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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tit for Tat

We've had some questions about my opinions on tattoos. I am happy to further clarify.

Since the body is a temple, couldn't a tattoo be considered decoration as well? Cathedrals have their stained glass windows and I have my cross tattoo...

I'm not sure how you can compare burning ink into your flesh with a stained glass work of art. Perhaps some visual aids.




























I rest my case.
























And...

I disagree and agree with you sister. I agree our bodies are temples of the spirit. I agree that we need to be careful what we put on it, or in it, as a holy place. To go extremist for a moment though- why do we cover this temple? why aren't we naked, I know that is another can of worms on sin and mortality.


You haven't opened the sin and mortality can of worms, so much as you've opened the Adam and Eve and morality can of worms (unless you meant to say 'morality' and had an actual Freudian slip).

The can of worms part is good news, to me at least. As a Catholic you don't have to take the story of Adam and Eve literally. You don't have to believe that God made one man and one woman in a garden and there was a talking snake and then they had two children who were both boys and the one of the boys (the murderer) went off to live in another town somehow populated with all the girls Eve had while we weren't looking. And everyone had to marry their sisters and first cousins for a while there.

You can if you want to.

Yes, except for a small bump in the road named Galileo, the Church doesn't run screaming from science. You may believe in the theory of evolution if you like. Not a problem.

You do however have to believe that the story of Adam and Eve is true.

Calm down.

The story. Not the events.

How does that work? Everything in the story is true. Some of the things didn't happen.

Just like in a movie, a 'bio-pic' (I do live close to Hollywood, I know the 'lingo') for example. In the movie "The Miracle Worker", little Helen Keller lives like and animal and fights her teacher tooth and nail until the big break through moment at the well when she realizes that the signs the teacher is making in her hand mean something. A powerful moment, to be sure.

To this day, when I've been talking myself blue trying to explain something that is bouncing off a nearby thick head and I finally break through the noggin into the brain, in my own brain I scream, "Mrs. Keller! She knows!"

But that "well" moment never happened. If you read the actual autobiography of Helen Keller you'll find she was hungry for knowledge and knew right away the teacher was there to help her. Helen loved Teacher from the moment she arrived on the plantation.

Was there a little girl named Helen Keller who couldn't hear, see or speak, who struggled to understand what her beloved teacher meant with motions of her hands? Yes. The story is true. Some of the things didn't happen.

So what we must believe about the story of Adam and Eve is that God made man in His own likeness out of love and that Man did something to ruin His relationship with God.

And in there somewhere, as a result of Man's separation from God, Man discovered shame and had to cover himself.

That's not the problem....believing or understanding that.

The problem is with what does man cover himself? There's your can of worms. Even a decent temple cover can go awry.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent post today. I laughed out loud. Thanks.

MaryAnne said...

As a frequent lurker who really enjoys your site and the web mistress of St. Thomas Aquinas / Holy Family Church (Park Slope, Brooklyn) I was THILLED to see images of our Stained Glass windows on your site. How did you find us????

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Great post, you made me giggle, especially the pics. I wish I had the dough to get rid of the tattoo I had foolishly gotten when I was 19. No one believes I have it because I am not a motorcycle mama and that's what it looks like there on my upper arm. I get stares, rude looks, gasps of surprise when people see it. I look at a person with tattoos and think some of them are beautiful art but do not belong on their bodies (or mine). I feel like pretending it's a gang tattoo so I can get it removed for free. But that would be lying and sinful so I won't do that. I think I'll have to live with the dang thing to remind me always of stupid, rash decisions and their consequences.

ThG said...

I liked your post on tattoos. I have one and wish I didn't. One day I hope to have it removed. I try to never let it show. It undermines my dignity.

I would like to comment on one statement you made regarding the story of creation. You wrote, "You don't have to believe that God made one man and one woman in a garden and there was a talking snake and then they had two children who were both boys and the one of the boys (the murderer) went off to live in another town somehow populated with all the girls Eve had while we weren't looking. And everyone had to marry their sisters and first cousins for a while there."

Although not doctrine in and of itself, the common teaching by the Church on this issue is that the whole human race stems from one set of parents. The reason is, of course, based on the doctrines of Original Sin and Redemption and is a necessary pre-supposition to them. (Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950).

Andrew said...

Sister, I love the pictures you interlace your blog with. I'm sure you pull most of them from the internet, but I would love to see more you take personally. Especially of the garden! I'm sure everyone here would enjoy an update on the Joseph's Coats and other flowers you've planted.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

nice blog..

God bless

Jackie

wwjdfkb said...

It WAS supposed to be morality. Sorry for any confusion, good answers on both possible words.

PraiseDivineMercy said...

I mostly agree that tattoos are a bad idea. However, I have heard of a few cases in which they seemed quite acceptable.

In one case, the person in question had a skin disease that disfigured her, so she began covering the marks with tatoos.People avoid her less for being tattooed than they did when her scars showed.

The other case, (which I regard to be the stronger) involves a young woman who attempted suicide by slitting her wrists. She failed--thanks be to God--and soon thereafter experienced conversion. She covered up the scars on her wrists with two cross tattoos, as a sign of the faith which healed her.

Your friend In Christ said...

The problem with that theory is that you then pick and choose what parts of the Bible you believe, and what parts you just leave out, saying it didn't happen. Very scary. The bible is totally true, and the absolute authority of life...and it all points to Jesus, whom by the way is the only Mediator between man and God! That is clearly what it says...oh, wait, unless that is one of the parts we leave out, or say is wrong? Please everyone seek the truth! The truth is all in the Bible...read it... you, me, anyone can read it and understand most of it pretty eaisly. It was after all, written for us to read, trust, and obey. Start in Matthew, or James (New Testament) Also visit www.WayoftheMaster.com for Truth! God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister,

Recently I read something you wrote on this site saying that we are free (free, as in, "the Church says it's ok") to believe in evolution. Pope John Paul II said that is is ok to "study the possibility of the validity of evolution"...he did not say it is ok to believe in it; and did say that there is no concrete evidence to validate it...so would you please clarify for me where you got the information that we, as Catholics, may believe in evolution?
Thank You