Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Can Screens Be Dangerous??

As I sat in the hair salon this morning with my three children waiting for my daughter's turn to get her hair done, I looked around at the sad array of disconnected people there.  They were "connected" in the sense that they were all looking down at their little screens, apparently keeping up with friends, but disconnected in the sense that they were all totally oblivious to what was going on around them.
 
My children started out by sitting on the bench next to me and then gradually hopped down and began exploring the small sitting area as young children are apt to do.  They seemed surprised that no one was paying any attention to them and I wondered why more people don't realize that a baby's face is a better window into the wonders of the Universe than the internet could ever be.

But the people just sat and stared at their screens.  I felt a little awkward being the only one without a cell phone of any kind.

One girl had an earring through her nose that was really very disturbing to see and two young boys had just finished getting haircuts that seemed a bit racy for their tender years.  I questioned why I had come here with my coupon instead of just taking my daughter to my regular salon that is full of old ladies, gossip and curlers.

Then I heard a bit of laughter.  An old lady had struck up a conversation with a middle aged lady about whether the meat she had purchased that morning would spoil in her car outside.  I couldn't help but sigh with relief.  I felt like I was alive again and could breathe easily.  We don't quite live in an impersonal zombie world after all.

Indeed, at times it does seem that we live in a world where the golden rule is, "Every man for himself!"  How disconcerting is this if you are sick or a child that just can't take care of yourself and needs to rely on the kindness of others.  Maybe it's time to "get outside the box" of our own little virtual worlds and experiment with those friendly virtues like compassion and sympathy.

The screens disturbed me.  I admit that I am not out in public very much besides shopping, the library, the park, or Church.  Suffice it to say, communication even at those places is getting more difficult.  At the grocery store, people will go around you rather than ask to get something on the shelf or ask for help.

Screens are scary when you think about what comes out of the internet and television.  How much evil filth is spilled into our living rooms or out of our iPhones each day and what effort do we make to shovel it out or do we just leave it there to fester until a bigger problem presents itself- a lot worse than spoiled meat in the car!  The demons are taking over the screens to the point that our world is becoming a place full of constant, walking evil!  In the store, in the waiting rooms, on the busses, in the Churches, people bring their screens and thus transport a virtual world of undisputedly demonic influence.

I just read an article about how bad screens are for the development of children under two (and probably any age) and why reading anything off a screen hinders how well we absorb the information.  There is also an old story of how St. Elizabeth Anne Seton experienced a vision in which she said it was prophesied to her that one days every American would have a "black box in their home through which the devil will enter".

Suffice it to say that I just got rid of our television (we never had cable TV, just movies) and I do not carry a cell phone of any kind...  I'm hoping this will help deter the insanity of the virtual world in our house.  Screens creep me out and I do not think I am exaggerating in putting some value behind that feeling.

(By the way, what lately threw me over the edge on this subject was the book Return To Order in which the author elaborates on the dangers of impersonal, fast paced modern society or what he calls "frenetic intemperance".  If you have not heard about it, you need to visit this website today: http://www.returntoorder.org/)

What do you think???

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Analysing the Maxi Skirt


Midi skirt popular in the 1950's vs. maxi skirt popular in the 1960's/70's and again today.  Which is more elegant?
 
"It is often said almost with passive resignation that fashions reflect the customs of a people.  But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization." Pius XII, 1957
 
 
I have hesitated for a long time to publish this article on the maxi skirt.  This is mostly due to the torrents of articles out there from other Catholic women bloggers praising them for combining "modest" and "trendy"...

That right there should be a major warning sign.

I have worn maxi skirts and dresses a few times since they became popular a couple of years ago.  (There are some pretty ones, exceptions to what I am going to analyze below.)  I just never have been able to love them!  This could in part be due to the fact that they don't look great on me, but I suspect a deeper reason.  There is something I do not like about maxi skirts and I think it is something idealistic.

