COR THOUGHTS 224: Believe in the Gift

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In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the landowner who leased his vineyard to tenants who beat and killed his servants. When the landowner’s son came, the tenants said to one another, “This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.” Contained in that sentiment is the root of every tragedy known to man. In his Theology of the Body, John Paul II described original sin (the sin from which all horrors flow) as the questioning – and, ultimately, the denial – of God’s gift. From eternity, the Father has bestowed the riches of his Love upon the Son as a free gift, and we yearn to participate in that inheritance. But we came to believe the utter lie that God is a tightwad, that he was keeping his gift to himself and didn’t want to fulfill the desires of our heart. We thought the only way to get what we wanted was to kill God’s Son. Oh the tragic irony: in the very act of trying to take the life we wanted, the Son was offering it to us freely – “This is my body given up for you….” Lord, show us the ways we deny your gift. Help us to repent and believe the good news of your gift to us!

Q&A: Albacete and Mother Teresa, Setting Intimacy Boundaries in a Relationship, Lust vs. Sexual Desire, and the Altar as Marriage Bed

Each month, I hold a live Question & Answer chat with Cor Members on our private Facebook group. It’s one of the many perks of being a member. The topics are wide-ranging and often deal with real-life challenges of learning, living and sharing St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (TOB). I hope you find these discussions helpful.

223. A Compassionate, Christian Reflection on the Death of Hugh Hefner

The headlines of the secular media announcing Hugh Hefner’s death are hailing him as a pioneer of free speech and sexual liberation. What should Christians think of the passing of one of the pioneers of the pornographic revolution?

As a teacher and promoter of Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, I have written and commented frequently on Hefner’s life. Why? Because to understand the mind of Hugh Hefner is, in a way, to understand the mind of our culture. Hugh Hefner was one of the most successful “evangelists” of the modern era. His “gospel” has gone out across the globe and has had an enormous impact on the way we think about ourselves and the world. And those who call themselves Christians have been far from immune from this false gospel. I would venture to say that if the average believer in the western world spilled the contents of his or her mind on a table, thoughts and ideas about the body and sex would look a lot more like the vision Hugh Hefner promoted then, say, the “great mystery” of sexual love unfolded by John Paul II.

Q&A: Mid-Life Marriage Romance Struggles and When the Other Person Won’t Recognize Their Brokenness

Each month, I hold a live Question & Answer chat with Cor Members on our private Facebook group. It’s one of the many perks of being a member. The topics are wide-ranging and often deal with real-life challenges of learning, living and sharing St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (TOB). I hope you find these discussions helpful.

COR THOUGHTS 223: Passion for the Kingdom

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Jesus has a way of turning people’s religious presuppositions on their head. In this weekend’s Gospel Jesus says to the chief priests and elders: “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.” Olivier Clement writes, “In the Gospel the very root of sin is the pretense that we can save ourselves by our own effort. … The publicans and harlots enter the Kingdom before the just because they are well aware that they cannot save themselves.” They are well aware that nothing they have turned to in their passions has brought them satisfaction, and so their “longing for the Infinite” – their utter need and poverty – attracts them to Christ. The chief priests and elders, on the other hand, have suffocated their longing and need in favor of “self-satisfaction” in their own “virtue.” There is, indeed, a great divide between religion understood as a “keeping of the law” vs. that of a “longing for the Infinite.” And this is why, as Saint Augustine put it, “He who loses himself in his passion is less lost than he who loses his passion.”