Saturday, February 22, 2020

On relationships: The catechism on true equality between men and women and all people in God

You've heard it said "it's a man's world." Or maybe "women rule the world."

Christ taught us the world belongs to the Devil.

That's very important for a Christian to understand because we live in the world.

Satan fell because of pride.

He did not want to be equal to anyone.

He wanted to be better than.

Pride and envy.

"Men are so much better than women, they're smarter, they're more level-headed, they think better, they're less emotional, they're just so much better, and women only exist for sex, sex abuse, babies and sammich-making, and they have nothing to say."

Aside from the examples of reality (and Biblical examples, listed below) where that's not true, what's important to understand is that, that's the Devil speaking.

That's pride.

God is not there. God is not present in that message.

"I am meek and humble of heart."

That is the voice of God.

"Women are so inherently closer to God and are born with all these wonderful abilities like empathy and kindness and maternal instinct and they're so much more human and better than men, who only care about sex and only exist to die for women and wars, and to do stuff for women."

That's the voice of Satan.

You've just read it.

Pride.

"Better than."

The mouth of Hell speaks.

"You deserve." "Love yourself." "Better than." "God loves you most of all, He doesn't love anyone else, at least certainly not those sinners. It's ok to hate them. You're much better than them." "Other people are worthless. Only you have value and are special."

The daily messages of the world and of the Devil.

For a Christian, you need to understand that. Not to be afraid, but to trust in God instead of yourself and society, and to reject sin. Reject the voice of pride, the whisperings of the Devil.

That's how the Devil fell, and that's how he wants you to fall.

And if you cling to pride instead of to God, you will fall.

As the world becomes more and more materialistic (belief in the material world over the spiritual world) and more and more occult and idolatrous, I see more and more of the ideas of materialism and occult/paganism "leaking" into concepts of Christianity.

Here is what the Catechism says on men and women:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p6.htm
369 Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. "Being man" or "being woman" is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.240 Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity "in the image of God". In their "being-man" and "being-woman", they reflect the Creator's wisdom and goodness.370 In no way is God in man's image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes. But the respective "perfections" of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a father and husband.241

Further ("man" refers to the general man, meaning "human," both men and women), about "The First Sin":
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P1C.HTM

Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of.278 All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.
398 In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Created in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully "divinized" by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to "be like God", but "without God, before God, and not in accordance with God".279
399 Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness.280 They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image - that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.281
400 The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination.282 Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man.283 Because of man, creation is now subject "to its bondage to decay".284 Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will "return to the ground",285 for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.286

So much of relationships between any two peoples has been reduces to who can manipulate and control whom. Who "wins." Who "gets his/her way."

"You're not a real man if you let her tell you what to do." "You have to keep him on a short leash."

That's not a relationship, that's a war.

That's not a relationship, that's slavery.

How common it is in our world. You can't live like that, because it is a sin, and you will be subject to God's wrath at the end of your life for stepping on other people.

Jesus is the meek one. Jesus is the humble one.

He is not the enslaver, He is not the conquerer -- and as a Christian you are called to imitate Him, and to pray to Him for grace to be meek and humble of heart. 

Christ was obedient unto death, even death on the cross, to save not those who were worthy of being saved, but miserable sinners.

We can't have relationships with one another unless we put ourselves aside a bit and are mutually obedient to one another. Christ took on the form of a slave to save us from slavery to sin, because as sinners we deserve the misery of slavery to sin.

But if you want a relationship with another person -- again, any other person -- then you have to give up sin and have to be mutually obedient to one another, mutually helpful to one another, mutually seeing one another as made in the image and likeness of God and that what sins you do to the other person you commit offense against God Himself,

or else there will be no equal relationship, it will be a relationship of slavery and dominance, which is no relationship at all.. That is not the Will of God. That is not from Heaven. That is not beautiful.

If you are around someone like that, no matter who it is -- that example is between men and women in romantic relationships, but it's just the same even between parents and children and friends and relatives -- then you need to get away from that person.

It's better to be alone than be a slave because God is always with you if you seek Him, so you are never alone.

And only God can fill up your deepest needs for love. Although human relationships are important (which is evident by the fact that you can sin in them or commit virtue in them), they are not the most important.

The most important is your relationship with God.

We can do tremendous acts of love for one another if we love one another out of our sincere love of God.

"This is my command to you, that you love one another as I have loved you," our most holy and precious Lord taught His friends. "Greater love than this no one has than to lay down one's life for my friends, and you are my friends if you do what I command you," our Lord said.

But "love" outside of God is not true love. Love of the flesh, of the passion, of vanity, of envy, of control, of pride, will never understand the beautiful, meek, pure love of God. They are incompatible.

I am reminded of one beautiful example of true love in the Old Testament, from the book of Ruth.

There was a beautiful Jewish woman named Mara living in a foreign pagan country. Mara had two adult sons who were married to pagan women, and the two sons died. One of those pagan women was named Ruth.

"Mara" means bitterness, which is what the woman called herself because of her great sorrow in losing her two sons.

Mara decided to return to Israel when her sons died. One of her daughter-in-law stayed on in the pagan nation and remained a pagan. The other pagan woman, Ruth, was so in love with the God of Israel, which she clearly saw through the virtuous and holy and meek way of life of Mara, that Ruth said to her mother-in-law, "I will follow you wherever you go." Ruth loved God and she wanted to be Jewish even though she was a pagan. And Ruth loved her mother-in-law because her mother-in-law loved God with sincerity, for Who He is.

