Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

My Wedding Day Part One: Mass

I’ve been writing this off and on for the past month, month and a half and decided that I just need to publish what I have, and update as I remember more details. When I make updates, the changes and additions will be in bold.

Ah, my wedding day. July 14, 2012. Quite easily, the best day of my life. As those of you who are married, or are in the process of getting married know, it is quite possibly the most stressed out time of your life. It was for me, and I don’t tend to get stressed easily, although, I’m sure that those closest to me would disagree.

Throughout the entire engagement process, I was more involved with wedding planning than the average guy. I don’t say this to be boastful and prideful, but I state this to show that I was serious about the marriage (I still am mind you). So, I’m sure I was more stressed about how things were going, I wanted to know a lot of the details so that I could help my bride-to-be de-stress and to let her know that I was there for her and want to make decisions with her for the rest of our lives.

I’d say that men, if you are engaged or are single and are called to the vocation of marriage, you really really should help your bride out on a lot of these things. Yes, society makes it seem that planning the wedding is her work, but a marriage is a two way street, constantly giving and receiving of each other, through all of the enjoyable moments, as well as the not so enjoyable moments. There are a lot of fun memories that we have created by being together. Living outside of the Twin Cities, we don’t spend too much time shopping and spending time at different places, so Saturdays became our “shopping dates” in which we would knock off items off of our master to-do lists and get lunches and sometimes dinners out at local fare.

Leading up to the wedding, I was really stressed out. Kathy was far more stressed than I was, but it felt like a big deal for me, as nothing was going right. We were arguing over a lot of little details (mind you, we never argue) and it seemed like my input was being ignored. Looking back now, I realize that it wasn’t really that I was being ignored, but rather, Kathy had her mind and heart set on something, and my view was contrary to that (and we failed to communicate that these items were important). Had I known what I know now, a lot of petty arguments could have been avoided. However, it did teach us good conflict resolution skills and the importance of communication.

I was incredibly fortunate enough that my family drove out to spend the entire week before hand to help out and to just hang out. It was awesome.

But, let’s fast forward to the wedding day. I woke up rather early, 8 AM. It was a beautiful morning. I had a good breakfast, eggs and bacon and I believe some hash browns. I believe I even got myself a cup of coffee as well. The morning kind of dragged a bit, the anxiety was probably the most obnoxious part about the entire morning. I was super excited and more or less couldn’t wait for 2 o’clock to hurry its way on.

At about 10:30, I went with my dad up to the gas station (separately) and got the car washed. I figured it’d be wise idea to get the car looking good for the wedding. Afterwards I got showered and dressed, and after that, it was about time to go to the Church to take the pictures. Kathy and I had decided that we wanted to not see each other until she was walking down the aisle. Thus, we had to take pictures separately so as to not waste too much time after the wedding for our guests.

I was one of the first ones at the Church, with the exception of our wonderful wedding coordinator Michelle, and Dan our videographer. My brother Sam and I went down to the “basement” to get the water and snacks that we had brought the night before for the rehearsal. We noticed two of the bridesmaids (Francie and Kirsten) as well as an usher Peter down there hanging out.

We went back upstairs and divided the snacks and water up in half, half for where I would hang out with my groomsmen, and the other half where Kathy and her bridesmaids would end up. I helped set up a little bit, then went and hid so that I wouldn’t see Kathy arrive.

Slowly my groomsmen started to arrive, Nic was first, then my friend Brad. Brad is a funny guy because when he usually goes to weddings, he generally wears a polo and shorts (especially in the summer), so Sam came up to me and said “Brad’s here, and he’s wearing a t-shirt and shorts”… “What?!”. “Yeah, he’s going to go get changed now”. Oh okay, good. I thought that that was a funny moment.

Eventually Father showed up. I was glad to see him. We talked a bit before and he decided to tease me a bit by asking “Are you sure you want to go through with it?” to which I immediately responded “definitely!” and to add more comedy he went “really?!?”. He is pretty good at ribbing me, but then again, everyone is, I just make it easy. He then said a few things about how he felt that Kathy and I were a great match and that we’d have a wonderful marriage.

My side did pictures while Kathy was hiding, at least the pictures that did not include Kathy. Kathy also did pictures that did not include me while I was hiding. It was a fun little game of hide and seek. The Church was also incredibly hot, as they did not have air conditioning. What they did have was lots of electrical fans that they were going to use all over the place, so that did help, but being in a black tux didn’t.

Finally at about 1:55, 5 minutes before the wedding was about to start, I started to get incredibly nervous. Father had mentioned that I would walk out when he did as the music was about to start praying. Before though, I realized I hadn’t spent any time praying, so right then and there, I did. I prayed that I would always be a good husband to Kathy and that I would treat her right. I also asked for the ability to be a good father to our future children. Then, I walked out of my side, and Father walked out of his.

My first thought was “wow, how the Church has filled up”. I saw a lot of my friends from out of state visiting, as well as my family, Kathy’s family and how everyone was pretty much ready to go. It was really exciting to see a lot of my friends. I saw my “big sister” Al-Lee, and she got her camera out so I made sure to make a couple of good faces for her.