Just because a fashion is trending does not make it bad.  But because we live in a fashion world that is far advanced in the Revolution, it almost does.  So the fact that maxi skirts and maxi dresses are trendy does make them very suspicious.

Here are just a few reasons to justify this suspicion:

-The maxi skirt has little or no form, dismissing that gentle structure that is always present in a skirt with elegance; think of the delicate pleating found in the waistline of a civil war era dress.  The maxi dress is slinky and often falls so long as to hide the feet which actually draws more attention to them in a sort of tribal, mid-eastern way, far more than former Christian fashions ever did.

-Often, instead of being more modest as you would expect, maxi skirts are less modest since they are clingy, usually made of cheap knit or polyester material, and thus end up showing the form more than a shorter skirt of stiffer material and more structured form would.

-Maxi dresses usually have very low necklines and are sleeveless.  Skirts are generally paired with tanks or tight shirts in order to avoid an overly flowy look.  These facts can be discerned just by looking at pictures in catalogs online or in the stores that advertise the maxi skirt look.  They are very popular for beaches and in other casual, risqué settings, often paired with other immodest clothing pieces.

-The maxi skirt was first introduced back in the 1960's and 70's in loud floral prints, hippy style, and it is interesting that it represented that era of Revolutionary social equality.  Today the women who are most fond of the fashion seem to be the same type, gravitating toward an ideal of loose morals and casual relationships.

This is all a very general analysis of the maxi skirt trend in relation to The Catholic Lady.  I really want to know what you think.  Please share your comments below!

Moral Crisis at the Root of Broken Families

Dr. Laura

According to the acclaimed marriage counselor and radio talk show host, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the root of broken and unhappy marriages can be attributed to a moral crisis.  She writes in her book The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands:


   "How do so many women get to this unhappy place of not understanding how truly "simple" men are in their requirements and how much benevolent power their wives have over them?  Why did notions like assuaging "male ego" and using "feminine wiles" rocket into disrepute?  How is it that so many women are angry with men in general yet expect to have a happy life married to one of them?
   There are a number of reasons for this, and I believe they all revolve around the assault upon, and virtual collapse of, the values of religious morality, modesty, fidelity, chastity, respect for life, and a commitment to family and child rearing.
   With a religious foundation, both women and men appreciate that they become more complete when bonded to the opposite sex in holy matrimony.  Without it though women may see marriage as either an option equivalent to the usually temporary arrangement of shaking up, or as the threat of oppression, or as an impediment to the fulfilling of some important material goals.
   When modesty, chastity and fidelity were in vogue, women who valued themselves as more than sexual objects or outlets were respected by society in general and men in particular.  Now women have to contend with men taught to expect sexual favors as part of casual dating.  As a result, women ignore their true nature to bond, and find themselves getting more and more hurt and bitter as they search for meaning in a culture telling them meaning has no meaning.
   When there was awe and respect for life, an "accidental pregnancy" was met with commitment and responsibility because women expected it and men were accountable.  Now men expect and accidental pregnancy to result in an abortion because society has trained them to see this as a temporary inconvenience, or they expect to walk away because they've been told men aren't needed to raise babies.
   Commitment to marriage and child rearing was once seen as the pinnacle of adulthood identity, so that women looked carefully for the "right" man for the job, and parents were consulted for opinions and blessings.  Now, with so few sustained marriages and children growing up with complex family trees made up of multiple marriages, divorces, and out-of-wedlock children, fewer women look upon marriage and child rearing as stable or even normal.
   The feminist double whammy of the elevation of women without men (and children without fathers) and the dismissal of men as unnecessary or even dangerous has certainly not contributed to the kind of positive disposition that women need in order to function well within a monogamous, heterosexual, committed relationship.
   This grandiose self-centeredness about the value of women, paired with a virtual disdain for men, leads women to treat men badly.  Too many women look at men with a sense of entitlement versus an opportunity for selflessness.  Why?  All of those forces taken together have given women a false sense of superiority.
   Combine the false sense of superiority with the element of not being properly psychologically fed by their fathers and you have recipe for tension.  Women have a hunger for being protected and cared for-whether they want to admit it or not.  This hunger is amplified when there was no father in the home.  The man or men who then enter their lives become mixed up in their psychological need to replace Dad.  This makes for inappropriate expectations about what a man can and should do, which get in the way of a healthy, two-way relationship.  While there is always some wonderful mommying and daddying going on in all marital relationships, the compulsion to always give or receive such is a serious problem, as their partner is either force-fed or starved.  That lack of balance destroys relationships and corrodes people's psyches..."

A Week In Feminine Dress: Miss. Theresa Hanson

Welcome to another 'Week In Feminine Dress' here on The Catholic Lady Blog.  If you want to participate in the challenge all you need to do is photograph your week of feminine outfits!  Send them to me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com before June 30.
 
These photos are from Miss. Theresa Hanson, a beautiful past contributor to the blog.  Here is an excerpt of the letter she included with her pictures:
 
"...This last week was so much fun for me!  It has been such a delight and encouragement seeing all the lovely ladies who have stepped up to this challenge.  I have very much been inspired by their wonderful example of how modesty truly glorifies, enriches, uplifts, protects and enhances sweet, beautiful femininity..."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
THANK YOU!



Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Week In Feminine Dress Challenge: Mrs. Valleri Gordon

Well, let's celebrate!  Mrs. Gordon sent us some more beautiful and inspirational photos for the Week In Feminine Dress Challenge!  She seems to occupy herself with the most enjoyable and elegant activities, so I decided to include part of her message below:


"...The one where I am in red and white is what I wore to Mass on Pentecost.  All items were thrift, except shoes which were payless. I feel cheap saying that, but I would have never found something as modest and affordable in the regular stores.
 
The two of me in a green/rose bud peasant blouse was on a day that I was just doing normal household things and picking strawberries in our little garden. This is my first successful attempt at making a peasant blouse using the epattern book I bought from Practically Pretty by Design!  I did have to make a few alterations to the pattern to make it longer and I put some elastic in the back to cinch it a little.  Otherwise the pattern is very well done and I am happy to now be able to make more when I am inspired by some fabric.  The hat was from the Dollar tree.  I like it because it is small.  It isn’t very elegant, but works for yard chores.
 
I ordered a couple nice hats from amazon and am excited to show you them soon. : )
 
The last photo of me in the aqua blouse is what I wore to teach my English Country Class on Tuesday.  Normally, I stay away from sleeves this short, I just don’t feel right in them, but the AC wasn’t working at the studio and I knew we were going to have a crowd in the classroom, so I decided I needed to stay as cool as possible."



 
 
 
 
If you have photos for Week In Feminine Dress, please send them to: thecatholiclady@gmail.com.
 
Thank you!
 

A Week In Feminine Dress Challenge: Miss. Heather Fuller

Here are some photos for A Week In Feminine Dress by Miss. Heather Fuller.  She was certainly successful in the challenge!!  I love her style; it's so elegant!  If you want to contribute photos for your very own "Week In Feminine Dress," please send them to: thecatholiclady@gmail.com.
 
 



 
 
Thank you, Miss. Fuller!  You have encouraged us!

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Week In Feminine Dress Challenge: Mrs. Valleri Gordon

Here is our next week in feminine dress challenge contestant, Mrs. Gordon.  I think she did an absolutely wonderful job!  I was so inspired.
 



Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Week in Feminine Dress Challenge: Zimmerman Ladies

It was more difficult than I imagined to get good quality photos of all of us every day.  However, I did the best I could and, keeping in mind that the purpose was to capture the outfit for the encouragement of other women, the results were satisfactory.  How is your week in feminine dress going?  If you want to contribute your photos for the weekend in feminine dress challenge, please send them to: thecatholiclady@gmail.com.
 
