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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
Learn More: Tobias & Sarah as led by Saint Raphael

Jan 26th 2014 new
(quote) Lina-796057 said: So, blow gently, and use 2-ply tissue.
(Soberly): Lina, this is nothing to sneeze at.
Jan 26th 2014 new
Roystan said: We are to love our neighbour as ourselves because we owe the Christ in each of our neighbours, not necessarily because we owe anything to our neighbours.

precisely and succinctly stated...Good News!
theheart

Jan 26th 2014 new
(quote) Virginia-1026653 said: "Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself your neighbor is the holiest thing you will ever encounter with your sense,,,,if he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also, Christ....Glory himself, is truly hidden." ~C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
That whole essay of Lewis's --actually a wartime sermon he preached -- is magnificent, isn't it? For anyone who wants to read the whole thing, here's a link: ericredmond.wordpress.com

Jan 26th 2014 new
(quote) Roystan-340472 said: Thanks, Virginia, there is a santaclausette of wisdom, distributing pieces of wisdom such as this which are well worth memorising before you open your front door in the morning to encounter the World of Other People, some of whom will get up your nose.
Thanks for the new take on the expression I have heard ALL my life! Very Cute.

However........Is there a World of Other People who fall outside the definition of neighbor? Or don't you have a nose for that?
Jan 26th 2014 new
(quote) Paul-1049651 said: On a couple of occasions I've broken up with (or been dumped by) women whose emotional limitations or baggage led friends of mine to attempt consolation by saying things like "you're better off, believe me"...generally followed by a patient enumeration of the lady's faults. This strikes me as a poor though understandable strategy that only prompts me to shake my head and reply, "ah, but you don't know....!". For one thing, when I love someone I find even their flaws endearing (obviously I am not talking about obvious life-wrecking dealbreakers like alcoholism or a propensity for violence). For another, I strongly suspect that I'm drawn to women to whom I feel I can be of some service--helping to mend their broken wings. Of what use could I be, anyway, to those mythical personages who 'have no baggage', who never wake up afraid in the middle of the night, never lose their keys, whose lives are an unbroken succession of personal triumphs? If I met such a woman I'm sure I'd admire her, but not love her, not romantically anyway.
It would be easy to dismiss this quirk of mine as pathological but I'm not convinced that it's entirely a bad thing. It didn't stop me from having a happy 13-year marriage (ended by my wife's death four years ago).
If anyone other than myself finds the topic worthwhile, I'd be interested to hear their views on the preference for a broken wing.
Well that is interesting Paul. Number one your not likely to find a woman that does not need help and depend on you in some way (a healthy) way. I consider myself independent, but, love the help and attention of someone from the opposite sex. I think most of us want to help other people at points in life as being kind and want to be a source of encouragment. Helping others gives an emotional connection which I all humans need and want.

However, someones constant flaws can take so much away from a relationship that could be used else where for good. These kinds of things can drain and give you a false sense of security (I am needed so she won't leave). You may have a co-dependency since you have this 'unhealthy' desire to date women that need your help. These women are probably unheathly themselves.

NEW FLASH: We all have 'baggage' even the healthy ones.

I wish you well and God's blessing and remember that the above is just my opinion.
Jan 26th 2014 new
Sometimes people become involved in helping others with their stuff as a distraction from self--they don't have to look at themselves too closely and deal with their own stuff.
Jan 26th 2014 new
(quote) Virginia-1026653 said: Thanks for the new take on the expression I have heard ALL my life! Very Cute.

However........Is there a World of Other People who fall outside the definition of neighbor? Or don't you have a nose for that?
I'm jumping back in here lol. . . cuz what else is one to do on a lovely Sunday afternoon.

We are called to love even our enemies, so I would suspect there is not world of other people who are outside of this state.

All of this brings to mind The Gift by Marcel Mauss --- Anthropology at its finest. Mauss died rather young and was a sad sort of man who had the kindest way about him. I think I would have liked him very much had I had the privilege of meeting him. Anyway, he wrote a short book maybe 80ish pages called The Gift and it is all about reciprocity. gift giving and the reciprocal obligations that it sets up -- all of which are generally unspoken. While the use of reciprocity is seen more predominantly in smaller social groups, we still see it in action in our world through for instance gift giving among social peers and in families even though it is no longer a primary economic activity in large social groups today. . .we have other systems like Capitalism. Which brings to mind the work of Max Weber The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. . .I will come back to this.

Anyway, a gift freely given is not necessarily a gift with an obligation to reciprocity. meaning that not all gifts are given with an expectation of return. . . although in general gift giving has the presumption of a return at some time in the future --- I give you a cup of sugar today and in four or five years when I am in need of sugar hopefully you will reciprocate. Luckily crimes against reciprocity are often as grievous as crimes against hospitality so refusing to reciprocate can end up with social ostracization. I digress. . .

