|2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action." "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."|
I mostly read, but also spent some time organizing my game plan for our return to the US while slowly strumming my old guitar. I'm one bad guitar player, though. I've been incrementally learning the thing, but just like everyone else, I have quit much more than I have learned. This time I'm going to learn it. Right.
Planning for repatriation is an odd feeling. I mean, I'm about as American as they come, but I have students who know more about current American pop-culture than I do. From time to time, I'll be asked something very specific about fashion or lingo in American culture and since I have no clue, I typically offer my trademark deflection, "I don't know, I'm a 2005 American."
The America I left had George W. Bush in the White House and the GOP in control. I left an America where Obama was just a freshman Senator who made a kick-ass keynote speech at the 2004 DNC and Sarah Palin was where she should be --out of sight. I left a group of single friends who basically all lived in the same city. We were spectacular drunks. I left a sister who didn't have any children. I left with pretty much no money in my bank account, no international travel and no real desire to get into a relationship.
Now, the entire game has changed. Bush is long gone, but now the loons on the right are starting to miss him. The Dems have control and will keep it until 2012, but their momentum has faded. Obama won the election easily and now the people are turning on him. Most of my friends have finished grad school and are getting married. )We might all still be drunks, though.) My sister and brother-in-law have two adorable children and are settled in for the long haul.
That leaves me. Of course, it's not just me. I am now married and have a dog. We have a lot of money in the bank (more than enough for a house, furniture, a couple cars and a world tour). We own a huge amount of land in Yeoju and I've managed to travel around Asia pretty extensively. All of that sounds great, right? I'm not sure. Is accumulating stuff good?
I'm facing a dilemma that is tricky for the 27-year old and normal for the 67-year old. I get no pleasure in stuff. The number that represents my savings is just a number. It doesn't have the same feel as pirates booty might. The stuff in my apartment will mostly be sold before we head back and my clothes will all fade and eventually decompose. I'm tired of stuff and even more tired of accumulating it.
But wasn't that the real point of college?
This is a problem for a young married man who will start a family in a few years. Both Matthew and Luke tell me not to worry about food and money and instead let God provide what I need. I'm told that I "cannot serve both God and money" and it makes sense, but doesn't work in this modern world. God does provide me with everything I need, but I live in Seoul. I can't forage for food and live happily in a hill-side home. God might have given me the tools to succeed, but I'm starting to think those tools were not his but societies.
How can I find the balance?
If I focus too much on what I want rather than what I need, I will ultimately lose both. However, if I don't worry about those things, then I might be seeing God sooner than planned.
"Shall we always study to obtain more of these things, and not sometimes to be content with less?" -Thoreau from WaldenBrilliance. I'm not sure what I will learn from this year-long adventure, but I'm certain I will understand myself better than before. I've only gotten through two texts of major religions so far and already I am finding true happiness in what I already have. That's what Luke and Matthew meant, not that God will give us stuff. We have the tools for happiness.
Let me tell you a quick story.
My sister is
I need to find the joy in less. Or rather, I need to find the power to find the joy in less.