Thursday, November 27, 2014

Game and the Girl: Mystery

A series of events have got me thinking a lot about Game lately.
I mean, more than usual.

I have never made a secret of liking the concept of Game. Rightly or wrongly, I instinctively understand that there needs to be a redress of the imbalance between the sexes.

What exactly do I mean?

You can be sure that even the stupidest female is well-educated about how to 'get' a man. It is not hard, as biology dictates :-).
At the most basic level, a woman is more equipped than a man, to 'get what she wants'.
But here lies the first problem: 'getting what she wants' may not be in her best interests, but let's stick with this argument for now, because it is an important part of the point I am trying to make.

That many women in this day and age severely lack a certain wisdom that came easily to our grandmothers is self-evident, yes. But there is still a general (in my opinion) level of 'education' that ensures that men are forever at the mercy of women.
This current era is showing the degree to which this can be achieved, without a doubt.
And sadly, men in general are really none the wiser, (except for those who have 'taken the Red Pill' as it were), until it is way too late.

This thought reminds me of a medical analogy. There are some unfortunate individuals whose underlying medical problem (usually heart disease) is only diagnosed at their death. These people, carriers of genes that cause sudden death have no idea what lies ahead. They literally present to their doctor (in this case, a pathologist, of course), with sudden death. This is exactly what should not happen: that one's first symptom of a disease is death.

But (and sorry to be so morbid), this is exactly what is happening to many men who get the shock of their lives when they are hit with an (unexpected) divorce, complete with loss of their children, loss of their earnings, and a rapid decline from the lifestyle to which they were accustomed, to a life they would hardly recognise as theirs in years to come.

This is why I like the concept of Game. Not particularly the ugly 'revenge' type of PUA activity that sees an otherwise good girl get into the kind of trouble that ensures her life is ruined forever, but the type of Inner Game that an older, wiser man can pass on to a younger man (whether it is his son or not, no matter) to ensure that his life is not only more enjoyable, but is congruent with masculine principles that he needs for a more satisfactory life, with or without women in it.

I really respect the latter, and hope more young men get this type of education.

And I daresay, St. Jerome is right with his 'don't marry, until you are ready!' message.

The difference between growing girls and growing boys is that whilst both get educated in the ways of the world equally well, girls get an education about the nature of boys much more than boys get an education about the nature of girls (other than boys finding out that 'they are hot!' lol), the education of boys being more focussed on getting them safely into manhood - and responsibility and the burden of keeping civilisation running smoothly.  Girls are not burdened with this type of responsibility, so have all the time to study men in a way that men simply cannot compete with.

So the education is skewed somewhat.

There are several reasons for this, I think:

1) It is cultural - girls really need the education on boys because this is vital to prevent her making a horrible mistake at the every beginning of her life (and these 'mistakes' are usually irreversible and permanent, if you see what I mean).

(This of course does not eliminate the problem because we hear everyday (nowadays) of horrible life choices by young women. However, the principle remains that vital information for a girl is crucial to her life). This equivalent need in boys is only now becoming apparent. But it has taken a generation or two of misery at the hands of divorcing women for this to become evident.

2) Again - cultural - femininity is shrouded in a certain 'protective veil of mystery' which is present in almost all cultures. This 'privilege' is steadily being worn away by feminism.
One of the (many) reasons feminism has not done women any favours is that this shroud of the perceived 'inherent goodness' of women has been pulled away, for the naked truth to be exposed (warts and all) to men.
This is a real shame, because although this 'inherent goodness' is not strictly speaking accurate, it was necessary for it to be in place as an 'aesthetic' quality (highlighting femininity in even the least feminine of women) and also as a protection for men who are the 'buyers' of femininity and some of them just don't do well when confronted with shocks :-)

3) Nature: in the absence of corrupting influences, girls do have certain inherent self-preservation traits that biology endows them with. I have noticed this in young girls pre-puberty. They really are more modest (i.e. shy/coy about their bodies, for example), than boys of the same age. They are risk averse (a good thing in a woman, can be unfortunate in a man - within reason).

If a girl is lacking in information, Nature itself will push her to get this information. Exceptions exist, of course, but there are usually grave reasons for these exceptions.

