The Call to Authentic Love

parents playing with son

I believe children have a right to their natural mother and father. I believe that human marriage was designed to be conducive to life (i.e., procreation). I believe that families are one of the greatest gifts from God, and we need to appreciate this gift as it was given.

Scripturally, Jesus says, “At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30 and Mark 12:25). Two things can be derived from this: 1) God determines what marriage is, on earth and in Heaven, and 2) we belong to God more than we belong to each other (the greatest marriage will be after we die; this life is just a preparation).

Despite the eschatology (final outcomes), children and families are still worth protecting because everything God made is good (Genesis 1:31). The question to ask, then, is what did God make, and what came from the world and Satan?

To investigate, let’s look at the only perfect family, the Holy Family. Even though He was born through a miraculous virgin birth, Jesus still had a human father! The Divine Will was not based on cultural considerations; it had nothing to do with being “politically correct.” Jesus, as God, could have become a woman, and He could have grown up in a single parent family… but that is not what God wanted.

He became the New Adam through Mary, the New Eve. Jesus’ masculinity is particularly significant because Eve came from Adam’s rib. Likewise, we came from the Word and Breath of God. He is the One Who gives of Himself to us so that we might have life. This is what any good husband would do: give of himself for the beloved. It is appropriate then, that we, the Church, are called “the Bride of Christ.”

Perfectly wise and existing before time (omniscient and omnitemporal), God chose in advance which family He would belong to. When St. Joseph had doubts and wanted to quietly send Mary away, he was reassured by an angel to take Holy Mary as his wife. They lived chastely, and the world was changed forever.

So we can see, God did not come to redefine marriage. He honored it and sanctified it by His very Presence, by His perfect obedience. He came to redeem our hearts, to save us from sin and death. However, we live in a culture of death, sentencing our own God to the Cross. He knew He would die, and wanted our salvation more than His life. He wanted to show us a different way—of a love that’s selfless, sacrificial, and truly life-giving. And He was consistent in validating human marriages and families, which serve an earthly purpose—for us to participate in God’s loving, creative, and unitive act (i.e., “Be fertile and multiply” in Genesis 1:28 and “So they are no longer two, but one flesh” in Matthew 19:6).

Freedom is something of the soul… it must not be reduced to physical, sexual terms; otherwise we misuse our bodies and separate our hearts from the Lord. God allows us to be co-creators with Him. That is not to be tampered with, used irresponsibly, or taken for granted.

I’ve read and heard the comments / arguments from the other side. They’re very determined, often hostile and pushy, saying that human sexuality is merely a “social construct.” But before there were even societies and human ideologies, it was just one man, one woman, and God. If anything is a social construct, it is not traditional marriage.

We’ve recently seen Ireland, Mexico, and now the United States give in to the idea of “marriage equality.” Do we think that the foundations of the family (which are the building blocks of society) are something we can easily change without causing greater harm? Do we think that just because the majority votes something, it becomes morally right and objectively true? All it shows is what people want, and what we want is not always good for us. I urge people to consider the children, who have no vote, and will be affected the most. I think any orphan, adopted child, or the children of divorce have suffered from losing their natural parents. Redefining marriage breaks apart the family and deprives children of a mother or a father, and consequently, what it means to be a man or a woman.

Jesus’ response to Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” was to suffer and die. Sometimes we have to die to ourselves to show people the truth about God and love. We turn the other cheek—no fear, only perfect charity—because we won’t abandon our faith. And like Christ, we won’t be the aggressors.

If America truly believes in freedom, then why are these students being physically attacked (in the above YouTube video)? At first I thought it was an exaggeration—film clips collected to show the worst of mob mentality. But the events in San Francisco with Archbishop Cordileone—where Catholic private schools are now facing political pressure to conform their curriculum—is a sign that it’s not about freedom. It’s about people trying to get what they want and not caring about the First Amendment’s freedom of religion.

I’m not saying we should condemn our brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction. All the people that I know with SSA are very sweet people. But there’s a defensive pride that comes out sometimes, which seems to involve hurts going beyond the same-sex marriage debate. We need to have an open dialogue… we need to bring God into the conversation and pray together. Only then can there be healing through the Holy Spirit.

And what about those who went from homosexual to heterosexual attraction? Don’t they deserve a voice too? Or what about the Courage groups, who consciously choose not to act on any sexual identity because they feel there’s a deeper identity at stake—being children of God the Father? A Father Who wants only the best for us…

As Christians, we see the unconditional love of Jesus and respond to it as the greatest, most fulfilling love. No one else is as willing to suffer for the sake of our love. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit love us so much, and want to gather all Their little children. Faced with this infinite love, our cultural and sexual identities melt away. We become like kids again in the loving care of God.

Catholics, may we be ever true to the call of Christ to love.

consecratedhearts

A child of Jesus and Mary.

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