So Ruth returned to Israel with Mara and worked very hard for her mother-in-law, even though she was a foreigner who was out of place, who did not fit in with others, who was very poor and one might understand, not the most skilled laborer, however God helped her and she was very skilled.

The people of Israel had mercy on Ruth and let Ruth work in peace and even chided one another to not mock her for being poor and different, because Ruth wanted to love God and love the people of God, and Ruth was being virtuous in her love of her mother-in-law, which was born of her love of God.

Because of Ruth's tremendous love of God, for His own sake, through hardships, and not for the "stuff" she thought God would get her (from her detachment from worldly goods, shown in her abandoning her home country and her people for God and for the people of God), God eventually made life easier for Ruth and Mara.

Mara was so overwhelmed by the reciprocal love of her daughter-in-law Mara, that she declared Mara provided her with as much love as if Mara had had 7 sons. And Mara was no longer grieved.

It is a beautiful and powerful story of meekness, humility, seeking God sincerely, and God's care for those who love Him through adversity, as well as a beautiful love of a parent and her adopted daughter.

It also foreshadows the love of God of the pagans who would eventually become His own children in Christ Jesus. And it foreshadows how God the Father would be consoled by the conversion of the pagans and the Saints that would arise from the pagan nations once they converted, and their great love of God, just the way Mara was consoled by the holy love of her daughter Ruth.

All if the Saints in the history of the Church have imitated the love of Ruth for God and the people of God.

Only God will judge your soul at the end of your life -- society won't, your peers won't, your parents won't, your spouse won't, and you won't.

And you need to examine yourself thoroughly in the light of God to make sure that you aren't that way, that you aren't prideful and competitive and controlling, always getting your way.

Christ came to save sinners. If you look to yourself and find that you have sin, then you are probably being honest with yourself. And you need to repent to Christ, Who is all merciful and all generous. And He will grant you His grace so that you can be better.

But you have to repent to God. You have to hand over to Him all that is ugly and sinful within yourself, and give it up. The way Ruth gave up the pagan nation and followed God; the way any sinner in the New Testament repented of love of Mammon or pagan ways or pride, in order to love the meekness and humility of Christ.

So, websites that tell women how to manipulate men or men how to manipulate and control women, are really doing the Devil's work. That's from Hell; that's not from God. Give it up as a pagan way of life.

So too, any sources that encourages lust and talks about fornicating, which separates our souls from God and therefore we cannot have equality (because ultimately, the two involved in the fornicating are using one another for sex -- it is not mystically in God because only in the context of God can there be true equality, as we learn from the catechism and Bible).

The concepts of "feminine energy," "feminine spirituality," "masculine energy," and "masculine spirituality" are occult or pagan concepts that have no place in Christianity because they aren't real or true. They are more and more creeping into our society because of an increase in pride, a lack of religion which always leads to superstition, and because of an increase in materialism.

If something is specifically occult, that is not from God. Only God is good, therefore anything that is not from God can only bring pain and destruction to our lives and souls. No idea or practice that is evil can "empower" you. You might feel a sense of inflated pride, better than other people, but that is not a feel inspired by God. God "casts the prideful from their thrones and exalts the lowly." The "thrones" are figurative: the represent how we "build ourselves up" to think of ourselves as superior to others, as the Devil did before the Fall from grace.

The thrones can be thoughts we have towards God and ourselves, actions we take or don't take, the rejection of God's Will for our own will or the will of society or other people, but in this particular blog post, we are focusing on the "throne" of pride, specifically that people build up around themselves for being better than other people based on the sex they were born into.

It's true, you are God's child -- but you are not God's only child. He did not call you to Himself because you are better than other people, and He does not give you (or anyone) permission to step on others out of a self-proclaimed sense of superiority. He called you to Himself because He wants you to help save all souls, even miserable sinners, even the opposite sex, as He Himself wants to help save all souls, even your own soul.

God saves souls particularly through your prayers and you through growing closer spiritually to Him through the Sacraments (baptism, confession, the Eucharist) and true knowledge of God. This growing closer is known as "sanctification." The sanctification of your soul allows God's grace to spiritually enter the world and save other souls.

Christ is "meek and humble of heart," not built up on a throne, although He is God and reigns eternally as King of Heaven and earth. We need to pray to Him that He transforms our hearts to be meek and humble. We cannot change our own hearts, God has to change us: but only when we pray to Him and repent to Him of our sins. When we do, He comes to us, He fills our hearts with Himself and with His love, and we can have loving relationships with one another, because we love one another in God and for God, rather than loving (or hating) ourselves in pride.

If anything truly comes from God, it will lead back to God in Heaven. And vice versa.

Our relationships with one another will be sanctified when we become sanctified by drawing closer to God, which requires us to give up selfish and worldly pride. Pride divides us from God, and being divided from God divides us within ourselves, and also divides us from other people.

That is why we must reject the occult and superstitions in favor of true religion and true worship of God. And reject bad pride, which is the pride of being better than others and/or God, worshiping the self.

Also, the occult (including New Age -- "manifesting" reality with your thoughts, horoscopes, reiki, yoga, tarot, wicca, witchdoctors, blasphemy, etc etc etc etc etc) is about dominating and controlling others. Pride. It is the fruit of the fall of humanity. (That's why don't try to use religion like the occult, do not use religion to try control other people. That's not good, that's not what religion is: religion is about a relationship with God.)

If you see such a person or website that teaches how to manipulate or control others, whether through words, actions, the way you dress, or the use the occult, put the people to made the website and people who read the website into God's Hands so that they do not spend eternity separated from God. Pray silently: "I put these people in Your Hands, God." And then leave whatever source is giving this information -- don't be around such people or in such places. They're dangerous people and it is dangerous to your soul to be there.