4) Boys are just too busy figuring out the burdens of how to be a man, and are also (unfortunately in this case) too misled by testosterone to fully understand women when young. This is why many advise young men to wait until older before making a commitment to a woman.

Some say it is not wise for a man to be married before the age of 30-35.

I see the sense in this.

But, if he burns with passion as St. Paul says, what to do? (Assuming he is a principled, moral, religious - eg. Christian - person).

Anyway, I digress.

In this and the next few posts about Game, I explore the origins of some Game principles.

One of the stalwarts of Game is the notion of 'mystery'.
Where does it come from?

In fact, where does ALL of Game come from?

Historically, of course, no amount of 'Game' would have worked on the majority of young women pre-marriage. Save for a few who 'fell prey' to 'Don Juans', every woman was 'off limits' to all but one man, who would marry her, if not presently, then eventually.

So any 'Game' a man needed was ensure he was 'marriage material'.
Which in simple terms meant having a sustainable source of income, and a roughly masculine appearance. That's it.
For it was women who were the buyers in the marriage market. It was up to women to attract men for marriage. And they generally did, with great success. Until now.

So to recap, there was no 'action' in the SMP :-)
And in the MMP, only women needed to 'woman up'.
So no need for the type of 'Game' we have today in times past, for most men.

So, it makes sense that the principles of 'Game' as we know it, necessarily had to come from 'Girl Game', because the girls had perfected this skill for decades and centuries...because they needed to!


Let's take a look at 'mystery'.

In number 2) of my list above, it is clear that 'mystery' was not really something that women 'claimed' for themselves. This was a feature that was accorded women by society at large.
It came with the territory (of being a woman).

This is not to say that it was a right.
Not really.
It came with a great deal of responsibility.
Afterall, it was up to individual women to keep it going, to work hard to maintain this illusion.
Like I allude to above, feminism has caused this illusion to come crashing down - hard.
What a shame. It was good for women, this illusion. But like all good things, we only miss it once it is gone forever.

'Mystery' allowed women to become 'interesting' in the eyes of men. A good thing, if he was to sign his life away for her :-)
'Mystery' allowed women to become alluring to men. A good thing if he was to venture forth to 'get to know her better'.

'Mystery' is something that all old-fashioned dating books speak highly of. From experience (of the authors).

From Helen Andelin's 'The Fascinating Girl' to 'The Rules' - they all mention 'mystery' in one form or another. This is no accident.

So now that the tables have been turned, it is not surprising that men have 'borrowed' this concept.
Even in the 'olden' days, the Casanovas and the Don Juans used this to good effect :-)

Now, paradoxically, whilst women needed to be taught to become 'mysterious' in the dating dance, this trait is actually not a feature of womanhood. I think women, by their feminine, inclusive, bonding, nurturing natures, are prone to 'share' of themselves sooner than men would. Just look at today's 'selfie' culture dominated by women!

Interestingly, 'mystery' is actually a more common feature of masculinity, for men are the ones who by dint of their masculinity 'make themselves scarce' and 'disappear for long periods' whilst they (quite legitimately) get on with the business of being men. And it is we women who lament this feature in men (whilst strangely enough also cannot help but be attracted by it!
(Oh the cruelty of life, lol).

So whilst 'mystery' is a priciple of Game, it strikes me as a little odd that men need to be taught it, my logic being that it should already be an inherent feature of manhood anyway (which takes me right back to the argument that Game is nothing but a tool for men to be!).

Which circular thinking brings me right back to another recent thought of mine.

Which is....even when men and women appear to be diametrically opposite to each other, we are in many ways very similar, which is why 'Boy Game' and 'Girl Game' can so easily 'borrow' principles from each other.

This is the biggest paradox of all - the paradox that refutes the existence of a paradox!

I need to go to sleep.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ich bin bereit! Ich bin bereit! Ich bin bereit!

Having lived in a Jewish quarter of London for many years (but I am  not Jewish myself), I got to learn a few of the Jewish customs.

I got used to being 'waylaid', for example, on Friday evenings by a Jewish man or woman standing on the porch of their home and asking me to come in and turn on or off a light because it is not allowed for them to do any 'work' on the Sabbath (which begins on Friday evening).

I also got to know that if a non-Jew wants to convert to Judaism, they must be turned away three times by the Rabbi before they are finally allowed to start the process of conversion.

