A Catholic Response to Pantsuit Pandemonium

RosalieContrite
October 14, 2017

Note: I am aware that the media did not report the parish’s side of the account and that the parents did not request an exception be made to the dress code before purchasing the suit. I am also aware they were offered private reception of Communion for the child, and declined. I do not think on the day, that a modest and formal outfit is justification for denying an elligible and willing child Communion, even if her parents may have been in error or dishonest. The sins of our father are not ours, and child should not be refused the Lord because of his or her parents.  Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.”

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When reflecting on the denial of First Communion to a child who desired to receive and who was elligible to receive whilst being outside of the dress code, we must consider what Sacraments are and who can receive them. Sacraments are defined as, “a visible sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace.” The Church considers that Sacraments a gift grace from God to those who wish to receive it, but they are sometimes denied to people who are not properly disposed or to those who are in abject and/or grievous public sin. I myself, have had a priest delay/refuse absolution during confession until such a time when I could make a change that demonstrated I was truly pentitent. A couple can be refused the Sacrament of marriage if one party is already married. There is a premise for the priest or the parish to deny someone/people a Sacrament, but that denial must be weighed against the belief Catholicism holds, that all people whether they know it or not, need the Sacraments and most especially the Eucharist, and that they were given to us by Christ so that everyone might have life abundantly.

Considering the gravity and base need for Communion according to Catholic belief, nearly the only reason someone should be denied is if they are clearly eating or chewing gum in violation of Church law or if the priest is aware of some abject and/or grievous public sin. Anything else is between that person and the Lord. We do not have the right to decide who can and cannot have Jesus based upon arbitrary norms. People often abstain from Communion of their own accord if they do not feel rightly disposed. This calls into question the suit and whether it is sufficient ground to deny a child reception of Christ. Is a woman in a suit in violation of an arbitray and subjective dress code especially when the child who wishes to receive may not have known, such a grievous and immoral act that it justifies the denial of the Sacrament to the child, something Christ means to give to all? I feel quite safe assuming all parties who would be in attendance were aware that the girl known as “Cady” is in possession of two legs. This could be the only epiphany gained from a suit on a girl instead of a dress. Had she shown  up in sweats or something informal (disrespecting the occasion), I might understand the denial of Communion with Jesus, the same man who stood over the Magdalene and protected her from stoning, the same man who ate with the lowest of the low because meeting people where they are is part of the faith.

Fashion is subjective and not an objective truth. It changes across time, culture, and location. Given this truth, and the fact that wearing pants would not present an objective obstacle to reception, as I have received communion in pants myself many a time, it would seem this is more of an issue of refusing the Sacrament based not on the child’s disposition to receive, nor on her elligiblity to receive, but based upon a priest’s own arbitrary opinion and her parent’s actions, for which she cannot reasonably be held accountable. He chose to deny a soul reception of the Lord because he did not like what she was wearing. Does this sound like Christ? It reminds me much more of the Pharisees than the Lord. I do wonder if he considered that Jesus most probably wore what would largely be seen as a dress, in modern times. *GASP* *clutch pearls*

I understand the argument that there was a dress code, but this is not a country club. The dress code has no canonical status and is suggestive. This is the church of Jesus Christ and He did not establish it for some elite few. You cannot deny someone Communion because they are different or because the look differently.

In a world that is so hurting and so in need of Christ, we must get Him to everyone who seeks Him so long as they are rightly disposed and not in violation of any Church law. Women wearing pants is not a problem, not a sin (contrary to the opinion of many who no doubt refuse to acknowledge Jesus likely wore a dress), nor is it against Church law. One has to wonder if the priest or other office staff has considered the gravity of this denial, and if they can truly envision our Lord denying this little girl as well.

I can only leave with with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “Let the children come to me.”

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It’s OK if you can’t homeschool

RosalieContrite
August 29, 2017

Please be kind, and assume the best of my words. I fiercely love and care for both of my children with all of my being.

When my husband and I married, we met a vibrant and wonderful homeschool group and that has always been what we wanted for our family. I feared I wasn’t cut out for it, but we declared our plan early on in our marriage. That made my admittance that it might not be what was best for us even harder. It stunk of failure, of a lack of self-discipline. I thought, “if only I pray harder and bear my crosses better, then I will be able to do this.”