In the commandment that Christ gives us. . .we are to first love God and second love your neighbor as I have loved you. . . and how did Christ love us?? He served us, he loved us, he cared for us, he fed us, he protected us, he healed us, and ultimately he died for us.

He gave to us freely all that He had including His life. He commands us to do the same -- not back to him in a reciprocal fashion but to all of those around us in a paying it forward sort of way -- indirect reciprocity -- there is in a sense an obligation and a duty to reciprocate the gift with another of equal worth and since Christ died not only for us individually but for all of us that is a lot of reciprocating to do. If He gave this gift to everyone, we likewise are obligated to reciprocate in a like manner which means we do so for everyone.

Now to the point about the Protestant Work Ethic and Capitalism. . . Weber argues that the principles in Protestantism were particularly suited to the Capitalist framework and if one thinks back in time or even today we see remnants of this ideology at work all around us. . .think of the British (not to pick on Britain) stories of poor orphans or impoverished widows. . . the idea was that they were burdens on the rest of the family and/or society as if their state was somehow their own doing. . . remember Christ more than once pointed out that the care of widows and orphans was important and that they should not be mistreated. The Protestant ideology of Manifest Destiny (it is Protestant in origin) imbued the early Americans with a sense that God ordained their conquest of the rest of the world (North America in particular) because they were the pinnacle of creation. . .and anything they did was justified. . .and anyone they mowed over in the process deserved it because of their lack of divine providence.

Christ provides example after example of just the opposite. . . the Good Samaritan -- he cares for and loves his enemy without question or condemnation nor thought of what it would cost him. It was the right thing to do so he did it. the Prodigal son -- from most of our standpoints unworthy of the love and welcome that his father gave him upon his return --- we are not to concern ourselves with their worthiness we are supposed to serve. . . the woman who washed Christ's feet and annointed them with oil and dried them with her hair. . . by the social standards she was a pariah. . .not to Christ. . .she was rather an example of how to serve and love another regardless of your own worth or that of another.

I bring up these two points because I think we especially American or even just the larger Western civilization is a bit tainted in this idea that if you are down on your luck its your own fault -- not a Catholic perspective but definitely a Protestant idea -- the justified are successful because God shines on them. . .but the Catholic perspective is different -- each person the just and the wicked, the successful and the failure, the rich and the poor are each and everyone of them worthy of love and care because each of them embodies Christ for us, because each is imbued with a divinely given dignity.

Christ commands us to love one another as He loved us. . .this does set up a sense of obligation and yet He wants us to do it because it is the right thing to do, not because He commands us to do it -- by this I mean He wants our hearts and minds to be ordered in such a way that we serve in love because it is the Way of Life, we serve without question and without the thought of ticking off a debt now paid. . .I seriously doubt Christ was keeping a list of who He died for and saying now he owes me and she owes me. . .

What does this have to do with broken winged individuals nothing and everything lol. . .anyway some thoughts to ponder :-)
Jan 26th 2014 new
(quote) Jamie-1031385 said: You may have a co-dependency since you have this 'unhealthy' desire to date women that need your help.

Helpful comment, Jamie, thanks. Yes, the spectre of codependency did come to my mind, so I'm going to watch out for that. As things have developed over the past week, it also appears that the only role I am being offered by the lady is that of lay psychotherapist, and much as I would like to help, that's objectionable on a couple of levels.
Jan 26th 2014 new
(quote) Paul-1049651 said: Helpful comment, Jamie, thanks. Yes, the spectre of codependency did come to my mind, so I'm going to watch out for that. As things have developed over the past week, it also appears that the only role I am being offered by the lady is that of lay psychotherapist, and much as I would like to help, that's objectionable on a couple of levels.
Absolutely Paul. If you can't take care of yourself, you certainly can't take care of anyone else. I know you deserve much more than you are getting, but you have to learn to turn away the bad then the good will migrate in your direction.
Jan 26th 2014 new
(quote) Paul-1049651 said: Helpful comment, Jamie, thanks. Yes, the spectre of codependency did come to my mind, so I'm going to watch out for that. As things have developed over the past week, it also appears that the only role I am being offered by the lady is that of lay psychotherapist, and much as I would like to help, that's objectionable on a couple of levels.
Paul,

First, thanks for the link to the complete version of the C.S Lewis quote I mentioned. I had not read it but am enjoying reading it. It was a quote that was in some class materials from a workshop I just attended on charisms.

Secondly, have you ever taken the "inventory" that helps you to determine what your special gifts are? From what you say above, you may possibly have the gift of encouragement. If people have felt greatly helped talking to you, or felt healed of their afflictions and have told you this, then this may be your charism. A charism is a gift given to you for others. It is not you that is at work, but God. If you have this charism people will always be coming to you. Be open to discern if this is what is happening, because if it is, you should be exercising this and not find it objectionable. For more info check this out: www.siena.org



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