It seems we have our own version of this in Christianity :-)

As mentioned in the previous post, exciting times have hit the Swiss mountains!

We had a big event.
An ordination, or 'Priesterweihe' in German.
This one was special, because we hadn't had one in this parish for over a decade.

We the choir have been working on putting on a spectacular show for our brand new Father A_______ at his 'prima messa' or 'Primiz', his inaugural Mass, the day after his ordination.

But we weren't going to stop at just belting out high notes (or low notes as the case may be :-) for Father A_______ at his Primiz.

Heavens no.

We were all going to take the trip to the Big City to watch him take the (big) step from mere Deacon to esteemed Priest. (Hm, my hypergamy is showing, lol).

Why am I blogging about a priestly ordination on a website dedicated to the SMP?

Well, there are several reasons. The most important reason is that, an ordination is actually awfully similar to a wedding. It really is! In the former case, a man makes a commitment directly to God. In the latter, a man and a woman make a commitment to each other, with God as the chief witness, and they are actually also making a commitment to Him.

Come with me on a journey through an ordination....

I have been to an ordination or two before. When I was a child, it was customary in my parish for catechism to be taught by trainee priests. I went to their ordinations. One of these priests is now a Bishop.

As an adult, I have also been to at least one ordination before. I have also witnessed the profession of vows by nuns.

But all pale in comparison to the event I witnessed on Saturday.

It was a 2 hour bus-ride on a rainy/snowy morning to the Big City. Friends and family of A_________ dressed in our finest attire :-)

The cathedral in the Big City seemed grander than our little church in the mountains, of course. The ceremony itself was a very grand affair.

Other than our Father A__________, there were 2 other young men to be ordained. Here lies the first similarity with a wedding: at the apéro (light aperitif) afterwards, as all the guests mingled, a common question was, 'who are you here for'? invoking memories of wedding guests asking each other, 'are you here for the bride or groom'?

Second, I notice these three young men were aged 31-35. Our Father A_________ is 32.

I wondered, on hearing their life-stories read out by their chief 'trainers', is the age at ordination rising in much the same way as the age at marriage?
These guys had had careers before turning to the priesthood. Our regular priest, for example, had been a banker for many years before becoming a priest...
When I was a child, it was normal to see priests in their early twenties...

The entrance procession alone lasted about twenty minutes. With 70 priests and 3 Bishops in attendance (I counted them), we certainly weren't short of celebrants at that Mass, lol.

And the organist was suitably trigger-happy, to say the least. His (aherm) enthusiastic organ-playing certainly made this old Catholic Church joke spring sharply to mind:

From one bewildered church-goer to another: "Church is a dangerous place to be, you know...there was a canon in the pulpit, the choir murdered the hymns and the organist drowned the choir!"


I had met the Bishop once before. Two years ago he had officiated at the confirmation of my then 12 year old future niece-in-law, but in Italian.
Now, the same Bishop was celebrating the ordination Mass in German.

Switzerland is a funny old country, lol.

His speech to the 3 soon-to-be priests before him was very moving. He spoke to them like a father would speak to his sons. He looked at them with pride, as though to say, 'my boys done good'.

I kind of liken it to a father who has been training his child to ride a bike for weeks, and it is finally time to take off the 'training wheels' and the child can now 'two-wheel' with confidence for the first time, similar to this:
(I am sure we can all imagine just how proud 'Goose's' father feels in this moment).

In this case, this Bishop had good reason to be proud of 'his boys': (I was told later by a guest of one of the other two priests), there were originally ten men who registered at the seminary 7 years ago, and only 3 of them emerged as priests.

So the pre-ceremony failure rate is high.
But the post-ceremony failure rate?
What is this percentage? How many priests (and nuns and monks) 'drop out' after taking their vows?

Is it anywhere near 50%?
I doubt it, but I don't know for sure. Anyone know?

The Bishop laid his fatherly hands on the 3 young men shortly after they were instructed, no, commanded, military style! to 'step before the Bishop!' (I suppose it sounded like a command because it was said in German, lol).

These men knelt down as they were 'taken through their paces'. Kneeling, heads bowed, eyes closed, they were read a sort of litany, and at regular intervals, were asked, 'Are you ready?' several times. I counted six, but it could have been more times.

