Why Ms Keneally is wrong…Love and Responsibility

Kristina Keneally, former premier of New South Wales, a self professing Catholic politician, writes a piece on Why I Support Gay Marriages.

Now, I could refute her article on many terms…Church teaching, dissidence, informed conscience, sacramentality of marriage, importance of marriage laws for the protection of women and of children, fallacious and emotive argument ….I will, however, restrict myself, to one of the many inaccuracies contained in her argument.

“….homosexual acts are preferable to living a life where one can never give expression to one’s sexuality.”

Oh dear. Herein lies the inaccuracy. That expression of sexuality relies solely on the sexual act itself.

This is a purely a utilitarian point of view of sexuality.

The sexual urge…is a natural drive born in all human beings, a
vector of aspiration along which their whole existence develops

e for enjoyment this inner life of the person

and perfects itself from within… If…the sexual urge is understood

as…a drive for enjoyment this inner life of the person

is almost totally negated… The sexual urge in man is a fact

which he must…welcome as a source of natural energy. Pope John Paul II,Love and Responsibility

The sexual urge, our sexuality, is not to be used ..for us or for others. It is a gift from God. It is expressed in our love for others, our natural creative energy, our passions…and not only strictly in a physical sense.
I can be chaste and yet still express my my life, my creativity, my

vocation, my love.

Love between persons…must possess a clear-cut objective
purpose… Man’s capacity for love depends on his willingness
consciously to seek a good together with others… From the
desire for the ‘unlimited’ good of another ‘I’ springs the whole
creative drive of true love. Ibid
Man’s creativity is often fueled by love. not by requiring a physical sexual union or by a burying of love nor by a lack of expression of sexuality.
If we limit the expression of our sexuality to the physical act of sex, we miss out on the fullness of our expression of humanity, our passions, we deny whole sections of our sexuality and creativity …..simply in order to reduce human sexuality to a mere physical act.
Even if we never experience the physical act of sexuality, we still experience our sexuality, we still express it, in our love and actions, for the greater good.
The dignity of the person demands control of concupiscence. If
the person does not exercise such control it…allows an
inferior…part of itself to enjoy freedom of action, and indeed
subjects itself to this lesser self… Control of concupiscence has
as its objective not only the perfection of the person who attempts
to achieve it, but also the realization of love in the world of persons. Ibid
This is the danger of this part of Keneally’s argument , that one cannot live a full life without expressing one’s sexuality via open acts of sexual union, via changing marriage laws to adapt to a person’s desires and not for the good of society. Her statement reduces sexual orientation and sexuality to one element alone..the physical sense..and this denies the ultimate good of individuals and of society. This denies love itself. Love which means thinking of another, not having to express sexuality on our own terms, not having to form society to fit my desires, my carnal desires, my concupiscence.

Only the chaste..are capable of true love…

Chastity frees their association…from
that tendency to use a person which
is…incompatible with ‘loving kindness’…
The essence of chastity
consists in quickness to affirm the
value of the person in every situation…
Chastity…does involve a certain
humility of the body. Ibid

We can express our sexuality in our chastity, in affirming the value of ourselves and of others.

Ms Keneally, with her degree in theology, needs to read Love and Responsibility. And the Catechism of the Catholic Church. With logic and reasoning. And prayer and love.



I’m a list maker.

I can’t help myself.

Have a problem? Make a list of steps to take to fix up the problem…or at least making it more livable.

Many things to do? Write out that To Do list.

Money problems? Relationship hassles? Diet thoughts? List those solutions…..

Talking about want tos and want to dos with the kids? Grab that paper and pen, that IPad, and list.

Good books? Movies we want to watch? Places we want to visit? List, list, list.

Years ago, I even wrote a list of How To Unschool….People First headed the list. Most necessary as I can be task oriented.

As in this article..How To Be A Good Unschooler

I think this is is the why behind my list making. I want to be Good. Hermione good.


Transcendent in awe.

One of the feast days this week was that of St John Chrysostom.

Pope Benedict XVI, in 2007, on the anniversary of the saint’s death, wrote of St John and the Divine Liturgy.

“St John understood that the Divine Liturgy situated the believer spiritually between his life on earth and the heavenly reality which was promised to him by the Lord…..

These sacred rites, says St John, ?are not only marvelous to behold, but transcendent in awe. There stands the priest … bringing down the Holy Spirit, and he prays at length … that grace descending on the sacrifice may thereby enlighten the minds of all and render them more resplendent than silver purified by fire.””

Transcendent. Between heaven and earth. Out of the ordinary experience. Exceptional.

Not lacklustre liturgy.

Not banal trite catechism for children and adults.

But a chance to bridge that gap between the ordinary and the sacred.

To enlighten minds and souls.

In liturgy. And in our teaching.

You could have heard a pin drop in catechism class this week when we talked about the Mass, when we looked at sacred vessels, at crystal cruets, at polished bells. A ripple of a sigh, of awe, at the beauty …not for the ordinary but for the special, for the celebration of mass, for preparing to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.

The need for sacred, for ritual, for beauty, for intellect, ideas out of the ordinary (transubstantiation,…the children rolled the words on their tongues, nodded as we spoke of the Body and of the Blood).. These needs were all fed, not by simplistic, euphemistic terms, not by garish drawings but by Truth and Beauty.

We build our Catholic identity, in ourselves and in the children, through sacred liturgy and an understanding of the liturgy. All senses are filled. Heart, mind, body, soul. We build a relationship with Our Lord…and this is shared with others. In true education. In true evangelization . In true ecumenism. In true social justice.

