Monday, February 13, 2012

Why is the Catholic Church so Straight-Laced?

By Sr. M., O.C.D. (Blog Contributor)

Why is the Catholic Church Against so Many Things?

     Of course, these are the wrong questions, but we can work with them.  The Catholic Church has a 2,000-year history of carrying the standard of Truth, the Truth which is Jesus Christ, across empires and cultures which have opposed Him, but which have arisen and fallen, come and gone.
     With Pontius Pilate the secular society of our own day will cynically ask, "What is Truth?" The Church answers the question, taking as its starting point the basic principle of meaning, which is intrinsic truth itself.
     All of our human powers are given to us by our all-wise, all-loving, creative God. Each of these powers has its purpose and its meaning. To displace the meaning is to violate the truth; the natural functions are turned around, so that instead of serving life and well-being, they are used in the service of death. For example:
     Food is life-giving for us, and the act of eating is pleasurable. But if pleasure becomes paramount and we eat irresponsibly, then meaning is distorted (becomes un-truth) and the result is sickness and sometimes even death.
     Wine is God's gift "to cheer the heart of man", and gives delight and pleasure. But if used irresponsibly it can lead to violent, harmful behaviors, to sickness and death.
     Drugs, in many cases, can be medicinal in character; if used irresponsibly they can bring about death.
     Sexuality is a marvelous gift of God, the means of expressing respectful, procreative love. There is great pleasure in the use of our sexual powers. But when the pleasure displaces the meaning of marital love, then the pleasure becomes the meaning, which is no meaning at all.

     This is the dynamic which is at work in the use of contraceptives, sterilization, and mosto horribly in abortion. It is also the dynamic underlying active homosexual relationships. Persons use one another for the satisfaction of their craving for pleasure.

     The relationships that are formed are unnatural, and they are unstable because they are built upon the shifting sands of the pleasure of the moment. restraint is not a popular word in our culture.

     Unharnessed desire leads to addiction, and there is no end to it. here we hit upon the deplorable statistics of our present secular society: the breakdown of family life.

     Children are passed back and forth between the separated parents, who say, "The child is adjusting very well." Oh, he is!? What can the child do? He is at the mercy of the adults, and without understanding himself, chucks down into the unconscious all the pain, the rage, the frustration and confusion which he must not let himself feel or express. Give him ten of fifteen years and he will be into drugs, alcohol, or wandering the streets and wreaking violence upon himself and others.

     There is never a newspaper or a news broadcast which does not give witness to this state of affairs.
     All we have to do is consider how our own bodies are formed, to see the truth of our calling as social human beings. When women reject their own motherhood, and men their fatherhood, love is betrayed. But we are made for love because God our Creator is Love.

Why is the Catholic Church straight-laced? Because the truth of who God our Creator is and who we are as human beings is not negotiable. We are called to holiness of life.

Now I take the part of Elisha the prophet (2KG: 5) and I say to you: "Go and plunge into the Jordan seven times."  That is, reread this post seven times, and each time a little more slowly than before. Wait ten minutes between plunges. Good luck!