To each of these questions, they would reply out loud, 'Ich bin bereit!' ('I am ready!')

I thought long and hard about this.

At a (Catholic) wedding, you also say 'I do' six times, if proper protocol is followed. Every Easter, we also 'profess our faith' and say 'I do' six times.

God gives us free will when we are born. It seems that whatever path we choose in life, He really wants to make sure we mean it. Are we as committed as we say we are?
At one point in the Bible, Jesus asks Peter 'do you love me?' three times before he accepts that he does.

Is this aspect of God a sign of His beta neediness or is this a sign of His supreme Alphaness where he wants to establish that we mean what we say and say what we mean?
What do you all think?

All 70 priests and the other 2 Bishops in attendance laid their hands on the deacons one by one, each praying silently over them, as they knelt, eyes remaining closed. It was very moving to watch.

Once the deed was done, and these men had become priests, their clothes were instantly changed. They were brought 'priest clothes', by their trainers, and were dressed in their new clothes right there and then, whilst we all clapped proudly.

And then all 70 priests and the other 2 Bishops, again, one by one all came to the new priests to greet them in a manner I have now come to recognise as a 'priestly greeting'. I alluded to it in this post where I was greeted in this fashion by a priest, and I just thought it was because I was a woman which is why he avoided hugging me (because even though I see him as my 'brother', I am still a woman, and not his sister - and I understand his need to literally keep his distance from me and all other women, except his actual mother and sisters).

But it seems this is how priests greet each other too! I was wrong to perceive it as a kind of 'b*tch shield' for priests. Turns out I was projecting :-)

Fascinating to see this greeting done 72 times by each new priest.

They touch the sides of each other's heads with each other's heads or cheeks, starting on each other's right side. Sometimes they simply touch the other's shoulder with their forehead.
It kind of reminded me of this other way men greet each other, lol.

Not quite the same solemnity as one would expect in an ordination associated with this way of greeting, but still.... it's the 'brotherliness' of it all that counts...
In this case below, it went awry, but you get the picture...

Some of the priests ignored 'protocol' and went for a full-on hug and pat on the back when it was their turn to congratulate the new priests. I guess this is true 'brotherly' and 'fatherly' love being expressed right here. Quite emotional when one of the priests hugged one of the new priests so long, the next priest in line started looking at his watch and the audience burst out laughing.


As a sign that these men were now accepted into the 'club', they were transferred from the front row of the pews onto the altar to be with the other priests as the rest of the Mass was celebrated by the Bishop

At one point, ALL the Bishops and priests left the altar, leaving the 3 to say the final blessing. I thought that was lovely. It was as if they were saying: 'Now you are priests. We entrust the salvation of the flock to you. Go on and bless them. You will be doing this everyday for the rest of your lives so you might as well start now.' :-)

At the apéro, I bumped into the mother of our current regular priest. She is British :-) so let's just say she and I have a certain bond.

I asked her: 'So how did you feel watching the ordination?'
I could tell it would have been an emotional experience for her. Fifteen years ago, she had watched her own son take this step.

She told me that as she had 15 years ago, she had felt (with a pang of guilt) that it was 'such a waste' to see these handsome, wonderful young men take this step.

As she had felt about her own son, she was somewhat saddened by the realisation that their mothers and fathers would never get grandchildren from these sons (in her case, she had other children, so she does have grandchildren :-), that they would never know what it is like to have a wife, have a (secular) home, live a 'normal' life.

Interestingly, I had had those thoughts pass through my own mind, and I am not even related to any of these guys. I asked the father if he had had similar thoughts.
'Nope' was his reply :-)

Is this a woman thing?

Interestingly, I feel the same way when I see a nun take her vows. She will never be the wife of some man, bear his children, keep his home. I am at least fair to both sexes on this issue.
But am I wrong to think this way? Afterall, if a handsome young man or a beautiful young woman has been 'taken' by God, should I lament that an earthly woman or man is missing out? Is it not good that God takes the best of humanity for himself, so to speak?

