Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Choices…Part II

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on January 21, 2009

For the next few weeks (or however long God desires it) I will review a series of talks given by Archbishop Fulton SheenI will try as best as I can to quote him accurately – thus all his direct quotes will appear italicized and in “quotation marks”

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Choices: Part II :  “For many are called, but few are chose.” ~Mt 22:14

So Our Lord is saying there is a broad road, a wide gate and many travel that road.  There is a narrow road, and the narrow gate, and few there are that go in.  Now suppose if He said, ‘But I will not make a choice.  I will live indifferently.’  Not to make a choice is to choose. … White fences do not remain white fences, they become black fences, because we do not paint them and take care of them… So everybody is making a choice…even when they do not choose.”

Is there a good example of this in Scripture?  Yes!  The story of Pontius Pilate and his “choice” not to choose.  When did that happen, you might ask?  The moment that Pilate brought Jesus – scourged, bloody, and crowned with thorns – out to the people.  Instead of letting Jesus go, as he said he would do; Pilate brought out another prisoner, perhaps hoping that the people would rather condemn a man already condemned instead of sending an innocent man to death.  Pilate was wrong.  But even still, Pilate did not make choice between life and death, per sé, he instead chose to wash his hands of the innocent blood that his soldiers would continue to extract from Jesus as they lead Him away to be crucified.

“I think the choice that is offered us is something like the choice that was offered on the sunlit porticul of Pontius Pilate the day he brought Our Blessed Lord and Barabbas out before the mob…Jesus was scourged…He was made ‘King for a day’…and they [the soldiers] bowed before Him, mockingly… Now, Pilate brings Our Lord out,… and with Him, Barabbas, a great popular hero.  Let us remember that.  He was not just a robber, as been described.  He was rather, a revolutionist…he was anti-establishment, he was popular because he was violent, he tried to overthrow the Roman authority; and Pilate now brings out these two figures.

“There is even some evidence, in the early manuscripts of scripture, that the name of Barabbas… in Hebrew, means…’son of the father’.  Pilate, therefore, was really saying, ‘Which shall I release to you?  Jesus, the Son of the Heavenly Father or the ‘son of the father’, Barabbas?  They chose Barabbas… ‘Release unto us Barabbas’…’What shall I do with your Christ?’ Crucify Him!  Now we have that choice.  We are in many important moments of our lives making that decision.  We are ‘opting for the hero’ (Barabbas) or we are ‘opting’ for the One who, for the moment, is quite unpopular.  Or to put it in other scripture language; we are going to one of two cities…”

St. Augustine (c. 354-430 AD), wrote a book entitled, The City of God.  In this book he compares two cities; the City where God and His people dwell and the city where evil reigns with his dominions.  St. John, the Evangelist, the youngest of Jesus’ Apostles, wrote a similar description in his apocalyptic writing known as Revelation, found at the end of the Sacred Scripture.  Both cities describe the great contrasts between the profound and the profane.  The city of evil contains all blasphemies against God and His holy ones, against His Son and His Church.  The great City of God, on the other hand, is adorned with jewels as a bride adored for her bridegroom, with the Most High resting in its center.

So ultimately, at the end of our choice, after having chosen either Christ or Barabbas, there will be two cities awaiting us: The city of Babylon or the Great Marriage, for in Heaven there will be the marriage of the Lamb to the Bride, which is the Church.”

For Jesus IS the Lamb of God, and His Bride IS His Church, as St. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:25-27:

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

We are that Church, which Christ established on Peter and the Apostles (cf. Mt 16:15-18), and the gates and powers of Hell will not overcome it! We will not have homosexual unions recognized as marriage; we will not sanctify the lie that murdering the unborn child is a ‘God given choice’; the Church will not fall into the sin of women priests because a bride cannot be a ‘bridegroom’ as Christ is for the Church, as the priest is en persona Cristi (in the person of Christ).  The Church may become a remnant few, a chosen few who hold to that which Christ has taught and continues to teach to this day through His successors (cf. Mt 28:20); But the Church will always be here, until the moment of Christ’s return to reclaim her and establish her in Himself once and for always!

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, and its gates shall never be shut by day–and there shall be no night there; they shall bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” ~Rev 21:22-27

“We are never to be cast down by trials, by discipline, by mortifications … we have God with us, Christ within our souls!  You are good people.  You would not be here if you were not good.  Even though you are not as good as you want to be, you have come here because you want to be better. There is a deep yearning today in the American soul for goodness and spirituality, and you manifest it.  And if you bear with me, during these talks, I will lead you step by step to inner peace, to inner joy, and to consolation. Thank you, and…

God Love You!”

Previous Posts

Cross of Christ
Fulton Sheen: Cross… Part I

Fulton Sheen: Cross…  Part II
Fulton Sheen: Cross… Part III

Choices:
*Part I


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Illicit Ways of Regulating Birth…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on November 3, 2008

Are you squirming in your seats yet?

Illicit Ways of regulating Birth

14. In conformity with these landmarks in the human and Christian vision of marriage, we must once again declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun, and, above all, directly willed and procured abortion, even if for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as licit means of regulating birth. (GS§51)

(What reason could we {society} possibly have for the torture of the unborn child?  What reason exists for the chopping up of a baby, or the pulling it limb from limb, or burning them alive with saline solution?  What society that claims to be reasonable could possibly justify this type of behavior that is far worse than what the Nazi’s did to the Jewish children? )

Equally to be excluded, as the teaching authority of the Church has frequently declared, is direct sterilization, whether perpetual or temporary, whether of the man or of the womanSimilarly excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible.