Emanating from that awe at transcendence.


Sittin’ in the sun, unschooling

As I sit in the sun on the front verandah, with youngest son Anthony, drinking tea, having a late lunch, discussing punk rock, Fr Laux’s Catholic Apologetics. (I’m really liking this book, says Anthony) and Thoreau, my paperwork by my side, The Help waiting on kindle, an interlude before I go to work, I think…. I am so glad that we have unschooled.
It’s that memory snapshot.

Homeschooling Resource Meme

I have been tagged by Leanne.

1.One homeschool book you have enjoyed…. From my earlier Homeschooling years…I used to re-read these regularly…Teach Your Own by John Holt ( one of the first Homeschool books I ever read), Better Than School by Nancy Wallace, For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley, The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Raymond and Dorothy Moore (originally published as something like Avoiding Homeschool Burnout.)…I do know thats more than one…

2. One book/ resource I wouldn’t be without…..The Internet. Totally. How did I Homeschool before the Internet? And the library.

3. One resource you wish you never purchased
….oh my gosh, probably so many! But one that stands out is the Apologia Science Chemistry book. Dry as dust and none of us, yes even me, could get into it. Not even as a reference or supplement.

4. One resource you enjoyed last year….the Think blog. Most weeks we tried the Science/Thinking skills activites and problems. For awhile anyway. Before life got too busy with other things. It was fun! And I took photos or blogged as documentation.

5. One resource you will be using next year. …this year? Sandra Dodd’s Big Book of Unschooling. I downloaded it onto iBooks and I think it will be good for me, down to my last unschool school aged son, to revisit some unschooling ideas and to talk about them with Anthony and with others. Mum’s reading inevitably affects our Homeschooling…in this house, anyway!

6. One resource you would like to purchase
…. I don’t know if there is one! Let me think…probably a learn to speak Portuguese resource, for Anthony and Thomas, in preparation for WYD 2013 in Rio Di Janeiro.

7. One resource you wish existed
…. Not much really, we live and learn and use whatever we find…but maybe, when the boys were younger, a crystal ball to let me know that our relaxed Homeschooling, our unschooling, Would Work! (It has!)

8. One homeschool catalogue you enjoy reading… I used to love the Sonlight catalogue, for book suggestions, though I haven’t read it for several years now. I have also loved the FUN books website.

9. One homeschool website you use regularly…none really (blushes). I read blogs on an ad hoc basis, I read our Unschooling Catholics email list, I sometimes read the Unschooling Basics email list, I used to love the old Unschooling dotcom forum and I used to read the 4 Real Learning forum more, when I had more time….

10. Tag other homeschoolers….Lisa, Faith, Cay


Unschooling quotes..

From yesterday, a very busy day of work and work meetings…“I am so glad I unschool, I wouldn’t have time to homeschool…”

Which is not strictly true, unschooling does take time but a very different sort of time. Or management. Or supervision. As in yesterday, when I was out at work and work meeting, unschooling didn’t mean leaving Anthony to his own devices. Instead, it meant me encouraging him to go to university with his brothers, take his maths and Physics to work on, hang out at the library and with his brothers and their friends…
From today…looking at the clock and knowing it is almost time for us to leave for my Kumon centre…“Where did the time go??? and no schoolwork!”
At which comment we both laughed..because Anthony has spent time reading his book, the book borrowed from the university library yesterday. “The Greatness That Was Babylon.”
Unschooling quotes, out of context, can be misleading….


Tired. Bone tired. “Making your way upstairs is too hard” tired.

Prayer, I know some people who need prayer today.

Crunch workout. Belly Butt and Thighs Bootcamp. Bright happy clothes at 6 am help.

Saving moments of grace come in hugs and conversation with some young children at work. “Did you see my Fiji stuff? You can hear the sea in this shell.”

In a cup of tea and a shared chocolate bar with Anthony, at the breakfast bar, paying bills, paperwork.

And hanging out at the library with Anthony. Him for research. Me for Kumon work and a Kumon consult.

Inadvertently we dress alike. Blue jeans, purple shirt, black jackets, black converse.

Twins. Arnie Schwartznegger and Danny De Vito.

What interest will Anthony find, for his next unschooling rabbit trail?

Yesterday was writing on the immortality of the soul. A quote from his writing….”We can easily draw the following conclusion: that there is within us a power which we call intellect or reason; a thinking or rational substance which we call the soul. A thinking substance must be a simple spiritual substance. A simple spiritual substance is independent of matter. What is independent of matter can exist apart from matter.”

Today? Enjoying the library. The sun through the many glass windows. The sofas and cushions.

And work.

And errands.

And perhaps some reading.

Before more work.

And prayer.

Finding God in all things.

Contemplation in action.

Describing Ignatian spirituality ( James Martin’s The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything, some of my Kindle reading)

Yet describing the life of a wife and mother…perpetual action and motion , sprinkled with prayer and contemplation.

“The road is our home.”

( Jeronimo Nadal, Jesuit, early companion of St Ignatius of Loyola, )

religion, Unschooling


“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Cost of Discipleship.”
There are different kinds of dying.
This is, however, the essence of discipleship. And often the essence of our vocations.
It’s not always easy to live out our vocations , be they to marriage, parenthood, religious life, priesthood…
But we do it. We live, we follow Christ, and sometimes we die a little bit inside.
Yet we are never alone. We have His graces.
We follow Him, we die and out of what feels like the ashes of our vocation, is borne a strength, a faith.

This is the cost of discipleship.
And the joy.