I asked the mother if it was wrong of us to think this way. She said 'no, we are only human', but maybe that's just her hamster talking :-)

Each of the new priests had his 'Primiz' lined up for the next day (Sunday).
I discovered that 14 of those 70 priests had accompanied Father A_________ to the mountains in order to be at his Primiz. Again, very touching. Throughout this whole process, I got this strong impression of 'brotherhood' among these priests.
It is a truly mesmerising process for a woman to experience.
Are you men aware of this 'feature' or 'bug' of womanhood, I wonder?

Needless to say, Father A__________'s Primiz was the celestial highlight it was billed to be. Let's just say we the choir exceeded our own expectations and gave him the concert of his life. Hey, these are not my words, that's what he himself said in his 'thank you' speech at the end. No we didn't pay him to say that, lol.

We are so very proud of him and wish him immense success and all the Graces of our Heavenly Father in his life and mission as priest.

I would like to leave you with some of the music we sang for him at this very special of occasions.

Just to mention, we may be a Swiss mountain parish choir, but our choirmaster has a bit of a penchant for British composers, I have to say :-) Nothing to do with me :P

We had previously performed Karl Jenkins' 'Mass for Peace'.

This time, he picked Karl Jenkins' 'Te Deum' as our introduction for the very first Mass of Father A_____________.

Here is a taster:

I only vaguely knew of John Rutter prior to this choral preparation. But I had certainly never heard of his so very beautiful 'Für die Schönheit dieser Welt' before we started practising it.
It is simply stunning.

Here I have it in English and German: (We, of course, sang it in German).

At the very end, we sang the 'Hallelujah Chorus' from Handel:
We brought the roof down, if I may say so myself :-) !!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Servant Queen or Mistress Slave?

It's been a long time...
But nothing really changes here at The Sanctuary.

One day it is 'a chat with a saint', another day, it is 'reflections with a Pope'.

This is perhaps one of the hardest posts I have come up with so far on this blog.

Mac, thank you for this 'mission impossible' :-)
I always learn something from your 'missions impossibles'...

Full disclosure: I am an avid fan of marriage. (No surprise there, as I am a woman and women are more wont to indulge in this sort of nonsense than men :-)
But... just so that my position is clear, no, I don't mean what is commonly known as 'Marriage 2.0' or even 'Marriage 3.0'.

I am a fan of marriage as God intended it. This means, the coming together of a man and woman, each sccessfully weaned from Mother's breast and Father's shelter, to form a new union...permanently...with the intention of being open to new life, and striving together to not just coexist with said new life, but to actively shape this/these new life(ves) into the image of God.

It sounds like a mouthful, doesn't it, this biblical marriage lark?

But the principles behind what makes a marriage good are what makes us truly human, I have decided. Married or not, we all have the starter blocks within us to make good marriage partners, to other human beings, or to God himself.

As part of the local choir, my vocal cords are worn out practising for one of the biggest Masses in our parish calendar. The Deacon in our parish is getting ordained in 2 weeks, and we are going to sing our hearts out for him when he returns from the Big City to celebrate his First Mass here and we can all finally call him Father A_______.

We respect that he is going to say 'I do' to God. What a commitment!

Like Matrimony, 'Holy Orders' is a sacrament. A channel of Grace.
Just a thought: why isn't the 'divorce' rate of priests and nuns anything like the divorce rate of marriage? Anyone know what this rate is? I am pretty sure it is not 50%. More like 0.5%.
Why is this?
Is God a better marriage-partner than us mere mortals?
If so, why don't we just all marry God instead of another human being?

Silly thoughts aside, I remember hearing the following statement sometime in my teens, and it has stayed with me all my life:

"All mothers will go to Heaven."

On the surface of it, it seems like a very noble statement, doesn't it?

It wasn't until my adulthood that I realised how dangerous a saying this is...

For a start, can you guess that it was coined by a feminist? I am guessing you already did :-)
Forgive me: at 17, I didn't know what a feminist was.
Now I know.

This person didn't claim that all parents would go to Heaven.
Oh no.

In addition, (and here comes the dangerous part if you are a young, impressionable woman): no need for marriage prior to becoming a mother.
Motherhood is noble by virtue of its very being.
Not so, fatherhood, by the way, chaps. So sorry...

I remember having a niggling feeling over the years that something didn't quite add up.
Then one day, it came to me, clear as day.

If the above statement were correct, Motherhood would be one of the Catholic Church's seven sacraments. Motherhood would be a specific channel of Grace.

