Catholicism and Homosexuality Part 6: Love, Not Hate Part 1

(Reblogged from December 10, 2013)

We are coming to the end of the series with a two-parter about love and hate. Check out the last installment of the series here if you missed. The first part of Love, Not Hate is going to address in a general way, the current cultural conversation on so-called same-sex marriage. The second part is going to address other areas of the so-called “gay agenda” and highlight areas where we can and should find common ground.

“The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics.”

CCC 1603

There have been countless nations on the face of the earth since the dawn of time. Marriage has been a part of them all. In each place the rites of marriage have been different. In different times and places the freedom in which men and women married varied. But regardless of these types of differences, one thing has remained the same: that marriage is between a man and a woman. Sometimes a man could have multiple marriages, but each individual marriage he had was with one woman. The amazing thing about this truth is that even in past cultures where homosexual behavior was tolerated and even lauded and encouraged, same-sex marriage did not exist.

There is a deeper understanding in the human consciousness that understands that the permanent bonded love between a man and a woman is different than any other relationship, even relationships that are built upon great love! That is why the Catholic Church fights hard against redefining marriage. Redefining marriage undefines it. When marriage is no longer a relationship that benefits society because of its faithfulness and its fecundity, why have marriage at all? Today neither faithfulness nor fecundity are necessary for a relationship to be recognized as marriage. If that is what marriage truly is, then what relationship is marriage? If some kind of temporary attractive feeling is all that is necessary, how could marriage be denied to any group of people? Three people, four people, siblings, parents and children, friends, employer and employee, corporations, etc. If fidelity doesn’t matter, fecundity doesn’t matter, gender doesn’t matter, what really does matter?

Society is rapidly slipping into relativism and rather than opening the definition of marriage to include more people, we will undoubtedly open it so far as to define it out of existence. Obviously Christians of good faith do not want this to happen. Marriage is an institution which honors the special relationship between a husband and a wife that procreates and keeps our race alive. It is an institution which permanently brings the spouses together to responsibly raise their offspring through stability, love, and commitment. Redefining marriage further away from that than it already has (divorce, contraception, etc.) weakens its goals and status as unique. This is what the fight about not redefining marriage to include same-sex couples is about.

The great thing is that this is a universal truth that is not found by faith alone but is arrived at by human reason, and as such is supported by a wide variety of individuals including Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and even atheists. Regardless of doctrine and belief in divinity we all benefit from the goal of natural marriage. There are even great numbers of homosexuals who understand this truth, and understand that the fight is not about relegating the homosexual to a second-class status or dehumanizing them. I really feel for my fellow homosexuals who feel that way, but the feeling really is self-imposed because the movement at large isn’t about criminalizing homosexuality or disparaging them, but about saving a wounded institution for the benefit of our civilization.

Part 7

Do I Believe That God Will Deliver?

(Reblogged from October 12, 2013)

That’s the question that was posed to me in confession?

Do I believe that God will deliver me if I cooperate with him? I don’t know. That was what I told my confessor.

Am I willing to fight the seven demons that will come back with the demon I just cleared out of my house? Or will I just roll over and let them set up shop? History and the law of probabilities says that I will roll over. But if you let a complex system repeat itself long enough something surprising might occur.

I guess I just don’t know if I believe that God will deliver me or if I’ve just given up hope in the trash heap that is all my previous failures.

The Weapons of Our Warfare Are Not Worldly

(Reblogged from October 23, 2011)

For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6

“Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today.”
-St. Pio of Pietrelcina-

h/t to Amanda for bringing this verse to my attention this morning

The Soul that Cannot Meditate

(Reblogged from May 2, 2011)

When spiritual persons cannot meditate, they should learn to remain in God’s presence with a loving attention and tranquil intellect…For little by little and very soon, the divine calm and peace with a wondrous, sublime knowledge of God, enveloped in divine love, will be infused into their souls.

St. John of the Cross

Source of Unfailing Help

(Reblogged from April 17, 2011)

O Queen of Heaven and earth, Most Holy Virgin, we venerate thee. Thou art the beloved Daughter of the Most High God, the chosen Mother of the Incarnate Word, the Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Sacred Vessel of the Most Holy Trinity.

O Mother of the Divine Redeemer, who under the title of Our Lady of Good Remedy comes to the aid of all who call upon thee, extend thy maternal protection to us. We depend on thee, dear Mother, as helpless and needy children depend on a tender and caring mother.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death.

