Friday of the 4th Week of Lent - III Class Feria
Epistle: III Kings 17:17-24 [Elias raises the widow's son.]
Gospel: Jn. 11:1-45 [The raising of Lazarus.]
Full Latin-English propers here.
Many people today have sex before marriage. Relatively few people see Holy Matrimony as a prerequisite for having sex. What is sex exactly? Sex is an expression of marital love that uses pleasure to procreate. "An expression of marital love" is what it is in and of itself. Pleasure is the means and procreation is the end. Note that procreation is the sole end. Pleasure is not an end. Pleasure is only the means for attaining the end of procreation. This is how God created sex. This is what sex is. We human cannot change sex any more that we can change the laws of gravity or the rising of the sun.
In the sinful and God-less male mind, pleasure is the sole end. The sexual act is and act of pleasure. Period. There's no more to it. It is pleasure; it exists for pleasure. It is a simple biological function used to reach a physical high. There's no profound thought here, just a natural bodily function used to give you a high. That's it. Just pleasure. It's amazing how simple a man's logic is. Note that marriage is not in any way involved. Marriage is not even remotely close to the radar. As a result, the man is willing to lie, cheat, steal, and be as manipulative and deceitful as it takes to get that pleasure. He will commit as many sins as he needs to in order to be able to commit sexual sins. It is a pit of sin that is very difficult to escape. That is why the devil ensnares so many men-almost all-in this trap.
The sinful and God-less female mind is more profound. It comes with a certain sense of pride. To a woman, sex is an expression of "love". However, this is not true love that comes from God. This "love" is only a human emotion, it is only a deep infatuation. It is a mutual caring for each other which develops over time. It is a purely human, man-made emotion made slowly over time, establishing a relationship of mutual trust and mutual respect within the context of a romantic relationship. This is not love. This is infatuation. Infatuation is quite variable in terms of it's depth. In infatuation you are attracted to certain aspects, certain parts, of the person, not the whole person. There are always things about them that irritate you, that you are not attracted to. The more physical and psychological parts of them you are attracted to, the deeper the infatuation. However, you are always just attracted to a collection of parts (both physical and psychological). In love, you are attracted to them as a whole. The person is no longer a collection of physical and psychological parts, but a singularity. This one person is what you love. When the person irritates you, it is no longer some part of them that doesn't attract you, but rather some foreign behavior that doesn't belong there and needs to be removed, that they're better than to act this way. This love, true love, does not develop over time. After a period where infatuation develops over time, God calls you to the Sacrament of Marriage. The moment of your vocation is when it hits you like a ton of bricks that you love the person. For the sake of brevity, I won't explain love vs. infatuation further, but I've written more here.
So we can see that God has His system of marriage and vocation to marriage. However, the sinful and God-less female has a sense of pride. She wants it to be done her way, according to her own will. When she becomes infatuated, she calls it love, not because it's true, but rather because she wants it to be true. She builds up her own house and her own life on her own human emotions. The fact that these emotions are human makes them so weak. They change. They fail. It is a weak foundation for your life because it is human. It is the house built on sand. God's emotions however, are solid. True love, the marital vocation, hits-you-like-a-ton-of-bricks love is from God. It is an actual grace pushing you to the sanctifying grace of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. It is the house built on rock. When love hits you, that is God giving you the solid rock foundation. If you get married and build your house there, you have an unfailing foundation for your life: God Himself. If you have any other emotion as your foundation, you are doomed to failure, as your foundation is not God, it is fallible. It is the house on sand.
How many people destroy their lives by building them on such foundations? They build their lives on these sands then wonder why there is so much divorce and broken homes. These are lives built on pride and a quest for lust. Entire lives are ruined. The only thing that ruins them is that they were built on the wrong foundation, which was the falsely called love, the true foundation. It really is devastating to have your entire life collapse and loose everything, all the while you have no one to blame but yourself. You are dead. Your life is over. The prime of your life has passed you by and you wasted it building your life on sand instead of on God. It looks as though there is no hope. Your sins are too extensive. Your sins have caused too much damage to you life. Your sins have destroyed your life as completely as they ever could have. It's over. There is no hope for restoration. Then we hear today's readings. The widow's son rose. Lazarus rose. God restores life in Confession. Seek God's mercy in Holy Confession. That is where you find new life and the Lord you were supposed to be with. He's waiting for you. He wants you back.