Um...let's see...

Holy Orders. Check.
Holy Matrimony. Check.
Baptism. Check.
The Eucharist. Check.
Confirmation. Check.
Penance. Check.
Anointing of the sick. Check.


Then I figured it out.

Feminist single mother making herself feel good about what she had done, and as Dalrock would put it, 'reframing' things to appease the hamster.
This was all it was.

Another rationalisation successfully debunked.
More to follow in the course of this blogging journey.

Why is all this important to me?

As the natural end-point of 'The Dating Game', or if one prefers, 'The SMP', marriage must be an important destination for most people (fair enough, not all people are called to marriage, I accept this), in order for the cohesive forces of society to function correctly.
Not the watered-down version we have today. Real marriage.
I think we all have some idea what that looks like. We see glimpses of it from time to time.
Sometimes in familiar circumstances. Our parents...grandparents, a cousin, an uncle, the neighbours.
Sometimes we find it in a feel-good film from 1976. :-)
Sometimes we find it in unexpected places.
But it exists. And it used to be commonplace.


When Mac asked me to read Pope Pius XI's Casti Connubii, I didn't know anything about this Papa Pius or his works.
But now that I do, I think I can feel another papal crush coming on :-)
By all accounts, Papa Pius lived up to his name alright.

He was apparently a 'no-nonsense' kind of man. After my own heart, it seems.

See, I think this quality is actually necessary in a Pope. The Pope must be the most fatherly man on Earth. he represents God the Father.
Reading through the lengthy Casti Connubii, Pope Pius certainly doesn't disappoint.
You can feel the patriach in him coming out in every word.
Which somehow leaves me with a sense of
Is this a feminine response to a Pope crush?
Am I idisyncratic in this regard?

Anyway, about Pope Pius, one fact about him stands out for me. It was he, who established the feast of Christ The King. In related news, his papal motto was "Pax Christi in Regno Christi" meaning"The Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ."

This Pope is into the idea of Christ as King.

For some reason known only to my subconscious, I like this very much.

Perhaps a kind psychologist amongst you would like to elucidate as to why this appeals to me so much. :-) Or maybe I shall work it out for myself later on in my life.

Back on topic, Mac's wish was that I have a conversation with Pope Pius, much like I did with St. Jerome.
Your wish is my command, Mac :-)

Unlike my tête-à-tête with St. Jérôme, though, my reflection with Pope Pius is far easier. Pope Pius I already am in tune with. His encyclical's concepts I am already familiar with, even though I was never able to attribute them to him, until now, thanks to Mac.

I can already relate to Pope Pius as a friendly, approachable, grandfatherly figure. I already know he likes to be patriarchal. Which fits in nicely with me because I like patriarchal (older) men, and in little boys and young men, I already see 'patriachs in the making'.

So this one will be pleasant. :-)

Considering that where I am, it is snowing heavily now and it is starting to get dark, I am in appropriately sombre mood. Solemn enough for a conversation with the Venerable Pope Pius.

ST: Good evening, Pope Pius! Il Signore sia con te.
(Hey, he was Italian. Doesn't hurt to address him in his native tongue).

PP: E con il tuo spirito.
(I was a bit cheeky, but The Patriarch doesn't seem to mind my informal form of address. I think I'm in). :-)

ST: Papa Pius, I am about 84 years too late to discuss your Casti Connubii with you. Neither of  my parents was born when you wrote it. Indeed all my grandparents were children at that time.

PP: Better late than never, my child. How can I help you?

ST: May I take this opportunity to say that having read it in full, it is packed full of wisdom that I wish I had been aware of earlier.

PP: Good to know. I was entrusted by Our Lord, as successor to his right-hand man, St. Peter of Rome, to instruct His flock. I hope all of my writings were successful in this task, as guided by the Holy Spirit.

ST: Yes, Your Holiness. And I hope I understand its meaning correctly. I pray that the Holy Spirit will also guide me in deepening my understanding of your words.


ST: I see that you had good reason to write Casti Connubii at the time you did.

PP: I would say it was timely, yes.

ST: Interesting that it was my home country that caused all the bother.

