I’ve already written more than 1500 words today. I can only imagine how many I spoke. Usually, when I get to dance class, I help Stella with her shoes, then head out to the car as soon as she sets foot on the hardwood floor of the studio. This evening, though, I stopped to chat with a mom I’d not met yet. Her husband and I spent an hour discussing Audis not all that long ago, and I wanted to know how her Passat compares to his A6 Allroad. Well, one thing leads to another with me, and we ended up talking about college, schools, homeschooling, diet, vaccines, and celiac disease/gluten sensitivity.
I’m ready for a break.
I’ll see if I can scrounge up something to write about here, though. Well, I hesitate, but I think it might be worth sharing the comment I left on a blog today. I’m pretty sure I mentioned the original post and the original comment I left. The poem took a critical view of the Catholic Church, and I shared my thoughts on the subject. The poet left me a long, thoughtful comment in return. I replied to that. She got back to me; then it was my turn. In the course of the conversation, the subject of Maria Valtorta’s Poem of the Man-God came up. In the 1940s, Valtorta was confined to her bed and may or may not have been the recipient of mystical visions from God. The Church has never recognized the visions as valid, and at least one priest has called them invalid. The Poem of the Man-God is a five-volume work of about 4,000 pages that recounts her visions. A good friend, who is a very faithful Catholic, introduced me the Poem, saying it was integral to her full embrace of God and Catholicism. I bought volume one and started reading it right away (this was probably 13 or 14 years ago), but I came across something early in the book that made me stop reading. I elaborate on this in the blog comment I wrote earlier, which follows:
Thanks for taking the time to look. I found the passage I was remembering, on page 30 of Volume One. Jesus is talking about how flowers and animals reproduce:
It does not pollute itself and then refuse it [conception] to enjoy the same sensation the following day. It produces, and until the new season, it does not get pollinated and when it does, it is only to produce.
Look at the animals. All of them. … Neither do they evade stopping at the pleasure, but they go further, to the serious and holy consequences of the offspring, the only reason that should cause a man, a demigod by his origin of Grace which I have made complete, to accept the animality of the act necessary since you descended by one degree towards animals.
The problem here is that Jesus supposedly says that sex is ONLY for procreation, and the Church teaches that this is untrue. Sex is for procreation and the unity of spouses. If sex were only for procreation, then the only licit time to engage in the marital act would be during the fertile phase of a woman’s cycle, and sex after menopause would be forbidden. This passage denies the inherent beauty of the marital act, which merges two individuals into one. Obviously, the good of sex can and does get abused. Chastity means that every instance of intercourse between a husband and wife needs to be open to life, so no contraception, no premarital sex, no masturbation, no adultery—and no artificial conception, such as IVF, surrogacy, and artificial insemination; a child is not a product that can be ordered and bought like a small appliance off of Amazon. If what is written in The Poem of the Man-God were true, then a marriage that, through infertility, produces no children could conceivably (yes, I see the pun there) be considered invalid. At the very least (well, actually, this would be the greatest danger), the souls of an infertile couple could possibly be damned to hell. But does that make any sense? No. Further, animals go into heat, and that is when they copulate. If the same held for humans, then men and women would want to have sex only when it is possible for a pregnancy to result, which is the case for only about a week each cycle.
The Catholic faith is incredibly rich and incredibly deep, but a huge percentage of it is misunderstood, misrepresented and simply not studied. I firmly believe in personal revelation that the Church does not need to approve (would it even be possible?), but a contradiction to Church teaching (and common sense), like the one I quoted above, discredits the testimony, and I simply cannot believe that it truly is from God, even though individual priests and bishops thought it was.
Well, that’s not something I usually write about here at Collecting Thoughts, is it? I think I’ll sign off and download the photos I shot today. I’m hoping for a multiple exposure masterpiece. We’ll see.