“Male? Female? They are questions that for some are now viewed as obsolete, senseless, if not racist. The answer of current conformism is foreseeable: ‘whether one is male or female has little interest for us, we are all simply humans.’”
Sounds like current commentary on the cultural crisis, but these prophetic words were spoken by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in a 1984 interview, later published as The Ratzinger Report (Ignatius Press, 1985).
This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. In the second reading, St. Paul recounts the words of the Lord: “This is my body that is for you … This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” Ponder this prayerfully: at the source and summit of everything we believe as Catholics is a mysterious food … a heavenly bread. This must mean that the very essence of our humanity is a hunger for Infinity. Father Harry Cronin reflects: “Christ is a determined and deliberate lover. And this loving is done with bread. He loves in bread and wine. For the dimmest fool will know that bread and wine are for hunger and thirst. And if hunger is fed with this bread, and thirst is slaked with this wine then hunger and thirst for us will be holy. For hunger and thirst, basic and brutal, will gently jostle us toward the embrace of God. It is blunt and simple. It needs only careful, clear telling. Our God in Christ has become food because our God in Christ knows inside his own flesh every sad, tear-filled tale of hunger and thirst. He knows that the greatest hungering ache is the hungering for our beginning: for that crack of love’s lightning that shot us into being. Which we find only in bread…”
One of the more striking things Saint John Paul II ever said about marriage was that spouses are “the permanent reminder to the Church of what happened on the cross” (Familiaris Consortio 13). Take that astounding statement to prayer and mystical treasures will start to open up for you.
I recently received an email in which a wife and mother shares a particularly heavy burden she and her husband have carried. Having received permission from its author, I’d like to share it with you.
Anybody remember the old Kinks song “Lola”? I was in my early teens the first time I heard it and this line leaped out at me: “Girls will be boys and boys will be girls / It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world…” Well, the mixed up and muddled up is now the law of the land.
If you haven’t seen it, here’s what the U.S. Bishops had to say about Obama’s new nationally imposed bathroom policy.
One of the best commentaries I’ve seen on these “bathroom wars” is from Pete Jermann. He not only offers great insights on the craziness of what’s happening in our world with the eclipse of real sexuality, he also offers an insightful presentation of how Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body offers the only real antidote. Jermann writes:
Trinity Sunday invites us to hope in the fulfillment of our wildest, flaming desires. You know, that deep-in-the-bones ache, that heart-rending, inexplicable never-goes-away-despite-my-attempts-to-ignore-it yearning for something…. The Church calls it eros and proposes that it’s a yearning for the Infinite. And that means, as Father Peter John Cameron has expressed it, it will either consume us or consummate us – depending on where we take it. Here’s the good news of the gospel in a nutshell: “God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange” (CCC 221). That’s it. That’s all we really need to know. God is not a tyrant. He’s not a slave driver. He’s not trying to keep us from what we want. He’s an infinite exchange of love and bliss. And he made us to participate in that glorious exchange. In fact, our bodies as male and female tell this story: the union of husband and wife foreshadows the glory that awaits us in the “wedding feast of the Lamb.” This is what St. Paul is talking about when, in this Sunday’s second reading, he boasts “in hope of the glory of God.” And “this hope does not disappoint,” he assures us. In other words, you’re not crazy. You’re not wrong to believe there’s something more. You will not be unhappy. It’s coming. Your desire for Life is not in vain. That’s what we celebrate on Trinity Sunday.