Saturday, July 16, 2011
"Put on the Armor of God"
Commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel - IV Class
It is hard to be a faithful Catholic today. There are many enemies that surround us. People think there is something wrong with us when we condemn the sin of cohabitation or marriage outside the Church. They hate us when we call a spade a spade and sodomy a sin. We get called "old-fashioned" and "uptight" for condemning all sex that is done for pleasure. These are all affronts to marriage. Marriage is an imitation of the union between Christ and the Church. God designed love, sex and marriage to be a giving of your whole being, everything you have, everything you own, everything you are, to another person, desiring not good times for yourself with this person, but rather sacrificing yourself for this person's own good, to take care of them, that you might be together both in this life and the next. In this, there is no room for using the other person to make yourself happy. It is an imitation of Christ on the cross. Sex is the physical expression of this love, which is used by God to create new life. This love is a grace from God, not a human emotion, given to those whom God calls to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. *That's* what marriage is: a physical union that mirrors Christ's union with His Bride.
Everything outside of this is sin because it deviates from God's plan for love, sex, and marriage. This includes a *huge* array of sins. Sexual sins are possibly the most common in the world. All the pleasures the world embraces we condemn because they are a misuse and a degradation of the gifts God has given us. Therefore, the world hates us any time we open our mouths on any moral issue whatsoever. From cohabitation, to marriage outside the church, to sex outside marriage, to sex for pleasure, to abortion, to homosexuality, to euthanasia, to you name it, we are condemned as intolerant, old-fashioned, outdated, bigoted and every other condemnation in the book. Our evangelization and conversion efforts are called "brainwashing" and "manipulation" of those who are doing "nothing wrong".
We can look at the treasures God gives us (like the Sacrament of Matrimony-not to mention the Eucharist, which is the intimacy of the original Marriage, the one between Christ and the Church), and it leaves us so at peace. Then we can look at the world and all it does to persecute us, calling our faith "hate speech", passing laws against us, and killing us by the dozen. We can read the latest article or blog post on a church bombed by Muslims, or clergy taken prisoner by the Chinese, or congressmen promoting bills that would defend sin. It quickly becomes clear that we need help from God if we are ever going to survive in this world. This is why Our Lady gave us the scapular, because of all I just said. The scapular is spiritual armor, with a breastplate and a backplate. The rosary is our weapon. It is a machine gun firing off Ave's. Only with the help of God can we survive.