From Jenny ‘n’ Me

Last summer I wrote a post, one of my first as a Ratburger: Summer with Sister Jenny.  I’m sure you don’t remember it but I just  re-read it and…well it’s really good, though I say it as shouldn’t!

It was about  my relationship with my body.  And here we are, Sister Jenny and I, on the cusp of another summer.  She’s been good, no cheating on me, no incomprehensible or humiliating betrayals.

When my husband falls into bed beside me each night, cool smooth dense well-muscled flesh, I thank God for   his  robust vigor, his solidity.  Because surely we stand in sight of spindleshank territory, slippered pantaloon territory.

i hosted a young priest at a gathering once. As hostess I felt bad  for him; two other people there had recently lost close relatives in painful agony, and mere dinner-party etiquette could not prevent them from asking  him the obvious question ? Why?!?  

The young hierophant said suffering is “salvific”. And I reckon thats why the Christian devouts mortified the flesh, with cinctures, hair shirts.  It was to make them realize they were not  the flesh.

But really, wouldn’t that have the opposite effect? Wouldn’t it reduce the “I” to nothing but pain?  Has anyone who has ever endured physical agony, or a constant “thorn in the flesh” as St Paul put it, not been totally obsessed  with  the goad itself?

Arent we freest to contemplate the sublime when our bodies are functioning so well we needn’t give  them a thought?

What is the relationship between (at times orthodox)  mortification of the flesh to attain spiritual bliss, and cutting , burning, and other acts of self harm which seem to be so common today?

i revere my Jenny, I value her strength, I rejoice in her (to date) congenial company!  I dont know how much time we’ve got, but I shall revel in it. And do you likewise, O Ratty!  Summer is here: rejoice!!

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One thought on “From Jenny ‘n’ Me”

  1. Hypatia:
    What is the relationship between (at times orthodox)  mortification of the flesh to attain spiritual bliss, and cutting , burning, and other acts of self harm which seem to be so common today?

    Same reason we continue to have serial shooters in high schools: mental illness.

    And it is severe enough that I ask myself why? The rest of the first world countries continue to carelessly label American society as “violent.” It’s something far more complicated than that.

    I want answers and I challenge my two favorite conservative observers at Hoover- Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele- to comment on this one subject.

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