Archive for the ‘Marriage’ category

Wives, Husbands, Christ and the Church…

August 25, 2012

…are the subject of the second reading at Mass this Lord’s Day.  Fr John Riccardo preached briefly on that reading at Mass this evening.  He’s an expert, having earned an STL from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.  His 133-page dissertation was on this same passage from Ephesians 5.

Fr Francis Martin also handles it quite effectively.  (If you’re not familiar with Fr Martin, don’t be misled by his seemingly unprepared, stumbling start.  The dude reads directly from the Greek, man!  And shares his world-class Scripture scholarship with us via a very a low-budget operation.)

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Why homosexuals cannot have a marriage

August 12, 2012

I shouldn’t have bothered to read this article, because I always come away frustrated when the basic, foundational reason for why a homosexual relationship can never attain the status of a marriage is not presented.  To wit:

We are created in God’s image and likeness.  Marriage is meant to be a reflection to the world of the communio of the one true Trinitarian God.  What is it that generates that communio?  Bd Pope John Paul II taught us in his General Audience on 29-July-1998:

The Father begets the Son by loving him; the Son is begotten by the Father, letting himself be loved and receiving from him the capacity to love; the Holy Spirit is love given in total gratuitousness by the Father, received with full gratitude by the Son, and returned by him to the Father.

Married love is meant to be a reflection to the world of the mutual self-giving love between the Father and Jesus.  Married love is also meant to be a reflection to the world of the love that God has for his people.

We are called to image the Trinity.  Divine love has four primary characteristics:

  • free
  • total
  • faithful
  • fruitful

Authentic self-giving love is always:

  • freely given – completely voluntary
  • given in totality – holds nothing back
  • absolutely faithful – as God is to his covenant with us
  • open to fruitfulness – always open to new life

[If one understands it in any other way, then our own redemption by Jesus would just be some kind of fantasy, because that’s the only kind of love that could have effected God’s saving plan.]

Obviously, homosexual acts can never be fruitful; they can never generate new life.  Thus, they can never fully image the Trinity.  That alone disqualifies homosexual relationships from being considered as a ‘marriage’.

No need to go any further.

(Of course, if people don’t believe in a Trinitarian God, they won’t buy any of this.  But then they have a much bigger problem:  their culpable lack of faith!)

The e5 Men

March 3, 2010

I came across an ad for this site last night.  I didn’t have as much time to explore it as I would like, but I thought I’d post it up here and ask everyone for their thoughts.

www.e5men.org

HUSBANDS FASTING FOR THEIR WIVES

The e5 Man fasts for his bride to imitate Jesus as described by Saint Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 5 (for which e5 is named). Fasting is eating only bread and water.

Jesus made a bodily sacrifice on the cross for His Bride the Church to present her to God the Father “without spot or wrinkle.” (Eph 5:27) By fasting for our earthly bride and joining our sufferings to Christ’s we intercede for grace for our brides. At the same time our act of bodily love in union with Christ accelerates our own conversion.

By making this sacrifice for the women in our lives we live out the essence of the gospel through a very particular act of self denial. To lay down one’s body out of love for another is the central message of the gospel.

Do check it out.  What do you think?  Have you ever done something like this before, or even thought of the need to do so?  I would venture a guess that for many of us, this might constitute a radical re-orientation of our prayer lives.  My favorite from the FAQ: “Do I tell my wife? There are two answers No and Yes. It really depends on your situation.” Heh.

Talk amongst yourselves now…

A novel and ironic gay marriage tactic…

October 7, 2009

File this one under ‘be careful what you wish for”Well, I suppose this particular tactic could only be thought of by people who don’t believe there is anything more to marriage than a contract between two (why only two?) parties.

A gay couple, ‘married’ in Massachussets have moved to Texas and are fighting for the right to Marry in Texas, challenging it’s Defense of Marriage Act by…wait for it… getting a divorce!

You see, the state refuses to divorce a marriage it doesn’t recognize in the first place.  Read on…

New book arrival

September 17, 2009

The UPS driver arrived the other day with another great book,  the long awaited (at least for me)  ‘Kinship by Covenant’ by Scott Hahn.  This is essentially the distillation of his Ph.D. thesis which is that life lived under Biblical covenant cannot be separated from life lived in relationships dictated by familial terms and ties.  It is the family which is central to the Bible’s view of life for the simple reason that the family is central to life itself.

