June 30, 2012

ACT ONE SCREENWRITING PROGRAM 2002


10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY! This was our fun little class project vid. Shot when video phones were brand new and they only did a few seconds of video! (Lots of private jokes in the vid, of course.)

In film, there's something called the "10 year rule": 10 years from getting into film, you will actually be working in film. http://alberionefilm.com/ !

I also studied screenwriting at UCLA and Act One is every bit as awesome. http://www.actoneprogram.com/ 




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June 19, 2012

MOVIES: "SNOW WHITE & THE HUNTSMAN"



Yes! This is a delicious, delightful, old-timey, coat-of-mail-clanking, halberd-swinging, plucky princess story. That we’re already familiar with! (Actually, 2012 is the 75th anniversary of Disney’s release of the animated “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” so it’s kind of cool that this version is coming out now. The original German fairytale was collected in 1812 by the Brothers Grimm as “Snow White” [tale #161], not to be confused with another German fairytale: “Snow White, Rose Red,” which is completely different.) The 21st century special effects make the film all the more nifty.

Dark-haired Kristen Stewart (“Bella” in the Twilight series) plays Snow White with her trademark Kristen Stewart stillness and seriousness. Blonde-haired, Oscar-winning Charlize Theron plays the evil Queen Ravenna with her model’s training and trademark Charlize Theron fierce seizing of her role. They are worthy nemeses.





Queen Ravenna had a deprived childhood (along with her now-accomplice brother), and her one all-consuming desire is to stay young and beautiful. Everywoman’s quest. What woman can’t relate? A spell was cast on her as a girl that assured her of her wish. The only thing that could reverse the spell was if someone was found to be fairer and purer. But Queen Ravenna maintains her drop-dead gorgeous looks by “eating youth”: stealing youth and beauty from everything around her (especially young women) whenever she starts to fade.

When Ravenna marries the widowed good king (Snow White’s father) she immediately kills him and imprisons Snow White (not knowing that she will one day be her downfall). But one day, when Snow White “comes of age,” the magic mirror (vanity of vanities!) tells her that Snow White is now fairer than she. The only way Ravenna can stay young and beautiful is to eat Snow White’s heart. Ravenna realizes that Snow White is either her earthly ruination or her earthly salvation.

Snow White manages to flee into the magical, menacing Dark Forest, and the rough but good-hearted Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) is sent after her by the Queen. Instead of capturing her, the Huntsman and Snow White make a wary alliance with one another and have continued adventures involving vengeful dwarfs, a troll, fairies, and a village of women who marred their own beauty so the Queen wouldn’t harm them. Prince William (Sam Claflin)—Snow White’s childhood friend from whom she was separated when Ravenna took over the kingdom—is also on the scene with forces fighting the Queen’s brother, her army, and trying to protect and restore Snow White to the throne of her father.

There are lengthy lulls and pauses in the action in the Dark Forest and the fairies’ Sanctuary which could have been used better, but it was nice to have the quietude in the midst of the fleeing and battling and screeching of Ravenna. (The audience in my cinema was totally into it.)

Some of the blocking, stage-like theatrics and actors’ mugging into the camera felt very old-fashioned, but maybe that was on purpose. There are story loopholes and non sequiturs and episodic jumps in the action. But you probably won’t care.

There are deep Theology of the Body themes and imagery: Eve and Mary, men being able to see women’s true beauty and meaning, men respecting the God-given influence women are intended to have over them and over themselves (revealing God in a different way, revealing true goodness and true beauty), just as men have a God-given influence over women. It’s like a cycle of interaction and help and love. Theology of the Body: men and women CATECHIZE each other. But what’s happening today, because men don’t know who they are (as men, and especially as men in Christ), and women don’t know who they are (as women, and especially as women in Christ)—there are role reversals and role confusions and this cycle of the “otherness” flowing back and forth is halting at best, and arrested at worst.

This is not a feminist film. The way the royal blood lines worked out, the men will need to follow a woman here. They understand that and are completely OK with that. But there are certain things only women can work out for/among themselves: purity; beauty; womanly desires; feminine power, strength and authority; the giving life or taking life; goodness or evil; with men SUPPORTING them--just as men have to work out their own issues for among/themselves with women SUPPORTING them. But only Snow White could take out Ravenna. I saw this also as a woman struggling within herself. The good woman has to kill the bad woman inside.