PP: (Sigh). The Seventh Lambeth conference in 1930, in which the Archbishop of Canterbury along with the other Anglican bishops approved the use of contraception did indeed give me a headache, which was only relieved when I had finished the Casti Connubii. It was my duty to show the world, and in particular, my Christian brethren, indeed my Catholic protégés, a better alternative to what my Anglican friends were proposing. I had to show them 'of chaste wedlock'.

ST:  Casti Connubii, 'of chaste wedlock'. Do you believe, Papa Pius, that 'chaste wedlock' is the answer to our modern problems?

PP: That is not the right question to ask me. I shall answer the right question: We are all called to do what the Lord asks of us...

ST: And the rest takes care of itself...

PP: Exactly.

ST: I see. Casti Connubii is divided into four main sections: Sanctity of marriage, eugenics opposition, birth control and the purpose of sexuality and the evils of abortion.

PP: True.

ST: All of these topics are linked, of course. For example, 'failure' of birth control may lead to abortion, and one of the strategies of eugenics is abortion.


ST: May I ask you a specific question?

PP: Proceed, my child.

ST: You say in paragraph 3:

"Yet not only do We, looking with paternal eye on the universal world from this Apostolic See as from a watch-tower, but you, also, Venerable Brethren, see, and seeing deeply grieve with Us that a great number of men, forgetful of that divine work of redemption, either entirely ignore or shamelessly deny the great sanctity of Christian wedlock, or relying on the false principles of a new and utterly perverse morality, too often trample it under foot. And since these most pernicious errors and depraved morals have begun to spread even amongst the faithful and are gradually gaining ground, in Our office as Christ's Vicar upon earth and Supreme Shepherd and Teacher We consider it Our duty to raise Our voice to keep the flock committed to Our care from poisoned pastures and, as far as in Us lies, to preserve it from harm."

This is so true, that we the flock are confused, and The Church sometimes seems confused too. Heartening and depressing at the same time to realise that this was the case in 1930 too, not just in 2014.

PP: Every age has its unique problems. No era is free of bother. What was your question?

ST: My question relates to paragraphs 6 and 7 where you talk of the indissoluble bond of marriage:

"6. Yet although matrimony is of its very nature of divine institution, the human will, too, enters into it and performs a most noble part. For each individual marriage, inasmuch as it is a conjugal union of a particular man and woman, arises only from the free consent of each of the spouses; and this free act of the will, by which each party hands over and accepts those rights proper to the state of marriage,[4] is so necessary to constitute true marriage that it cannot be supplied by any human power.[5] This freedom, however, regards only the question whether the contracting parties really wish to enter upon matrimony or to marry this particular person; but the nature of matrimony is entirely independent of the free will of man, so that if one has once contracted matrimony he is thereby subject to its divinely made laws and its essential properties. For the Angelic Doctor, writing on conjugal honor and on the offspring which is the fruit of marriage, says: "These things are so contained in matrimony by the marriage pact itself that, if anything to the contrary were expressed in the consent which makes the marriage, it would not be a true marriage.
7. By matrimony, therefore, the souls of the contracting parties are joined and knit together more directly and more intimately than are their bodies, and that not by any passing affection of sense of spirit, but by a deliberate and firm act of the will; and from this union of souls by God's decree, a sacred and inviolable bond arises. Hence the nature of this contract, which is proper and peculiar to it alone, makes it entirely different both from the union of animals entered into by the blind instinct of nature alone in which neither reason nor free will plays a part, and also from the haphazard unions of men, which are far removed from all true and honorable unions of will and enjoy none of the rights of family life."

But the door is left open for 'but the marriage was not valid because of issues with consent!' by this one line:

 "These things are so contained in matrimony by the marriage pact itself that, if anything to the contrary were expressed in the consent which makes the marriage, it would not be a true marriage."

This very week, Papa Francesco considered reducing charges for annulments. This is confusing for the rest of us trying to understand the importance of the indissolubility of marriage. I know annulments are not the same as divorce, but should they be easy or hard?

PP: The Lord makes his laws very clear. Everything else is 'but for the hardness of their hearts'.


