Monday, November 24, 2014

A Random Assortment

~ I contemplated working for this guy back in the day--at the time my father was really impressed by him; turns out, most of Nebraska is, too. (Via Francisco)

~ I want to see this National Museum of Women in the Arts exhibit on the Virgin Mary (via Hopkins).

~ I'm so glad that Francisco is part of this trend toward more men being in the kitchen. I'm so glad I wasn't alive in the 50s.

~ I love this. Some descriptions of complementarity bother me because they can make men and women into stereotypes rather than individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses. (Even Edith Stein's description of complementarity acknowledges individual difference and femininity as a spectrum, as far as I remember.) Pope Francis puts the complementarity of men and women within the context of a more encompassing human complementarity in the church:
Yet complementarity is more than this. Christians find its deepest meaning in the first Letter to the Corinthians where Saint Paul tells us that the Spirit has endowed each of us with different gifts so that-just as the human body’s members work together for the good of the whole-everyone’s gifts can work together for the benefit of each.
He acknowledges that complementarity is between two different individuals who bring their "distinctive contributions to their marriage." And he insightfully talks about the tensions of marriage--"between egoism and altruism, reason and passion, immediate desires and long-range goals":
It is fitting that you have gathered here in this international colloquium to explore the complementarity of man and woman. This complementarity is a root of marriage and family. For the family grounded in marriage is the first school where we learn to appreciate our own and others’ gifts, and where we begin to acquire the arts of cooperative living. For most of us, the family provides the principal place where we can aspire to greatness as we strive to realize our full capacity for virtue and charity. At the same time, as we know, families give rise to tensions: between egoism and altruism, reason and passion, immediate desires and long-range goals. But families also provide frameworks for resolving such tensions. This is important. When we speak of complementarity between man and woman in this context, let us not confuse that term with the simplistic idea that all the roles and relations of the two sexes are fixed in a single, static pattern. Complementarity will take many forms as each man and woman brings his or her distinctive contributions to their marriage and to the formation of their children — his or her personal richness, personal charisma. Complementarity becomes a great wealth. It is not just a good thing but it is also beautiful.
Plus, he writes lots of great things about family (I recommend reading the whole thing--it's pretty short):
The crisis in the family has produced an ecological crisis, for social environments, like natural environments, need protection. And although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well, slower in our culture, and also in our Catholic Church. It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology.

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