Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Words from Fr Ed (From March 13th, 2011 Bulletin)

Washington State Redefining Marriage and Family
This coming week legislators in Washington State are attempting to broaden the definitions of family and marriage
to open the door to paid, same-sex, surrogate parenting. At the same time, there is an attempt to recognize same-sex
‘marriages’ (‘marriage’ is a misnomer) that are legalized in other states, as domestic partnerships here in Washington
State. There are many problems with this legislation, beginning with a faulty anthropology. “In the beginning, when God
created the heavens and the earth…God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female
he created them.”

As Scripture, Tradition and most recently John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” teach us, we are created with a ‘nuptial’ (marital) meaning in our bodies. We are born, created, for marriage. Only God’s will calls to something different, as in celibacy. This is so fundamental to the identity of humanity that it appears as the very first words of scripture in reference to humankind (Gen 1:26-28). His
first command to humanity relates to the complementarity of men and women that includes pro-creativity, “Be fertile and multiply…” Finding ourselves in Christ requires a relationship of some kind to the opposite sex.

Notice too, how God speaks of Himself in the plural, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (v. 26) We believe God to be a plurality of persons in a relation of love with one another, even, as some theologians have said, the Holy Spirit being the love between the Father and the Son. John writes that “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Love requires at least two persons. Human persons, created in the
image and likeness of God, are called to participate in this love. While love certainly occurs outside marriage, the primary sacramental symbol of Trinitarian love is found in the relation between husband and wife.

Jesus reiterates this truth in His teaching about divorce: “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” (Mark 10:6-9) To undermine, tamper with, and reject this natural union from the beginning of time will lead to grave personal and social decay. St. Paul speaks in Romans about people ‘who suppress the truth by their wickedness’ (Rom 1:18) and ‘God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females
exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another.’ (v.26)

No one can deny the basic human need for love and friendship. Sexuality itself is a need that only God’s grace can transcend with the virtue of chastity. Chastity governs and guides our sexuality according to the form of love. Love of any kind is sacrificial, placing another’s good as an ultimate priority. Because of concupiscence, it is all too easy for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike to use another for one’s own pleasure, even inside of marriage. As we say in Theology of the Body language, ‘Love gives, lust takes.’ Those feeling a ‘same-sex’ attraction
(as well as heterosexual singles) are called to a heroic chastity like those of us who are called to celibacy. It is not easy at times, but like Peter walking on water, ‘all things are possible with God.’ Nor can a heterosexual person judge themselves better than a homosexualoriented person. In their efforts to be chaste, they may gain more merit and grace than the heterosexual who neglects their faith.

The desire to reproduce and parent children is also inherent in all of us. One cannot blame the homosexual person for this desire; it goes back to Adam and Eve. This is not a right however, whereby we can manipulate nature in such a way that separates the unitive and procreative aspects of marriage. Homosexual couples buying wombs for rent (sorry for the crudeness, but the reality is crude) degrades the
dignity of the woman, who normally has the great gift to participate in the most intimate way in the creation of new life. John Paul II describes the womb as another tabernacle, where God and humanity meet in the miracle of life. Washington State is in the precarious position of succumbing to vocal lobbies that would make drastic shifts in the common understanding of marriage, family, and parenting.

Please see www.protectmarriagewa.blogspot.com for more information. Contact your Senator and ask him to vote against the Senate version of House Bill 1267 if it comes to a vote. St. Stephen's is in District 47 with Joe Fain as our State Senator. 1-800-562-6000 is the Legislative Hotline. There is also a public hearing in Olympia on Tuesday, March 15 at 1:30PM, Government Operations, Tribal Relations &
Elections Committee, Senate Hearing Room 2 /John A. Cherberg Bldg.

“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” - John Paul II (to be beatified May 1st!)

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