ST: Paragraphs 26-28 interest me, a woman, greatly. I feel like you are talking directly to my heart here:

"26. Domestic society being confirmed, therefore, by this bond of love, there should flourish in it that "order of love," as St. Augustine calls it. This order includes both the primacy of the husband with regard to the wife and children, the ready subjection of the wife and her willing obedience, which the Apostle commends in these words: "Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ is the head of the Church."[29]
27. This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is not customary to allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.
28. Again, this subjection of wife to husband in its degree and manner may vary according to the different conditions of persons, place and time. In fact, if the husband neglect his duty, it falls to the wife to take his place in directing the family. But the structure of the family and its fundamental law, established and confirmed by God, must always and everywhere be maintained intact .

I like these paragraphs.

Paragraph 29 is a nice summary. I think the reason it is difficult to live out is that modern women have a sense of self-importance never-before-seen. We pray for humility to live out this instruction:

With great wisdom Our predecessor Leo XIII, of happy memory, in the Encyclical on Christian marriage which We have already mentioned, speaking of this order to be maintained between man and wife, teaches: "The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man, not as a servant but as a companion, so that nothing be lacking of honor or of dignity in the obedience which she pays. Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and in her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church."

ST: Papa Pius, I note that you call liken divorce to 'a contagious disease or a river bursting its banks and flooding the land.'

PP: What analogy would you use for divorce?


ST: You stress the importance of selecting the right Partner for marriage, Papa Pius. Would you advocate Game for men looking for a wife?

PP: What kind of game do you mean?

ST (smile): Nevermind, Your Holiness.
To follow on from paragraphs 26-29, I once again note your specific instructions to women as to how we may conduct ourselves in marriage, in paragraphs 74 and 75. The bolded sentence is fundamentally striking to me, in both its directness and its simplicity.In many ways, I find it tragic that it is striking. But bear with me, Papa Pius, for I was born in the century after yours. Nothing you find 'normal' is 'normal' to me. I have to disengage from my reality to find 'normality'.

"74. The same false teachers who try to dim the luster of conjugal faith and purity do not scruple to do away with the honorable and trusting obedience which the woman owes to the man. Many of them even go further and assert that such a subjection of one party to the other is unworthy of human dignity, that the rights of husband and wife are equal; wherefore, they boldly proclaim the emancipation of women has been or ought to be effected. This emancipation in their ideas must be threefold, in the ruling of the domestic society, in the administration of family affairs and in the rearing of the children. It must be social, economic, physiological: - physiological, that is to say, the woman is to be freed at her own good pleasure from the burdensome duties properly belonging to a wife as companion and mother (We have already said that this is not an emancipation but a crime); social, inasmuch as the wife being freed from the cares of children and family, should, to the neglect of these, be able to follow her own bent and devote herself to business and even public affairs; finally economic, whereby the woman even without the knowledge and against the wish of her husband may be at liberty to conduct and administer her own affairs, giving her attention chiefly to these rather than to children, husband and family.
75. This, however, is not the true emancipation of woman, nor that rational and exalted liberty which belongs to the noble office of a Christian woman and wife; it is rather the debasing of the womanly character and the dignity of motherhood, and indeed of the whole family, as a result of which the husband suffers the loss of his wife, the children of their mother, and the home and the whole family of an ever watchful guardian. More than this, this false liberty and unnatural equality with the husband is to the detriment of the woman herself, for if the woman descends from her truly regal throne to which she has been raised within the walls of the home by means of the Gospel, she will soon be reduced to the old state of slavery (if not in appearance, certainly in reality) and become as amongst the pagans the mere instrument of man."

PP: I sympathise with you, my daughter. You are right, the words in bold are simple. Ask yourself this, and ask your fellow sisters to ask themselves this simple question:

Would you rather be a Servant Queen to your husband (as Christ was a Servant King to his Church), or would you rather be a Mistress Slave to everyone else?

Would you rather inherit a throne or buy a footstool?

The choice is yours. Free will is an intentional gift from God. Use it wisely, with discernment.

Read and internalise paragraphs 74 ad 75 again and again until you have memorised them. They are the building stones of your palace.

I bid you Farewell and the Peace of Christ The King.

ST: Goodnight, Papa Pius.

I had a lot more questions for Papa Pius. But I must do as he instructed. So whilst I focus on what is relevant to me, you may wish to find what is relevant to you, in this a most instructive encyclical.

Again, thank you Mac.

In case anyone is interested, more on Pope Pius XI here: