Marriage

Cohabitation & Mother Church

Anthony Spadaro’s recent blog post on cohabitation leads me to wonder if it might be time to retire that term Mother Church. Under the tenure of Jorge Bergoglio, the ancient maternal image of nourishment and protection for believers has shriveled to an empty figure of speech. The language remains—Mater Ecclesia—but the motivating substance is gone. What we are left with is a misleading personification, as susceptible to misuse as any other sentimental usage. Let us try the term Nanny Church. A nanny does not have the authority of a mother. Continue Reading
Cum Grano Salis

Cum grano salis. With a grain of salt. The phrase has kept me company for years. Within days of leaving our Brooklyn brownstone for this house outside the city, I painted it over the door that leads from the kitchen down to the boiler room. It was up on the lintel before I even hung curtains or finished unpacking. Somehow, it seemed more important than knowing where to put the couch or find the toaster.   New to exurbia, my husband and I were in a strange house on unfamiliar turf. Continue Reading
Solange Gautier. Bride Running from Toad Groom (early 20th C.).

Would Lena Marie and Walter still be together if they had been married by the pope? Thomas Theodor Heine. Bride-to-be Admiring Herself in Mirror (1898). Simplicissimus. Munich. Lena was the first of my old high school friends to marry. From wedding march to wedding cake, the nuptials were grand. Preliminaries, too, were imposing—the showers, the parties, the trousseau. Yes, a trousseau! A chest of linens with trim crocheted and tatted by Aunt Philomena, nightgowns hand-smocked and embroidered by Cousin Lucy back in La Spezia. Continue Reading