I also see pagan concepts of females as being "non-active." Pagan concepts that "men are the instinctual protectors," and all of this. Women are "instinctively" kind and compassionate and empathetic and feel loss more, and all of this, or "women are naturally closer to God."

What does our Lord say? What does He do? What does the Bible say people do? How does the Bible show us how people act, and have acted towards God throughout history?

Let's look at Judith in the Old Testament. God sends Judith out to cut off Holofernes' head, to protect and save Israel. Would God give that command to Judith, whom He created, if it was against her nature as a woman, because He had created "men to be protectors" and "women to be passive"?

No; God cannot be against Himself. If He created women as non-active, to send Judith out on active duty would mean God was acting against Himself. God cannot act against Himself.

Again, historically there haven't been a lot of women in war because of the minimal additional cost of it, and it is an easy way for the rulers/elites to divide the labor and keep industry going back home. But humans can't foil the Will of God. Judith was very holy and very humble and very pure, very prayerful, the most holy and humble and pure and capable in Israel -- that's why she was chosen by God to save everyone. God doesn't think the way elite rulers think. God's thoughts are above human thought.

Only a virtuous person can truly save others.

Sometimes you see that someone tries to help or save others in order to be controlling. That can be a form of controlling. Judith was not trying to win fame (vanity) or trying to be controlling (narcissism, worship of self); she was merely doing the will of God that He told her. She wanted no human reward, she was serving the God whom she loved dearly.

That is an example to everyone; because anyone doing anything different, whether male or female, will fall from pride, as the Devil fell. (Yes, even if it's the whole world. God doesn't change His opinion just because all humanity fights against Him.)

Did Pontius Pilate protect Jesus from being crucified, if Pilate is a man and therefore a protector?

No.

Did the religious leaders (who were male) of the day protect Jesus from being crucified, or did they hand Him up to be crucified out of their own pride and vanity and envy?

Does the Bible say that when Pilate was in favor of releasing Jesus, that "all the men said his blood be upon us and our children, but the women -- full of empathy, compassion, and maternal instinct -- said, oh wow! We are so naturally full of empathy and love because we are women! Save that poor man!"

No.

Or that "men said, 'we naturally think better than women, who are too over-emotional, and we do not think you should crucify that poor man,' but the women yelled for his crucifixion'"?

No.

The Bible says, Matthew 27:25: "And the whole people answered, His blood be upon us and upon our children." http://catholicbible.online/3/6/239/7939/173265#vers173265

Such concepts that men and this way or women are that way are put into place by the elites of society (which is why they change over time or from one society to another) who are forming us into whom they want to be for their own purposes -- they consider us cattle, for use for power and war, and they always have and they always will think of "the little people" this way.

But it doesn't have to do with reality. The way things really are or who you really are. That's why we have to follow Christ.

God is reality. You have to look at God, what He has shown us.

If you crawl up onto your high horse and say you're inherently better than other people just because of your nature, God will show you the truth, like He did when He converted Saul by rightly accusing him of persecuting Him because of Saul's sins against the people who were members of the Church. (I think we all know this to be true from our own experiences.)

http://catholicbible.online/3/6/243/8010/176329#vers176329
Saul, with every breath he drew, still threatened the disciples of the Lord with massacre; and now he went to the high priest and asked him for letters of commendation to the synagogues at Damascus, so that he could arrest all those he found there, men and women, who belonged to the way, and bring them back to Jerusalem. Then, on his journey, when he was nearly at Damascus, a light from heaven shone suddenly about him. He fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me? 
Who art thou, Lord? he asked. And he said, I am Jesus, whom Saul persecutes. This is a thankless task of thine, kicking against the goad. And he, dazed and trembling, asked, Lord, what wilt thou have me do? Then the Lord said to him, Rise up, and go into the city, and there thou shalt be told what thy work is. His companions stood in bewilderment, hearing the voice speak, but not seeing anyone.

"The mighty will be cast from their thrones and God will exalt the lowly." Saul would stop being haughty, and he would sincerely seek to do what work God wanted him to do. He would take on the name Paul. Thus, God exalted him, and continues to exalt him as Saint to this day.

In every era, this crucifixion of Christ by leaders occurs, and there have always been leaders within the Church and in society, both male and female, who have tried Christ and handed The Guiltless One over for condemnation.

Through our sins, we try and condemn Christ in a personal way in our day-to-day lives.

You have to get away from these garbage pagan atheistic ideas of instinct and these set roles.

Rather, you need to listen to God, to obey God, to seek God, and to encourage one another in Christ rather than lusting after one another and trying to dominate one another. We all need to seek God wholeheartedly.

The Conclusion:

The conclusion is that the virtuous who sincerely seek God in prayer and meekness and humility, God sends out to protect and save and help others.

Those lacking in virtue, those who do not seek God sincerely, those who rely on themselves instead of on God, do not protect or help others.

Those who seek God sincerely serve others out of a sincere love of God.

Those who don't sincerely serve God will be much more inclined to want others to serve them, be full of self-pity and self-love, and not do God's Will, which will have bad consequences in their lives and bring down guilt upon themselves.

After the Annunciation, God sent Mary to act as a nun, and a doctor, to help Saint Elizabeth through her spiritual sufferings and difficult childbirth of Saint John the Baptist. http://catholicbible.online/3/6/241/7957/174044#vers174044

It was because Jesus -- God Himself -- was in Mary.

