“The Church's great liturgical tradition teaches us that fruitful participation in the liturgy requires that one be personally conformed to the mystery being celebrated… Otherwise, however carefully planned and executed our liturgies may be, they would risk falling into a certain ritualism. Hence the need to provide an education in eucharistic faith capable of enabling the faithful to live personally what they celebrate.” (Pope Benedict XVI, SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS, 64)

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Millstone in the Living Room

In my continued attempt at burying Andy's post, I want to make a quick comment on another old controversy that I've stayed out of. This one involves the Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean, the young lady who had the guts to answer the question about marriage honestly.

For those hermits who just logged on the last few days, she received a question about gay marriage from a gay judge, and though she stumbled a bit at the beginning of her answer, she gave the answer that she knew would cost her the Miss USA crown. Since then, she's been the scorn of the progressive community, replacing Sara Palin as the new Maria Antoinette.

Let me say upfront that I have deep admiration that this woman would work so hard for this opportunity for many years of her young life and in a blink of an eye knowingly toss it aside to stay faithful to her values. For that, she has been universally praised by many conservative commentators, in particular those in Catholic media.

Through all of the controversy, one thing hasn't been mentioned. Miss Pegean knows that marriage is between a man and a woman, and she knows that not just instinctively, but also because it's in the Bible. Good for her, and for anyone who makes it this far. Now, let's crack open that Holy Bible and dig a little deeper.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house: neither shalt thou desire his wife, nor his servant, nor his handmaid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his. (Exodus 20:17)

You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 7:22-23)

And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones. (Luke 17:1-2)
Now this may not be the major point of this story, but it does bear mentioning. When I looked up this story on a news service, I saw the article complete with a picture of Miss Prejean on stage in a white bikini. As with any contestant in this pageant, she is exceptionally alluring. The primary appeal of the pageant is to get an eyeful of the finest looking women this country has to offer. And while there is certainly a place to admire beauty, when it is done so obviously to encourage the lust of men, it's a near occasion of sin.

One would think that in all the commentary that this story has had in the Catholic media, somewhere there would be made mention of the fact that this pageant is inappropriate viewing for most men, and all boys. It intends to serve no better purpose.

It's hard to blame Miss Prejean, particularly when she acted with such courage. But it still needs to be pointed out that while she is verbally defending the sacred bond of marriage, she is physically defeating it when she exhibits herself on a stage such as that.

So please, ladies, keep your husbands and sons away from the television when this burlesque show comes around next year. One defense of marriage does not a wholesome show make. Better yet - Men, protect the garden! and not just your own garden.

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