Skip to main content

A GEM of a woman

As I've mentioned before, I am always amazed at how little I know.  I've been reading The Loser Letters by Mary Eberstadt, and like any good book, it's made me scurry for a dictionary or look up a person or two for reference purposes. 

One person I learned about from Mrs. Eberstadt's book is Elizabeth (G.E.M.) Anscombe, a British philosopher of great merit in the 20th century.  She was a wife and mother to seven, and quite a little spitfire:  she blasted Oxford University in 1956 for giving an honorary degree to Harry Truman.  She considered him a mass murderer for his decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

One of her most profound works came in 1972, "Contraception and Chastity".  It's not light fare, but it is prophetic.  You can read it here:  http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/AnscombeChastity.shtml 
Here's just a sample:
There is no such thing as a casual, non-significant sexual act; everyone knows this. Contrast sex with eating - you're strolling along a lane, you see a mushroom on a bank as you pass by, you know about mushrooms, you pick it and you eat it quite casually - sex is never like that. That's why virtue in connection with eating is basically a matter only of the pattern of one's eating habits. But virtue in sex - chastity - is not only a matter of such a pattern, that is of its role in a pair of lives. A single sexual action can be bad even without regard to its context, its further intentions and its motives.

Those who try to make room for sex as mere casual enjoyment pay the penalty: they become shallow.

If you, like me, are unfamiliar with Mrs. Anscombe's work, please take a few minutes to learn a bit about this foremother in our Faith.  It will be worth your time!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Trauma Mama

Dear Husband and I both enjoy certain medical shows, such as "ER" and "Code Black." ("St. Elsewhere" was another fave!) These shows revolve around trauma: humans who'd been ambushed by life: a car accident, a fire, and abuse, as examples.

More often than not, these shows also highlight the trauma the doctors and nurses needed to deal with. Having a patient die is always offensive to a doctor: they are charged with saving lives and losing one is the ultimate failure. Nurses spend more time with patients, and can forge strong bonds with people that may be in their lives for just a few days.

But trauma doesn't always look like a bloody body being wheeled into an emergency room, or a house surrounded by fire trucks and police cars. Trauma comes in many forms.

According to one website, trauma can look like surgery. It can look like moving. Trauma can be losing a beloved spouse or more horrifying, a child. Trauma can also be chronic pain, loneliness, m…

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I …