As Ravenna enhances her beauty through evil means, the whole kingdom, the whole world/nature around her dies and decays. Good men become bad men.

Ravenna: “I will never stop! I will give this WRETCHED world the Queen it DESERVES!” (All sin is personal sin! All sin is social sin!) At this point, Ravenna forces Snow White to watch the men who were there to help/protect Snow White (like Joan of Arc’s men) die. It made me think of what “The Pill” is doing to men: the estrogen in the water supply feminizing men, destroying their manhood…. Do we women really want to do that to our men??

Wow. Women can change men for better or for worse. For the change to be for the better, the Immaculate Heart of Mary must reign in this world, and women must become other Marys.

This film should be OK even for younger children, if they can handle Disney's "Snow White." Not scary or gory. Mostly  fantastical.


OTHER STUFF:

--Check out how the original tale varies from this film (AND Disney’s version) and all the many folk tale variations!     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_White

--Snow White recites the Our Father in prison!

--Lord of the Rings didn’t have enough chicks in it. Maybe that’s why I was so bored by it.

--Characters are given good, solid motivations for their choices/actions. Bravo.

--My mother leans over in theater: “This is not your mother’s Snow White." :]

--Two wonderful “beauty and the beast” moments! “Fight or flight” is mostly a male response. Women also “befriend.”

--Joan of Arc imagery: the mysterious “maid,” riding into battle in full armor….

--The fairies looked like little Gollums. Icky. I like Tinkerbell fairies.

--There’s a total Team Edward/Team Jacob thing going on here, except now it’s Team William/Team Huntsman.

--I could totally relate to Ravenna’s deep sorrow at growing old. (Every time she started to “fade,” she would have to “consume youth.”) She even says: “Men use women up while they are young and beautiful and then discard us. But that will never happen to me.” She is not even interested in men (any more?) and does not seek a lover/consort.

--I would certainly go to great lengths to preserve myself. But I wouldn’t kill Kristen Stewart.

--“Hell hath no fury like…the will of an evil woman.” Like “Mad Men’s” Don Draper, Ravenna doesn’t even believe in love: “Love always betrays us.” Maybe this had been her only experience of love. How sad. Human love is great if you can find it, but we all need an experience of God’s love first. God’s love never changes. And we can always GIVE love.

--I like Kristen Stewart. She brings such a gravitas for one so young (22 years old). She refuses to rely on her loveliness. There’s a steelness and realness in her acting which I think is her real persona coming through. She’s very dark and postmodern in her interviews, lacing them with lots of profanity, but it feels like a kind of overcompensating for her gentle looks, and it’s as though she’s trying to tell us that she’s NOT just a pretty face. Evidently, the filming of “Snow White” was very physical, and she wound up doing things she really didn’t want to do like riding a horse. Is Kristen Stewart the new Kim Novak? Stewart is almost awkward in her bodily motions (in all her films), in a kind of modest, self-effacing way.

--Kristen Stewart: "It's such a rush when good overcomes evil."

--The Mirror to Queen Ravenna: "Her innocence and purity will destroy you."

--Dwarf: "She [Snow White] will heal our land."

--Snow White: “I CAN kill her [Queen Ravenna]! I would rather die now than live one more day of this death!”

--Ravenna wants IMMORTALITY. It’s our first vocation! We are all CALLED to eternal life. We aren’t there yet. As exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth says: “Tell your children they have a choice. They have a choice in life as to where they want to spend eternity.”

--I want to BE Snow White. This is one heroine I can really get into!

--Interesting factoid: The farmhouse in Topeka, KS, where the Pentecostal Movement started is now a Catholic church: “MOST PURE HEART OF MARY Church.”

--NICE costume design. COLLEEN ATWOOD!

--Ian McShane. (Is there any cooler name?)

