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The Supreme Court & Marriage: Our Response

  06/27/15 20:43, by jsignal, Categories: life with god

After yesterday, there?s a big elephant in the room.  I feel it would even be awkward for me to not address the issue today, so I will.  Of course, I?m speaking about the U.S. Supreme Court?s ruling that so-called same-sex marriage is now required by the U.S. Constitution, that a right exists in the United States for two men to marry each other, or for two women to marry each other. 

First of all, I want to affirm the human dignity and worth of homosexual persons.  Like everyone here, they are loved by God, and should be respected as our brothers and sisters in Christ.  To unjustly discriminate against them, or to spew hatred toward such persons, or even to judge their guilt in the eyes of God, is not compatible with the Christian life. 

Every one of us is inclined toward sin.  We each have, I would say, our favorite sins and vices.  Anyone can be tempted to lust, even married men and women.  We can all be tempted to gossip, or gluttony, anger, and so on.  Sometimes we give in to these temptations and, hopefully, seek God?s mercy in confession when we do, always keeping our goal?heaven?in mind, and striving to leave our sinful habits behind.

What we must not do, however, is to approve of or encourage one another toward sinful actions, promote them, or worse yet to institutionalize them.

Yesterday, after the Court ruled on this matter, the nation celebrated.  The White House itself was lit up with rainbow colors and countless politicians and celebrities took to the Internet and media to proclaim that this was a victory, that as the president put it, our nation is now ?a little more perfect.?  CBS news last night even lectured us that we are now to stop calling it ?gay marriage? and simply refer to it as ?marriage,? as if homosexual and heterosexual relationships and covenants were no different from one another.

Seeing and hearing all that, one would assume the Supreme Court has settled the issue.  That is not the case, just as Roe vs. Wade has never settled the abortion issue.  Forty-two years later, nobody can deny the battle over abortion still rages on.  Why, because the truth will not go away.  Now the Supreme Court is, again, wrong, and the implications of this decision will have far-reaching and troubling effects, especially for religious freedom, the family, and for the welfare of children, in our nation.

So as people begin to line up in Fargo, Bismarck, and even Linton, to get marriage licenses, and as so many celebrate what is, as our bishops have called it, a ?tragic error,? what is our response, as Catholics?  Three things come to my mind. 

First, we must learn what marriage really is. Despite what the Supreme Court and popular opinion has decreed, the Catholic Church simply?as is its duty?repeats what is objectively and unchangeably true: As the Canon Law and Catechism of the Catholic Church explain, ?The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.?  (CIC, can. 1055).  The union of one man and one woman, along with the openness to children, and to the rearing of them, are essential aspects of marriage.  To call anything else marriage is to speak a falsehood.  As I once heard someone put it, it?s like declaring that a circle is now a square.  To help us better understand the beauty of true marriage, I will soon be offering a new program in our parishes on marriage enrichment called Beloved, so watch for details on that very soon.

Secondly, we are called to stand up for the truth. People have been willing to die for truth all through the Church?s history.  St. Thomas More is a great model here.  He was actually beheaded in England for defending the primacy of the Pope and the indissolubility of marriage.  The least we can do, I think, is to stand up for the truth in conversations with family and friends on this issue.  We must be the ?Salt and Light? in the world, showing the world the beauty of true marriage and shining light on the ugliness of sin.

Lastly, I think, our response should ultimately be to live lives of hope and joy.  In the words of St. John, ?all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever? (1Jn 2:14-17).  And, in the beautiful words of St. Teresa of Avila, ?Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you, All things are passing; God only is changeless. Patience gains all things. Who has God wants nothing. God alone suffices.?

The court?s decision is disappointing, but not surprising.  It may make things much more difficult for people of faith, and its effects will only be realized in the years to come.  One thing is certain, though, this does not settle the issue.  Let us respond, then, by first of all learning about true marriage, secondly by standing up for that truth, and lastly, by living lives of joy and hope, rooted in Christ.  After all, nothing backs up our words and teaching about marriage better than the lives of happy, saintly married couples.  Amen.

1 comment

Comment from: rosa jimenez [Visitor]


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