I struggled so much with what is right to do for our family and the decision of whether or not to send my five year old to a Catholic School this year over homeschool for a plethora of reasons: my health isn’t great right now, I want to get my masters, I don’t seem to be offering her enough mental engagement to keep her happy, and my two year old was really struggling. I felt like a chump who couldn’t handle being a full-throttle catholic, like I was a lesser mom. Maybe I am. *shrugs*

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School started last Wednesday, and ALREADY the special one-on-one time with my two year old is paying off in dividends. She was very prone to screaming and having outbursts under stress, which are normal for her age, though her older sister never had them. I chalked it all up to differences in personality and temperment. YES, I know kids are not all the same in one family. I assumed she simply had a shorter fuse. I was wrong.

Already, she has calmed down, talks more, and handles things better. Maybe its a coincidence, but I suspect that the special time together is the reason for the change. Just minutes ago, I laid her down for a nap and she blew me a kiss as I walked out the door, just as her older sister did when she was little.

 I feel so guilty that she may have felt unheard, even though we have well-spaced kids. I am even more heavily considering how soon the two year old would be ready to be de-throned as the baby. She needs this time and I won’t be talked out of giving her what she needs because people feel she’ll “be fine” or “she’ll live,” nor will I give her the short end of the stick because I simply want another baby. It won’t be popular for me to have said this, but it is the truth. Yes, we are always open to life, we follow the faith 100%, but we are also capable of planning and exercising self control, as un-fun as that may be.

Catholics are literally always thinking about when the next baby should come; it’s our hobby. (Someone would make a killing on a dice with TTA/TTC/TTW/Take a chance on it.) My oldest was three when the baby was born, and she was ready to be a big sister! She was so excited. I want that for my current baby.

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My mental health is so much better now, not that I was on the verge of a mental break. I just always felt like I wasn’t doing a very good job, even when others assured me I was. I constantly felt like I was going to cry any moment because I couldn’t manage all the tasks I needed to be managing with my sweet kindergartener underfoot. I don’t feel mentally out of breath. My oldest comes home tired, happy, and simply wanting to snuggle or talk about her day. She’s had her mind engaged, prayed, played with friends and I am much more patient and relaxed having gotten my day’s work finished. She and her sister are not jealous of each other now, but excited to see one another because they did not spend all day competing for attention.

I feel so right about this choice for our family right now, and want to tell other homeschool mommies, homeschool is wonderful and a gift but it’s OK if you can’t do it. It’s OK if it doesn’t work for your family. Don’t force something because of what others think or because you’re afraid of the effect of the world on your children. Both options are OK, and what is right for one kid may not be for another. I know that now. We may return to homeschool again one day if it is what’s best for our family, but rather than focusing on raising them a certain way, I will only be looking to do what is best whatever that may be.

It still bothers me that I can’t be the graceful, homeschool mother of nine that I envisioned before kids and marriage, but I think it’s a lesson from God. Even the image that LOOKS holy to you, that might not be where he’s calling you. You have to pay attention more and talk less.

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Cardinal Sarah said what about African culture?

RosalieContrite
August 23, 2017

I would like to post the full Cardinal Sarah quote as I have seen it flying around and misused for everything from racism to self interests.

 The proof texting of the first sentence is not only misrepresentative but self serving. He did not say to ignore African or any other culture. Having a culture baptized into the faith is very different than promoting it. 

People have taken this to mean African culture has no place in the liturgy- they even rejoice of it. For some reason, medieval white culture is king. How lucky for them, right? 

There is a great deal of difference between promoting culture and considering the demographic in which we worship. This is why the Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine Catholics is no less valid or holy. 

I have had to sit through enough masses with a pony-tail wearing, tambourine-wielding, guitarist complete with back-up drummer, to know it doesn’t get worse than that. Talk about sacrilege! 

This misrepresentation is disgusting and not what he said. Do not be a fool and be jerked around by people who would misuse his words for their own ends. 

