Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Married People

Single people use the word "we" in the context of an "I"; married people use the word "I" in the context of a "we."

The Importance of Telling the Truth to Children

I was musing this morning on the importance of telling kids the truth, rather than fiction. As reasonable and moral adults, we have a serious responsibility to the truth. We have to tell the truth, in love, to those we know and care about in order to help them. This same principle applies to children. Don't let your own, or anyone else's, child fall victim to the abuse of truth! Of course there are scenarios where it is necessary to conceal part of the truth; however, kids are already so vulnerable in this regard. Wouldn't it be better to say, "I will not tell you," or "That is not for you to know yet," rather than making up some tale to answer a child's question? Also, while we might abbreviate facts, in order to simplify them for the child's understanding, we have to guard the sense from distortion. I'm not sure how a child's development might be influenced by having parents, and other adults, tell him made up stories, but I think it must be an adverse effect. A lie is always a lie, even a small lie, even to a small person. Lies harm people.

Final note: Kids can handle much more of the truth than adults realize or imagine. I am the first proponent of sheltering children--I was a product of this educational strategy myself--but I think the point of sheltering is to prevent kids from having bad images or firsthand experiences of the ugliness and sin that they are too young to absorb. It's not to prevent open communication or to prevent the kid from knowing about matters in the world. When a child asks a question, the default mode should be to answer it as you would for an adult--and then you apply the filter of what this particular child can digest.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Female Cantors?

The other day I overheard someone (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) say that female cantors were not welcome at the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, even if the female cantor could do all the propers for the Mass and thus provide for a sung/high Mass. At the time, and since it wasn't my conversation, I let the observation slide, but it has resurfaced to bother me, like a splinter that goes in at the ball of your foot but later erupts through your toe. That really happened to someone I know, by the way. I digress. The main question is whether this statement, that it is better to have no music at all (i.e. to have a low mass) rather than succumb to the snare of a female cantor, no matter how good she may be, is correct. What is the feeling on all-women's choirs singing for the TLM? And if both women cantors and women choirs are to be shunned, how is this not simply misogyny and stuffiness of the worst degree? :-)