Quick Hits: Cosmo lauds virginity, mastery of the tongue, underrated ceilings, the Chancellor and the Bard

By Thomas V. Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Sep 22, 2016

  • Astoundingly, the degenerate-by-default Cosmopolitan has published a young woman’s article about the beauty of the consecrated life. (Yes, the piece was originally published in Good Housekeeping, but it’s still remarkable.) In “I Am Happily Married to God—as a Consecrated Virgin”, Carmen Briceno describes the concept of consecrated virginity, her discernment process, and the joys and challenges of her existence since making her vows in 2009. We can hope that God will use this to get a few Cosmo readers thinking differently about sex and fulfillment, if not even to call a few more into the Ordo Virginum!

  • Now that we’ve challenged them, it’s time to challenge us. Catholic Culture’s readers, I suspect, are as a demographic more susceptible to the temptation to spend a great deal of time debating on social meda. If this describes you—as it certainly describes me intermittently—you may want to head over to Catholic Exchange and read Kevin Tierney’s article on “Showing Mercy and Charity on Social Media”. Apart from the titular virtues, Tierney shows the absolute necessity for those who wish to please God to master our tongues. If this doesn’t hit close to home, I don’t know what does:
    I think we Catholics like to tell ourselves a lot of lies in our social media discourse. We tell ourselves that we mean well, and those times we fall short, hey, we got carried away! It’s not a big deal, everyone gets carried away! In the end, we’re on the side of the angels, just trying to convert the world. Nothing wrong with that, right? Unfortunately, there is a lot wrong with that. The greatest spiritual masters knew this attitude well, and they condemned it.

  • A Catholic architect I know recently shared some remarkable photography of New York City’s churches. I had never considered the possibility of a vertical panorama before, but that’s exactly what Richard Silver did and it makes me see these houses of worship, many of which I’ve visited, in a whole new way. The article is a year old, but well worth taking a look at— because hey, ceilings are underrated. For another view of the high places of church architecture, check out a video recently filmed by drone in a French Neo-Byzantine church.

  • Readers in the Washington, DC area will want to avail themselves of a new exhibit at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, God’s Servant First: The Life and Legacy of Thomas More:
    Some of the featured items include the following: a hat used by St. Thomas More; a religious garment embroidered by Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of King Henry VIII; a monumental woodblock print by the German artist Albrecht Dürer; a first folio by William Shakespeare; the pectoral cross and saddle chalice that belonged to John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States; and first-class relics of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher.
    Shakespeare, you query? Well, as it turns out, the last surviving copy of a play written in his handwriting is Sir Thomas More, a work which underwent rewriting and revisions by a number of playwrights including the Bard himself. (See Sir Ian McKellen performing the scene Shakespeare wrote, in which More upbraids a mob of anti-immigrant rioters. Oh, hey...) It may not have the spiritual efficacy of the relics which will be on display, but it’s still pretty darn cool thrown into the bargain. I know I’ll be visiting this exhibit next time I’m in the vicinity.

Thomas V. Mirus is a pianist, composer, and occasional amateur comedian living in New York City. He produces and hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Sep. 22, 2016 12:21 PM ET USA

    The message better fitted to Cosmo is that women who have committed sins against the 6th commandment are also capable of perfect and perpetual chastity, and their dignity that they degraded through their sins can begin to be restored by Christ through prayer and penance. Sometimes people don't think it through that virginity is not an ideal that women who are not virgins can personally aspire to--it can be discouraging. Sometimes women need reassuring that their loss of dignity is not hopeless.