Homework. Miss Mozart has given me homework, a book on relationships we're to read in parallel. This is irksome to me in so very many distinct ways. This type of self-help book is most emphatically not my cup of tea, nothing I could ever choose to read for my own edification & gratification. She really doesn't know me at all, does she? No, she doesn't appear to know the first thing about me. She cannot have listened to anything I say in our lengthy conversations, she only hears those things she wants to hear & filters what I say through the fantasy she's building up around our romance.
The book—The 5 Love Languages for Men: Tools for Making a Good Relationship Great—is explicitly for married men, by the way, not bachelors seeking a romance or boyfriends in the early stages of a romance, but married men. She knows my ambition is to attend the seminary &, heaven willing, to be ordained a priest, but at her insistence we haven't discussed this at any length; she insists we can only have such a conversation face to face, not over the phone. So, by necessity, our romance has stayed on a very superfluous level; after all, what kind of a romance can we have that excludes the single most significant thing in my life? But again, she doesn't want to know about me or my life, she just wants me to fit the boyfriend mold she's building up in her fantasies.
She says that one of the things she likes best about me is my sense of humor. Of course, most girls say they really look for a sense of humor in guys & yet most of them date & eventually marry humorless pricks. Miss Mozart & I have discussed this, my theory that most girls are lying (as much to themselves as to anyone else) when they say they want a buy with a sense of humor. So, Miss Mozart says she prizes my sense of humor, yet The 5 Love Languages for Men instructs me to resist the temptation to use humor to ease tense situations. Life is a tense situation, you platitude peddlers! Why do my friends call me "The Last Angry Man"? Because I used to be afraid all the time & was thus angry all the time. As Yoda said, "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." It's taken me a long time & a lot of work not to be afraid, to not just hold in mind the idea but to accept deep in my bones that I have innate worth, that I am precious in the eyes of the LORD Almighty. It's taken me many years to come to like me, & now I'm being told not to act like me. I'm not being told this by persons I know & trust, persons who know me well, but by a girl who apparently doesn't listen to a word I say & a pair of authors who haven't the slightest idea of who I am or what my story is.
Near the climax of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the Starfleet traitor Valeris, a protégée of Spock, states that she never meant for her relationship with Spock to be harmed by her participation in the conspiracy to assassinate the Klingon chancellor & perpetuate hostilities 'twixt the Federation & the Klingon Empire. Spock replies, "What you want is irrelevant. What you have chosen is at hand." I doubt insulting me, rousing my ire, & causing as-yet-undetermined-but-almost-certainly-irreparable damage to our romance is what Miss Mozart wanted in foisting this horrible book upon me, but what she wants is irrelevant; what she has chosen is at hand.
Pope Francis, Amoris Lætitia (The Joy of Love)
Mark Waid & Fiona Staples, Veronica Fish, Joe Eisma, et al., Archie, Volumes One, Two, & Three
Fulton Sheen, Finding True Happiness
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations
Gary Chapman with Randy Southern, The 5 Love Languages for Men: Tools for Making a Good Relationship Great
Edward Sri & Curtis Martin, The Real Story: Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible
Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
Richard Price, Clockers
Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator, "Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights
Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage
William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
William E. Simon Jr., Great Catholic Parishes: How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive
Mike Aquilina, Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
Bishop Robert Barron, Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture
Scott & Kimberly Hahn, Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism
Kevin Lowry, How God Hauled Me Kicking and Screaming into the Catholic Church
John W. O'Malley, What Happened at Vatican II
Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World