67. Apples, Oranges and Marriage

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Calling an orange an apple doesn’t make it so. If one knows what an apple is, one knows an orange shouldn’t be called an apple. If one is calling an orange an apple out of ignorance, the charitable thing would be to illuminate for that person what an apple is.

It’s the same with marriage. Based on the widespread support for the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring that people have a constitutional “right” to call something marriage that is not marriage, it is clear that people don’t know what marriage is. This calls for charity in helping people understand the meaning and purpose of marriage. As Catholics, we have an incredibly rich tradition to draw from in this regard – a tradition based first on natural law, not biblical revelation. And that means it is not only applicable to Catholics, but to the very nature of being human.

66. People Use the Term “Discrimination” Indiscriminately

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Discrimination has become a bad word in America – a really bad word. But branding discrimination as a bad word is to use the word indiscriminately. It indiscriminately links discrimination with injustice. But that is the injustice.

We have forgotten that there is such a thing as just discrimination. We “discriminate” – that is, we distinguish and discern by recognizing differences – all the time, and must do so. Discrimination is unjust when the difference recognized has no bearing on the matter at hand. Discrimination is just – and required – when the difference matters.

65. Remain Calm: The Victory of Marriage Comes Through Its Crucifixion

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Notice whom Christ is raising from the dead here in this classic icon of Easter Sunday: it’s the first married couple. Marriage has been under attack since the beginning. It’s nothing new. And Christ always raises it up.

In light of last week’s Supreme Court decision, which effectively legalized same-sex “marriage” nationwide, it may seem like marriage is facing unweatherable storms, and that Christ is asleep on the boat. The temptation to despair or “freak out” like the disciples on the stormy sea is understandable, but let us never forget: God is in control and, in the end, the truth is always victorious. “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:1). Remain calm. Nothing should shake our peace.

64. Detox from Do-Do

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I just noticed in typing the above title that there’s a double meaning here. I meant it first as a statement about the toxic nature of our Western production-oriented-always-doing (“do-do”) mentality. But it’s also true to say that this mentality is a load of doo-doo.

I sat in this week on a colleague’s class at the TOB Institute – “Theology of the Body and Art: The Way of Beauty” taught by Bill Donaghy. He stressed our need for “detox” from our constant need to “do something” and helped us enter in to what it means to be a contemplative – someone who has slowed down enough and quieted himself enough to see and hear and smell and taste and touch the beauty all around him. And, more importantly, to decipher its meaning.

63. What Does Heterogenital Mean?

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Heterogenitals. What are they? Inquiring minds want to know.

The word comes from a recent piece of journalism written for the National Catholic Reporter by Michael Lawler and Todd Salzman. Claiming that Pope Francis is departing from the rigid teaching of Saint John Paul II and thus opening the way for the acceptance of homosexual behavior, they write:

“John Paul and the magisterium condemn homosexual acts on the grounds that they violate heterogenital and reproductive complementarity, but they never explain if and why they also violate personal complementarity, other than to assert in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that homosexual acts ‘do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.’”