Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Truthless love and loveless truth

This morning I heard someone talking about St. Jerome, who touched on the ideas of truth and love.

He said that love without truth is mere sentiment, and that truth without love is stark.

This got me going down a whole line of thought, because it directly reflects where our society is today.

We view love as mere feeling, coupled with an anything-goes and a quit-when-it-stops-feeling-good mentality. Romantic love is fleeting and then ditched, and all other forms of love are really about niceness.

Playing nice has replaced loving.

Love has been stripped of its teeth.

At the other end, we have the concept of truth stripped of love (which is actually a logical fallacy; truth IS love). Without love, truth cannot exist, and we are left holding a handful of facts with no glue to hold them together.

So here we sit in the oppressive darkness of a truthless love and a loveless truth. And we call that freedom and "Enlightenment."

How do we find our way out?

What you are in the dark

Character is what you are in the dark.

-- Dwight L. Moody

(Uh oh, I'm in trouble.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Argument from Desire and Neurology

It's not just me, other bloggers occasionally contemplate how desire is connected with God. One example appeared here:

CS Lewis' Argument from Desire (and Neurology)

Dancing, leaping, daring life.

If we get our information from the biblical material there is no
doubt that the Christian life is a dancing, leaping, daring

-- Eugene Peterson

Monday, September 28, 2009

Night Song

I never understood
the power of a name
until a love affair began
with yours.

Now the whisper of it
is in my ear
the shape of it
is in my mouth
the feel of it
is on my tongue
the taste of it
is on my lips
the sweet rush of it
is in my breast.

In the still of night
when I hunger for you
your name fills my heart
and I wait.

--Chantelle Franc

Sunday, September 27, 2009

All great things

"All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: Freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope."

--Winston Churchill

Saturday, September 26, 2009

On a hot summer night

I watched part of a rather depressing "documentary" which followed Meatloaf on his recent re-entry tour. Why such a thing was considered worth documenting I'm not quite sure.

It brought to mind the lyrics of one of his songs however.

On a hot summer night
would you offer your throat
to the wolf with the red roses?

Will he offer me his mouth?


Will he offer me his teeth?


Will he offer me his jaws?


Will he offer me his hunger?


Again; will he offer me his hunger?


And will he starve without me?


And does he love me?



On a hot summer night
would you offer your throat
to the wolf with the red roses?


Friday, September 25, 2009

The imprinting of intimacy

I've been thinking about desire.

I know, I know, what's new? It is, after all, in the title of this place. It is it's raison d'etre.

So there I was, once again thinking about desire. This time about how disordered my understanding and experience of it has been for so long. All my life really.

The problem came from getting the whole sex thing out of order. I was a product of my era; sex came into relationships early.

Very early.

Here's the way it -should- go:

First comes love.

Out of love comes desire; a desire for union that builds over time.

As the relationship grows and deepens, the desire for union grows and deepens until it becomes a burning gulf between you.

A raging fire.

Remaining in the desire becomes a delicious torture. An exquisite torment.

I think this time of waiting, this season of restraint and control, imprints on the man and woman, and changes them forever. I think that their bodies and minds and spirits are changed by the waiting, the denial, the anticipation. They are marked by it for ever, for eachother.

And once the time of waiting is fulfilled and they finally come together, the union must be sweet beyond words, and must pierce the eternal.

And the mark that the waiting made on their hearts, minds, and souls, can never be forgotten, or removed.

It is no wonder that marriages so often struggle. So few couples receive this profound gift and grace.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A theft by any other name

Isn't it interesting that "The Enlightenment" did exactly the opposite of what it is called?

It stole the Light of the world from millions who now suffer in darkness.

I Sing the Body Electric (IV)

Bridegroom night of love working surely and softly into the prostrate dawn,
Undulating into the willing and yielding day,
Lost in the cleave of the clasping and sweet-flesh’d day.

--Walt Whitman

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

He allows it and weeps

In yesterday's women's discipleship group we discussed the deuterocanonical books of the Bible, because of the OT reading at Sunday's mass (from Wisdom). One of my tasks with these lovely women is to help them understand Roman Catholicism and overcome biases which have taken a lifetime to accumulate.

It is joyful work.

One of the dearest of these sisters comes from a Baptist background and had a very hard time with several of my comments. For example, the idea that the church did not come from the Bible, but vice versa.

Something she said still has me thinking.

She asked if I thought that God would allow people, mere people, to remove pieces of what should truly be included in His holy word. She reasonsed that God must have allowed the post-reformation removal of various books because they didn't belong there in the first place. And if they did belong, then He would have made sure they remained.