--MUST READ: Mark Twain’s “Joan of Arc.” Ignatius Press. Must, must, must. Took him 12 years to write. It was his favorite work. (Ken Burns doesn’t even mention it in his Twain documentary. Bad Burns.) At Joan of Arc’s trial, they tried to convict her on her belief in fairies (as a child there was a fairy tree in her village where she used to go).

--Snow White: “Who will ride with me?! Who will be my brother?!”

--Dudes and dudettes should both like this film because it’s a romantic ADVENTURE (for the guys) and an adventurous ROMANCE (for the gals).

--Actors need Theology of the Body! Christopher West needs to go to Hollywood and do his “Head and Heart Immersion” week for ACTORS!

--Snow White is only love. Snow White forgives.

--Snow White: “But how will I lead men?” William: “Like you did when we were kids. I followed you everywhere. I would have done anything for you.”

--Chris Hemsworth kept reminding me of fellow Aussie, Heath Ledger (RIP).

--What’s in a kiss? Life or death. Men can LEAD women to life or to death.
Is vice versa true? Sure. But it’s different. There are some things we can say about men without saying the exact same thing about women. It’s OK.)

--Women can CHANGE men for better or for worse.
(Is vice versa true? Sure. But it’s different. There are some things we can say about women without saying the exact same thing about men. It’s OK.)

--The mission of every man is the dignity of every woman. The mission of every woman is the integrity of every man.

--There is no greater work of art than a good man.

--There is nothing more ugly to a woman of God than a man who will not acknowledge the source of his power.

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June 15, 2012

MEET THE POSTULANTS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF ST. PAUL!




Soundtrack available on iTunes! "Daughters of St. Paul Choir"

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June 7, 2012

GOD IS DEAD



Here are the stats for the millions killed under atheistic-Communist regimes:

--65 million in the People's Republic of China
--20 million in the Soviet Union
--2 million in Cambodia
--2 million in North Korea
--1.7 million in Africa
--1.5 million in Afghanistan
--1 million in the Communist states of Eastern Europe
--1 million in Vietnam
--150,000 in Latin America
--10,000 deaths "resulting from actions of the international Communist movement and Communist parties not in power."

To learn more about the millions and millions killed under atheistic-Communist regimes:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism


(This, of course, does not even include Hitler's godless regime.)



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WHY WE URGENTLY NEED THEOLOGY OF THE BODY (JUST IN CASE SOMEONE IS UNCONVINCED)


JUST TODAY'S HEADLINES FROM "THE HUFFINGTON POST"

(Thanks, Ariana!)


Please excuse the explicitness, but if you have AOL (as I do)--
this is the "news" you are treated to every day.
And of course, there are VERY racy photos/vids accompanying.


--GOP CHILD PORN ABUSE  

--MICHIGAN FAST-TRACKS ANTI-ABORTION SUPER-BILL

--10 LGBT VIDEO GAME HEROES

--SARAH J. PARKER GAY MARRIAGE CONTROVERSY

--JC PENNEY GAY DADS

--EMMA'S RACY SHOOT

--BIKINI'D COCO

--TEEN MOM'S TROUBLE

--CAN WOMEN REALLY BE HAPPY SINGLE?

--MORE SEXY ADS

--BREAKUP FLICKS

--NO VIBRATORS?

--KIM KARDASHIAN WARDROBE MALFUNCTION

--CONTRACEPTION IS MORAL FOR MAJORITY OF CATHOLICS

--DANISH GAY CHURCH WEDDING

--18 LGBT ACTIVISTS

--SEX TRAFFICKING ROUTE FOUND

--10 WORST BABY SHOWER CAKES EVER  [NOW EVEN CAKES ARE "EXPLICIT" & ULTIMATELY MOCKING OF THE FEMALE BODY]

--CANNIBALISM CAN BE ADDICTIVE

--JAIL VIDEO: 100'S OF PILLS SPILL FROM WOMAN'S CROTCH

--LOWEST RANKED SCHOOLS FOR SEXUAL HEALTH  [WITH CLOSE-UP OF MULTI-COLORED CONDOMS]

--ADULTERY SITE POSTER BOY

--ANNA KOURNIKOVA'S SKIMPIEST OUTFITS

--ESCORT AT HEART OF SECRET SERVICE SCANDAL HAS NEW BIZ PLAN

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June 5, 2012

MOVIES: "MEN IN BLACK 3"



