Thursday, 29 August 2013
It’s a sad thing that so many people hold the impression that Catholics judge the folk of the world. That is not the remit of the Church or any of her members. Judgement of persons belongs to God alone. The remit of the Church is to point out to folk those ways of life we know to be damaging to their eternal salvation. It is my role as a priest, just as it is the role of Bishops and of parents, to do as I did in my healthcare days: to gently but clearly point out to souls the harmful nature of the activities they engage in; activities which are at least seriously damaging, if not mortally fatal, and then advise them to change. Not to speak to them in this way is a dereliction of duty to Christ and to their souls.
Being a convert to the Faith, my own family do not live the Catholic way of life. Imagine how hard that is for me then, seeing my family living in ways which may/will result in their loss of heaven (though only God can decide that). Family are of massive importance to us all, and while I cannot point to any guarantee that I will make it to heaven myself, I still desire that my family do –and all those souls I see wandering the world in the darkness of the devil’s deceptions about what is and is not OK. Truly, from my experience of having watched family and friends over the years, I know that people simply do the best they can to find happiness. Sadly they look for happiness in this world alone because they have no consciousness of a life after death where there is reward and reproof. Some awareness of life after death remains, but the concept of a God with whom we must make our character compatible in this life so as to live with Him in the next, is absent.
As a result, folk seek happiness in a fractured world by living their own fractured lives: Joe leaves Jill and his son James to live with Margaret and her son Malcolm, while Malcolm’s dad Michael is off to live with Sheila, her son Stephen and her daughter Danielle, who she had to Daniel. Stephen’s dad (Stan) is simply “giving it away” whenever he wills, while Dan is off to live with Pauline (or maybe with Andrew, who he finds more fun anyway). This destabilising of family life as a result of sexual freedoms cannot lead to anything but the wounding of persons as their lives fracture again and again, destabilising both them and the society in which they live. We simply cannot expect our relationships to be solid and stable if we are free and easy with sex; it leads to an easy abandonment of our co-parents when someone more exciting (but not necessarily better) comes along. Only chastity before marriage and fidelity within marriage can give us stability of life.*
Still, we Catholics do not judge folk; they are trying to avoid fracturing their inner peace within this fractured society. But we can advise them to see sex more profoundly so that society moves from a fractured state to a stable state. Children who grow up in stable homes in a stable society are much more likely to be stable and confident within themselves, and from that secure environment have the firm foundation needed to grow and explore their gifts and talents, contributing to society in healthy, safe and productive living.
*A word. We do not preclude Divorce if it is necessary to protect persons; we only reject marriage after divorce and we do so because we see marriage as a life-long sacrament: we cannot be married to two people at the same time.