Write In Between

Friday, April 27, 2007

Loving the Bride, vol. 24

Something old....

We have already said that marriage engenders a particular responsibility for the common good, first of the spouses and then of the family.

This common good is constituted by man, by the worth of the person and by everything which represents the measure of his dignity. This reality is part of man in every social, economic and political system. In the area of marriage and the family, this responsibility becomes, for a variety of reasons, even more "demanding". The Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes rightly speaks of "promoting the dignity of marriage and the family". The Council sees this "promotion" as a duty incumbent upon both the Church and the State.

Nevertheless, in every culture this duty remains primarily that of the persons who, united in marriage, form a particular family. "Responsible fatherhood and motherhood" express a concrete commitment to carry out this duty, which has taken on new characteristics in the contemporary world.

In particular, responsible fatherhood and motherhood directly concern the moment in which a man and a woman, uniting themselves "in one flesh", can become parents. This is a moment of special value both for their interpersonal relationship and for their service to life: they can become parents—father and mother—by communicating life to a new human being. The two dimensions of conjugal union, the unitive and the procreative, cannot be artificially separated without damaging the deepest truth of the conjugal act itself.

This is the constant teaching of the Church, and the "signs of the times" which we see today are providing new reasons for forcefully reaffirming that teaching.

-----from The Letter to Families by Pope John Paul II (1994).

Something new....

"Don't hesitate to trust in him: meet him, listen to him and love him with all your heart. In your friendship with him, you will experience the real joy that gives meaning and value to existence," words by Pope Benedict to young people as he traveled this past week.

Interesting video on a short segment of the 20th chapter of Jeremiah.

Something borrowed....

From Bishop Charles Chaput:

When Cardinal Rigali first invited me to come to Philadelphia to talk about religion and the common good, I accepted for two simple reasons. First, I’m tired of the Church and her people being told to be quiet on public issues that urgently concern us. And second, I’m tired of Christians themselves being silent because of some misguided sense of good manners. Self-censorship is an even bigger failure than allowing ourselves to be bullied by outsiders.

Only one question really matters. Does God exist or not? If he does, that has implications for every aspect of our personal and public behavior: all of our actions, all of our choices, all of our decisions. If God exists, denying him in our public life—whether we do it explicitly like Nietzsche or implicitly by our silence—cannot serve the common good, because it amounts to worshiping the unreal in the place of the real.

Religious believers built this country. Christians played a leading role in that work. This is a fact, not an opinion. Our entire framework of human rights is based on a religious understanding of the dignity of the human person as a child of his or her Creator. Nietzsche once said that “convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.”

In fact, the opposite is often true. Convictions can be the seeds of truth incarnated in a person’s individual will. The right kinds of convictions guide us forward. They give us meaning. Not acting on our convictions is cowardice. As Christians we need to live our convictions in the public square with charity and respect for others, but also firmly, with courage and without apology. Anything less is a form of theft from the moral witness we owe to the public discussion of issues. We can never serve the common good by betraying who we are as believers or compromising away what we hold to be true.

Something blue....

O Virgin Mother,

In the depths of your heart you pondered the Life of the son you brought into the world. Give us your vision of Jesus and ask the Father to open our hearts, that we may always see his presence in our lives, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, bring us into the joy and peace of the kingdom, where Jesus is Lord forever and ever. Amen

--Fr. Rob Jack, June 10, 1998

Copyright 2007 Patricia W. Gohn

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