I’m so excited by this book, that I have put off the other 11 I am supposed to be reading (cough cough) to focus on this one.  From time to time I will post some quotes and ideas from the book as they come up.

First off, what is meant by Covenant?  The root word is latin meaning “to come together” or “to agree”.  An english definition is that it involves a formal, solemn and binding pact between two or more parties.  Sounds like a contract, right?  But in biblical terms covenants involve a lot more than contracts.

A contract is made with a promise giving your word, signing one’s name to the line.  A covenant is made by giving an oath.  An oath transforms the promise by invoking God’s name for assistance or blessing.  In court, we don’t promise to tell the truth, we take an oath to tell the truth, putting our hands on the bible, not by signing our name to a paper (“So help me God”).    When you take an oath you put yourself under divine judgement and is thus much stronger than a promise (“I’ll be damned”).  Breaking an oath involves than just breaking a promise — it draws down curses upon you for profaning the name of God which you have invoked.  Doctors, policemen, soldiers, all take Oaths whereby they swear to fulfill their duties to the community.

Another difference between a contract and a covenant is that it is not an exchange of property or services — but it is an exchange and gift of persons.  When a man and woman marry they declare their union until only death shall they part.  A prostitute sells her body to the highest bidder and then moves on.  A contract makes the relationship between people one of customer, employee, or client; where a covenant makes the relationship between them one of spouse, parent, children, or sibling.  Covenants are made to create sacred familial bonds where none existed before.  This is what is meant throughout scripture when describing the covenants “I will be their God and they shall be my people….I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters” (2 Cor 6:16-18)

The underlying principle of family solidarity is that One is born of a covenant and into a covenant, and wherever one moves in life, one makes a covenant or acts on the basis of an already existing covenant.  The covenant is the presupposition of all life… the creator of rights and duties.

As an exploratory aside until the next post, think about the ideas of divorce, premarital sex, and homosexual ‘marriage’ in terms of how they can or cannot constitute a covenant, and the consequences thereof.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the curriculum change

September 17, 2009

From California Catholic Daily, and coming to a state, school, church near you!

Boy in a Bikini, Other Gay Films

Get Wide Audience in California Schools

San Francisco, CA – A San Francisco group billing itself as “the best in LGBT media” is claiming hundreds of public schools in California have signed up to show its films and use accompanying discussion materials. One film features a boy “coming out” by wearing his mother’s bikini. Another film incorporates Native American spiritualism to cast LGBT (lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender) persons as “two-spirit” people.

The films and school materials are being distributed by Youth in Motion, a partnership between Frameline and Gay-Straight Alliance Network. YIM can be accessed here(warning: may contain offensive content). The films are accompanied by a “curriculum guide” and “action guide.” Among other things, the guides encourage students to question whether religious and cultural celebrations, such as Jewish bar mitzvahs, wrongly discourage homosexual and transgender lifestyles.

The list of schools claimed to use these materials include scores of high schools throughout the state, as well as a few middle and junior high schools, and at least one elementary school in San Leandro, California. While many of the affected schools are located in the Bay Area and Southern California, other regions – including the Sacramento area and small communities in the Central Valley and the Sierras – are also affected.

[Cal Catholic editor: at least one Catholic school., Notre Dame in Belmont is on the list.]

Circling the wagons…

August 12, 2009

I won’t post the link here because it will only attract the attention of a lot of Trolls who think we are illiterate cavemen living in the past.  However,  I like to also follow blogs and news sites that disagree profoundly with what the Catholic Church teaches.  As you know, California voted in favor of Prop 8 which re-established that Marriage is between a man and a woman.  Does anyone here think that settles the matter?  Anyone?  Well, the other side is hard at work with the realization they need only win once, and are also busy tunneling under our defenses by indoctrinating the children to think that we are all cavemen living in the past.

The following is the complete posting from a blog called fathergeoffarrow.  Google it on your own.

I spent all Sunday morning and afternoon at a gay bar. Actually, it was the historic “Jewel‘s Catch One” bar in South Los Angeles. I was there with approximately 160 representatives of the California LGBT community and we were there to move forward to reclaim full marriage equality in California. This meeting was called as a follow-up to a meeting held in San Bernadino, California two weeks ago. That meeting revealed a highly polarized and emotionally charged LGBT community.