The answer, of course, is free will. He permits all sorts of things He doesn't desire.

He has permitted His Word to be used to justify all sorts of horrific behavior.

He has permitted His church, His spouse, to reject His mother.

He has permitted consumation of the marital covenant between bridegroom and bride (in the Eucharist) to be stripped away, and has remained faithful within a sexless marriage.

We have a God who allows all these things, all these affronts from His people, His children, His church.

He allows it, and weeps.

I Sing the Body Electric (III)

I have perceiv’d that to be with those I like is enough,
To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,
To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is enough,
To pass among them or touch any one, or rest my arm ever so lightly round his or her neck for a moment, what is this then?
I do not ask any more delight, I swim in it as in a sea.

There is something in staying close to men and women and looking on them, and in the contact and odor of them, that pleases the soul well,
All things please the soul, but these please the soul well.

--Walt Whitman

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

WARNING: Political post--proceed at your own risk

One of my son's homework assignments for the weekend was to come up with a controversial solution to an important social issue of the day. The assignment sprung out of recent reading of Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal.

I was surprised to learn that High School students are still reading this piece, and I don't understand why it is discussed as being shocking in this day and age. We are content to allow thousands of babies to be chopped into pieces and incinerated each day here in the US. In parts of Eastern Europe, young women are paid to get pregnant and abort at a certain, optimal number of weeks, when the fetus reaches the perfect stage for use in facial beauty products and treatments. In other parts of Europe it is legal to kill imperfect infants after they are born.

So if all of this is perfectly OK, why should the thought of eating them be so bad? Wouldn't it be less of a waste if all these millions of blobs of flesh were consumed?

I'm shocked that A Modest Proposal remains in the junior-year corpus in this day and age.

Shouldn't we keep English classes out of our bedrooms? Err, kitchens?

Isn't this sort of thing an infringement on a woman's right to menu plan?

I Sing the Body Electric (II)

You would wish long and long to be with him, you would wish to sit by him in the boat that you and he might touch each other.

--Walt Whitman

Monday, September 21, 2009

Exploding heart

This weekend my daughter said, while looking at the dog:

"My heart feels like it will explode with joy when I look at him."

I know just what she means.

I Sing the Body Electric (I)

...the expression of a well-made man appears not only in his face,
It is in his limbs and joints also, it is curiously in the joints of his hips and wrists,
It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the flex of his waist and knees, dress does not hide him,
The strong sweet quality he has strikes through the cotton and broadcloth,
To see him pass conveys as much as the best poem, perhaps more

--Walt Whitman

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More on blood and roses

On Wednesday my BP asked me to listen to a brilliant talk by Dr. Peter Kreeft (one of my uber-heroes, from whom I may be taking a class in October!) called The Culture War.

He finished the talk with a connection to my recent strange dream on blood and roses.

The whole talk concentrated on the fact that we are at war, and reminded us of our weapons.

Christ's weapons.

The weapon of the cross.

He talked about our nation needing to be spiritually pruned, as ancient Israel was so often pruned. He said that we -will- bleed, but that a second spring will come, bringing new buds. But that it would not be without blood.

It never happens without blood. Without suffering.

So... I'm not sure what our Lord's message is to me through this. I don't have a direct correlation between the blood and roses of my dream and the spiritual battles that I am engaging in. But I do accept the consolation and the encouragement that they provide.

And I thank you, Lord.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kreeft said:

We will bleed... a second springtime will come, with new buds. But not without blood. It never happens without blood, without sacrifice.


It occurred to me that Friday is the penultimate day of the week; a perfect blend of anticipation and fulfillment.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Let your scent carry me

Wake me in the dark of night
let me feel you in the texture of linen
whisper my name in the settling of beams
let your scent bridge the distance
and carry me
to dreams of you.

--Chantelle Franc

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Today for example

Some days I want to scream with love and rage.

Blood red roses

A few nights ago I dreamt that I got out of bed to find my legs and the sheets splattered with blood and small chunks of flesh. When I began to clean up, and looked more closely at one of the fleshy bits, I discovered that they were, instead, small dark red rosebuds from a bouquet that someone had pushed down between the sheets.

Isn't that strange?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Return to lovemaking

Over the weekend I promised to write more about lovemaking, so I return to it now.

In that post I said that love making within a marriage is unitive, drawing husband and wife together. Making the two become one. In a sense, it creates love between. It builds it up and strengthens it.

Because of that, lovemaking is not simply to be looked to for pleasure and as a right, but for the unification it provides. It is a responsibility and obligation of marriage. Like taking vitamins (which hopefully taste good).

At some points in marriage, it may even have an aspect of sacrifice. (But then, isn't the best lovemaking sacrificial rather than self seeking?)

We are all called to chaste living. Even within marriage, where chastity takes the form of control over our minds, and avoiding the lustful use of eachother.

But how to properly manage any season of misplaced passions which arise? If a man finds himself attracted to another woman, perhaps even very strongly, what is he to do with that energy?

It would clearly be wrong to use a spouse by pretending they are the coveted one. But would it be wrong if he were to channel that passion toward his wife, resisting the urge to fantasize?

I am drawn to the idea of lovemaking as an act of worship. If we view it that way, why shouldn't we be able to channel -all- of our passions into this ultimate act of giving to our Lord, even those which are not properly ordered?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Know me more

In future I may call this the summer of the peach.

I found a longer and a shorter version of this poem, but preferred the shorter (below).

Upon reading, it occurs to me to wonder if the fruit Eve bit was a peach...

Know me more

Share a peach with me
softly ripe
and by it
know me more.

--Chantelle Franc

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Been thinking about lovemaking.

Love -making-.

Generation of love through the act of love.

More soon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

St. Augustine on Longing

The whole life of the good Christian is a holy longing. What you desire ardently, as yet you do not see... by withholding of the vision, God extends the longing, through longing he extends the soul, by extending he makes room in it. Let us long because we are to be filled... that is our life, to be exercised by longing.

--St. Augustine

Friday, September 11, 2009

The chaste journey

Our Christian journey is a lot like chaste courting.

It is a walk filled with acts of love, self restraint, and sweetness coupled with a terrible incompleteness, awaiting fulfillment.

No shine without friction

A gem cannot be polished without friction; the child of God cannot be perfected without adversity.

-- Author Unknown

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Frozen with waiting

I am a spiral vine
grown 'round your tree.
When you are gone
I hold the empty shape
cradling your form
as if frozen
with waiting.

--Chantelle Franc

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Breath alone

Pick up my call
but say nothing
your breath alone enough
to calm my soul.

--Chantelle Franc

Naked vulnerability and freedom

The other day as I drifted off to sleep I visited our Lord under the waterfall, and He spoke to me of skin.

It was important and compelling, but given that I fell asleep, I lost what it was that He actually disclosed.

In contemplating it this morning, I thought about the skin being the largest organ of the human body, and I thought about how I climb on His lap and sit, skin to skin against Him.

There is more, much more, to explore on this. But what did hit me is that in nakedness, there is both vulnerability and freedom. And that the two, perhaps, go hand in hand.

Monday, September 7, 2009

C.S. Lewis on valued things

The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance.

-- C. S. Lewis

Friday, September 4, 2009

One who loves to love

I've been thinking about loving.

About how some people are just easy to love. Some people you just love to love. Loving them is a joy.

In some special cases, actively loving them is all you may even want. Loving them is such a joy that nothing in return is required.

Any love that -is- returned is a wonderful gift, but loving them would be enough.


I think mothers are good at this kind of love. They simply bask in the light shining from their little ones, expecting nothing back.

And that helps me grasp the mystery of God's love for us, despite how little we give Him in return.

He just sits and watches and loves loving us.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Even Soloman

I read a passage from 2 Kings this morning on how Solomon turned to the various gods of his hundreds of wives and concubines.

And I found this to be stunning and appalling and comforting all at the same time.

Here's a guy who is so favored by God that he is granted a specific wish and allowed to build the temple which was to become the center of Jewish worship for generations. His kingdom flourished and he was widely renowned for his wisdom and the blessings which stemmed from it.

And what does he do, this wisest of wise men?

He builds high places for other gods.

I -hope- that this was a Clinton-esque lack of judgment grown out of weakness for women rather than a true turning away of faith and belief in the great I AM.

Either way, it's appalling.

And yet comforting.

If one so very wise can be so very foolish, then my own lack of fidelity seems a bit more understandable.

How He puts up with us, I'll never know.


Today I feel like I am finally returning to myself. Praise God.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Word and the message

This morning I heard that Marshall McLuhan died a convert to Roman Catholicism, and that his final public appearance was to give a talk on the Eucharist. He is known as one of the great intellectuals of our day.

Several of his phrases have become part of the American lexicon, such as the concept of a "global village". Another is "the medium is the message".

This morning I heard the latter phrase used in reference to Christ. He was (and is) the medium, and He was (and is) the message.