Tag Archives: morality

Let’s Talk About Sex

"Lujuria / Lust: Pecado Original" by Gabriel S. Delgado C. is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

“Lujuria / Lust: Pecado Original” by Gabriel S. Delgado

There’s a lot of really great food in the world.

I love tasty food. I like to taste food. I regularly feel like I shouldn’t go quite as long between meals as I do, because I’m sure to miss out on something. My belt, however, is telling me that I haven’t been balancing my meals out with enough exercise lately. Apparently, I’m in the majority in the United States.

Sure, I snack, but it’s because I can’t concentrate well if I don’t. I drink a good amount of coffee, because it’s important to my productivity as well. I’m not addicted to these things, however, so they aren’t really necessary, I just like them. I indulge in an occasional alcoholic beverage, but I avoid milk like the plague. That stuff’s bad for my stomach, seriously. I’ve been a happier person since I stopped drinking it. Well, mostly stopped, I do like the taste of cereal every once in a while. I was told a while back that you could never put as much sugar on your corn flakes as they have in the sugary varieties, so I do that, rather than buy the really color rich kid cereals. I’m an adult, after all. Don’t get me started on office snacks, it’s not my fault we have those cheesballs in such large quantity in there… or that I don’t bring my own lunch very often.

Point is, I know what my mouth’s for. It’s for tasting stuff. Well, that and chewing on stuff, like my pens, and maybe my nail beds (nervous habits die hard.) Straws are a relentless target, for sure, and who can resist crunching ice every now and again time I get a fountain drink? These things are fine, surely they don’t do as much damage as my dentist tells me.
The most important reason to eat is for the taste.

Missing the point on Judgement

Reflecting on today’s Gospel message about the plank and the speck. (USCCB Daily Reading)

Many times it is used to stop people from admonishing their brothers and sisters in Christ. This is not the intended meaning, as most true *judgment* occurs within ourselves, and never makes it to action. When we judge others, we put them in a box and ignore the things they do outside of that box. We invalidate their broader humanity based on a single facet of their character.

How much more dangerous is this when we are guilty of the same thing we are judging them for?

It allows us to say, like the Pharisee in Luke 18, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.” When we should be saying, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Then, when we’ve come to terms with the sin ourselves, that is when we will have the most strength to admonish our brothers and sisters. We’ll be able to say, “See, I struggled with this too, but I found healing with God.” We will see them as we see ourselves, and we can show them mercy (the very mercy we received), rather than judgment.

Why the Church is Relevant

And why we don’t need to worry about making it more relevant.

One of the recurring themes in the media coverage of the Pope’s retirement is the ‘need’ of the Catholic Church for a more relevant pope. Someone who is ‘with it.’ Someone who gets that many Catholics are ‘okay’ with birth control, that many Catholics are openly gay, that many people are leaving the Church because it has become increasingly irrelevant to modern society. Someone who feels that the social structure of celibate men lording over their constituents is ‘anti-democratic’ and the moral stances of the Church outdated in the light of science; those stances coming from some medieval dungeon, rather than a place of love.

There is a fundamental problem with this view. It assumes that the Church’s morals move. It bases the views of the Church on the collective stance of her constituents. It assumes that the world is right, and obviously that means that Catholicism is wrong.

The Church has been here before, and will be here again, that’s the nature of an organization that teaches the Truth.

To listen to the commentators, the Church is a decrepit organization, that is leaking members in droves in Europe and North America, and is only tenable in the future in Africa and Latin America. The statistics say that the Church is leaving many people behind, many philosophies unembraced, and many people unloved. The problem with this view is that it assumes the Church has moved. As the world moves further into the comfort of moral relativism, the Church seems further and further away. With a well adjusted view of reality we see that it is not the Church which has moved, but society.

The Church continues to be the teacher of humanity. Love, she proclaims, is the greatest of virtues, but not the kind of love that says you are beautiful just as you are. Rather the kind of love that knows us intimately and hopes (rightly) for the truth of who we are to be greater than who we are now. The problem might be that she is still well ahead of her time, but this has been a consistent problem throughout the duration of Christianity. Our nature as humans is to move away from what is best for us, and toward what feels best for us. We surround ourselves with people that tell us it is okay to continue to act the way that makes us feel good, and quickly move away from those people that are willing to tell us to do hard work, make sacrifices, and truly become good. It is easier to fabricate our own reality, than it is to do the hard work of becoming part of reality itself. And this is the nature of sin, isn’t it?

We aren’t going to get a ‘liberal’ pope, who is excited to upend the Truth. That was a promise made long ago by Christ himself (“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Matt 18:20.) As to equality, there is no greater institution in the world, the Church teaches love of every individual, with a preference to those who face hardship. As to modernization, society is still trying to catch up by embracing morals the Church has taught for years (violence is not the answer, treat the poor as if they had a friend in high places, we are the stewards of the earth), and struggling with those that still do not agree with what is convenient (abortion, birth control, the nature of sexuality.)

Perhaps it is time society started paying attention to the Church, and not ranting about why the Church should pay attention to it.