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I give up the web entirely during Lent except Gaudete Sunday. It has no affect at all on my web addiction. I start surfing again on Easter Monday and I'm as bad as ever within a few days.

It doesn't have any effect either :)

heh. I was hoping the effect would change the affect. I'm doubtful of my ability to change the affect.

That last part is lovely. I think I may have to sit down and think about it. It reminds me of what Caryll Houselander said about Luke 22:15, "With desire I have desired to eat this pasch with you...." He desires for us to receive Him in the Eucharist. That is a powerful word.


I give up the internet, except for email, during Lent, so if you stopped blogging for Lent that would be okay from my perspective. It has had some effect; one year I forgot about a few blogs and stopped checking them altogether, and I got out of the conversational loop on a forum and never got back on. Eventually, though, I discover a new blog or website and the time-sucking creeps back.

That phenomenon of forgetting blogs if you stop reading them for a while is the reason I don't want to shut down for Lent--people might not come back. For my part I have almost declared a sort of moratorium on discovering new blogs. Not very fair, I guess.

Glad you liked it, Janet. I can't think of anything else to say on the subject right now.

That part from the OT also struck me greatly, Maclin. I felt very awed by it.

"traditional marriage" v. "actual marriage" - I agree. In general, I tend to see marriages these days in terms of "married" and "really married." This is a reference to Chesterton's pamphlet "The Superstition of Divorce." In it he notes that the overall affect of the availability of divorce is that there will be "remarriage" (the making and breaking of a vow at the same time) and consequently there will not so much be the married and the unmarried in society, but the married and the really married.

I would like to see three things occur in the near future, which are by no means impossible or unlikely:

1. Real help for marriages in trouble, provided by various sources, especially the Catholic laity.

2. Divorce laws repealed, starting with "no-fault" divorce.

3. The annulment factory closed down, with annulments being once again as rare as they ought to be. (In my more cynical moods, I like to think that annulments should be safe, legal and rare).

If we could at least get rid of "no-fault" divorce, there would be a just end to "gaymarriage."

Most Catholic dioceses (I think) in this country run serious programs to prepare people for marriage. I don't know about helping those in trouble, though. Maybe there are things that I don't know about. I sort of doubt #2 has much chance, though I don't really know. If such a proposal would be opposed by feminists it would certainly have almost no chance at all. I really don't know how it came about, who pushed for and who pushed against. #3...well, maybe that would decline slowly, if the Catholic house were put in better order otherwise.

I'm inclined to think #2 is humanly impossible - but nothing is impossible for God. I do think it might even be possible humanly speaking to roll back no-fault divorce. I'm no legal expert but I've heard that "no-fault" is a bit of a misnomer especially when it comes to the division of property etc. so it might not be too hard to at least get back to having to demonstrate fault for a divorce to be granted.

I looked a bit more into annulments a little while back b/c I'm really just not happy about them. It looks like one small section of canon law was changed which makes it far too easy to obtain one. There's no reason at all why that shouldn't be tightened back up. At any rate, if at least some of us don't start fighting for real marriage, we may well deserve the plague of "gaymarriage." I'm reluctant to include everyone in that b/c not every fight is for every Christian. There's just too much work to do and not enough labourers.

Maybe if the marriage prep courses include a section on "what to do when your spouse walks out" they might be heavy duty enough. We don't have anything like that here judging by the number of Catholics who "repartner" after their spouse deserts them. I'm getting tired of the sheer numbers of marital separations and some of us are saying "enough's enough". But the battle is the LORD's.

I'm haunted by T.S. Eliot's observation that the energy of liberalism is essentially destructive. It's way more interested in breaking down oppressive (or "oppressive") structures than in what happens after they're broken down, which always remains nebulous, as is well demonstrated by the OWS people.

I hear that there is a really wide variation from one diocese to another in the way annullments are handled. I think that provision you're talking about has to do with psychological ability to know what one was really undertaking in getting married? Easy enough to see how that could be abused, but it probably is justified in some cases, too. Seems like the cases where a couple married and raised a family and then got divorced ought to be fairly open-and-shut, though--which is to say, shut.

Yeah, like a man who has eleven children and has been active in teaching in his parish should not be able to get an annulment.


That's not an imaginary example, I suspect? There are a lot of pretty scandalous stories like that floating around.

I've been recommending that article by Douglas Farrow to friends as well. As you say, he makes some very good arguments that I don't recall hearing elsewhere. In support of his general claim, it is worth noting (as perhaps he does in the essay) that in Canada the legalization of 'same-sex marriage' was accompanied by the replacement of "natural parent" by "legal parent" throughout our law books. The state no longer recognizes family relationships as being prior to the law.

I am planning to read some really long books over the next few months (while I'm on paternity leave). But I certainly can appreciate what you say about having difficulty concentrating, especially when one rarely has more than ten or fifteen minutes at a time for reading. But I'll do my best, and I wish you the best as well.

Just in case some people didn't notice, Farrow is Canadian. I don't remember him mentioning the wording specifically in the essay, but he definitely makes that point about family relationships and the law.

Thank you. I guess my basic problem is that I'm having trouble reconciling myself to reading a book of any length in those ten or fifteen minute snatches.

See y'all briefly on Gaudete Sunday and then at Easter.

Bye. Hope your Lent bears much fruit.

Seems like the cases where a couple married and raised a family and then got divorced ought to be fairly open-and-shut, though--which is to say, shut.

Yep. I'd agree to all that you said in that comment above, Maclin.

Not sure when I'll be on the 'net next - stupid server!

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