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Monthly Archives: December 2006

On Faith, Marriage & Sexuality

Modern America is perhaps one of the worst cultures when it comes to sexuality. Not only has the culture become more accepting of overt sexuality over the past several years, it now seems that a promiscuous sexuality is being promoted, encouraged and celebrated as something to strive for. Parents dress their young girls in clothes that are clearly intended to provoke a sexual reaction, and they don’t even think twice about it. America is exploiting its children to advance the immoral concept of sexuality as something to be shared with the world. This sickens me to no end.

Men and women are, by nature, sexual beings. That is the way God created us; however, it was never the intention of God that human beings should flaunt their sexuality and turn it into a commodity. Human sexuality is sacred, and deserves to be treated as such. Several weeks ago, while working out at the gym, I happened to catch a few minutes of VH1′s Top 40 Music Videos of 2006. Of the 8 or so that I saw, all but one of them was extremely sexual in nature. They ranged from a man who was being unfaithful by having three girlfriends, hiding each from the others, to a woman using an ice cream cone as a proxy for the male phallus, to a woman basically performing oral sex on an unwilling (or all too willing?) guard. These are the best music videos of 2006? It wasn’t until I saw these that I realized how strongly I actually felt about the Culture of Sex that we are promoting in the modern western world. Our modern understanding of sex is that it is something that we should be free to share with whomever we please, whenever we please and for whatever reason we please. Sex has simply become something to do – it has lost its sacred significance, and this is shameful.

God gave humanity sex for two primary purposes: procreative and unitive. The modern conception of sex has removed BOTH of these elements, and turned sex into something purely about pleasure. I feel strongly that each of these two elements needs some discussion.

First, sex is meant to be a procreative act. That is, it is an act through which new life is to be brought into the world. Recall that God gave us the greatest gift of all – the life of His own Son, Jesus Christ. It is through this gift of Christ’s life for our salvation that we are saved. And Christ calls us all to share in this life by bringing new life into the world. There is but one natural mechanism by which life can be brought into this world and therefore share in the Life of Christ – sex. Many people claim that the Catholic Church is irresponsible for not teaching the use of condoms, birth control or other contraceptives. Individuals who argue this are misguided. The use of any artificial contraceptive device is intended to remove this procreative aspect of sex, that is, to prevent the woman from becoming pregnant. To remove this is to turn away from Christ and to tell God that you are unwilling to accept one of His most awesome blessings in this world – a child.

Second, sex is meant to be a unitive act. Sex is the single most intimate act that a man and woman can share. Intimacy of a greater scale can certainly be achieved spiritually and emotionally, but physically, sex is as intimate as it gets. This is the reason that sex is to be reserved for marriage – it is a holy bond shared by a husband and wife. When spouses come together in the most sacred act of sexual intercourse, they are celebrating their BONDED AND SINGULAR existence. No longer are they one man and one woman; rather, they are ONE BEING IN CHRIST. In marriage, they received the Holy Spirit and the two became one flesh. Sex is therefore a celebration of this One-ness. It is the ultimate gift of onesself to another person. It is for this reason that Christ calls all people to reserve sex for marriage. Sex as a unitive act is our most holy and awesome physical expression of love, committment and devotion. Sadly, modern society has destroyed this idea and turned sex into the next logical step of a relationship. No longer is sex the ultimate sacrifice for another person, no longer do we teach our children that sex is something so sacred and so holy that it must be reserved for our one and only spouse; rather, we encourage promiscuity through the media and by example. Mothers and fathers teach their children that sex outside of marriage is acceptable by providing them with birth control pills or condoms.

Our modern view of sexuality is appalling. America has convinced itself that sex is something that belongs to individuals. But it doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to God. Only with God and His Spirit does sex take on its true form, joining both the procreative and unitive aspects. When a husband and wife truly come together for this most intimate act, free of obstacles, the Holy Spirit descends upon them and turns their bed into an altar of the Lord. When celebrated for its true value, sex becomes the ultimate sacrifice that a husband and wife can make to the Will of the Lord. Sex, by its very nature, is meant to be an offering to God. Husbands and wives are called to cry out to the Lord, “HERE WE ARE, READY TO DO YOUR WILL. Bless us with a holy marriage, and if it be your will, send us children, that they may know the joys of sharing in Christ’s everlasting life.”

This is one of the most beautiful things I can imagine – one of God’s most awesome blessings! Christ calls all to a life of holiness. And married life is as much of a vocation as the religious life. Everyone called to marriage must realize that they are not called to marriage for their own sake, but for the sake of all humanity. Married couples are called to SERVE GOD with their marriage. In marriage, God truly joins two people and makes them one. Yes, they still exist as two separate phyisical forms, but their souls are forever joined as one. As such, every decision made by the husband is a decision made by the wife, and vice versa. Every sin committed by the husband is a sin committed by the wife, and vice versa. But the best part is that the married couple has the Spirit of the Lord and, if they discern and follow the Will of God, their marriage, their unity, will fill the world with Love, and Christ will be visible to all the world through them! Is this not truly amazing? And to bring children into the world only adds to the blessings God has already bestowed on a husband and a wife.

Most Americans, and sadly even most Catholics, have lost this understanding of just how sacred and special both marriage and sex are. Both are intimate gifts from God, and both create an everlasting bond between two people that can never be broken. Love is from God, sex is from God. These are not ours to give away; rather, they are gifts given to us by God to be shared infinitely with our spouse. I pray that this beautiful truth be made clear in the hearts of all men and women again soon!