Just as God is in us when we go to confession and then receive Communion, because God is truly present in Communion.

There is no "instinct." There is God.

If someone truly helps someone else, that is because of God. That is grace, that is virtue. That is God.

Not "instinct," but the movement of God. If someone in inclined towards God, it is not "instinct," it is "the movement of God."

Judith was one of the many proto-christs of the Old Testament, a figure that would point towards Christ as the Savior. She was so because she was humble.

The book of Wisdom tells women to strengthen their arms so that they can help their husbands; in the New Testament, we learn much more clearly from St Paul that it is better to seek God than to seek a spouse because then we will be wrapped up with seeking to please God instead of our spouse (although he in no way condemns marriage). Therefore we can conclude that the spouse of every soul is God; applied to the book of Wisdom, strengthen your arms so you can help God (by helping other people).

Or, even more profoundly, strengthen your "spiritual arms" (your devotion to the sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist, your devotion to prayer) so that you can pray to save souls, as this will have eternal consequences. Saving souls for all eternity.

As for women being "inactive" in proclaiming the Good News of salvation...

When the prophetess and virgin Anna of Phanuel, who met the Christ Child, encountered Him, she spent the rest of her life telling everyone about Him:

Luke 2:36 There was besides a prophetess named Anna, daughter to one Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser (a woman greatly advanced in age, since she had lived with a husband for seven years after her maidenhood,
37 and had now been eighty-four years a widow) who abode continually in the temple night and day, serving God with fasting and prayer.
38 She too, at that very hour, came near to give God thanks, and spoke of the child to all that patiently waited for the deliverance of Israel.

 Further, during the Passion, we see many women who followed Jesus and helped Him. These women were on the frontlines of battle. They were quite literally following Christ. This was a grace given to them by God; it was not "instinct" -- that would be a pagan, atheist thing to think that did disservice to God and to His Saints who followed Him.

At any moment during the Passion, any one of the women or Saint John could have been arrested, tortured, and publicly executed in the same manner of Christ, just for being near Him and helping Him! Their immense, unimaginable bravery was a grace from God. We all need to ask God for the grace of bravery and obedience to God.

Right before the Passion, during the First Communion, Peter depended upon himself. He said to God, "I would never betray You! I would lay down my life for you!" And therefore, ... he was scattered. If he had only said, "please Lord, give me the grace to follow you, please Lord, give me the grace to obey you." Ah, how many times have I made this mistake myself. I am glad for the mercy of our savior, who always accept repentance.

The reason the holy women and John were not martyred is because it was not the Will of God at that time that they did not die as martyrs; but certainly many many women and men would die in the future as martyrs for the Faith in the history of humanity and be raised up to Heaven as glorious Saints for all eternity, whose misery and suffering of earth is completely evaporated in the unending joy and splendor of the Presence of God!

I also point to Saint John who himself addresses "Lady Elect" or the chosen woman of God and her spiritual children (those are people who are under her spiritual guidance, as we often see the heads of religious orders called "mothers", and priests "fathers") in his second epistle. http://catholicbible.online/douay_rheims?bible_part_no=2&book_no=24&chapter_no=1

But there is no higher resource than God Himself, Christ Jesus, who sat Mary of Magdala at His Feet, which is the position of a disciple, a student, which really would not have been heard of at that time. "Mary has chosen the better part and it shall not be taken from her." Luke 10:42

Secondly, I see often that "women are closer to God." God does not say that. He says He accepts anyone who comes to Him and that He created men and women equal. If there are more women than men in the line for confession, it's because they chose to be there, not that they're somehow inherently "closer" to God.

I've also seen it said that "they are closer to God because they are mothers, they bring life into the world." ... Interesting, I didn't know women could asexually reproduce. Seems kind of insulting to God to discount half of the human population (males).

"Because they carry the child in the womb, they are closer to the child and have 'maternal instincts.' They feel a loss greater than men do; no one feels a loss more than a mother." Hm. Let's look at the Bible again: Herodias did not feel any loss and she was a mother. She trained her daughter to be a whore, be sexy for her own stepfather, and to have Saint John the Baptist's head cut off.

Where was the so-called maternal instinct in Herodias? Hm. It seems there is no maternal instinct. If you have a good mother, you should thank God that she is a good mother; not chalk it up to maternal instinct, which evidently does not exist.

It would seem the Bible (and reality) points to either grace or sin. Grace from seeking God, sin from failing to seek God.

It would seem anything more or less than "grace or sin" is teaching human thinking as if it was God's thinking.

If you want to be a hero or heroine, seek God sincerely. God will make you a hero or heroine, if you forget yourself and seek to love God.

I get many mothers and fathers both asking me to pray that their children become rich and get married because "what will the neighbors think?" Or complaining about their children.

They are not praying for the children's immortal souls, even though this is a spiritually dangerous era because the society has become a sin support group. But do parents, fathers or mothers, ask me to pray that their children go to Heaven? Not often enough.

Being a mother doesn't make you inherently good. Praying and following/obeying God makes you good, whether you are a father or a mother. Because only God is Good, as Jesus tells us.

Saint Gabriel did not come to Mary and say, "Hail Mary, full of maternal instinct!" He said, "Hail Mary, full of grace!" She is not a robot. She is not robotically good. That is what you are saying when you say "maternal instinct": sub-human. An impulse. A reaction. A robotic programming. People are not robots. This concept of instinct is very atheistic and materialistic.

Mary is virtuous. She is the strongest and most virtuous wholly human person who ever lived. She is the One Who Crushes the Skull of the Serpent.