Sequels are hard to do. “Men in Black 3” is no exception. After an attention-grabbing, keeping-in-the-MIB-mode (and a once-only-ultra-risqué scene) opening, "MIB3" strives in a ho-hum way to maintain the MIB quirky vibe and “odd couple” relationship between Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (a wan-looking Tommy Lee Jones). Each actor does their best with mediocre, drawn-out, contrivedly intricate situations and dialogue. The beginning of the film goes on and on with a one-note joke about Agent K’s sour countenance and disposition.

The plot? Agent J must go back in time (to the 1969 Moon Launch) to save Agent K so that he can save the world. Along the way, he learns a few secrets of the past. (Therefore, most of the movie is without Tommy Lee Jones. Josh Brolin plays the younger Agent K.)

The villain is “Boris” (NOT “Boris the Animal”)—from an almost-extinct race of aliens—who is pretty ticked about Agent K having blown his arm off. He’s determined to go back to the past and retrieve his arm.

A tedious but sweet, altruistic alien named “Griffin” helps our heroes with his clairvoyance and ability to see ALL future possibilities.

The premise is still fun: The world isn’t what you think it is—there are undercover good guys keeping the world going, saving us from danger. Even Andy Warhol (a truly funny gag). There are lots of squishy, gooey, gross, evil life forms to be subdued. But sentient beings (albeit CGI) are also treated rather brutally—even a “human” head used as a bowling ball.

"MIB3" is colorful; well-lit; chock-a-block with special effects, goofy and exotic aliens; Josh Brolin does a fantastic job as a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones, but the film doesn’t MOVE. Even though we are told how urgent everything is, it doesn’t translate into heart-pumping, mind-tickling action. Much of the clever, interspecies shoot ‘em up gyrations take place in a Chinese restaurant, but it seems like the movie’s budget was primarily expended here (and in Act 3 at Cape Canaveral) and the rest of the film simply strolls along.

As much as I love Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, "MIB3" is only mildly funny, mildly amusing, mildly interesting. Even with the bright addition of Emma Thompson as “O”--J’s and K’s British boss--and a truly BIG SURPRISE ending, nothing serves to light the story/screen on fire.

If you want my humble opinion, I would say that MIB3 is just not worth the price of admission or your precious time.

OTHER STUFF:

--One sequel (not adapted from a ready-made trilogy or series of books) that I think was BETTER than the original: “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”

--Reading through my notes taken during the movie: “I’m not laughing yet.”

--The old, avocado push-button phone! My family had one just like that.

--The old, clunky, Zenith TV remote.

--I think after viewing the sharp, smart “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”—“MIB3” is just so draggy in contrast.

--Undercover agent at Warhol’s “The Factory”: “Get me out of here. I can’t listen to any more sitar music and I can’t tell the men from the women.” :]


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June 4, 2012

THEOLOGY OF THE BODY: IN DEFENSE OF CHRISTOPHER WEST


In the face of the continuing criticism of Christopher West and the way he understands and teaches Theology of the Body, I am writing this little defense.

I'D LIKE TO MAKE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN CW'S "CRITIQUERS" WHO SERIOUSLY HAVE PROBLEMS WITH CERTAIN POINTS OF HIS TEACHING (THOSE WHO HAVE GOOD WILL TOWARD CW, CW'S WORK, TOB AND OUR HURTING WORLD) AND CW'S "DETRACTORS" (THOSE WHO DO NOT HAVE GOOD WILL TOWARD CW, CW'S WORK, TOB AND OUR HURTING WORLD). I DON'T CLAIM TO KNOW EXACTLY WHO'S WHO, BUT I ASSURE YOU, THERE ARE BOTH TYPES.


IMHO, I WOULD SAY CW GETS IT 95% RIGHT. THAT'S NOT BAD. AND HE IS COMMITTED (AS I AM AND MOST STUDENTS OF TOB ARE) TO GETTING IT 100% RIGHT. I HAVE DISABLED COMMENTS ON THIS POST BECAUSE IT WAS GETTING UNWIELDY AND I FEEL SOME COMMENTS WERE OBFUSCATING THE ISSUES.


