Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Words from Fr Ed (From January 22nd, 2012 Bulletin)

"The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel"

- Mark 1:15

The truth is not far from us. Jesussays that ‘the kingdom…is at hand.’ It is near, it is accessible, but we haveto ‘repent’. Repentance is a change of mind, heart, and actions. First, we mustrealize the need to change. Often, in counseling situations, the question comesup, "Does this person realize their need for help?" Whatever the problem is, ashumans we tend to accompany our sin and imperfection with pride. The nature ofpride blinds us to the reality of our responsibility and the presence of prideitself. Pride is like Satan, whose first task, according to C.S. Lewis, is toget their victim to not believe in the existence of Satan! Clever.

God’s kingdom, which is within us, isalways attempting to break through our defenses and conquer our hearts andminds for Jesus. We do not have to do much except allow what the power of Goddesires. I love the second antiphon in the Office of Readings for Tuesday, WeekII: "Surrender to God, and He will do everything for you." Let us pray for thisgrace to surrender to the action of the Holy Spirit who is informing us of thetruth of God’s ways. He is present, He is willing, and He is good.

Gay ‘Marriage’?

As I said in my homily this pastweekend, our State Governor Gregoire has thrown her office behind the passageof a ‘same-sex marriage’ bill to be introduced as early as this past week. Itwill have tragic consequences on our society if passed. The distinction betweenman and woman goes back to Adam and Eve. Their complementarity and inclinationtowards one another were built in and part of natural law. The beauty andgoodness of God, even His own Trinitarian reality of personal love, is seen inthis created attraction. The rejection of gender is a rejection of God’s wisdom.

In addition, the first command tohumanity, in the form of Adam and Eve, is to "go forth and multiply’. We canread in the design of our anatomies the perfection of God written into humanityand the ability to procreate. What a privilege God has given us, to participatein the very act of creation itself. While God provides the soul, husband andwife provide the necessary physical ingredients that unite to form the body ofa human person. How extraordinary and how sacred. To obliterate this gift fromGod is to take us deeper into a godless society removed from common sense andnature. Without nature as a foundation, truth becomes whatever anyone wishes itto be, and mankind becomes very cruel.

Please join me in writing to yourstate legislators to encourage them to protect the definition of marriage asone man and one woman. You can find their emails and other info through theseheadings

• Readthe Meaning of Marriage Talking Points (providedby Gerri)

• Callyour legislators through the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.

• Email all your legislators about marriage, then share the email widget with yourfriends on Facebook.

• Schedulea personal visit with your legislators to discuss marriage. Call ahead to doso. You can find their office number by clicking here andclicking "find your district."

See additional ideas.Iincluded here: the beginning of the Washington State Bishops:Marriage and the Common Good - A statement on legislation to redefine marriage...

Legislation has been introduced in Washington State tochange the current law defining marriage. The present law states: "marriage isa civil contract between a male and a female..." This same law also prohibitsmarriage to close-blood relations, a clear indication that the definition ofmarriage is related to bringing children into the world and the continuation ofthe human race. The legislation to redefine marriage, therefore, is not in thepublic interest.Marriage is certainly about the public recognition of arelationship between a man and a woman which carries certain rights and responsibilitiesfor the two adults. But, it is much more. Marriage in faith and societaltraditions is acknowledged as the foundation of civilization. It has long beenrecognized that the stability of society depends on the stability of familylife in which a man and a woman conceive and nurture new life. In this way,civil recognition of marriage has sought to bestow on countless generations ofchildren the incomparable benefit of a loving mother and father committed toone another in a lifelong union.

Additionally, by defining marriage both in terms of the relationship between a man and a woman and its important role of guaranteeing the succession of generations, the state is recognizing the irreplaceable contribution that married couples make to society. Married couples who bring children into the world make particular sacrifices and take on unique risks and obligations for the good of society. For this reason the state has long understood that it has a compelling interest in recognizing and supporting these mothers and fathers through a distinct category of laws. Were the definition of marriage to change, there would be no special laws to support and recognize the irreplaceable contribution that these married couples make to society and to the common good by bringing to life the next generation.

Upholding the present definition of marriage does not depend on anyone’s religious beliefs. Washington State’s present law defining marriage as "a civil contract between a male and a female" is grounded not in faith, but in reason and the experience of society. It recognizes the value of marriage as a bond of personal relationships, but also in terms of the unique and irreplaceable potential of a man and woman to conceive and nurture new life, thus contributing to the continuation of the human race. A change in legislation would mean that the state would no longer recognize the unique sacrifices and contributions made by these couples, thereby adding to the forces already undermining family life today.

For these reasons, we the Catholic Bishops of Washington State call on the citizens of this state to maintain the legal definition of marriage. We ask all to join in praying with us for married couples and families and to do everything possible to support them. We urge you to contact your own state senator and your two state representatives to request that they defend the current legal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

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