Jesus said of her that she is blessed not because she is a woman but because she is obedient to God. Luke 11:27-8. And that all who are obedient to God will be called blessed; all who are humble will be called blessed.

She, and Her children who humbly obey and seek wholeheartedly God, crush the skull of the serpent. You can see this in exorcisms and in people's lives.

For example, my mother avoided prayer and religion, she wanted to think that she formed reality in her own thoughts (that is blasphemy; only God can form reality with His thoughts). When I was a child, she was an abusive alcoholic. She went to work and my father stayed home and took care of us. My father had, on and off in his life, prayed the rosary, and he had been transformed by grace to be a humble, honest person who did not try to show off, belittle others, or "prove" himself like narcissists and the vain. Instead, he saw that his children needed someone to take care of them, and he did, and he encouraged us and took care of me and my sister to the best of his ability. He saw us as individual people. He encouraged us for things we liked. He taught me how to do many things that he himself knew how to do; he never said, "you're a girl, you can't do this." (I have heard of fathers doing that to their children if they do not seek God. Ironically, that discouragement I received over being a girl was from my mother, despite the fact that she was accomplished in many things and had a successful career, because she was very envious towards other people's accomplishments because she was not sincerely seeking God, and anyone who does not sincerely seek God and His grace will have problems with pride and envy). I appreciate my father teaching me and always encouraging me so very much. I wish everyone had at least one parent who was humble enough to be encouraging and sincerely loving. He loved us very much. He never lied to us, he is not a liar to this day, he has always made that a point in his life, and this has helped me to believe the promises that God the Father says to me. He was also always very "clean" (chaste in thought, word and deed) and he never ever drank any alcohol. He never manipulated us like with lies. He always treated me like a real person, a real human being. (He lets me write these posts! He encourages me about religion, he never says "you should just be going out and making money so I can be rich and getting married so I can brag about you," like so many parents. He cares that I have a soul and thinks it is good to seek God, more important than anything.) My father is very empathetic in a sincere way. He is good, and he does not like it when people are bad. But he is very patient with my mother.

If my mother had stayed home and raised us, I would probably be dead or in prison right now. That is because of her sins. It was very difficult to be around her. Because of sin.

As for human nature: "It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a father." Likewise, "it is easier for a mother to have children than for children to have a mother."

So you see, it has nothing to do with gender, it has to do with piety, giving up sin, praying: asking God for the grace to be pure, to be meek and humble, to be obedient to God, to not sin. If you pray for those things every single day when you wake up, through a devotion like the Rosary, God will help you a great deal. You will be transformed and your life will be transformed.

All of human behavior, you can see, has to do with sincerely seeking God or not sincerely seeking God. (Sincerely meaning, not to be seen by other people or win approval from other people, or to think of yourself as better than other people, or not to "get stuff" from God, but seeking God for the sake of wanting to have a human soul that is pleasing to God. That is sincere.)

These behaviors are not about inherent nature. Human nature is garbage. Human nature fell from grace long ago. If we repent of our sins and seek God's grace and seek to love God, He will lend us His grace, whether we are old, young, male, female, whether we have a past that is horrible or a past that is so-so, whether we are a mess or we are "normal," if we repent of our sins and seek God sincerely, He WILL grant us grace. He loves ALL OF US equally for all of time. Nothing you can say or do will change His eternal love for you; that is why He does not want you to sin, so that He does not have to exact judgement against you. That is why He wants you to come to Him for grace and will forgive you, because He wants to give you grace and save you from committing sin. He loves you in the most pure and holy way because He is GOD, and God is thrice holy and pure. He is meek and humble of heart, and He wants to help us to be, also, because He loves us so much!

The ironic thing about my mother is, anyone who ever complained about her (from people outside my family, who often judged her very bad behavior) either ended up committing the same faults she did or worse, because they were not looking at her with sympathy and they were putting themselves above her.

We all have the ability to sink as low (and even much lower) as any sinner, or to be good -- it all depends on whether or not we depend upon our own strength or if we turn to God for grace to be good in prayer and the sacraments.

If we depend upon our own strength, if we have great confidence in ourselves, if we think we have no sin, we will fall into sin. We will fail.

If we pray and go to confession and depend on God, asking Him to make us holy and praying "for the purpose of knowing the truth and receiving contrition and pardon for our sins," God will help us. And if God is helping us, we will be OK. God will bring us closer to His own heart.

That is what the human soul yearns for more than anything: to be pleasing to God, to be closer to God. It will be satisfying and fulfilling to go to God.

As you can see, the traits -- the actions -- are based on either sin or virtue. It doesn't have to do with male or female. Sin and virtue are universal, as we learn in the Bible and Catechism that both men and women are made in the image and likeness of God.

I think it's very easy to see that traits are based on virtue or sin in the Bible, particularly in the Passion, and in the lives of the people around us, as well our own lives if we reflect upon it within ourselves.

All sociopaths are narcissists (although all narcissists aren't sociopaths). All sociopaths are anxious, irritable, impatient, self-serving, self-loving, wanting to be king/queen and have others serve them, manipulate (or hurt) others with flattery or presents or sex and lies, are shallow but miserable so they think of themselves are being profound, are gossipy, are back-stabbing, are vengeful, are self-aggrandizing, are lewd, are liars, are dangerous spiritually and physically. They are aggressive or passive-aggressive, jealous/competitive. They try to dominate and control other people. Care about the opinions of others too much and do things specifically to be seen by others (vanity). Care about luxury and worship wealth. Refuse to be corrected without attacking sooner or later. Etc. These are sins. They are neither masculine nor feminine sins, they are -- sins. Those separate from God will share these traits with one another. It might manifest differently based on culture and role and up-bringing, as well as individual personality, or the particular "mask" that the narcissist is projecting, -- but in the end, a sin is a sin. Everyone who sins conforms to those sins. One sin begets another sin, until a sinner contains all of the sins and the whole soul is corrupt.