"Remind people of these things
and charge them before God to stop disputing about words.
This serves no useful purpose since it harms those who listen." --2 Timothy 2:14



First of all, I have done two weeks with Christopher at the Theology of the Body Institute in PA, have read some of his books and watched some of his DVD series and YouTubes. Part of the reason I first went to see him is because I was hearing so many criticisms of him and I wanted to see/hear for myself. Not only did I NOT hear anything unorthodox, I was totally blown away by the content of everything he said, and had no problem with the way he said it. In fact, I LOVED the way he said it.



One personal criticism I have of CW would be this: He may be overstating for effect, but I think he has a LITTLE too much sympathy for Hugh Hefner (just because your mother didn't hug you when you were little doesn't give you license to found a worldwide soft-porn empire). :]

Here are some of the criticisms of Christopher West:

“HE’S TOO GRAPHIC.”
I understand that in the beginning, CW WAS too graphic/explicit. He was mostly talking this way on college campuses (and many of the young people loved it). He has since ceased this kind of talk and has suppressed his early recordings. If/when he gets some finer points of his teachings incorrect, he allows himself to be corrected by priests and others.

I tell my male TOB speaker friends to be careful of explicit language in mixed groups. I tell them, if it’s all guys—use your locker room vocabulary, say whatever you need to to get your point across (TOB always respects women and sex, of course), but not in front of women. Why not? Even though our culture is super-crude and treats women like “one of the guys” (I hear young men and women using the “F” word continuously to each other in conversation like it’s nothing and AS IF THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SEXES)—TOB women are not down with that. If—according to TOB--men “initiate the gift of love and women receive it and give it back in love,” then sex talk coming from a man can feel like an unwanted initiation. It sounds aggressive, assaulting and even violating to women (or it should). Why is there such a thing as “phone sex”? I rest my case.

“HE’S ARROGANT.”
I’d say maybe a little “cocky.” But not in an obnoxious way. He has a kind of rockstar/artistic personality (he writes/plays/sings music VERY well). He’s a showman, and this showmanship is what makes him such a great speaker/presenter. God can use any kind of personality. CW is also tenacious, which keeps him at what he’s doing in the FACE of all the criticism. He also will never give a talk without prayer teams backing him up and soaking the talk/event in prayer.

“HE’S NOT QUALIFIED.”
CW has a B.A. in Anthropology and got his graduate degree from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family in Washington, D.C. He taught theology for the Archdiocese of Denver under Archbishop Chaput, teaches at the Institute of Priestly Formation in Omaha, and at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne, Australia. His flagship book: “Good News About Sex and Marriage” (St. Anthony Messenger Press) has been in print since at least 2000 (and revised at least once). He authored an entire commentary of John Paul II’s text: “Male and Female He Created Them—A Theology of the Body” (Pauline Books & Media—Daughters of St. Paul) and “Theology of the Body for Beginners,” (Ascension Press) among others.



“HE PRESENTS JOHN PAUL II’S THOUGHT AS HIS OWN THOUGHT.”
Christopher is very clear about what is his and what is John Paul II’s. He quotes TOB verbatim extensively in his talks and in his books.

“HE PRESENTS HIS OWN THOUGHTS AS JOHN PAUL II’S THOUGHT.”
If CW has crafted some principles of TOB in his own language, it’s a tool to understanding John Paul II’s words. Also, what CW says faithfully reflects the Church’s perennial teaching on human sexuality. Kudos to him on whatever IS original!

"HE'S SEXUALIZING GOD AND HEAVEN, AND SACRALIZING SEX."
No. He's saying that sex is from God, reveals God and is meant to lead us back to God. The marital embrace is a very particular participation of the married couple in God's love and life. The Bible itself tells us that heaven is a Wedding Feast (the Marriage of the Lamb, the Bridegroom, to His bride, the Church). The Bible uses marriage as the primordial image of God's love for us. The Bible begins and ends with marriage.

