Three Things America Needs From the New Supreme Court JusticeJuly 2, 2018
Thoughts on a Culture of LifeJuly 2, 2018
By Father John Catoir JCD, Guest Contributor • July 1, AD2018
We all need to understand our own sexuality, and there’s a lot to learn. If you want to have a peaceful and meaningful life it would be wise not to allow yourself to be taken in completely by the surrounding culture of sexual freedom. Pope John Paul II observed that in In the past, the general culture respected and supported fundamental values about sexuality, immorality, and marriage and strove to protect and maintain them. However, now traditional norms have been eroded.
This new context is made worse by what we observe: an eclipse of the truth about man which, among other things, exerts pressure to reduce sex to something commonplace. In this area, society and the mass media most of the time provide depersonalized, recreational and often pessimistic information.
The men and women we see on TV dramas and comedies are for the most part living promiscuous lives, and it shows. Most of them, even in the comedies are unhappy, depressed, frustrated, frightened, and often filled with rage. Lacking any spiritual depth, they are doomed to ongoing misery because they have not yet found their true home. “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee O Lord.”- St. Augustine.
Self-control is a dirty word in our sexually-liberated world because it requires wisdom, strength, and willpower. Understanding God is necessary for finding peace and happiness. Jesus came, “That your joy may be full.” Disbelieve that at your own risk. God wants those who are called to marriage, to find a mate who will offer them the hope of a lasting bond of mutual love. He wants them to enjoy a cheerful home with loving children. This requires many skills that go to the creation of an environment of emotional comfort. A background of faith and spirituality will help to make all your dreams come true. Pope John Paul II in The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality explains how chastity is not a repressive attitude but a successful integration of a person’s body and spirit.
In the light of the Redemption and how adolescents and young people are formed, the virtue of chastity is found within temperance — a cardinal virtue elevated and enriched by grace in baptism. So chastity is not to be understood as a repressive attitude. On the contrary, chastity should be understood rather as the purity and temporary stewardship of a precious and rich gift of love, in view of the self-giving realized in each person’s specific vocation. Chastity is thus that “spiritual energy capable of defending love from the perils of selfishness and aggressiveness, and able to advance it towards its full realization”.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes and in a sense defines chastity in this way: “Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being”.
Let’s take a moment to examine how men and women are programmed. A man instinctively moves from attraction to sex to love. He wants what he wants. Hopefully, he learns that one- night stands lead nowhere. Women, on the other hand, are more intuitive, they move from attraction to love to sex. They have a deeper understanding of the fact that to live a happy life, they will need to attract a good man, and demand his respect. Their future depends on it.
Men, in general, are as good as the woman in their lives. A man is instinctively looking for a woman who will be faithful to him and help him to build a family. The long-range consequences of a promiscuous youth will weaken your self-control. Everyone needs a genuine spiritual life to be able to make a strong commitment to fidelity in marriage. Think ahead! Good men and women do not want to be promiscuous; it goes against the highest values of the human spirit. Human weakness however often leads to a neglect one’s spiritual life and the loss of self-control.
In the old days, mothers taught their daughters to be careful about the way they dressed, and for good reason. To show up at a party immodestly dressed, where young men are drinking is a formula for danger with lasting consequences. Those who scoff at Mom’s old-fashioned ideas often pay a high price. The dismal statistics are in on the sexual revolution.
The divorce rate has nearly doubled, and one-third of all children born in America are born to single mothers. This has led to much misery, economic insecurity, and in many cases life-long poverty. The chance for a good education is also lost to many children, while psychological problems abound. Drugs and alcohol abuse is sky-rocketing, along with teen suicides.
Pope Benedict XVI, addressing the bishops of the United States in 2012, reminded them of their responsibility to teach young people about the beauty of the Catholic vision of sex and love.
The richness of this vision is more sound and appealing than the permissive ideologies exalted in some quarters; these in fact constitute a powerful and destructive form of counter-catechesis for the young,
So, beware my dear men and women. The prevailing culture of sexual freedom can destroy your life if you let it. A word to the wise is sufficient
May the Lord be your strength and your joy.
By Father John Catoir JCD
Father John Catoir, the former president of the Catholic Press Association, received the St. Francis de Sales Award in 1993 for outstanding contributions to Catholic journalism.