I am an African. Let me say clearly: the liturgy is not the place to promote my culture. Rather, it is the place where my culture is baptised, where my culture is taken up into the divine. Through the Church’s liturgy (which missionaries have carried throughout the world) God speaks to us, He changes us and enables us to partake in His divine life.

– Cardinal Sarah 

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Until the next time I get ticked off,

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Is Modest Hottest?

RosalieContrite
August 10, 2017

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Let me go ahead and spoiler alert, here. Whether modest is hottest is not something about which I’m actually going to debate. Whatever the hell I want to wear, be it “modest,” whatever that means as per your culture and chronology, or not, is not subject to a ratings system by a bunch of pharisaical, undisciplined, self-righteous men. I don’t care if you think modest is hottest. I do not want you to “guard my purity,” a thinly veiled attempt to shame me for looking like a woman in public. I don’t want to be hott or not hott in your eyes.

I am a human person with innate dignity, worthy of respect, a value which goes is far deeper beyond the superficial judgement of my clothing.

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The whole concept of modesty seems it cannot be separated from pleasing the eyes of men. This is so perverted with which to begin. You have heard it said “leave a little to the imagination.” Why? So I can titilate you with my purity and mystery? I am not a pleasure item to be consumed by men. I do not exist to serve aesthetic pleasure. I am not dressing with placating men or others in mind. I am dressing with MY dignity in mind, my self respect which IS charity toward others.

Can we not see that these slogans #ModestIsHottest and #LeaveALittleToTheImagination are both reinforcing the erroneous idea, that women exist to please the eye of men? That’s all this modest or not is about right now. It’s certainly not about helping men avoid lust. If it were, would Modest Is Hottest even make sense?

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You’re telling me that you are advocating a type or standard of clothing that is “hottest,” a colloquialism for sexy or wildly attractive? How is that at all focused on preserving a woman’s dignity? How is that about charity toward men, if the very act of modesty is apparently making women even more irresistable, more easily objectified?

As per usual, the women blaming and shaming debate on clothing and modesty has little to do with virtue, chastity, or dignity, and it has everything to do with lording over, controlling, and subjugating women. Where are the admonisions imploring upright men to discipline their own gaze and minds or to avoid pools if that is their cross? No where. It’s not about chastity. It’s about shouldering women with the lion’s share of the guilt and shaming them into accepting it. Deep down, it must also be about avoiding being truthful to themselves. If they focus on it being someone else’s fault, they do not have to indict themselves, they are not at fault.

Will I be dressing modestly? I will be dressing to reveal my dignity and my value as a human being. Will I leave anything to the imagination? Only someone who looks upon me as an object would allocate me as visually mysterious or not. I do not dress for these disgusting and perverted men. I dress for me, for my dignity, as an example for my daughters, and knowing that I am equal to men (See the Catechism), in intellect and value.

What will I wear? Whatever the *#$% I damn well please, and if it doesn’t trip your trigger, I will be one happy woman.

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Slavery, Abortion, and Genocide: You either oppose all or support all

RosalieContrite
August 1, 2017

Hard truth, here: bias, politics, greed and egocentrism often cloud our minds, but in each of these cases a group was legally deemed less than a full human because of course, you can’t own/kill a full human. 

How have the monsters of history gotten around that? They had two choices, the could either make murder of anyone legal OR they “legislate” a group into lesser status they deemed unworthy of full rights. History has shown us which path the monsters of the past have chosen. 

We need not make these mistakes again. I often hear the question, “which side of history do you want to be on?” in regards to social justice topics. 

I want to be on the side of the maligned, the mistreated, the disenfranchised, and the voiceless. 

Consider these proposals I have heard regarding these three cases:

1. The civil war was about states rights and not slavery. 

2. Legalization of abortion is about women’s rights, and not killing those who cannot speak.

 3. Naziism was about rejecting communism, and not genocide. 

I disagree with each and every one of these vehemently. If you disagree with one, you must disagree with all, or you are not being logically consistent or intellectually honest. Each of these cases targeted killing and/or dehumanizing a single demographic: African Americans, the unborn, and those of Jewish heritage. Next time you think your #pro-choice stance is fighting to give rights to a minority, consider the unborn, the only minority without a voice.

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