Sex IS sacred. (That's why sex outside marriage is a sacrilegious-type sin.) Christopher is not sexualizing God, he's God-izing sex. As it is and should be.

“SOME VERY SMART, PROMINENT CATHOLICS DISAGREE WITH HIS PRESENTATION.”
Some very smart, prominent Catholics AGREE with his presentation. After CW appeared on “Nightline” (and Nightline twisted some of his words, but actually got it about 90% right)—all hell broke loose, and his “behind closed doors” critiquers came out in the open and the "battle of the PhDs" began.


Some of the people who DISAGREE with CW’s understanding and presentation of TOB are:

--Some of his past professors at JP2 Institute for Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C.

--Dr. Alice von Hildebrand

--Fr. Angelo Mary Geiger, Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, who runs the website www.MaryVictrix.com.

--Fr. Gregory Gresko (whose article was recently published online by Catholic News Agency)

--Both Catholic News Agency and the magazine "Inside the Vatican" consistently give a platform to CW's detractors

--Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein (author and convert from secular Judaism to Evangelical to Catholic). She published her thesis publicly online criticizing CW’s approach. She wrote the fine, fine book “The Thrill of the Chaste” and “My Peace I Give You—Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints.” I question if, as a new convert, she may have come under the sway of CW detractors who may have even used her for their own ends.

After the Nightline flap, some who came out in DEFENSE of CW:

Dr. Michael Waldstein & Assorted Nuns
--Dr. Michael Waldstein (teaches at Ave Maria University, FL)--found the original Polish text of JP2’s TOB, and wrote the lengthy introduction to it.

--Dr. Janet Smith (teaches at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit)

--CW’s bishop at the time: Bishop Rhoades of Harrisburg, PA, and Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia

--CW also continues to be invited by dioceses around the world to speak/teach.

Unfortunately, if you look at the criticisms (I have not mentioned all of them, of course), you will see that some of these criticisms actually are of John Paul II and his Theology of the Body itself, rather than CW. Others feel Christopher is not giving a complete enough foundation/overview of Catholic theology or TOB itself. Other criticisms take issue with specific points.


Sometimes CW is a smoke screen for a deeper rejection of TOB. Such as:

“SEX IS DANGEROUS.”
It is? John Paul II certainly doesn't say that. God gave us something dangerous with which to hurt ourselves and others with? I would say it’s “powerful.” A powerful gift. This attitude belies a deep fear and suspicion of the body, the body as lesser/tainted/not-quite-good—precisely the attitude John Paul II was trying to correct with his TOB.

“SEX SHOULD NEVER BE SPOKEN OF IN A PUBLIC FORUM OR IN THE MEDIA.”

It shouldn’t? Alfred Kinsey, Sigmund Freud, Helen Gurley Brown, Hugh Hefner, Larry Flynt, Howard Stern, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Katie Perry, “Family Guy,” Planned Parenthood and internet porn have all been telling their story of sex. Who will tell God’s story of sex? The beautiful thing about Theology of the Body is that it’s THEOLOGY, not anatomy, biology or sex ed. So it speaks of sex in an indirect, symbolic, almost metaphorical way (BTW, our brains do not apprehend ANYTHING directly, but always work metaphorically)—but in a way that’s very clear what we’re talking about. TOB--when done right--can be done in a mixed group, even of varying ages, and no one needs feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.

The Church’s silence and parents’ SILENCE about sex has HARMED young people beyond belief. ALL young people hear is the false, twisted story of sex that leads to emptiness and sadness, damage and destruction, alienation from self, God and others.

“CW DOESN’T TALK ENOUGH ABOUT GUILT AND SHAME AS A GOOD THING THAT WARNS US THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG.”
Yes, he does.

“CW ACTS LIKE WE CAN OVERCOME LUST IN THIS LIFE.”
CW says that we should be making progress in chastity and purity as we continually fight lust. He says that, with the grace of God, a sacramental life, understanding, believing, seeing, living correctly, we SHOULD be making progress in this area. He says that God didn’t die on a Cross so that we could do “sin management,” “lust management” in our lives and remain stuck in the same sinful place for our entire life, never overcoming. CW says that if we say that certain sinful behavior, like victory over lust, are impossible, we empty the Cross of its power.

