THAT GOSPEL episode where Christ was asked about marriage and divorce (cfr. Lk 20,27-38) gives us an occasion to clarify the true nature and purpose of both human sexuality and marriage. It’s a clarification that, I believe, is most urgent these days, considering the widespread ignorance, confusion and error these aspects of our human life now suffer.
Our main problem with respect to our understanding and attitude toward human sexuality is that this has been reduced to a purely biological and human aspect of hormones, passions, urges, instincts, sensual stimuli and genital activity, and a naturalistic sense of decency and nothing more.
This is giving it an incomplete, inadequate if not distorted and dangerous treatment. We need to bring it to the terra firma of its true nature and character, its authentic beginning, purpose and end, away from the swamps and marshes of the sensually, if not genitally, dominated aspect.
Sexuality is reduced to sex. Worse, sex is made the end-all of our sexuality. All other considerations are made secondary, and even ignored, ridiculed and finally rejected. Thus, there is that growing, headlong drift toward an erotic and pornographic culture, at first hidden and later open.
Because of this phenomenon, sexuality is not anymore inspired by reason, let alone, by faith and love. Instead, the savagery of the passions and urges is given free rein, with the matching fruits of all kinds of anomalies and perversions.
Many people are abandoning even the basic natural idea of masculinity and femininity. That our sexuality is first of all a gift from God, meant to enable men and women to complement each other not only for human development but ultimately for the final communion among ourselves and with God, is forgotten.
As to marriage, there is no doubt that we need to revisit its true nature and purpose, since this basic human and Christian institution is now besieged with so many misconceptions and malpractices.
There is a need to realize and appreciate more deeply that marriage, not only as a natural institution but also and especially as a sacrament, is a path to sanctity not only for the husband and wife but also for the family, and from the family, for the society and the Church in general.
We need to see the organic link among these key elements: the marriage between man and woman, and the family they generate, as well as the society of which the family is the basic cell and the universal Church of which the family is considered the domestic church.
Seeing that link, we would appreciate the strategic role that marriage plays in the life of men and women in the world. We would appreciate the tremendous potential good that marriage can give to all of us.
That is why everything has to be done to make marriage achieve its fullest dignity. And that means that we have to purify and elevate the love that is the very germ of marriage to the supernatural order.
That love has to develop from simply being natural and body-emotion-world reliant to being more and more spiritual and supernatural, driven by grace rather than by merely natural forces. With the sacrament of marriage, the love between husband and wife is already guaranteed to have all the graces needed to make that marriage reach its fullness. What is needed is the faithful and generous correspondence of the parties concerned to those graces. By Fr. Roy Cimagala (EV Mail October 31-November 6, 2022 issue)