Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

01 December 2011

Aridity: A Threat For Any Climate

Several times I have mentioned the Catholic Education Resource Center, an online clearinghouse of solid Catholic reading material. I mention it again because of the article in my last post, and also because of this one:

I enjoy reasoned expositions of Catholic teaching, especially Catholic moral teaching. In recent years I have become even fonder of people telling their stories. Whether or not the storyteller has a didactic aim in mind, it is good to listen to someone with an interest/intention to learn from the speaker. The value of the speaker's disclosure may not necessarily be this or that point of information; it may rather be an opportunity for the listener to enter compassionately into that person's life. As a Catholic I recognize the merit of entering compassionately into a young man's gradual and grace-filled journey with an unwelcome relational disposition. To observe his virtuous subjection of passions to intellect and will is nothing short of beautiful, nothing short of exemplary.

The writer concludes that a vocation to self-giving love is the corrective to that sort of spiritual and even physical sterility that a same-sex attracted person may experience--that is, without committing to a vocation of self-giving love (not to be equated with sexual expression). Such is the apparent problem of a fair number of heterosexual "marriages," which are little more than two persons using each other for pleasure. Priesthood and consecrated life are subject to such sterility, as well. Whosoever refuses to believe this may look at the statistics regarding marriage and religious vocations (notwithstanding a current upward trend, no doubt a result of the solution below).

What makes the difference? A candid admission of one's need for God and for the sorriness of one's (current) state without Him; a sincere abandonment of self to a God who is ready and willing to effect positive change in one's life; an unsparing review of one's past conduct and attitudes; a complete willingness to be rid of baneful attitudes and the resultant misconduct; concerted efforts to repair any damage done; and a daily commitment to the prayer and action needed to sustain peace with God, with others, and within oneself--a truly fruitful existence.

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