Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, August 26, 2011

Feast of Saint Teresa of Jesus Jornet y Ibars

Good morning. Funny where our minds take us sometimes! Upon reading the Gospel this morning from the Book of Matthew I was reminded of the song from the wedding scene in The Muppets Take Manhattan: “Somebody's getting married... Somebody get some flowers! Somebody get a ring! Somebody get a chapel and a choir to sing!” Indeed today’s reading is about a wedding, the wedding of Christ to His Church. Yet, we must be mindful that for us to be married to Christ, for us to be married to God we must be pure in all we do. So too with our marriage, with our earthly spouse, we are called to be pure in all we do. We are called to live chaste lives whether we are married or not. We often forget this in a lust-filled, Desperate Housewives world. We live in a world where so many people seem unable to disassociate the idea of love from sex. People seem unable to consider a life free of unbridled sexual appetite, married or otherwise, and the very act is approached as a self-satisfying, utile act. The problem isn’t with the act itself, sex is not to blame, but rather the loss of virtue. We live in a licentious culture where God and our association with everything we connect with Him is increasingly becoming a quaint notion serving more of a social purpose than that of a spiritual need. In our current-day society God is relegated to set times during the course of our week, usually Sunday mornings (Saturday evenings for those on the go) and then it is a return to the standard fare of concupiscence as usual. The problem is that God and the virtue of chastity is increasingly becoming less a part of how we choose to live our lives. In the words of Karol Wojtyla (Blessed Pope John Paul II), in Love and Responsibility, “Chastity can only be thought of in association with the virtue of love. Its function is to free love from the utilitarian attitude.” As our late Pontiff repeatedly reminds us in this wonderful dissertation on love, and the responsibility surrounding its expression, we have lost a sense of how it was intended in the beginning. The headlines are filled with social agendas pushing to normalize homosexual behavior, social media and advertising center around sexuality versus a product or story line, and the same is being forced upon our children in our schools irrespective of our voice. And it will not end there. It is my firm belief that similar movement lies in the wings to normalize pedophilia and other disordered behaviors. Stay tuned folks! It is only a matter of time before such becomes the substance of primetime viewing, or as Mark Shea notes: “it’s just a matter of time before our sexually libertine Chattering Classes make this move.” The problem in our society is that we as a people have increasingly lost a sense of self-mastery. In a disordered effort to increase our sense of freedom we have actually become enslaved to those things we seek the freedom to enjoy. As in the Gospel reading, those of us who are prudent in the decisions we make will be invited in to enjoy the eternal wedding feast. May we all one day dance with God. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and works of Saint Teresa of Jesus Jornet y Ibars--foundress of the Little Sisters of the Abandoned Aged, better known as the Little Sisters of the Poor (not to be confused with the congregation also called this, founded in France by St. Jeanne Jugan).

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