Why the polarization? Essentially, the issue that seemingly divides the community is should we move forward towards a restoration of full marriage equality in California in 2010 or 2012 (or later)? Why the high level of emotion? Well, you know the old recipe for a problem: put two people in a room and close the door. If the people in the room all happen to be community organizers and people in leadership positions then, things can get even a little more intense.

As the day progressed, several salient points emerged and we moved far closer to collaboration. The first and most obvious point is that we all passionately support and are working for full marriage equality in California. Secondly, we all seek the legal codification of human and civil rights for LGBT people. It is important to remember these two points as we proceed to discuss other matters.

Steve Hildebrand flew in from South Dakota; he was the #2 person in Obama’s successful campaign. Before saying anything else here, we need to recall that when candidate Obama was running for the presidency, especially in the early campaign, he was not seen as the most probable winner of the nomination for the Democratic Party, let alone the presidency of the United States. When someone who was instrumental in securing two underdog victories speaks, you would be a fool not to listen.

Steve Hildebrand stated bluntly, “you [the LGBT community] can win in 2010.” HOWEVER, there are certain things you must do first. What are those things? 

1) Establish a governing board with real and binding power to act. 

2) Hire a campaign manager who is given freedom of action.

3) Unite as a community and commit to working together for victory.

Before speaking about a calendar date for a ballot initiative, it is worthwhile to review those three points, because regardless of when we decide to move forward with a ballot initiative we will have to do these three things if we seriously want to win back our rights. 

I cannot overemphasize this, we need to sit down and effectively accomplish all three goals as a necessary precondition to any civil rights victory. Another necessary step in the process, in my own opinion, is to look back at the “No on Prop 8” campaign of 2008. What did we do that worked? What were our mistakes and how can we learn from these mistakes? WHO made these fateful decisions and HOW (by what process) were these decisions made?

What worked was a very successful fund raising campaign. In fact, we raised more money than the “Yes on Prop 8” side. What also worked was political networking. We obtained the endorsement of countless organizations, public figures and politicians. EQCA did wonderful and good work in this regard. 

What were our mistakes? Dolores Huerta stated succinctly: “We lost because we didn’t do our homework.” We failed to reach out to people of color. Cristina Chavez and the United Farm Workers supported us, yet we failed to use their voices in Spanish language radio and television ads. Julian Bond, the president of the NAACP, gave an impassioned and powerful speech at an HRC dinner in Los Angeles in which he stated that THIS IS a civil rights issue, yet we failed to use his voice. Grassroots organizations were ignored and discouraged from actively going “door-to-door.” The California Central Valley was effectively “written-off” to the other side and activists like Robin McGhee (who organized Meet in the Middle for Equality) were sidelined. Faith communities were ignored and written off to the other side in the 2008 campaign. 

Remember, we lost by less than 3% of the vote in California. If we had done just SOME of these things, we probably would have won. I believe it was the Roman Senator Cato who said, you could tell much about your leaders by listening to how your enemies speak of them. On November 5 2008, our enemies in this battle for civil rights and full marriage equality said, “we were pleasantly surprised [by the election results].” 

How does Steve Hildebrand know that we can win in 2010? Because, we should have won in 2008! This is a critical point, because regardless of the calendar year 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, IF we do not learn from our mistakes, we will repeat those same mistakes and we will never win. HOW decisions are made has to be changed and agreed upon by our community and our donors prior to the next campaign. WHO is making the decision and HOW the decision is made regarding the calendar year of our next campaign needs to be examined and discussed as much as the calendar year itself. The point here is learning/transparency and not recrimination. We need to do things differently in 2010, 2012 or whenever, or we will lose then for the same reasons we lost the last time. 

We all long for simple justice. For human dignity for LGBT people. For the protection of the civil rights of a minority which has been viciously targeted for discrimination by bigoted organizations and individuals. The Jesuits have an old saying: “Think how much more could be accomplished, if less time were spent on trying to assign credit.” People in positions of leadership must be authentic leaders who are willing to set aside personal ego in order to secure justice for our community.