So there we have it!!
Paragraph 2391 says, “Some today claim a ‘right to a trial marriage’ where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, ‘the fact is that suck liasons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desire or whim.’ Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate ‘trial marriages.’ It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.”
Paragraph 2387 says, “The predicament of a man who, desiring to convert to the Gospel, is obliged to repudiate one or more wives with whom he has shared years of conjugal life, is understandable. However polygamy is not in accord with the moral law. ‘[Conjugal] communion is radically contradicted by polygamy; this in fact, directly negates the plan of God which was revealed from the beginning, because it is contrary to the equal personal dignity of men and women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that is total and therefore unique and exclusive.’ The Christian who has previously lived in polygamy has a grave duty in justice to honor the obligations contracted in regard to his former wives and his children.”
The Church has encountered many cultures over 2,000 years
Sometimes when the Gospel meets those people who are living in a way that is outside of the moral realm, what changes?
Does the Gospel change?
Are the people called to change?
THE GOSPEL CANNOT AND MAY NOT CHANGE!!
PEOPLE NEED TO CHANGE!!
We are called to move forward in a way that is in conformity with the Gospel and also in conformity with justice
So think of a person who has wives and children and is now becoming Catholic
What are they called to do?
They are not called to continue living as if they have multiple wives
They are called to take care of those people with whom they had entered into some kind of relationship
They have obligations to those women and children
It is often the case in our lives where we have built our life in such a way that is contrary to the Gospel
When we hear the call of Jesus Christ, the Gospel is not going to change
We are called to make whatever sacrifice we need to make in justice in order to belong to Jesus
We need to be convicted by the Gospel
We need to be convicted by the call of Jesus
We need to be convicted by the teaching of the Church
So this person is not going to abandon his children
He may be called to live as brother and sister for the rest of their lives if they cannot regularize the marriage
Is it ridiculous?
Jesus lays down the qualifications to be His disciple
“If you want to be my disciple, you must deny yourself…”
That does not mean deny yourself things like little pleasures or deny yourself candy during Lent
It means DIE TO YOURSELF
Every single one of us is called to do that
If we find ourselves in an irregular situation that is not compatible with the Gospel, then we may be called to do something radical in justice
The primary obligation is to Jesus and to respond to the Gospel
There are many of us here who have suffered offenses against the dignity of marriage
If we are, we are called to convert
We are called to repent if we have a life that is not commensurate with the Gospel
Paragraph 2388 says, “Incest designates intimate relations between relatives or in-laws within a degree that prohibits marriage between them. St. Paul stigmatizes this especially grave offense: ‘It is actually reported that there is immorality among you…for a man is living with his father’s wife…In the name of the Lord Jesus…you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh…’ Incest corrupts family relationships and marks a regression toward animality.”
Paragraph 2389 says, “Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing.”
The Church consistently teaches that these are grave evils
If you are someone who has experienced this, just know that you re not horrible
You are not contemptible
You are redeemed by Jesus Christ
You are loved by God Himself
And you can remain scarred, but the Lord loves you in your scars
The Lord loves you in the midst of the brokenness that was perpetrated against you
The Church offers a word of hope for all of us
Whether it is those of us who experience any kind of wound
As well as those of us who realize we are guilty
Paragraph 2390 says, “In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy. The expression ‘free union’ is fallacious: what can ‘union’ mean when the partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other, in himself, or in the future? The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments. All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion.”
One of the reasons many people now live together without getting married is a lack of trust
A lack of trust in myself
A lack of trust in the other person
A lack of trust in the future
Divorce breeds this lack of trust in the future
If I can’t see people keeping their promises, how can I possibly keep my promise?
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike talk about how cohabitation hurts him like a gut punch…
80-90% of cohabiting couples who do end up getting married are more likely to get divorced
Paragraph 2391 says, “Some today claim a ‘right to a trial marriage’ where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, ‘the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim.’ Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate ‘trial marriages.’ It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.”
Things are meant to be used
People are meant to ve loved
People are not things
You do not take a person for a test drive
There is no such thing as a trial marriage
The very DNA of marriage is that it is permanent
You make a promise on your wedding day because you know that the day is going to come when you won’t want to keep your promise
“When that day comes, I promise you that I will continue to choose you.”
A trial marriage is an exercise in foolishness because you are trying every part of marriage except for the part that is hard
A person does not want to be tried out
You may be afraid of the future
You might be afraid of being able to keep your promises
You might be afraid of the other person or yourself
Pope St. John Paul II said (paraphrasing), “The person who does not truly love forever will find it very difficult to truly love for even one day.”
LOVE WANTS TO STAY FOREVER!!
This is what all of our hearts are made for
We are made for love
Paragraph 2392 says, “‘Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being’ (FC 11).”
That is true for you
Make of yourself, somehow, a gift of love
That is what your call is
That is what your vocation is
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT…