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Body Autonomy & Birth Control

As I was putting on my bra this morning, I thought how nice it is to no longer need to arrange that whole portion of my body for nursing access. How having a child makes your body Not Entirely Your Own in so many ways. Is it any wonder the Church warns against birth control? It short circuits the truth that we are all connected, that our bodies have a language of their own, that at our peril we belie the nature of sex by treating it as a consumer good, that we think that "my body, my choice" were ever possible, as in a social vacuum. As a mother who firmly supports my daughter *not* having to hug someone she doesn't want to, I embrace the importance of Body Autonomy, but let's not act as if our bodies aren't inextricably linked to others' or that sex doesn't have a meaning outside of our personal definition. And it's a beautiful thing that the physical act of love is the initiation of self-gift, that would by its nature bloom and grow into more se
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Queer Catholic: A Spin-off of "Pride"

My husband's latest blog post  concludes with, "I am Catholic and I am queer. I wish it didn't hurt to say both together." I'd like to add my perspective: It occurred to me that I say "I am Catholic and I am queer" with no pain. Not to invalidate the pain of people who do continue to struggle. Not to say I haven't felt this pain in the past. But I would like to offer hope to (for lack of a better umbrella term) queer folk that the people we're attracted to don't wreck us for communion with God and Eir people. (Bear with the Spivak pronoun for God, there, and if it's not clicking/you want to know more about Spivak...worth a Google.) All I'm trying to offer here is my limited experience, not in a normative sense: I've been attracted to people regardless of gender for as long as I can remember; I didn't realize the implications until well later in life. I used to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Magic Nursery Babies with m

The Pentecost Report

The Spirit did not disappoint. Were there observable tongues of fire or speaking in foreign languages? No, but our worship was particularly Spirit-filled, and whether plausibly-deniable things happen, or whether the Spirit is working more interiorly, how could we capture the experience in words, either way? The choir chanted the Veni Sancte Spiritus sequence, and I was thankful to have spent time chewing on the Latin and getting the tune in my head so I could sing wholeheartedly and know what I was even saying. We collaborate with the Spirit when we follow due diligence in preparation.    And we finally nailed Regina Caeli; a unity of jubilant voices, clean entrances, and flute and violin to boot! Rejoicing with Mary at the resurrection of her son! Since when was I able to enter into a song of beauty and Joy?! Since Easter!   But Eucharist. I was taken up in God’s transcendence and imminence, perfection and mercy; the all-powerful, all-benevolent creator of the universe sent Eir S

Between Ascension and Pentecost

Last Monday was my husband’s and my last night of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults: Catholic membership classes, as it were). These have been one of the high points of my weeks, these last 9 months, the best sort of date night with my husband. I’ve shed more tears of joy and beauty in that class than I could’ve ever anticipated. This, plus Ascension having just passed. My husband had taken Thursday off before we knew Ascension was transferred to Sunday in our diocese, so we joined some friends over in Lapeer for our first Tridentine Latin Mass, during which they Extinguished the Paschal Candle. Bye, RCIA. Bye, Jesus. But the homily on Thursday proposed that Christ’s Ascension established our hope for our mortal bodies also being taken up into union with God forever; where the Head goes, the Body follows. The Incarnation was God Made Flesh here on Earth, and in the Ascension, Jesus goes to prepare a place for us, as a bridegroom builds his beloved a home where

On Clinging.

Jesus said to Mary Magdalene, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father” (Jn 20). I’ve always wondered at that. Her Lord is risen! Why would Jesus tell Mary to back off, when she could again touch his incarnate, living, now resurrected, glorified body?! I see myself in that place, longing just to kiss his feet! Why would Jesus deny her? In this passage, the reason seems to be that Jesus has an urgent mission for Mary: “Go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" But I think the reason is further developed in the story of the Road to Emmaus. Jesus, present yet hidden from the disciples’ sight, reveals his fulfillment of prophecy. The response of the disciples is first an internal one, their hearts burning within them (as I felt myself when I first began to recognize the Real Presence of God in the Mass). Their succeeding action is to ask Jesus to stay with them, and not until he breaks bread