Friday, April 20, 2012

Chastity and Happiness



Dear HLI Family,

Acknowledgement of the living God is one path toward love, and this "yes" of our will to His will unites our intellect, will and sentiments in the all-embracing act of love (Deus Caritas Est, #17).

These words of the Holy Father strike to the heart of the dilemma facing humanity today. Humanity is engaged in a cultural battle, spiritual and temporal, and society as we currently know it is in grave danger. It may sound preposterous but if we honestly consider societal problems, it is very plausible that we could destroy ourselves.

Man is seeking a path to peace and ultimate happiness but his choices fail to lead him to this goal. Instead, they leave him empty, unsatisfied and nomadic in his approach to life. He roams from point to point, relationship to relationship, and experience to experience searching for the answer to his heart's true desire - Truth. The fleeting sense of satisfaction he receives in brief moments of distraction simply lead him deeper into enslavement.

In truth, freedom is only found in God's will as revealed in Jesus Christ who says to his disciples and to us, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you" (John 14:27).

Jesus reveals man to himself thus showing him his true identity, purpose and end. He witnesses to man the true image and likeness in which he is made. He manifests in His incarnate life the beauty of man's wonder as mirrored in the love of the Son for the Father. In doing the will of the Father, Jesus conquered death and invited humanity to embrace His life and live it abundantly.

Humanity's struggle is not with life but with its own true identity. When someone claims they have the right to choose something contrary to God's law, the consequence is a fracture of the relationship between the creature and Creator. "If you love Me you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Genuine love leads one to seek God's will in all things and freely embrace what is morally good. Choosing what is morally sound builds strength within the soul and bears fruit in love.

Let's consider the issue of sexual promiscuity, which the Culture of Death promotes as an expression of "freedom." There is no shortage of evidence, either in scripture or today's headlines, of just how counterfeit and destructive this "freedom" really is. The Church founded by Christ on the Rock of Peter has long been trying to shed light on the alternative - on authentic freedom. For just one example, we find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech (CCC #2338).

The decision to ignore the command of God is one that leads to the dis-integration of the person and his relationships with others, and ultimately leads to the use and objectification of others. Eventually this selfish behavior will become habit and lead to other immoral behaviors, which further alienate him from God and neighbor.

To put it simply, secular culture has tried to convince us that we are incapable of controlling sexual desires. Sadly, they have been very successful. The consequence of such an embrace can be seen in cohabitation, the breakdown of marriage, and the rise of pornography, contraception and abortion.

Further, the consequences of such decisions are not merely private and personal - they have wide reaching effects. When man chooses not to acknowledge God or His commands, he also fails to acknowledge his neighbor and his responsibility to him. "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).

In the conclusion of Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict reminds us that we are by nature not only individuals, but we are deeply connected with our Creator and with one another.

Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is... The human being develops when ... his soul comes to know itself and the truths that God has implanted deep within, when he enters into dialogue with himself and his Creator... It is not by isolation that man establishes his worth, but by placing himself in relation with others and with God (n. 78).

We flourish only in harmony with our Creator, and we owe it to ourselves and to each other to make our relationship with Him our top priority. This is how we learn to love one another in truth, and begin to build the type of culture that we all want to see -- a culture of life.

Sincerely yours in Christ,


Father Shenan J. Boquet
President, Human Life International