Posted by: Thomas Richard | January 29, 2014

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness – or Death, Servitude and the Flight from Truth?

What do contraception, abortion, and homosexual activity have in common? They are all contradictions to fruitful love. They are all opposed to the union of human love and new human life, a union of love and life that – by design – God placed into the nature of human sexuality. God placed in the context of marriage between one man and one woman (in the beginning, in the creation of Adam and Eve), a union of two intimacies. The intimacy of covenantal love expressed by a man and a woman to one another, is joined with the intimacy of God’s love for that couple. It is His sacred intervention, His love that can create a new human person made in His holy image, made in the moment of their sexual intimacy. Life and love are bound together, by nature, by design, by intention. Contraception, abortion and homosexual activity all – by design and intention – exclude God from sexual union. They exclude new life from sexual union. They, who knowingly adapt such practices – contraception, abortion or homosexual activity – have excluded God from their lives.

God put into the heart of men and women, a sense of truth. This sense is manifest in human conscience, in “common sense” in questions of human morality. We can see the design in man and woman: physical, emotional, affective complementarity. We see the physical complementarity, such that the union of the two is a natural union, facilitated by their bodies and by their heart-felt desires to be one. And we see that this oneness has, by natural design and intention, a combining of masculine and feminine fertilities and potencies to make a new human life – a being with natural and supernatural consequences.

That is to say, there is a natural moral law, observable by all persons, of any time, culture and religious belief. We can observe and conclude what is of nature, what exists in our human nature, what is there by virtue of our humanity: a natural moral law concerning life and love.

A person’s sense of law – whether law is a good thing or a bad thing, whether law is a friend to embrace or my enemy to avoid or even destroy – is intrinsically linked to his sense of truth, and thus his sense of God. This is because authentic law, law that preexists any man-made law or laws, comes ultimately from God. A person’s sense of law, then, is an indicator of his sense of truth, and of God.

In Scripture, Paul’s “man of lawlessness” (2 Thes 2:3-12) is commonly understood to be the same as “the antichrist” of John (1 Jn 2:18, 22, 4:3; 2 Jn 1:7). The final expression, at the end of time, of the man of sin – the man of lawlessness – the man opposed to the true Christ – is opposed to all true law because true law expresses objective truth – objective, absolute truth that judges and condemns him because of his sin.

I say all this seeking to know how to understand the winds of our time, that blow so forcefully to do away with all authentic law. There is authentic law, that comes from God and that manifests His justice and His mercy. And there is the “law of the jungle” – the “law of the streets” – the law recognized by the lawless: the law of “might makes right.” This law has foundation not in truth or justice but in mere power – the power to force men to obey. This law is the law of the city of man apart from God, it is the law of the culture of death. This is the law that crushes the weak and vulnerable, that disposes of those “unworthy of life” who are, or who are predicted to be, or who have become useless to those having power.

Authentic law, in our times, is under attack. Those having power and seeking ever more power, seek also to eliminate any challenge or threat to that power. The greatest threat to such men is God, and His truth. There is a culture war now raging: the culture of death against the culture of life. This war raging has been engaged from the beginning, ignited in human history through the temptation of the serpent, and man’s initial fall into sin. Then Cain killed his righteous brother Abel, and then it only escalated and intensified. God radically, definitively, inserted Himself into this war with the Incarnation. God became man; He showed the way and He became the Way to life, and to a culture of life. And thus He became, and His followers became, the prime enemy and target for the kings of the culture of death. Christians, today, are “problems” in the plans of the kings of the culture of death.

God created, in the beginning, all things good – including human nature, good human nature, made in the image and likeness of God. Man could see, before the fall into confusion and darkness, the goodness of His creation. Indeed His creation reflected, as a work of art reflects the artist, the beauty, truth and harmony of Himself. The will of God was visible to men in the beginning – and would be today, clear and true, if not for the darkness and confusion that came from our sin. The will of God, His eternal truth as it pertains to our lives and our works and our intentions, would be light plain to our eyes.

Were there no sin, visible to man today would still be the beauty of life, the value of the innocent and the vulnerable, and thus the unthinkable horror of abortion. Visible to man today would still be the beauty and holy oneness of conjugal love: the intrinsic link joining the spiritual and sexual union of husband with wife, with the potency of new human life. And thus the contradiction, the falsity, the ugliness of contraception that rips asunder and separates that which God designed to be as one: love and life. Indeed, visible to man today would still be the beauty and holy oneness of the conjugal love of one man and one woman, as God designed and created in the beginning. And thus clear to man today would still be the unnatural – indeed the “contra-natural” – homosexual counterfeits to the real and the true that man seeks to make equivalent, merely a matter of preference, or even a new and alternate “natural” that God intends and blesses.

Sin confuses man individually, and sin can lead him to seek others who share his sin. Thus a culture of sin, a culture of death begins, and grows, and expands. “Might makes right” expands from a bully in the street to a neighborhood gang to a government with an army and police and web of corruption that feeds on the weak, the vulnerable, the easy-to-deceive. In such a culture of death, the beauty of truth, and the God of truth, and the laws of justice and truth, all are anathema. They are all first inconvenient, then troublesome, then intolerable, then criminal, then traitorous. The law of the jungle is more convenient, more advantageous, to the powerful.

Authentic law, however, will endure. The culture of life persists and will endure. Persons of life, the people of life, will endure because truth is stronger than the lie, and love is stronger than death. God brought order from the chaos, and He will perfect His order. What remains to be seen, for a Western culture that once knew better, is whether we still have the humility and common sense to know that to ignore the truly natural – that which God made very good – is to become a slave to the unnatural, and a victim of the chaos it brings. A culture of lawlessness is a culture of suicide. May God help us to awaken, while there is time.


Responses

  1. Dear Thomas,

    Thanks again for your insights into the “signs of the times” in which we live. Your final paragraph is compelling:

    Authentic law, however, will endure. The culture of life persists and will endure. Persons of life, the people of life, will endure because truth is stronger than the lie, and love is stronger than death. God brought order from the chaos, and He will perfect His order. What remains to be seen, for a Western culture that once knew better, is whether we still have the humility and common sense to know that to ignore the truly natural – that which God made very good – is to become a slave to the unnatural, and a victim of the chaos it brings. A culture of lawlessness is a culture of suicide. May God help us to awaken, while there is time.

    May God’s Mercy, through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, help us to rise from our sleep in this country and all over the world. How urgently we need to hear again from the Meek and Humble Jesus dying on the Cross: “Behold your Mother”. Her humble human nature shows us what God can do when we open our hearts and say “Yes” to Him!


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