The music began to play, and one by one, each couple (bridesmaid and groomsmen) started walking up after the parents walked up. I knew that soon, after they all finished walking up, Kathy would soon be walking down the aisle.

After everyone finished walking up, the doors opened up, and in the distance I saw Kathy and her dad. I was stunned, Kathy looked incredibly beautiful, my bride, my almost-wife. I was beaming. Kathy had her hair done completely different than I had imagined, but she still looked amazing, and to top it off, because of all the fans, Kathy walked out and it blew her hair around a little. It was truly awesome. I watched as they walked down, her dad smiling and happy. We shook hands, and Kathy and I joined each other, arm in arm. We walked up to the altar and the Mass began.

The Mass went extremely smoothly and incredibly well. I wasn’t sure what kind of Homily Father was going to give as he likes to rib me a lot, but he gave quite possibly one of the most pro-life, traditional Catholic homilies I have ever heard. It was awesome. If only each Sunday all Catholic priests gave homilies like that.

We got to the part where we exchanged our vows. Kathy and I repeated after what Father said, and  we spoke it loud and proudly. I’m pretty sure everyone was able to hear it. After our vows, that was it, we were officially married, but, we still had the rest of Mass to get through. We went to the statue of Mary and gave her red roses. We prayed that she would assist Kathy to be a loving wife and an amazing mother. I know the prayer was recorded by our videographer, but I don’t recall what exactly was said. We walked back, finished the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and received Jesus, fully present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

After everyone who was Catholic received communion, Father announced us and Mr. and Mrs. Jeff and Kathy Stempel. Father then said “you may now kiss the bride”, as Kathy really wanted that, and Catholics don’t generally say that anymore. Obviously we kissed, and exited the Church. We were ecstatic.

(Check back for more updates, as I remember more details as well as look for part two, the Reception).

Jeff September 17, 2012 1 Comment Permalink

25 Things I’d Like My Sons To Know Tweaked

Today at the Huffington Post, there is a post written by Tom Matlack more or less pointing out 25 things he wants his boys to know. I was intrigued by the title, as I do enjoy lists such as this and as a fan of the Art of Manliness, I am always interested in learning more things that maybe I have forgotten or just never knew.

Unfortunately, he gets a few things wrong. So, here are my comments in bold and italic on the things that he got wrong.

1. It’s harder to take a punch than to throw one.
2. Find the people who make you laugh and follow them around like a golden retriever. Laughing is like a vitamin. You can never get enough of it.
As important as it is to have friends that make you laugh, it is also equally important if not more so to have friends that are always there for you, and are willing to build you up as a person. Someone who builds you up and challenges you to become a better person is a good friend, and these are the people you want to surround yourself with. Sure, Robin Williams can be funny from time to time (when he’s not being crude), but I wouldn’t want to follow the guy around just because I get an occasional chuckle.
3. A guy who hugs a lot is comfortable in his own skin.
This is a great point. I think men need to learn to hug a bit more. Now, I’m not saying that as a guy you should be going around and hugging all the men you encounter, but if you have a really good friend who happens to be a guy, well, hug away.
4. Read poetry.
Poetry rocks and should be read more.
5. There’s nothing wrong with looking at porn, but having sex with someone you care about is a thousand times more fun.
No. Just no. There is many things wrong with porn. Pornography teaches men to objectify women. It completely removes the act of self-giving love from sexual intimacy and teaches him that sex is about HIS pleasure and that she is to be used in order for this pleasure to be achieved. Pornography also completely cuts yourself off from God’s love and completely hardens your heart. Not to mention that it is completely addictive and the images generally become engraved in his head until the day he dies. It causes high expectations on your spouse and generally often will lead to him wanting to do degrading sexual practices on her to imitate what he has seen. She will feel used and lusted after and will NOT want anything to do with him. Secondly, would you say the same things to your daughter(s)? How about your wife? What makes it perfectly acceptable for boys to do it and not girls? I’m assuming a bit here, but I have noticed a general attitude where its okay for boys to do these things, but “if my daughter does it…”. Sexist much?

