Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Modern Freedom and Modern Fear

"Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities -- GK Chesterton

We met the most charming young couple this weekend. They will be renting a small cottage on our property. The young man will be moving in in a week or two and the young lady once they are wed. Isn’t that refreshing? And eventhough that is the way it should be it is so often nowadays the very way it is not.

In the initial awkwardness of getting to know one another they asked when we met and when we married. It seems that some of their friends have cautioned them that they are getting married- too young- too soon and they should wait a few years.

Why? For temptation to grow? For ennui to set in? For distractions from the purpose of life to take hold, like self inclination?

I remember when the book by Pope John Paul II came out- Crossing the Threshold of Hope and the opening theme was “Be Not Afraid”. I remember thinking- this is the very problem with modern man. He acts badly and selfishly not because he is bold and courageous but because he is timid and fearful. He fears that something may be required of him. Even something hard.

I have been following the sad tale of Tom Brady and his moral demise. For those who are not football fans (if such a person exists!) he is the quarterback of the New England Patriots. It used to be that Mr. Brady was well regarded as a moral and upright individual. There were pictures of him having an audience with the Holy Father after winning the Super Bowl. He had a long time girl friend and it was thought that they would wed. However now Mr. Brady is globetrotting the world with someone new, while his ex-girlfriend is carrying his child. Even more tawdry his new girlfriend is known as the “face” of Victoria Secret. In a magazine article coming out, in which naturally Mr. Brady is on the cover, he reacts against the suggestion that his behavior is untoward. According to the writer the expression on Tom Brady's face says:

“What kind of a world is it when I have to justify having sex with Gisele Bundchen?”

Note- the article says that this is the look that is shot, not that this is the comment that Tom Brady makes. I appreciate the reader who caught this distinction. However in the context of Mr. Brady's actions I think the writer is accurate in his depiction.

What kind of a world indeed when a man need not explain his immoral and scandalous behavior? What kind of a world when a man cannot even attempt to justify the illegtimacy of his child and the utter selfishness that has caused that to be? Shame? Regret? Never.

So this is where we find ourselves; a beautiful young couple, devout in their Faith, hopeful and optimistic, ready to take on the challenges of adulthood are cautioned, warned, disapproved of and the libertines- well they have no need to justify themselves and neither should we.


Anonymous said...

People need to read the Details article. Brady never said that quote. the writter says Bradys face says that after being asked about Gisele. It is the writters quote.

Anonymous said...

Tom Brady ........ I cannot believe the stupid idiot thing that you are. generally the men stultify when they have immoral and worse sex with pornos

M. Alexander said...

Thank you for the correction- I've edited the post to reflect the correction.

Anonymous said...

But Tom does say:
‘It doesn’t affect anybody but me anyway, so why is it a big deal?’

Excuse me, but I think it affects Bridget and the child tremendously, and also all the young fans that see that its OK for their role model to impregnate his long-term girlfriend and just walk away.

If you read the entire DETAILS article, the tone of it is that Tom is most interested in the superficial (like meeting "cool" people) and being a celebrity. He does not even mention the mother of his child.

Rebecca Urban said...

Hi Mary,

Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading that. My husband and I met when I was seventeen, and I was twenty-one when we got married. I was still an undergraduate at Boston College! Despite the fact that we were getting married for the 'right' reasons in the 'right' way, many of my family members were less than optimistic (my family is not Catholic). It's sad how pessimistic peoples' views have become in regards to marriage. We've been happily married for nearly three years, and we're still looking forward to spending a lifetime together. We only wish we had gotten married sooner!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mary. It is very refreshing to know that there are more people out there who are as disgusted as I am regarding Tom Brady's immoral behavior.

Jamie Carin and Claudio Romano said...


Excellent post and observations! This totally mirrors a situation with a 32 year old "man" I know. He is known for being a good, upstanding sort of guy. Yet he uses women for sex....women he has no interest in otherwise. When I question this I am told I am being moralistic.

I don't know who is worse...the guy..or the women who allow themselves to be in these situations!

Please tell the cottage couple I wish them all the happiness in the world and am praying for them! Claudio and I had a 2 year engagement and that was 1.95 years too long!! LOL

Madeline said...

Hey Mary;

What's with all of the "anonymous" comments? Not your most controversial (or so I would have thought).

NCTradCatholic said...

"Dad has got to start reading. He's got to stop watching silly, stupid sports on TV".
Bishop Richard Williamson, Long Island, NY, 4/15/07

Not a bad idea!

Edward said...

"Why? For temptation to grow? For ennui to set in? For distractions from the purpose of life to take hold, like self inclination?"

Yes, it's far better to allow ennui to settle in at its proper time within the marriage. 'A place for everything, and everything its place.':)

Seriously, though.
A little verse for the couple (which I gave to my wife after we were newly wed).

O give to me the wealth of years:
The treasure held of days I will
to spend
With thee; and see secure against
the fears
To which the heart less sure than
mine may tend.

It drones on in its classical sonnet, iambic pentameter, antithetical parallelism like that.

M. Alexander said...

Edward- it really is a shame that you don't have a blog.

How are things on the housing front???

Edward said...

My dear Mary, are you implying that I am purloining your blog space?:)

Edward said...

And also thank you for your solicitude.
It's too soon to tell yet.
Things are going well, but I have nothing definitive as yet to communicate.
At the first sign, I assure you.

Edward said...

We have received word, Mary.
The house we needed is secure, another gift from our most Gracious Sovereign King (and the Queen, interceding for us! Muchas, muchas gracias, Senora!)
As soon as we received the confirmation, I gathered the clan in the parlor to give thanks.
We said Te Deum, and Non nobis; followed by ad lib thanksgiving to La Guadalupana and finally the singing of Salve Regina.
I am full of gratitude to you all as well, AND the Holy Souls, whom I also asked to intercede for us as I daily remember them.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Deo Gratias!!!