

p. 34—JP2G critiques “utilitarianism”“Pleasure must be subordinate to love.” We cannot just “use” someone for our pleasure. Only love can raise pleasure to an interpersonal relationship. Use-pleasure can disguise itself as love.

In vitro fertilization (IVF)—there’s a strain of utilitarianism here that is not readily evident because the desires/objectives are sincere and good in themselves: to have and love a child. But the child is subordinated to a subjective desire of the couple and the MEANS used to create this child are unethical.We are raised in a very utilitarian culture so it’s very hard for people to see this.

Utilitarians believe that the primary good is pleasure and tries to maximize pleasure for the majority. But pleasure is accidental, it’s not the primary aim. It comes about in the process of something else, and if it’s ordered properly, it can be totally legit. We can have pleasure in bad things, too, like revenge!

Pleasure and pain are always connected with a concrete action, so it’s impossible to plan them exactly like the utilitarians want us to do. They are somewhat elusive things.
If I accept utilitarianism, I must see myself as a subject who desires maximum pleasure, and must see myself as an object who must be at the service of the pleasure of others. [It doesn’t acknowledge persons! You can divide all philosophies into those that acknowledge persons and those that don’t. If you don’t, you’re already in trouble.]

A subjective understanding of “the good” leads to egoism. Mutual use, mutual egoism can happen where two agree to use each other (thinking it’s love). But they can’t confront each with anything unpleasant or it all falls apart! “No honor among thieves”—thieves like working together to steal, but when it comes to dividing up the loot….

We can only love God because He first loves us. So even the “need” we have for God comes from him.

Follow the “gift” trail. See what’s twisted and what the real gift is there underneath it.

Q: “Do men ‘use’ more readily than women?”A: “Yes, because they are task-oriented, goal-oriented, and so begin using things as tools to the goal. They also compartmentalize in their brains and can divide a woman’s personhood from her body, for example.” [But this is not what they’re called to be/do or meant to be/do by God. Society often gives men a pass on their “use,” but it shouldn’t.]

[We have to have a sense of OURSELVES as persons first. But people today don’t think they’re that great, that man is that great. There’s a great reductionism, minimalism. So we don’t aspire to anything greater than having some basic needs met, sometimes!]

The world sees things in terms of FUNCTION and POWER.The Church sees things in terms of SIGN and SACRAMENT.
“Empty nest” syndrome—couples didn’t take care of their relationships enough! They—in a utilitarian way—united around running the household and raising the kids.

What kind of gift can you give to another person if you don’t have a sense of yourself as a person? You can’t bring two half-persons together, or expect the other to supply your personhood.

[It has to be this order! 1st—sense of yourself as a person—love thyself 2nd—marriage relationship, person to person—love your spouse3rd—parent/child relationship—love your kids]

Parents feel pressured (by other parents) today to run around and be frantically busy or they’re almost “abusing” their kids! But what does it mean to be a successful human being?

Don’t answer questions for people! Just help people examine the words within the questions!
Why does the Church “go into the bedroom”? Because that’s where God is! AND that’s where all the problems of the world start because it’s so fundamental! It’s the fundamental place of love and life.

Justice—a person’s “due” is always to be treated as an object of love.

Same Sex Attraction (SSA)—is based on need and use because of the intrinsic disorder where the person struggling with SSA is trying first of all to become the complete male or female person that they are, so that they CAN be a gift to “the other.” But it can translate itself into a sexual expression (which goes nowhere). Men DO draw strength from each other’s masculinity (male bonding, etc.) because men are socialized externally, from things outside themselves. [Female SSA operates differently. See book: “The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction” by Hallman]

[Sr. Helena had to take over the techie operations here so there will be a gap in notes.]

Fr. Loya’s parting warning: Prudes and sexual libertarians both deny God’s saving power when it comes to lust. Father says that overbearing Catholic families who control and squelch their children are in danger of creating another [sub]sexual revolution that will rebel against this. He sees kids going hogwild for the first time when away from parents, eloping, etc. In confession, he says that these super-Catholic kids who know their faith inside and out are having huge sexual problems because they are completely unintegrated in their sexuality. [I have heard a lot of these stories, too. Yikes!]
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  1. Dos Karol Wojtyla really say that men "use" more readily than women, or does he say that men are more prone to use for sensual purposes whereas women are more prone to use for emotional purposes?

  2. Wojtyla doesn't say this. Someone at the study group asked a question. The book "Love and Responsibility" is extremely egalitarian re: male/female. It's really amazing. Of course, Wojtyla certainly recognizes sexual differences of every kind: biological, pyschological, etc. Men are simply are more visual/physical at first when it comes to romance, and it's just easier for them to use women (e.g., porn, prostitution, etc.) than vice versa. Women are more about the emotional/personalization at first when it comes to romance. But men also have emotions and women also care about the physical aspects. It's just a slightly different prioritization ("at first") we have based on the way God created us. One is not better than the other. Hope that's clear.

  3. Anonymous7:47 PM

    Can you explain the last paragraph (Fr. Loya's final note)? Specifically, what are the problems come about from overbearing Catholic families and what super-Catholic teens and young adults face? What does "unintegrated in their sexuality" mean?

  4. Anonymous--Father didn't elaborate, but I've heard of some of these kids--who were kind of never allowed to think for themselves, to make things their own, to wrangle with things philosophically (we desperately need good Catholic philosophy for TEENS!)going crazy as soon as they are 18 or away from home. Things like: getting addicted to TV, eloping, drinking/debauchery on college campuses (worse than their secularized peers), etc. This is not a condemnation of homeschooling or anything like that--it's just that if it's too locked down, it can be unrealistic.

    I have seen Catholic parents who really believe their kids/teens are angels and are not struggling with sin in their lives or temptations or curiosity or anything. And the kids seem really torn between wanting to please their parents and keep up appearances with their parents, and also try to grow up (even in healthy ways) and question things, etc. Some of them start leading double lives.

    "Integration" means divine order and harmony in our lives and our sexuality. Freely choosing what's good through knowledge, virtue, practice, prayer, sacrifice, etc. "Chastity" means integration of body and soul. (Everyone lives chastity according to their state in life.) Hope that helps.

  5. Anonymous2:16 PM

    You got it lady! I'm a mom of 3 teens, 3 more to come and if I'm not on top of things, they think they can get away with murder, fortunately they can't. They need to know the dangers,the truth and then live for themselves but I'm always watching their backs, ready to talk and ready to listen, they know who I am and why: I am a child of God, a person of the Eucharist and so are they...Jacquie, Fr Helena's "evil" twin.

  6. Anonymous10:36 AM

    This is really interesting and relevant - thank you for posting on ToB here and in other posts. I have a question - when the use of women is so [horribly] prevalent in society, and so accepted as normal, how do we as women counteract this? I am a 20-something woman and have gently (but firmly) called out a couple close male friends for their acceptance of porn and its objectification of women, but the response was just "well, all guys do it." Female friends have told me the same thing about men. Really?? I have a very hard time with that. I'm not a guy, so I don't know what it's like to be one exactly, but I find it incredibly disappointing and disheartening.

    It seems that there is a severe shortage of young men who actually want to respect women and fight for our - and their - dignity. I would really like to get married someday and I don't know how to navigate this, because porn and those attitudes seem to be so widely accepted as normal, but I don't want those things to be a part of my relationship with my husband. What are women supposed to do? Why can't more men step up to the plate and be men? Anyway, I was just wondering if you might have any insights on that.