I do agree with the 2nd half of his statement, except it should be your spouse and it would be infinitely more better and fun.
6. When you feel like crying, for joy or out of pain, let ‘er rip. If you don’t get those tears out, they will calcify in your chest and make it harder to love as fully and deeply as you would like to.
Agreed. Crying is not a sign of weakness, but shows that you are indeed human. The old saying of men don’t cry is a load of crap and needs to be thrown away.
7. Crank the tunes when you have to clean the house.
8. Look deeply into the eyes of the one you are falling for to get a glimpse of his or her soul.
It surprises me that you are not expecting your son to be straight. I understand that you may not know and he could end up this way, but at least guide him properly. You as his father demonstrate actions to your son. The words you give him will have a lasting impact on his life.
9. Spend a chunk of time every year with people who are much less fortunate than you are. It will fill your heart with gratitude.
Yes, this is important and I fear that many Catholics as well as Christians don’t do this enough. Volunteering also has its health benefits.
10. Never lie about anything really important. The first lie will cause you to have to lie again and again to cover up the truth. And each time you’ll chip away an important piece of yourself.
How about don’t lie? He’s right that it will hurt you but how about don’t lie period?
11. Find work that makes you happy. If you can change the world in the process all the better.
12. If you get the chance to travel across the country or across the globe, take it. You will learn way more from people who are different from you than the ones who are the same.
Having traveled to the Eastern Caribbean, I have to completely agree with this statement. I didn’t think I would learn anything from the people down there, but I did. I’m going to comment more on this on my post regarding my honeymoon within the week or two.
13. Doing nothing is better than doing the wrong thing. But you are going to make mistakes. Tons of them. The real question is what you will learn from them.
14. Don’t be in any rush to get married. Divorce really sucks. A good marriage can start when you’re 21 or 61.
15. There’s nothing wrong with a Cuban cigar once in a while.
16. Money and power look good, but they won’t fill your being with joy the way your family will.
17. If you like guys, I will fight for your ability to have equal rights in every way.
Again, why are you even giving them this option? This is something that should be addressed at the time that they come out, IF they ever do. Secondly, just because they are your kids, doesn’t mean that their behavior is right. I will admit it, pre-marital sex is wrong. In fact it is a mortal sin. I will cover all the mortal sins regarding sexuality when I get back into my mortal sin series, but the point still remains. When your children do things immoral, you don’t have to back them for it. You also don’t need to fight for their equal rights. We as a society have come to the conclusion that if something is illegal and someone is struggling with this vice, that instead of helping them overcome this vice, we picket and rally until the act becomes legal. This is a travesty and we need to stop doing this. You have your faults. You know what they are, and you know how much you struggle with your faults. You wouldn’t want anyone else to bare that cross, so why make other acts that people struggle with legal?
18. Find a way to move your body that gives you pleasure. You don’t have to be an athlete to be a man, but your body is a temple and you need to care for it, enjoy it, and use it to express yourself.
Yes, this also includes not doing immoral acts with it… Keep your body healthy as well as your soul.
19. Drinking can be fun in moderation. Just make sure to ask for help if you find yourself blacking out or doing things you regret.

If you are blacking out and doing things you are going to regret, 1. You will not know it, it is too late. 2. YOU ARE NOT DRINKING IN MODERATION. Moderation is when you are in control over your actions and are not letting it get to you. You are at the point of drunkenness. How about you tell your sons that they should be careful when they drink?

20. Radical honesty will get you very far in this world. Most people don’t have the guts to speak their mind, regardless of the consequences.
21. Always give your spouse birthday presents in bed.
22. Find a spirituality that you can wear like a loose coat that keeps you warm no matter the weather. God should provide you comfort not make you feel ashamed of yourself.

Spirituality and God don’t always fall within the same sentence. Buddhists do not believe in God, yet this is a spirituality. Frankly, if you are wearing it like a loose coat, then you aren’t really practicing, nor believing your faith. It is just kind of a side thing that you do for convenience. Secondly, God does provide comfort to us. He also challenges us to become a better person each and every day. You should feel ashamed as there are things that God has told us not to do, that indeed are not good for us. You know the part above where you mentioned he should ask for help so he doesn’t do things he regrets? What feeling is it that causes that regret? Is it shame? We are to a point where we no longer challenge each other. Jesus has been reduced to as a man who “didn’t condemn nobody and taught us to be more compassionate and understanding and accepting”. This is half truth and half bull. Jesus did come to teach us these things, but He also told the prostitute to SIN NO MORE. He taught that you shouldn’t harm people because of their sins, because you too have sin, but more importantly that you should STOP sinning. If you’re going to quote scripture, make sure you include the parts that you don’t like as well.

23. Sex is great but holding your spouse in the middle of the night is one of the best feelings any guy can have.
24. Live passionately. Dream big. Don’t back down.
25. Always remember I love you, no matter what happens. You cannot lose me. I will always be there.

I didn’t comment on everything because for the most part I have to agree. I figured the things that needed correction were more important. From a secular point of view, this is a really well written article that completely summarizes how men should live today, but, it is lacking in substance when you really break it apart.

Jeff September 10, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink

The Democratic Party Doesn’t Like God: Changes Vote Without Majority

It is becoming more and more apparent that the Democratic Party HATES God.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09cEwnivdr0]
If you are a Democrat AND have your faith rooted in God, what is keeping you there?

It is very clear that the Democratic party is split 50/50 if not more so for not wanting God as a part of their party’s platform. It makes sense. You can’t be the party of abortion, birth control, same sex “marriage”, Euthanasia, and all other heinous acts and still say “I love God”.

The Democratic party is moving away from God. This means that any of your beliefs that stem from your faith will be ignored by your party (if you are a Democrat).

I will admit, watching this video is hilarious. Its no surprise that even though there was no 2/3′s majority the motion still passed, just look at how many Executive Orders Obama has passed without having a majority behind it. So much for being the party of Democracy.

The look on his face is great as well.

Jeff September 5, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink