From the Desire to be “Free”, Deliver Me, O Jesus

I know I said I wouldn’t be blogging, but when the Holy Spirit inspires I must respond!

Tomorrow we celebrate Independence Day.  I would like to offer you some points to meditate on while preparing for this holiday.

In light of our unhealthy obsession with autonomy and individualism, why are we celebrating independence and division?

Our country was built upon ideals of freedom, especially freedom of religion.  Have we remained true to these ideals?  I would venture to say no, when we’ve moved towards Freedom from Religion, rather than Freedom of Religion.

And the million dollar question: What is True Freedom?

Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters.
But do not use this freedom
as an opportunity for the flesh;
rather, serve one another through love.
- Galatians 5

Litany for Liberty

INTRODUCTION
Christ the Lord has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Let us turn to him in humble but fervent petition,
seeking the grace to root out from our hearts all trace of darkness,
and all that holds us back
from walking in the full freedom of the children of God.
As Christ is our great model for that inner freedom,
which enables us to do the right,
let us turn to him with confidence
that we, too, may follow him to the fullness of spiritual freedom.

Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.
 Christ, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.
 Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, victor over sin and death… Free our hearts.
Jesus, source of light and hope… Free our hearts.
Jesus, fullness of truth and mystery… Free our hearts.
Jesus, teacher of seeking hearts… Free our hearts.
Jesus, healer of body and soul… Free our hearts.
Jesus, bringer of mercy and justice… Free our hearts.
Jesus, who humble the heart and mind… Free our hearts.
Jesus, release of captives… Free our hearts.
Jesus, voice against violence… Free our hearts.
Jesus, courage for the lowly/downtrodden… Free our hearts.
Jesus, origin of all authority and power… Free our hearts.
Jesus, true lawgiver… Free our hearts.
Jesus, unity of order and passion… Free our hearts.
Jesus, freedom of the Spirit… Free our hearts.
Jesus, obedient Son of the Father… Free our hearts.

For the freedom to love… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to believe… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to hope… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to worship… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to serve in charity… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to care for the suffering… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to comfort the sick… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to feed the hungry… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to shelter the homeless… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to proclaim the Gospel… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to walk in chastity… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to live in peace… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to work in good conscience… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to stand in solidarity… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to seek justice… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject sin… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject coercion… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject falsehood… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject evil temptations… Give us your grace.
For the freedom to reject injustice… Give us your grace.

CLOSING PRAYER
O God, who gave one origin to all peoples
and willed to gather from them one family for yourself,
fill all hearts, we pray, with the fire of your love
and kindle in them a desire
for the just advancement of their neighbor,
that, through the good things which you richly bestow upon all,
each human person may be brought to perfection,
every division may be removed,
and equity and justice may be established in human society.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

Amen.

Just a Mama Bear Protecting Her Children

In case you haven’t noticed, Sassy Victoria has come around for a visit, and I have a feeling she is here to stay.  You know what gets her britches in a bunch more than anything?  Blatant affronts to the Truth.

Recently I posted this article on facebook, prefacing it with “Before you attack the Catholic Church once again for hating on homosexuals, please read up and think about the anthropological, philosophical, and sociological reasons for marriage to remain between one man and one woman.”

Without ample time to do the suggested research, there were of course comments immediately, pointing out why I am a complete idiot for holding my beliefs about marriage.  I told you I would be writing more about this…

Now, when trying to have a reasonable conversation with my peers about this, it turns out, I can’t.  The educational system has epically failed us.  Most of us aren’t able to construct solid, reasonable, moral arguments.  I know that I am lacking in this and try to remedy it through self-education.

You can check out the ensuing comments on facebook(it went on for quite a while) and see that some of the rebuttals were, well, lacking.

So I was muddling through this conversation, attempting to put forth questions and well constructed responses, when someone dared to say “Marriage ≠ Children.”  And with that, Mama bear was unleashed.  She is not okay with the terrible lives children all over the world are being forced to suffer through.

Maybe this is a little extreme, but I couldn't resist...
Maybe this is a little extreme, but I couldn’t resist…

When did we become so selfish?  When did we start thinking that marriage is about making us feel good and exists for the fulfillment of our pleasure?  And when, oh when, did we separate marriage and reproduction?

No one thinks it’s a good thing that there are thousands of single mothers struggling to get by because their husbands, boyfriends, etc abdicated their roles as fathers.  It is hard to argue against the fact that the ideal is for a child to grow up with his or her biological mother and father, who are in a committed, stable, loving relationship.  Marriage is that commitment which builds the foundation for a nurturing home.

inconceivable-content-marriage

I mentioned before that marriage is meant to be a conjugal union – the two become one flesh.  We have degraded it to a merely emotional union in which physical consummation is not necessary.  Marriage is meant to be a contract in which blood is spilled.  Wait, we’re downplaying the physical components of marriage?  That sounds like….noooooo!!!!  Gnosticism has struck again! And now we find ourselves in a sticky situation.  Husband and Wife must be united body and soul, so much so that their unity is fruitful and produces little people.  Two people of the same sex cannot reach this level of unity.

To compound this problem, we have forgotten how to make gifts of our selves.  Spouses are “protected” from one another by birth control and destroy the very fruit of their intimate union through abortion.  We no longer value our children, and this is a serious problem.

So if marriage has nothing to do with children, and it also is not contingent on the gender of the partners, what, I dare to ask, is marriage?  And my friendly debating partner asked “why does it matter?”  Because the family is the foundation of our society and the wellbeing of children is involved, it matters a great deal.  She then posted a dictionary definition that shows how incredibly much it matters.

mar·riage noun \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\
a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage
b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock
c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

I keep talking about the danger of redefining marriage, well it has been done.  Gay marriage can never be the same as a traditional marriage – it is not the same level of unity.  To top it off, I can’t say stuff like that without getting my head chopped off, because it is taken personally.  To even think of marriage as something other than the conjugal union between a man and woman that produces offspring is a brand new concept.  Some claim that this is the way of progress, of throwing off archaic ideas to make way for the modern.  And yet those who claim science as their god seem to think there are provable, objective truths…

As the article linked above states, redefining marriage means that people can make it whatever they want – a classic example of the relativism which is running rampant these days.  Some people hope that marriage will altogether cease to exist.  And like a broken record, I once again ask: what about the precious, innocent children who suffer the most from our unrelenting pursuit of pleasure?

Here is a great video of Fr. Barron speaking on the breakdown of the moral argument, specifically in relation to gay marriage.