O Lady of Good Remedy, source of unfailing help, grant that we may draw from thy treasury of graces in our time of need. Touch the hearts of sinners, that they may seek reconciliation and forgiveness. Bring comfort to the afflicted and the lonely; help the poor and the hopeless; aid the sick and the suffering. May they be healed in body and strengthened in spirit to endure their sufferings with patient resignation and Christian fortitude.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death.

Dear Lady of Good Remedy, source of unfailing help, thy compassionate heart knows a remedy for every affliction and misery we encounter in life. Help me with thy prayers and intercession to find remedy for my problems and needs, especially for … (Here indicate your special intentions).

On my part, O loving Mother, I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle, to a more careful observance of the laws of God, to be more conscientious in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life, and to strive to be a source of healing in this broken world of ours.

Dear Lady of Good Remedy, be ever present to me, and through thy intercession, may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind, and grow stronger in the faith and in the love of thy Son, Jesus.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death.

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of Good Remedy.
R. That we may deepen our dedication to thy Son, and make the world alive with His Spirit.

Let Us Eat and Drink, for Tomorrow We Die

(Reblogged from March 4, 2011)

If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

1 Corinthians 15:32

This is a stark reminder to us, of the epic-ness of our faith, as well as its very foundation. Everything we hope for. Everything we have faith in. Everything we pray for. All of it is contingent on the fact that the dead will be raised, that Jesus Christ himself was raised from the dead. This is one of the most fundamental beliefs of Catholicism. If it is not true, all is lost, there is nothing to hope for. If it is not true, this life is all that there is, and we might as well eat and drink because tomorrow we die, and that is it.

How often do we consider the resurrection of the dead? How often to do we think about how our actions proclaim this or how they deny this? I think for many of us, myself particularly, this thought is often left somewhere on a shelf to collect dust. We give no thought to the fact that we are raised at the end of time, and live, rather, as if there is no resurrection of the dead. Pleasure is all that matters, we must get as much of it as possible in as many ways as possible. I must drink myself into oblivion. I must have sex with as many people as I can. I must watch all the sitcoms that I can. I must see as many rock concerts as I can. I must make as much money as I can. I must visit as many countries as I can. I must be as tolerant as I can. I must have as many facebook friends as I can. I only get 70 or so years to accumulate as many units of pleasure as I can, to make a name for myself so that future earth dwellers will know of me.

St. Paul asks us to live another way. He asks us to live in light of eternity. He asks us to live in the light of being raised from the dead. He asks us to make decisions that will leave us a legacy in heaven rather than a legacy on earth. He asks us to keep our bodies chaste because these are the same bodies we must present to God on the day of Judgment.

Let us consider our motives over the next week month and a half as we quickly enter the season of Lent. Do we do the things we do  because we desire a temporal pleasure, or do we do the things we do to store up treasure in heaven, to glorify God, and to enjoy the abundant graces he has given us today that are in anticipation of the infinite grace of eternal life?


(Reblogged from March 17, 2010)

re·press (ri pres’), v.t. to check or inhibit.

Repression. Its something that liberals like to bring in almost any instance where some kind of sexual activity is being condemned or a call for self-control is being made, usually by the religious right. “Repressing our desires is bad.” “Repressing sexuality is lying about who we are.” “Limiting our sexual expression does more harm than good.”

These are the typical responses. The most recent one I heard was in a comment about on article on pornography that went something like, “repressed societies have more violence.” What I logically assume comes after this is a “so, we shouldn’t dissuade pornographic use or any other type of sexual repression.”

But is repression really as bad as all that? Does it breed violence? Is it a lie about who one is? By no means. I think the word repression has a bad connotation to it. It sounds too much like oppression, a word that people do not like. Rather, judging from the definition of repress at the top, I think a better word choice might be self-control. Either way, there are benefits to this practice.

For one, self-control, is not so much about limiting, but truly respecting and understanding freedom. We are free to do all things. It does not mean, though, that all things are beneficial. We are free to look at pornography all day, everyday. We are free to have contests to see which guy in our group can have sex with the most different women in a single week. We are free to drink as much alcohol as possible, and then free to hop into a car and drive as fast as we can down Main Street. Just because we can do something or want to do something does not mean that we should do something.

And in fact, some behaviors, such as pornography are very addictive, and so, by not exercising self-control, one can come to the point where they could not exercise control even if they wanted to. Indulging is not always good. The sexual revolution has screwed us over so bad. On demand birth control, on demand abortion, the exponential increase of sexual images on television, movies, billboards, magazines, books, and street corners have lead us to believe that we are entitled to sex whenever, with whoever, as long as both parties are willing, and in some cases, the willingness doesn’t have to be a prerequisite. And what have the results of this non-repressive behavior been? Prior to the 1960’s syphilis and gonorrhea were the only two major STDs. Today STDs have rapidly multiplied into HIV, chlamydia, HPV, bacterial vaginosis, genital herpes, PID, trichomoniasis, chancroid, and over 20 others. The effects of these diseases range from discomfort and nasty-looking outbreaks to infertility and death. And all of this in the name of sexual freedom.

Then there is the divorce rate which has skyrocketed since the sexual revolution began. Probably because of the eradication of inhibitions to commit adultery. “What? You should be able to be married to whoever you are in love with. If it’s not your spouse, you should be able to get divorced and marry the one you love.” Maybe. Maybe not. But how has this affected children. Children have had to live in split households, not being able to see what true sacrifice and love means, not seeing people work relationships out. Not having the influence of both a father and mother on them. Maybe you are one of those children. Maybe you turned out “just fine”. But think of how your life might have been different if your parents had worked it out. Suddenly sex isn’t only affecting you. Its affecting families. One’s lack of self-control might destroy their own family, and it might destroy someone else’s. But sexual freedom is most important. I keep forgetting about that.

The point is, our culture has degraded sex into an act where we come together, mutually (usually) derive pleasure from each other, and then leave. We ignore any emotional, physiological, psychological, or moral consequences. Whatever feels good is good. Not feeling good is bad. So feel good! Yet, it clearly has not worked out to make our society better, but has created more brokenness! Part of our human dignity is derived from the fact that we have the freedom to make choices. God was so good in giving us that ability. But all choices are not equal. Some choices diminish that human dignity, and the sexual revolution has made those choices prevalent. Just think about this: we want people to be repressive when it comes to robbing banks, when it comes to bad driving, when it comes to lying, when it comes to violence. Why? Because we sense that an excess of freedom in these areas is not a good thing. Well folks the same is true with sex, only its a lot harder to exercise self-control in this area, for what I think are obvious reasons. It doesn’t mean that we should give up or not try very hard.

Conclusion: We’ve come darn close to having absolute sexual freedom in our nation, and things have gotten worse, none of the promises from it have come to light. So why not see where exercising a little self-control, and respect for human dignity gets us, for say, the next 50 years, giving both “revolutions” and equal amount of time to change society. And let the best man win.


I Should Be In Bed But…

(Reblogged from March 10, 2010)

…I just had a great three hour long conversation. After staff meetings, our staff sometimes goes to get late night munchies at the dining center. I usually decline because I don’t have too much in common with the clique-ish part of the staff. But I heard that my new floor partner would be there, so I decided to go, but he wasn’t. However, a staff member asked if I wanted to go to Cru on Tuesday’s with him. “Oh no,” I thought, “not this again.” I said that I would talk about it later, and declined his invitation. After the staff crowd dwindled down, he asked if I wanted to talk about it then. I agreed and went on about why I don’t like Cru, agree with Cru, and refuse to go to Cru. Of course, this is all deeply intertwined with my conversion to Catholicism. We stayed in the dining center until the lights were shut off and then moved into our office to continue. We had some heated argument about Purgatory and the Papacy. I should mention here that one staff member is a former Catholic, but so close to returning to practice the faith, and the other is a Presbyterian. I feel that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I was able to explain well the doctrine of Purgatory to a point where he could understand, if not almost agree with, it. The Papacy was much more difficult, because like many Protestants, corruption of particular Pope’s actions seems to mask the legitimacy and even the need for the office. The idea of power and authority being the cause of that corruption needing to be thrown away creeps in. I may have made a little headway with it, regardless, though, I did not back down, insistent that St. Peter was the first pope, followed by St. Linus, (or was he third?) and so forth.

Eventually the conversation took the route of talking about what God has done in our lives, and that was a much more pleasant conversation. To hear the stories of the Spirit working in them and to share the stories, especially of this summer, when the weird priestly stuff was happening, was great. The best news of all, though, is that this Catholic guy admitted that he is so close to being ok with Catholicism. I told him that it was reading the Catechism that helped me understand the theology. I warned him, though, that it is very convincing, and it could be “dangerous” to read it, that if he picked up and read it, he will likely be left with no excuse to reject Catholicism.  When we departed like 20 minutes ago after about three hours of discussion, he said he would have a hard time sleeping with so much to think about now.

He is so close. So very very close. Please, please pray for him. Call him Fargo’s Prodigal Son, God will know who you are talking about. Pray to God, ask Mary, ask Joseph, ask every Saint you know to pray for him today, tomorrow and the day after. Surely if the choirs of Heaven pray for this man, that last step he needs to talk will be given him by God!

Sometimes these late night talks are the best evangelization we can have.