To justify conjugal acts made intentionally infecund, one cannot invoke as valid reasons the lesser evil, or the fact that such acts would constitute a whole together with the fecund acts already performed or to follow later, and hence would share in one and the same moral goodness. In truth, if it is sometimes licit to tolerate a lesser evil in order to avoid a greater evil or to promote a greater good, it is not licit, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil so that good may follow there from, that is, to make into the object of a positive act of the will something which is intrinsically disorder, and hence unworthy of the human person, even when the intention is to safeguard or promote individual, family or social well-being.

(As all may recall, this last bit is indeed the lie that has been perpetrated over the years, that the killing of the unborn was indeed for the good of society.  Clearly, we now see that the action was anything but a “good” for society.  With our population too low to reciprocate itself, the Western World cannot continue much longer as we know it.  We do not have enough people to populate it!)

Consequently it is an error to think that a conjugal act which is deliberately made infecund and so is intrinsically dishonest could be made honest and right by the ensemble of a fecund conjugal life.

(“Well, we don’t use contraception all the time… we do try and have a ‘natural conception’ from time to time… that’s okay, isn’t it?” It’s okay to cut yourself off from your spouse and use them primarily for your sexual pleasure rather than sharing yourself entirely to demonstrate your love for them?  And is not the purest example of your love for your spouse the conceiving of a child that bears DNA from both you and your spouse?  What’s love got to do with it?… PLENTY!)

Licitness of Therapeutic Means

15. The Church, on the contrary, does not at all consider illicit the use of those therapeutic means truly necessary to cure diseases of the organism, even if an impediment to procreation, which may be foreseen, should result there from, provided such impediment is not, for whatever motive, directly willed.

(Such as a hysterectomy, the removal of the womb, as a result of continual internal bleeding or disease.  But no woman should desire the removal of her womb as a means of preventing her ability to have children.  THAT is a GRAVE SIN.)

Licitness of Recourse to Infecund Periods

16. To this teaching of the Church on conjugal morals, the objection is made today, as we observed earlier (no. 3), that it is the prerogative of the human intellect to dominate the energies offered by irrational nature and to orientate them towards an end conformable to the good of man. Now, some may ask: in the present case, is it not reasonable in many circumstances to have recourse to artificial birth control if, thereby, we secure the harmony and peace of the family, and better conditions for the education of the children already born? To this question it is necessary to reply with clarity: the Church is the first to praise and recommend the intervention of intelligence in a function which so closely associates the rational creature with his Creator; but the affirms that this must be done with respect for the order established by God.

If, then, there are serious motives to space out births, which derive from the physical or psychological conditions of husband and wife, or from external conditions, the Church teaches that it is then licit to take into account the natural rhythms immanent in the generative functions

(NFP – Natural Family Planning)

for the use of marriage in the infecund periods only, and in this way to regulate birth without offending the moral principles which have been recalled earlier. (Cf. Pius XII, AAS XLIII (1951), p. 846.)

The Church is coherent with herself when she considers recourse to the infecund periods to be licit, while at the same time condemning, as being always illicit, the use of means directly contrary to fecundation, even if such use is inspired by reasons which may appear honest and serious…

In reality, there are essential differences between the two cases;

in the former, the married couple make legitimate use of a natural disposition;

in the latter, they impede the development of natural processes.

It is true that, in the one and the other case, the married couple are concordant in the positive will of avoiding children for plausible reasons, seeking the certainty that offspring will not arrive;…

but it is also true that only in the former case

…are they able to renounce the use of marriage in the fecund periods when, for just motives, procreation is not desirable,…

…while making use of it during infecund periods to manifest their affection and to safeguard their mutual fidelity.

By so doing, they give proof of a truly and integrally honest love.

Grave Consequences of Methods of Artificial Birth Control

17. Upright men can even better convince themselves of the solid grounds on which the teaching of the Church in this field is based, if they care to reflect upon the consequences of methods of artificial birth control[3 things for reflection]

1) Let them consider, first of all, how wide and easy a road would thus be opened up towards conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality

  • …Not much experience is needed in order to know human weakness, and to understand that men-especially the young, who are so vulnerable on this point-have need of encouragement to be faithful to the moral law, so that they must not be offered some easy means of eluding its observance…

(How are we encouraging this when WE not only hand out contraception at schools, but also teach them how to use them!)

2) It is also to be feared that the man, growing used to the employment of anticonceptive practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.

(Sound familiar?  Internet pornography, Gentlemen’s Clubs, national pornography publications – Playboy and Penthouse; International slave trade of Women, girls and boys for the purpose of using them for sex… need I go on?)

3) Let it be considered also that a dangerous weapon would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies.

  • Who could blame a government for applying to the solution of the problems of the community those means acknowledged to be licit for married couples in the solution of a family problem?
  • Who will stop rulers from favoring, from even imposing upon their peoples, if they were to consider it necessary, the method of contraception which they judge to be most efficacious?

(HELLO! What did I just write above in #1?  Are not our public schools – funded by our government – doling out contraception and instructing our young people how to use them?!  WHY ARE WE ALLOWING THIS????)

In such a way men, wishing to avoid individual, family, or social difficulties encountered in the observance of the divine law, would reach the point of placing at the mercy of the intervention of public authorities the most personal and most reserved sector of conjugal intimacy.

Consequently, if the mission of generating life is not to be exposed to the arbitrary will of men, one must necessarily recognize unsurmountable limits to the possibility of man’s domination over his own body and its functions; limits which no man, whether a private individual or one invested with authority, may licitly surpass…

…And such limits cannot be determined otherwise than by the respect due to the integrity of the human organism and its functions, according to the principles recalled earlier, and also according to the correct understanding of the “principle of totality” illustrated by our predecessor Pope Pius XII.

And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people,
and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do;
and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they
may not understand one another’s speech.”
So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth,
and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there
the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there
the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.~ Gen 11:6-9

Next Post: What can we to do?

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