A sinner will always grow worse, the sins will multiply, unless he or she turns to God.

It's not related to race, age, or gender. It's related to God, to one's relationship (or rather lack of relationship) with God. Which is related to sin.

"Stop judging by appearances and judge just judgement," our Savior encourages us. He also says: "you will know a tree by its fruit."

Likewise, a virtue is a virtue. Gentleness, modesty (including being demure*), kindness, empathy, endurance, meekness, humility, charity, chastity, wisdom, strength of character, morality, bravery, courage, sincerity -- those are from God. They're only from God. They're not from human nature. Human nature is corrupt and weak from original sin. They are not masculine nor are they feminine.

They are not based on age nor on race. We've all seen the elderly who are corrupt and youth who are pious, and vice versa.

(*My father was talking and saying that young men need to be more demure. I recalled the vanity of the men I had known, with sympathy towards that vanity, and I said, "yes, it's true, but perhaps it should be called something other than 'demure,' even though it would mean the same thing, because I don't think men would like the word demure." He said, "they have to learn to be humble!" Hm. I cannot argue with a Christian talking to me about an increase of being humble because God must clearly be on his side. God is always present in true [not false] humility.)

No one has an advantage over anyone else for the traits of virtue, except those who were born into situations where someone was praying to God for him or her that he or she be more virtuous. Then the advantage is that he or she has received more graces because of others' prayers.

But God did not create anyone for Hell, so we all have access and invitation to pray to Him for all of those virtues, and repenting of all of our faults. God wants to heal us. God wants to help us. God came to save sinners, by taking our sins and giving us virtues instead. We only have to ask Him. We only have to hand over our sins in sacramental confession, as well as repentance. And pray, pray very very much. For your soul and for all souls.

We have to pray daily to not sin, and especially the Rosary specifically "for the purpose of knowing the truth and receiving contrition and pardon for our sins," as St Louis de Montfort, "The Rosary Saint," taught us.

What matters is not a person's gender for how good a parent he or she will be nor how emotionally close to the children he or she will be --  that would be materialism, nature worship. It matters about how virtuous a person is; virtue is obtained only through prayer (especially the Rosary), repentance, the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist, meekness and humility and purity, chastity, modesty, honesty and charity (particularly with time and with listening to other people, treating the children as people instead of being condescending to them, lying to them, or brushing them off).

My father felt he was born to take care of children once he held his baby in his arms for the first time; this was a great grace from God, a powerful vocation that has saved my eternal soul and subsequently other souls whom I in turn helped.

A priest once praised my father by saying, "he is a true father!" Indeed, he is a true father.

I love my father very, very much, and every day I offer my day to God that God will bless him, because I realize from looking at my peers' lives -- they did not have any parent who cared about their souls or them as people, only about how much money they would make and the opinions of the parents' friends, the parents were extremely selfish -- that without a person like my father in my life, a person with grace, that I would have died a long time ago, like so many of my peers who are now dead. And so many people in the world today. (Or, like I said, been in prison.)

I also conscientiously work very much to encourage him... (we all need encouragement, I think encouragement is the scarcest resource in the world), try to make him feel loved, listen to him and try to not interrupt, and help him (as he has arthritis and needs help sometimes, but not in a dominating way so he feels worthless, there is a special balance with all people for helping them in a respectful way, I know that from personal experience with needing help when I didn't want to need any help).

Jesus is God. That makes Him our Father. Mary is the Mother of every soul. If you lack a father or a mother, come to God. Come to His Saints. Talk to them and love them as you would a most dear parent. Come to God Himself, talk to Him as a most dear Father, because He is. Cling to Him. Then God will heal your soul, change your life.

My point of all of this is that if you want to be close to your children, whether you are a man or a woman, you have to wholeheartedly seek God.

It doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman, you have to seek God. If you are a parent, then you are called to be a good parent, but you can't be a good parent without seeking God, because only God is Good.

If you want any relationship at all to work, friendships, co-workers, neighbors, siblings, spouse, parents, children: you have to seek God and meekness and humility and holiness. That is what Jesus teaches us by His example and His words. Seek God.

Seek to give up all the false and empty fronts and constructs that we build, and seek to be a new person in Christ by repenting of your sins and narcissisms and pridefulness and worship of Mammon and impurity and all of the things that separate us from God. We all need to do this: not just that other person over there, that group of people over there -- we, individually and personally, all have to do this.

It was predicted that devotion to the Rosary would decrease among men in particular in the 20th century because it would be considered a "woman's" devotion because "a real man" would not say "Hail" to a woman (Mary). The Devil laughs at men who are so vain and shallow and impious. The Rosary is the most devastating weapon against the Devil, as Mary was given power to crush the skull of the Devil.

The Devil takes advantage of people who know to say the Rosary but don't (whether they are men or women). I also wonder if it will be possible that they will be held accountable for a great number of souls that they might have otherwise saved if they had prayed? Sincere prayer -- which is how we sincerely seek God -- is what saves souls more than anything: our souls and others' souls.

Mary is an example to all Christians, not just Christian women. All Christians.

