"Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart." – Luke 2:19 (RSV)


christopher west

Protect what is intimate

I read Alice von Hildebrand’s beautiful exposition titled ‘Dietrich von Hildebran, Catholic Philosopher, and Christopher West, Modern Entusiast: Two Very Different Approaches to Love, Marriage and Sex‘ recently after it was recommended by Helenka in her blog.

Alice’s article really challenged my views on veiling what is intimate in my life.

The French have a wonderful word to capture the veiling of one’s intimate feelings, out of a proper sense of shame—pudeur, a “holy bashfulness,” so to speak.

– Alice von Hildebrand, Dietrich von Hildebran, Catholic Philosopher, and Christopher West, Modern Entusiast: Two Very Different Approaches to Love, Marriage and Sex

For most of my life, I have been an open book. I rarely ever veil what is intimate in my life. Intimate things such as my spiritual life, my relationship with my husband, etc are things that I never guarded very much at all. In fact, I grasped every opportunity to talk about the intimate with friends.

After reading Alice’s article, I now realise that I was wrong in liberally sharing the intimate things in my life with others.

I am slowly learning, with God’s guidance, to protect what is intimate through prudent silence and modest dress. The mantilla is a wonderful symbol and reminder to veil carefully and with great tenderness what is intimate.


Reflections of Love

reflection moon

If God is love, all creation must reflect love. Yet we do not habitually look for these reflections. 

Science’s reductionistic method fails to see cosmic love. Modern science requires the use of the simplest possible explanation. This is the principle called “Occam’s Razor.”

The modern mind always tends to reduce the greater to the lesser rather than seeing the lesser as reflecting the greater…

Premodern thought saw lust as confused love. Modern thought sees love as rationalized lust. This is reductionism.

Christianity is anti-reductionistic…  They know that the universe resembles God rather than vice versa, that God made man in his image rather than vice versa… They know that animal love is a late comer and imitator of perfect, eternal, divine love rather than vice versa.

– Peter Kreeft, ‘Love Sees with New Eyes’

In ‘Love Sees with New Eyes’, Peter Kreeft beautifully explains an idea that I have came across for the first time (and subsequently adopted) when I read Christopher West’s book, ‘Theology of the Body for Beginners’, about a year ago.

The idea is quite simple; creation reflects its creator. Everything we create (eg. our blog posts, our art work) reflect ourselves in some way. In the same way, everything God creates reflects God and spiritual physics.

Many great philosophers (eg. Saint John Paul II) have written books about this idea (that creation reflects its creator) because so many gems can be gleaned by reflecting on this concept.

I am not a philosopher, nor do I want to be, so in my little way I will reflect on how this idea has enriched my life in ways I did not imagine possible.

Just married couple, holding hands and walking in nature

My dear husband (also Catholic) and I have centered our marriage around Ephesians 5:22-33 (RSV). In living out our marriage in this way, with a prayerful heart, points me to the truth about God and has helped me make progress in my spiritual life. And of course growth in my spiritual life leads to a transformation of my mental and emotional responses to things.

The dynamic of my marriage is that of a total power exchange. I will not quote definitions here because the term means slightly different things to different people. Instead, I will explain what I mean by ‘total power exchange (TPE)’.

In our TPE, I cede all authority to my husband in all things. He makes decisions in my best interests because he loves me. He asks me to do something, and I obey. Of course I still share my opinions with him about decisions that he has to make, but ultimately it is he who makes the decision, it is me who obeys, and it is us that will work through any mistakes we make along the way.

As the submissive in this TPE, I am able to practice trusting and surrendering 24/7 to my husband. This in turn helps me trust and surrender in the Lord as like a child. In my mind, our TPE is the dress rehearsal, and my spiritual life is the main performance.

Wives be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church, His body, and is Himself its Saviour. As the Church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present the Church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of His body. 

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Ephesians 5:22-33 (RSV)

I pray that the Lord will guide my soul to recognise His reflection in His creation.


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