For the benefit of others, who can't seem to get the day started without a little gloom, I present these excerpts from oldies but goodies:
(From John Tenniel (1858), via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
"...Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,Genesis 1:27; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2362)
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow:—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore...."
From "The Raven," Edgar Allan Poe
(Via Project Gutenberg)
"...Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity...."
From "The Second Coming," William Butler Yeats
(Via Poem of the Week)
Some folks may feel that God made a horrible mistake by making us male and female, and wish that sex would go away. Others don't seem to realize that we're rational creatures, able to use our bodies: not be ruled by them.
What the Church says about human sexuality isn't in line with today's intellectual fashions: but it's nowhere near either of those crazy extremes, either. (Catechism, 2331-2391)
laundry list of actions or opinions.
True, some actions are wrong no matter what. But mostly the Church tells us what we're supposed to be for, like social justice. (Catechism, 1928-1942)
There's a reason for that. Jesus said that the law was, essentially: 'Love God, love your neighbor.' I'm also supposed to love myself. (Matthew 22:36-40)
Focusing on a few "thou shalt nots" is a good way to get attention, and can pass for righteousness-lite. I suspect that's partly why I heard so much malignant virtue from radio preachers in my youth: and that's another topic. (December 9, 2010; June 27, 2012)
I'd rather be known for what I support, than what I'm against: Goethe's "Spirit that Denies" isn't a good role model, and that's yet another topic.
"I am the Spirit that Denies!Ecclesiastes 2:24-25; Catechism, 33, 1718, 1765)
And justly so: for all things, from the Void
Called forth, deserve to be destroyed:
'Twere better, then, were naught created...."
Mephistopheles, from Goethe's "Faust," translated by Bayard Taylor
(Via Project Gutenberg)
The "friends don't let friends drive drunk" slogan has become a bit of a cliche, but it's still good advice. Love isn't approval: or turning a blind eye to self-destructive actions.
Loving my children doesn't mean giving them whatever they want, or letting them do as they like. I must respect them, show them what they must learn, and how they can make their own decisions. (Catechism, 2201-2203, 2221-2231)
I figure that kids are more likely to take rational self-denial seriously if they also experience respect and forgiveness: and those are still more topics.
- "It's the End of Civilization as We Know It: And About Time, Too"
(February 9, 2014)
- " 'Lust ... a Symptom of a Deeper Problem' "
(December 1, 2013)
- "Poetry, Sin, and Getting a Grip"
(November 24, 2013)
- "College Kids, '100% Organic Sex,' and Me"
(June 30, 2012)
- "July 12, 2011
Family Values: Addams and Otherwise"
(July 12, 2011)
Gloom is an option, of course: but I don't recommend it.
(Detail of an engraving by Gustave Doré; an illustration for "The Divine Comedy, 'Inferno,' " Dante Alighieri. Caption: Canto I., lines 1, 2.; Trans. Henry Francis Cary. Used w/o permission.)
"In the midway of this our mortal life, I found me in a gloomy wood, astray."