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I have a Marie Antoinette question. In the movie, she is depicted as having an extramarital affair with a foreign army general. Is there any historical basis for that, or was it a fabrication in the movie script?

Love your blog by the way! I am so glad whenever I discover another blog where a faithful catholic is living her vocation, and teaching others about the joy of being fully alive in Christ.

The essential dignity of a woman, you use that phrase "icon", is apt. A godly woman is an occassion for a man to direct attention to her finer qualities, and thank God for her. Whether she is his sister, his wife, his friend or colleague, or some other sister in Christ, she gives all the men in her life, as well as all her fellow Christian women, a reason to look to God and give thanks to Him, when she uses her divinely given feminine gifts for the greater glory of God!

To be fully alive, to be human, to be man or woman, is the only thing worth being. I have been discussing with some orthodox Jewish friends, about the parallels between the Catholic idea of being fully alive, and the virtues that are required (such as chastity, and continence) with the Jewish principle of “k’rivath hadaath”, expressed in Scripture thus: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)


elena maria vidal

The Coppola film is loaded with historical errors and the Fersen affair is certainly one of them. Many books and movies have speculated about a possible liaison between the Queen and the Count but there is no solid evidence. All the evidence points to Marie-Antoinette's fidelity to her faith and to her husband. Here are some articles I wrote about the continued slander of the queen, as well as a review of the Coppola film.





elena maria vidal

Here is an article about the Queen's gambling adiction, which she struggled with as a teenager and overcame. That was her true vice, not the affair with Count Fersen.


Here is an article about her overall reputation. (Unlike the portrayal in the film, Marie-Antoinette never drank alcohol.)

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    • From Benedict XVI
      “People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity."
    • Anger and Patrimony (from Donna)
      This is just another of the unintended consequences of the cultural acceptance of contraception and abortion! Men's sexuality has been robbed of its creative essence. It is now viewed as something that imposes a burden on women (when conception happens to occur), something used to control women or something that is purely recreational. Why would men bother?? In taking away their responsibility, we've also robbed them of their significance! In the big picture of humanity, men have been made into nothing more than a nuisance women have to figure out how to control in order to bring about the next generation. Men don't see it as their task to protect the vulnerable because they see themselves as the vulnerable ones. A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!
    • Excellent, Dom! (from Teresa)
      That is astounding Robin, and good for you for standing up. At the heart of that matter, I think, is even worse than a gender mixing message. There is an increased sharper and sharper focus on the "self." Solid Catholic teaching returns our focus away from ourselves to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The original sin, Eve denied her womanhood when she desired to be like "gods." Since the only god she knew was the Father. Where was Adam? He stood impotent... in other words, they were divorced. There's a young girl at Robin's son's high school who was just told that she is the center of the universe and it's a tragic disservice to her.
    • Find the logic (from "me")
      Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.
    • Find the logic (from Mary)
      I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids. Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

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