Those who seek fame and the approval of the world instead of seeking God will pay for the consequences of their choices; and those who seek God and pray for their children to go to Heaven and ask God to transform the parents themselves into good religious examples, and to treat their children like humans made in the image and likeness of God whose souls belong to God and God's Will instead of their own wills -- it is those parents who will will enjoy the benefits of their piety for all of eternity.

I've been watching a CCTV show from England. They point out how depressingly common it is for women to use their children to shoplift because the children can't be subjected to prison because they're too young, and because they think it will look like an "innocent mother and child outing." Oftentimes if they're going to get caught, the mother hands the stolen goods off to the children and blames them, throws them under the bus. They are hurting their children's lives in this life, and also destroying their souls for the next life, through these sins. It is very tragic.

I think of all the people I know who are dead from working to death and drinking to death and immodesty and blasphemy to death and sexing to death, dead from their sins, so they could be rich and successful and famous in their little circles, as their parents encouraged them to be. It is too bad either their father or their mother did not pray for their soul every day and lead a good religious example for them. It is true that you are responsible for your own sins and they themselves certainly chose to reject God and to follow all the sins the world encourages; however, they might have stood a better chance if they had not had parents who only cared about them getting married or having sex and getting rich and being successful in their careers. Poor parents. They really need to repent.

What a difficult and tragic road they have taken in life! The road of sin! Let us always pray not for worldly success, but rather for Heaven, for God, to love one another sincerely in Christ, and pray especially every day to not have any sin. This will help God save souls.

There's a lot of talk of "I'm blessed because I have a family and big income and huge house," but when you pray the Rosary, you'll notice that we hail Jesus and Mary as most blessed even when they are suffering on Calvary, have no money, either no one knows them or they're only known infamously, when they are suffering and poor and in pain.

So why are they blessed?

Because they do not have sin in them. Therefore, God is pleased with them. Therefore, they are in a blessed state.

The fruit of those who worship the "prosperity Gospel", which is so obviously from the Devil as Jesus tells us over and over again in various ways that we cannot worship Mammon, will be very great number of evils in their souls. That is very much too bad. We all need to seek God sincerely for Himself, not for what we think He will give us. We need to pray to be able to hear Him and love Him sincerely, because the things of the world are passing away, and only our relationship with God will follow us into eternity.

God Himself hailed Mary as most blessed among all the people of humanity, in all of history, when He sent His angel to say to her: "Hail, Mary, full of grace." Luke 1:28. If you think you are above saying that, also, then you are putting yourself above God Himself. That's rather arrogant.

There is also a lot of bad language. When you use bad language against another person, you are cursing yourself. You are also scourging Christ, as He was scourged tied to the pillar. You are heaping upon yourself God's Judgement, as well, as Christ warns us not to so that we can avoid severe punishments by God. Matthew 5:22: http://catholicbible.online/2/4/212/10234/234099#vers234099

You need to repent to God, you should not even think these words in your head and avoid the company of those who use them so that you do not develop bad habits.

When someone uses these words against you, they are cursing themselves so put them in God's Hands so that they will not lose their souls, as Christ taught us to pray for our enemies so that we can be like Him. But avoid such persons who use these words against you, it is not from God. Even against the Devil Himself, God and His Saints do not utter reviling words, but rather command the Devil in Jesus' Name to leave.

If you are going to Hail Mary and Jesus, you should not use your mouth also to curse. Go to confession and pray to God that He make you clean and give you a new mind that does not think such language. He will answer this prayer. He loves you and wants to save you by helping you not sin and by taking away the punishment due you for your sins in the Confessional.

... Saint Therese also had her father raise her. Unlike my situation, her mother was physically dead (my mother was spiritually dead in her sins). Both of Saint Therese's parents are Saints! They were extremely holy, wise, and smart from their sincere devotion to God.

A very wonderful priest who is very sincerely pious and humble said the religious wisdom figure in his life was his grandmother. She must have been a very awe-inspiring person; I am very impressed with her already because this priest is like a spiritual father to me. He is so wonderful and holy and leads souls out of the mouth of Hell and into the Arms of their Heavenly Father.

There is way too much talk about instinct in religious articles online. That is not part of our religion. Whereas in the past they would have said that "so-and-so was inspired by the spirit of God to do such-and-such," now they say "by instinct, he reached out his hand and blessed so-and-so," or "by instinct, she went up the holy mountain."

That is not our religion. That is atheism. That is taking the credit away from God and giving it to nature (a sort of non-existent nature).

It is one thing for pagans and secular people who have never known God to refer to instinct because God has not yet been revealed to them; it is another, and very bad, thing for people presenting themselves as Catholics to do it.

We have to lead people to God, especially through prayer for all souls, not let the godless lead us away from our faith -- but if we don't take the time to read about our faith, how will we be able to do this? If you do not read the catechism, or the Bible, how will you know what your faith is?

I suggested that you read three sentences of the catechism every day. It is very easy. It is a beautiful document because it is about Jesus, Who is very beautiful and profound because He is God. You will be enlightened if you do this. And if you read from the Bible every day as well. (but not the protestant Bible which cut out so many books, taking the number from 73 to 66, yes, the sign of the Devil, and also cut out the Book of Wisdom and the book of Judith... just because it would cost less to print!)

Catechism: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm
(I start at the prologue or #1 if you want.)

Therefore, go out and seek God, in prayer, especially the Rosary, and in Holy Reading, including the Bible and Catechism.
Secret of the Rosary by St Louis de Montfort and also "Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament" by the Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament are two very good Rosary and meditation books for seeking God.