 
 
 
SUNDAY
Today we went to Mass, ate breakfast on the porch, hosted a Return To Order (http://www.returntoorder.org/) book launching event and had a cookout with friends.  This is what we wore:
  
Me
 
Beatrice
  
Rebecca
 
 
MONDAY
Today we cleaned up the house and unpacked from yesterday's event, played outside, read some books, drove to the country to visit the cows and got ice cream.  Here is what we wore:
  
Me
 
Beatrice
 
Rebecca
 
 
TUESDAY:
Today we took a walk outside, went grocery shopping, stopped at the library, watched a documentary on Princess Margaret and made dinner.  This is what we wore:
 
Me
 
Beatrice

Rebecca
 
 
WEDNESDAY
Today we did some gardening, went to the post office, watched some more of the documentary on Princess Margaret and went shopping.  Here is what we wore:
 
Me

Beatrice

Rebecca
 
 
THURSDAY
Today we had beautiful weather!  We ran some errands, played outside, washed and chopped up peppers (quite an event), made dinner and went for a walk at the lake.  Here is what we wore:

Me

Beatrice

Rebecca
 
 
FRIDAY:
Today we did laundry, cleaned out our toys, played at the park, went to the library, prepared dinner, set up for our yard sale tomorrow and visited with some aunts and uncles and Grandma.  Here is what we wore:
 
Me
 
Beatrice
 
Rebecca
 
 
SATURDAY:
Today we went to Mass, grocery shopping, made cookies and lemonade for our yard sale and had it, dropped off all our extra stuff at the thrift store and visited some relatives.  Here is what we wore:

Me
 
Beatrice
 

Rebecca


Thanks for stopping by!!!
 

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Challenge!!!

For centuries Christian women went through life
dressed like this.  Are you strong enough to do it?

Dear faithful readers of The Catholic Lady Blog,

I have a challenge for you!

I am hosting "A Week In Feminine Dress" which means you are challenged to wear modest, elegant clothing for an entire week, photograph your endeavor, and submit the photographs to my blog for publication!  The object is to encourage more women to dress like a "Catholic Lady".  Please consider joining the "Week In Feminine Dress" challenge!


Here are the rules:

No pants, shorts, flip flops, low necklines, sleeveless tops, tight clothing, short skirts (showing the knee), or anything that you find questionable!  Dress like you would imagine a true Catholic Lady to dress.

Submit your photos to me via thecatholiclady@gmail.com sometime before June 30!



Even if no one else volunteers, I will be posting pictures of me and my daughters for your encouragement and perusal!  It is possible to spend an entire week in feminine dress!

I hope you join me!

Sincerely,
Colette Zimmerman

Normcore: Fashion for Those Who Realize They're One in Seven Million



"Sometime last summer I realized that, from behind, I could no longer tell if my fellow Soho pedestrians were art kids or middle-aged, middle-American tourists. Clad in stonewash jeans, fleece, and comfortable sneakers, both types looked like they might’ve just stepped off an R-train after shopping in Times Square. When I texted my friend Brad (an artist whose summer uniform consisted of Adidas barefoot trainers, mesh shorts and plain cotton tees) for his take on the latest urban camouflage, I got an immediate reply: “lol normcore.”
Normcore—it was funny, but it also effectively captured the self-aware, stylized blandness I’d been noticing. Brad’s source for the term was the trend forecasting collective (and fellow artists) K-Hole. They had been using it in a slightly different sense, not to describe a particular look but a general attitude: embracing sameness deliberately as a new way of being cool, rather than striving for “difference” or “authenticity.” In fashion, though, this manifests itself in ardently ordinary clothes. Mall clothes. Blank clothes. The kind of dad-brand non-style you might have once associated with Jerry Seinfeld, but transposed on a Cooper Union student with William Gibson glasses..."

Read more about this awful fashion trend here:
http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/02/normcore-fashion-trend.html
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