The Art of Waiting

But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy
Lie further off; in human modesty,
Such separation as may well be said
Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid,
So far be distant; and, good night, sweet friend:
Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

This is always a tricky subject, and I'm not sure how to introduce it without sounding preachy, judgemental, etc. I've never really been tested, so I'm the last person to judge. Anyhow, here goes:

I always thought that it would be very difficult for me to marry a man who had lost his virginity. This is not to say that it would be a determining factor; if I loved him, I could look past it, and I could not in good conscience look down on him and resent him for it. But it would be difficult. Once you sleep with someone, that person forever has something with you that no one can ever take away. The idea of another woman walking around, carrying with her something that should absolutely and rightfully be mine, the one thing that I have a God-given right to selfishly refuse to share seems too much to give.

But then I thought about if I married a widow, and somehow that didn't bother me at all (now, if the man is one of those guys who makes himself into a widow, that's a whole other story . . .). I wondered why.

Perhaps wanting to marry someone who hasn't been with anyone else is more than just a selfish desire to get there first and claim your territory. It's because when sex is a gift, it is always the "first" time. When a spouse dies, the gift does not die. She had a right to him, and now his new spouse has that right. She is giving his new spouse the right to be with him. It therefore lacks the distasteful quality of him having had a lover to whom he wasn't married. She may regret it -- she may be a saint now -- but the fact remains that she has what never should have been hers. She owns what belongs to you alone, and you will never get it back. Society tells us that we should spread our seed, and have as much experience as possible before settling with one person; but anyone who believes this is kidding himself. The more that is scattered, the more that is lost, and the less you will have to give to the one who your meant to be with until death.

Frankly, I'm not sure what my vocation is, so this whole thing may not even be relevant to me.

Please say a Hail Mary for vocations!

In Defense of Art, Diversity, and Catholicism.

"Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace."
Oscar Wilde

One of the more interesting arguments against Catholicism, from an artistic perspective, is that in living by a single truth, diversity is limited. But what about the alternative?

If you believe that there is no God, no objective truth, how is infinite diversity possible? Even the abyss of the universe is finite. And the answer isn't simply to do what hasn't been done. If art is simply pushing the limits and doing what no one else has done, you're being original without being creative. Art becomes limited to the created world, by the created world.

In the converse, when art is meant to more than entertain, when it reaches towards objective truth, towards God, it is appealing to something that is infinitely more vast than the created universe. God is infinite, and He Himself is an artist. When art moves toward God, there will necessarily be elements in it that would be impossible to achieve by appealing to nature alone. Even when agnostic artists achieve some level of supernatural beauty, it is through the grace of God, not nature. With God, the possibilities, to be cliché, are endless.

On a completely unrelated note, Oscar Wilde rules. Pace a tutti!