Lord, teach us to pray:
(To be read by the Leader)
“God created humanity in His image and likeness, in His divine image He created him; male and female He created them….God looked at everything He had made, and He found it very good, (Gen. 1, 27, 31)”
Brothers, last month we spoke about inclination versus action, regarding to sin. In a particular way we focused on the reality that some individuals who are experiencing same sex attraction did not invite these feelings, they did not want them and found these feelings to be a burden/cross for them in their lives. We spoke about the need to focus on the value of virtues practiced on a repetitive basis and how developing the habit of virtue can assist one not only in their journey of sexual chastity, but also in all areas of their lives. Finally, we noted that forming and cultivating good healthy fraternal friendships, such as the Knights of Columbus is critical to healthy human development. Healthy friendships with likeminded individuals (Knights) can be invaluable in assisting all to live, lives that are pleasing to the Lord and in
conformance with Catholic teaching.
This month we begin the journey to in some small way understand the area of transgender or properly called sexual dysphoria. To write in an orthodox manner on this topic I will be using Sr. Helena Burns, a Daughter of St. Paul and expert in this area particularly with young people. I will also use a document titled “Selected quotes from Documents of the Popes and Members of the Roman Curia on the Subject
of Gender Theory.”
In today’s world the terms “gender” and “sex” are understood to mean different things but they only mean one thing and that is whether someone is male or female. This statement is supported by God’s natural law and is named in Genesis 1, 27, “God created man in His image; in the divine image He created him; male and female He created them, (NAB).” According to natural law we are created in our
mother’s womb either male or female. The trend or popular thought in the secular world today states: “You are assigned a physical sex at birth (actually in the womb), but gender is what you really are, what you feel inside, your true self, what you want to be, and or it’s fluid and can keep changing.Some people talk about a “spectrum” of sexuality far beyond the two sexes, (Sr. Burns. Gender and LGBTQ Pt. 1). For clarity this is a secular attitude and is stated by Sr. Burns only as part of her research.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI speaks of our humanity in this way. “If the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected, this is not some antiquated metaphysics. What is involved here is faith in the Creator and a readiness to listen to the “language” of creation. To disregard this would be the self-destruction of man himself, and hence the destruction of God’s own work. What is often expressed and understood by the term “gender” ultimately ends up being Man’s attempt at self-emancipation from creation and the Creator. Man wants to be his own master, and alone-always and exclusively-to determine everything that concerns him. Yet in this way he lives in opposition to the truth, in opposition to the Creator Spirit, (Dec. 28, 2008).”
(To be read by the Leader)
“It is crucially important to understand that saying a person has a particular inclination that is disordered is not to say that the person as a whole, is disordered. Nor does it mean that one has been rejected by God or the Church, (USCCCB 2006).”
Brothers, you can see where this is going. Humanity wants to be in charge and over-ride the natural law established by our Creator God, literally at the beginning of time. The question that comes to my mind when I see the undermining of natural law at virtually every corner and facet of society including what constitutes a family is this. If society has no basis for their opinion except for the desire that everything be in the hands of humanity to decide, where will they turn when things finally go so far askew from what we have long understood to be normative. Who will they turn to? If the Creator is pushed out as a point of reference for our existence?
Pope Benedict sites the Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim’s argument about this attack on the nature and true structure of the family. He notes that the term “gender” is seen as a new philosophy or understanding of sexuality. “According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature that man must accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society.” He further states that the absolute falsehood of this theory results in this: “People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity that serves as defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”
Brothers the biggest challenge faced here, is not that “crisis of identity” is becoming more and more normalized within our society. The very real and much larger problem is that at the root of this, humanity (secular society) has deemed that they are in charge of the very essence of who they were created to be in the first place by our God. They are saying the Creator no longer has dominion over who I have been created to be. I am in charge of who I am. When we look back at Noah’s flood account, the tower of babel, or even WWII things have not turned out well when humanity thought they knew better. Next month the challenge facing Gender dysphoria.
Created in the Image and Likeness of God (Gen.1, 26-27)
(The Leader now invites the members to spend a few moments in silent reflection, as the above text is not meant to be a ready-made answer but a starter for personal reflection on the theme.)
(The leader now invites the members to share with their Brother Knights any relevant thoughts that came to them during the meditation period.)
(Recited by all) Let us pray: “Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”