“CW SAYS THAT WE SHOULD GET TO POINT WHERE MEN CAN LOOK AT PORN AND NOT LUST.”
No, he doesn’t. And neither does Fr. Thomas Loya (Byzantine Catholic priest & TOB speaker) who is also accused of that. They both say instead that porn is always wrong—in all its forms--and should never be looked at. It is using human beings as things for selfish gratification (never OK). Porn’s very intent and construction is to titillate and cause us to lust and sin. Oh yeah, and it’s addictive.

“OVEREMPHASIS ON THE SEXUAL ACT CAN ECLIPSE HUMANITY'S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, WHICH IS FIRST AND FOREMOST THAT OF FATHER AND CHILD.”
Hmmmm. I know this cautionary objection is well-intentioned, but I think there are few believers on the face of the Earth who don’t have some sense that we’re all “children of God” because God is our Source and our loving Father. BUT the whole point of John Paul II emphasizing our SPOUSAL RELATIONSHIP to God is because that is what has been lost and therefore the HORIZONTAL-ONLY, HUMAN SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP has come to replace it as the be-all end-all.

Our post-Christian world has jettisoned a lot of Christian values, but it has not given up on body-sex-love-relationships-beauty (even though it often makes a mess of them because it doesn’t know what they truly are). BJP2G says: We’re all about these things, too! And we can start there and get to the transcendent, to God from there because the physical reveals the spiritual and divine.

To state that the Father/child relationship is “foremost” is to take into account our relationship with only one Person of the Trinity. What of our (spousal=Church as Bride of Christ, Marian) relationship with the Son? What about our relationship with the Holy Spirit? What about our being in the “image of God” likeness of the Trinity in the communion of persons that marriage/family is? THIS is what has been MISSING! These are the “signs of the times” that need to be emphasized! While we always remain Father/child, we must also reach maturity, “full stature” (Ephesians 4:13), which would also imply adult faith/behavior/relationships.

“IN ORDER TO PROPERLY INTERPRET THE ‘THEOLOGY OF THE BODY,’ THE MAGISTERIUM SHOULD ENSURE THAT ST. JOHN PAUL II'S TEACHINGS ARE ‘NEVER USED TO CONDONE SEARCHING FOR SEXUAL SATISFACTION’ BY WAYS THAT ARE ESSENTIALLY ‘NOT CONJUGAL’ OR THAT OBJECTIFY THE OTHER SPOUSE.” (Said in critiquing CW.)

Good grief! This is EXACTLY what CW is trying to do.

PARTING THOUGHTS:

Could CW go astray? Start being explicit again? Apostasize? Get confused? Make a mistake? Yes, to all of the above. He’s only human. But—how many marriages have his critiquers (the ones who don't support his work in general) prepared couples for, enhanced, saved? How many priests and religious (myself one of them) have his critiquers given a whole new perspective to and helped to deepen dimensions of their living of their vocation? (Did that last sentence even work grammatically?)

Unfortunately, many Catholics are uneducated in important aspects of their Faith (and prefer to remain that way), and as soon as doubt is cast on someone/something, their first reaction is to go with the critiquers/detractors: “just in case,” “just to be safe,” or to “err on the side of caution.” This is a very sad way to live one’s life, and leaves one open to Jansenism, gloom-and-doom thinking, cloaking of one's own sins, lack of hope, lack of trust in God and His grace, retreating into darkness/silence, letting others do one’s thinking, and simply an unjustifiable ignorance.


Eve and Mary

If one has taken the time to listen to critiquers/detractors, why not read what JP2G wrote? Why not read what CW wrote? Why just immediately go with CW’s critiquers/
detractors and not his defenders? It may NOT make you a better Catholic to be suspicious.


It may make you a worse one, and the devil may be laughing up his sleeve because he has neutralized you in a murky cloud of doubt. And--in these crazy times we're living in--we and our families cannot afford to be neutralized in a murky cloud of doubt! Christopher West preaches not the repression OR indulgence of sex, but its redemption (as does JP2G)—all according to the teaching of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church.

                    And you can quote me on that.




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