Relationships:

I think for any relationship to work, whether it is parent to child, child to parent, friends, siblings, or spouses, there has to be humility in God.

The catechism seems to suggest people help one another. Take turns helping one another with projects, giving as much time as you'd expect to give, and encouraging the other person to be a leader during his or her project, and explain that you want the same respect in return. (Of course this can't be achieved without grace from prayer, but you should still explain it out in words, also.)

With prayer, God will change your soul so that your soul has the gift of humility.

Humility is not the same as humiliation.

Those words are 180 degrees apart.

There is no indication Mary was ever humiliated, yet she is the most humble and obedient to God, which makes her the bravest and strongest.

And many people can be humiliated and not feel humble; in fact, they can feel encased in pain, self-love, self-hate, misery, envy, and shallow and sociopathic thoughts of revenge. Often, humiliating someone is a sin, even if that person is a sinner and you think they "deserve" humiliation.

Humble means, basically, truthful. It is acknowledged that God is God, and you are not God; you are the creation of God, God is the Creator. Only the Creator can recreate you, and only with your cooperation because God gave us free will.

It is also acknowledging that we exist in the context of God rather than our own context or the context of other people.

If we exist in the context of ourselves, we are brittle and full of self-love, easily offended, tempted by spite. If we exist in the context of other people, we will serve them and do anything for them, even sin. We act as if we will not stand before God at the Judgement, but that we will stand before other people. -- That is not the case. Society doesn't judge us when we die, God does, which is why there were so many people willing to even be martyrs to avoid sinning.

So humility gives us a relationship with God, which allows all of God's Love and healing to pour into our souls, and gives us the strength to follow Him instead of ourselves or our society.

It also gives us the ability to love one another sincerely out of our love of God, rather than selfishly or dominating one another.

So here is the litany of humility; if you and your family and friends pray this, then you will have good relationships with one another. You will be able to help one another, take turns helping one another, as God tells us to, instead of fighting and envying and trying to control each other.

The Devil fell from pride; that is what causes us to fall, and our relationships and families to fall, also. (Requires both parties to pray for a relationship to be equal.)

Because the Devil hates humility, this is also a very good deliverance prayer. (I read the litany of humility in a book on deliverance prayers for the laity. It is very effective against the Devil.)

Remember also that God exalts the humble. He casts down the prideful from their thrones. Therefore, if you become humble so that you consider that your existence matters only in the eyes of God and not in the eyes of others, God Himself will exalt you. We see this in the lives of many Saints. Saint Therese, for example, died and people said of her, "she was nothing." That is how humble she was. But today, she is known as one of the greatest and most powerful Saints in the Church. The largest building in the world dedicated to any one person is dedicated to her. How shocked would be all who knew her during her earthly life! (You can read about her path to God by reading her autobiography "Story of a Soul." She created "the little way" of God, to do little daily things or suffer little daily inconveniences out of love of God. She has helped create many many saints and bring many many people to God!)

Whereas if you strive to exist in the eyes of others (and ultimately end up manipulating and trying to control them to make them adore you), then you will become weak, prideful, and will be cast down. Because you are ignoring God's love for you. God already loves you more than anyone on earth possibly could, and only God's immense Love for you can fill you up. But if you seek the love of creatures and love of yourself, you will never come to a profound understanding of God's love for you.

 Ex of exalting yourself: social media and selfies, bragging, narcissism, controlling others, not helping others, envying, gossip, backstabbing, discouraging, or encouraging sin, mean comments, worship of Mammon and fame, revenge (even of "living the good life,"), hate, being offended instead of putting others in God's Hands and turning to God Himself for consolation, being impatient with sinners, anger, etc., not praying or seeking God in the sacraments and holy reading.

Be humble, seek God, repent, pray, love God, pray to become sincere, and God Himself will exalt you.

This is a journey for all of us together. God will help us!

God bless you!

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, O Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
 That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Prayer for humility written by Saint Therese (another powerful deliverance prayer that will also help your relationships and families to be happy together and loving together if you all pray this, will obtain much grace from God for your souls) (original prayer written in French of course; translated into English, and then my dad cleaned up the wording a little bit because he's extremely good at editing, was an English major and read many books on how to write, and because he's very devoted to Saint Therese, so it's a little easier to read than the original translation, and this translation/cleaned up version is copyright BoldRadish):
O loving and gracious Infant Jesus, Your divine heart is full of love for us poor mortals!

The fire of Your love is burning day and night, emitting sparks of grace in the shape of countless benefits, showered on all men, even the greatest sinners.

In order to comprehend the greatness of Your heart, one would have to possess the love and wisdom of Your dear Mother, of St. Joseph, or of Your most devoted worshiper Father Cyril.

How cold is my heart toward You; filled as it is with temporal and earthly concerns and the greatest self-love, there is no room left for a heroic love of God and my neighbor.

What a miserable and wretched being I am!

You, infinite majesty itself, most holy and most perfect, are most humble of heart; I, wretchedness and sin, am proud and conceited, and therefore also without peace of heart.

You should turn away Your beautiful countenance from me because I possess so little virtue and yet I consider myself better than others, and even venture to criticize and belittle them.

I know my own misery and still I expect to be esteemed and praised, and even preferred to others.

The least humiliation and neglect on the part of others pains me, and You are so humble, so forbearing, and so patient with the children of men!

Divine Heart of my most loving Jesus infuse into me true humility and a right knowledge of myself, so that I may deserve to find one day favor in Your sight.

Give me grace to be humble and simple like a child, if I wish to go to the Father.
Amen.

May God bless you and keep you in His peace and mercy!