What about Marriage?
By Marta Alves
In God’s law, marriage is the sacramental union between a man and a woman.
Let us walk together for a while and let us ask ourselves some questions about the world we live in, about our culture, and how it all fits in God’s law.
Are we God? No. God is God and we are not.
Let us remove the bandage that covers our eyes and the confusion that clouds our understanding,
If God is not in the picture, everything goes.
In our culture, sometimes we lead our life like the Epicurians in ancient Greece. “Eat and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.” What is wrong with that picture? The Epicurians only believe in today, we believe in God. We believe in God’s judgment and we are to do more than eat and be merry- we need to think of our everlasting life
As God’s people we are to build the Kingdom of God on this earth waiting for us to be called to the Kingdom of God in Heaven. We are to build the holy nation in expectation of the world to come. We have the knowledge of right and wrong given to us in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17) and in the Golden Rule given to us by Jesus: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul , and with all your mind. .. and love your neighbor as yourself.”(Matthew 22:37-39)
The Ten Commandments are commands of God to us and not multiple choices.
Like the watchman in Ezechiel 3:17 we need to tell others about God’s law or we will be held responsible for the consequences.
Are we afraid to speak?
Sometimes we are afraid of speaking. To go against the wave of popular culture is difficult but we need to be like Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:10, Samuel answers the Lord’s call by saying: “Speak, for your servant is listening.” And imitate David when he wanted to face Goliath and said to King Saul: “Your servant will go and fight him.” (1 Samuel 17:32)
We feel like David facing Goliath in a culture of “everything goes.” To be Christian and to follow Christian principles seem to be an old fashion thing to some, but we are all sinners in need of redemption.
IS GOD REAL? IS CHRIST REAL?
God is real. Christ is real. Jesus Christ, true God and true man, died for us. We are saved and we are forgiven by the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Are we, God’s voice to others? Are we, God’s voice in truth and charity?
What is our message to society?
God made us, male and female. In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus said:
"Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, '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."
What is a sin?
A sin is an offense against God and neighbor.
We are all sinners. We are all equal in God’s eyes.
Jesus said in Mark 10:45, “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
We are all sinners. We cannot judge hearts or souls of one another.
But Jesus Christ can give us the wisdom to understand and show us the way to follow:
When the apostle Saint Paul fell off his horse, Jesus spoke to him and said:
I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Get up now, and stand on your feet I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness of what you have seen and what you will be shown. I shall deliver you form this people and form the Gentiles to whom I send you, to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been consecrated by faith in me.”Acts 23:14-18
How many of God’s commandments are being broken in our secular Laws?
The Law of God says Thou shall not kill. In America today, abortion is legal.
Why is abortion wrong?
Because when you abort, a human life is destroyed and a human life is not safeguarded in its mother’s womb. The innocent infant cannot find safe haven in its mother’s womb. If not there, where can a human being be safe?
In a society without God, there are no rules. Everything goes. To have freedom, you need laws. The law is given to protect people, especially the weak and disable, and who could be more weak and vulnerable than a baby in his mother’s womb?
In the eyes of the law we are all equal.
What is equality?
Equality is to be able to function to the best of your abilities with the abilities given to you by God.
Human law is created to define our personal limits of behavior. As long as my behavior does not “step on somebody else’s toes” I am free to act accordingly.
God’s law goes deeper than human law, because God’s law has to do with our relationship with God as well as with our relationship with others.
We are loved equally by God, but we are not equal in God’s eyes. Let us think of sin as dirt. The less dirt we carry in our souls, the more visible we are to God’s eyes.
Are homosexuals to be treated equally to everybody else?
Yes. We are all created in God’s image. We as Catholics do not discriminate against homosexual persons, but consider a homosexual marriage a sinful act:
The Catholic Church, in fact, distinguishes between persons with homosexual tendencies and homosexual acts. Concerning persons with homosexual tendencies, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that "they must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided". Concerning homosexual acts, however, the Catechism affirms: "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."
Human Law is to maintain order in society and the homosexual act is a disorderly act in terms of human law and a sin in God’s law.
According to St. Thomas Aquinas, our human law derives its power because it follows God’s law. Natural Law with its natural light derives from human understanding of the natural order of things.
Apart from God’s law, human law has no power.
How is marriage defined in God’s law?
The sacramental union between a man and a woman.
God created man in his image; in the divine image He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them saying: be fertile and multiply. (Genesis 1:27-28).
By common sense and human reason, we can see clearly what a family is constituted as man and woman and their children and relatives,
Why do we call black, white, and white, black?
Open the eyes of your mind, so you may see God’s law of love.
If the law of the nation is to be interpreted using human reasoning only and avoiding divine law, could we discern right from wrong?
If a judge cannot tell right from wrong, is he doing the job that God intended?
Are we to be Jonah to the city of Nineveh?
The answers to the above questions we need to search in our hearts with God’s help.
Sometimes it seems, we have more Questions than Answers, but then we find consolation knowing that God is the answer to all of our questions.
We are to console the sinner and teach right from wrong. We are called to obey God’s law and search holiness at all times. Homosexual tendencies are not sinful. Homosexual acts are sinful, and a homosexual marriage is an scandal, proclaiming to the world that humanity has set itself as its own master and therefore does not have to obey God’s commandments. We need to speak in defense of the Christian family and proclaim to anyone who would hear us the truth in God’s law. We as Christians need to follow the commandments and avoid scandal. To follow Joshua 24:15: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
"The Church seeks to enable every person to live out the universal call to holiness. Persons with a homosexual inclination ought to receive every aid and encouragement to embrace this call personally and fully. This will unavoidably involve much struggle and self-mastery, for following Jesus always means following the way of the Cross.... The Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Penance are essential sources of consolation and aid on this path."
- USCCB, Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination (2006), p. 13
In this Holy Week, we walk with Christ and remember His Passion, praying for one another. We need to make Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:14-21 our own:
For this reason I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine,
by the power at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations,
forever and ever. Amen.
LINKS OF INTEREST
Frequently Asked Questions About the Defense of Marriage
Catechism of the Catholic Church - Male and Female He created them - # 2331-2400
Church Documents About Defense of Marriage
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH -CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS
TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS ( 2003)
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH - LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS (1986)
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH - SOME CONSIDERATIONS CONCERNING THE RESPONSE TO LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS ON THE NON-DISCRIMINATION OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS*
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH - NOTIFICATION ON THE BOOK JUST LOVE. A FRAMEWORK FOR CHRISTIAN SEXUAL ETHICS BY SR. MARGARET A. FARLEY, R.S.M. (2012)
Humanae Vitae - http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html
SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH - PERSONA HUMANA DECLARATION ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS CONCERNING SEXUAL ETHICS (1975)
US Conference of Catholic Bishops of America - Homosexuality
Click for More about Marriage Information HERE
FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION
"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves, for my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
- Matthew 11:28-30
Christ Has No Body
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
-- St. Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)
March 27, 2013
March 27, 2013
(c) 2013 Marta Alves
 Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2358.
 Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2357; cf. Gn 19:1-29; Rm 1:24-27; I Cor 6:10; 1 Tm 1:10; CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Declaration Persona humana, n. 8: AAS 68 (1976), 84-85; ID., Letter Homosexualitatis problema on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (October 1, 1986): AAS 70 (1987), 543-554
 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – Notification on the book JUST LOVE. A Framework for Christian Ethics by Sr. Margaret A. Farley, R.S.M. (2012) http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20120330_nota-farley_en.html