May the Peace and Blessings of our Lord, Jesus Christ be with you always! Amen.

Categories: Faith | Comments Off

2006 Comes to a Close

As 2006 draws near an end, I just want to take some time to reflect back on everything that has happened over the past year – and it’s a lot. It has been a year of many new things, many exciting things, many happy things, and some very sad things. If you ask me, the year has been too busy, and I’m really looking forward to a much more relaxed 2007. Here goes the whirlwind that was 2006:

After spending three months with my “adopted grandmother,” Jeanne, down in San Jose while transitioning out of the film industry, I moved back to San Francisco in February and started a new job at UC Berkeley at the same time. I moved in with my good friend from church, Mike Huxley, and one of his former roommates, Don Homewood. The job has been great so far – I couldn’t ask for a better environment or better co-workers.

In March I made my second trip to Australia for my dad’s wedding. Long ago I promised tales from my trip down under, and these have yet to materialize. It’s unlikely that they ever will, now, but we can always pretend that I might put them up here at some point in time. This was just the first of what would turn out to be 7 weddings for the year. I guess it is that time of my life when people are getting married. I traveled out of state for two other weddings, one in Kentucky and another in India. The Indian wedding sets a new benchmark for weddings to beat. And these weren’t for weddings, I made another trip out of the country to Germany, and two trips to Notre Dame (Trip 1) (Trip 2).

Somewhere around April or May, my friends Greg and Elia helped me to transition the leadership of the St. Dominic’s Young Adult Group to ourselves. My good friend Leilani, who had previously been running the group, got engaged and stepped down from the role. Joe Bernabe took over as an interim leader, until Greg, Elia and I stepped into the role. Things have been running smoothly with the group, and I’m proud that we’ve done as good a job as we have.

In May, I also discovered that some people don’t know how to treat the disabled correctly on public transit, that the State of California has a lot of red tape when it comes to getting a driver’s license or contesting a parking ticket (the ticket was ultimately overturned).
June saw a wonderful trip to wine country with some friends. In fact, the entry from that trip got the attention of one of the winery owners who wrote to me and invited me back to the winery for another tasting. I took him up on the offer in September. It was also in June that I experienced the first earthquake that actually woke me up during the night.

July was a pivotal month for me, as I came to a very important realization about my life: I realized that one of the things I wanted more than anything in the world was to get married and have a family of my own. It was partly because of this realization that in July and August I looked into buying a house in the Bay Area, but ended up not going through with any deals for various reasons. For the better part of the last quarter of the year, I actually believed that I might have found the person that I would spend the rest of my life with, but that deal seems to have fallen through, as well. It would seem, that, based on a survey I took in September, I have already experienced 68% of what life has to offer, which is more than most people ever get – so getting engaged and married aren’t looking too likely, according to that quiz. God, I hope the quiz is wrong!

In August I tried two new things: I played the lottery for the first time (I didn’t win), and I tried my hand at increasing the number of meals that were vegetarian in nature. I am still trying to reduce the amount of meat I consume in my diet, but I am by no means a vegetarian.

In October, I posted a Solicitation for Prayer here in the journal as my grandmother was admitted to the hospital with complications from surgery. Sadly, on November 26, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, she passed away after spending 8 full weeks in the hospital – almost entirely in the Intensive Care Unit.

November saw me fall out of love with California politics after I learned the results of the mid-term elections. This is why I hate politics – particularly in Democratic states. December was a particularly busy month – more so than usual – with parties and concerts and all such social events.

Now with 2007 on the way, I’m starting to feel tired from my social lifestyle this year. 2006 was an experimental year in many ways. Prior to the very end of 2005, I had never been a very social person. I had friends and did some things, but I was never booked solid. For most of this past year, people had to book me at least a month in advance to get any time on my calendar. I’m pretty tired of trying to be so active all the time, so I’m looking to make 2007 a much more relaxed year – I just want some time to live and enjoy the moment. In fact, I’ve already started reducing the number of social bookings I’m making. Here’s to a great new year in 2007!

Categories: A Day in the Life | 2 Comments

Back to the Bus-ics

Alas, alack, I write today from the bus. It has been some time since I’ve made a mobile blog entry – or any blog entry for that matter – but finding myself on MUNI today on my way to work, I decided to give it another go. I’m taking the bus into work this morning because Laura has my car over in Oakland. She offered to come pick me up and drive me in the morning – sweet – but I declined because it just wouldn’t make much sense to have her drive to my place in rush hour just to turn back and drive me back across the Bay again. In reality, the bus isn’t awful, but it is not nearly as convenient as driving. Miss the bus by a few seconds and you’re stuck waiting another 15 minutes.
Life is treating me well these days. I’m keeping busy enough at work, but not so busy that I have no life. In fact, whereas I used to try and fit life in around work when I was in the film industry, I’m now trying to fit work into my life. It is better that way. My social calendar continues to be full – I’ve been invited to 9 parties at least during the month of December. On top of that, I’ve been to the Charles Dicken’s Christmas Faire, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert, the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, the Telegraph Avenue street fair, I’ve hosted my family from Utah, had guests for dinner, been to dinner parties (not included in the count above), and attended my 7th wedding of the year. Oh, and did I mention that I’ve actually been at work, along with all of this? December is a busy month!
I’ve been reminded several times that I am delinquent in updating this journal, including failing to post long promised India entries and the India dance video. Sorry. Perhaps someday these will be available. But a word to the wise – don’t hold your breath for too long. ;-)
Have a joyfyl Advent and a very Happy Holiday season!

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