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 the complementarity of males and females and how our sexuality is part of God’s natural law designed to draw us into procreative and unitive relationships, through the bond of marriage. It was noted that any sexual act taking place outside the bond of marriage does not fulfill God’s purpose for human sexuality, as it does not fulfill the natural law mandate that it be unitive and procreative. This month why homosexuality does not fit within the criteria of God’s divine natural law.
“While the Church teaches that homosexual acts are immoral, she does distinguish between engaging in homosexual acts and homosexual inclination, (USSCB, 2006).” The reality is that the homosexual tendency or inclination may not be the result of one’s free will, making one not morally culpable, (responsible). In the same way that something, (lust for example), is not a sin when it enters our mind, (because we did not invite the thought into our mind), it becomes sinful when we entertain and continue to reflect on that thought. That said, “The homosexual inclination is objectively disordered. Why? Because it is an inclination that predisposes one toward what is truly not good for the human person, (USSCCB, 2006, CCC 2358).” Heterosexual persons, not uncommonly have disordered sexual
inclinations as well. “It is not enough for a sexual inclination to be heterosexual for it to be properly ordered.” The gift of our sexuality must fulfill its God-given mandate, that it be procreative and unitive in its function. The U.S. Bishops have stated; “Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from procreative and unitive purposes. (USCCB 2006)” This statement would be accurate
regardless of the gender or sexual disposition of the individual.
(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).” It is a misunderstanding and a misrepresentation of Church teaching to believe that because an individual has a disordered inclination that they as a person are disordered. “As if everything about them were disordered or rendered morally defective by this inclination. Nevertheless, while the inclination to homosexual acts is disordered, the person retains his or her intrinsic human dignity and value, (USCCB 2006).” For clarity Brothers, it is not only sexual sins that are considered disordered, (not falling within the realm and the purpose of natural law). Other inclinations such as those that lead to envy, malice or
greed are to be considered disordered. “We are all damaged by the effects of sin, which causes desires to become disordered. Simply possessing such inclinations does not constitute a sin, at least to the extent that they are beyond, one’s control. Acting on such inclinations, however is always wrong, (USCCCB 2006).” Perhaps a simpler summary; it is not a sin to be homosexual or to have the inclination toward members of the same sex. It is a sin however to engage in sexual intimacy with a member of the same gender as this goes against natural law and the gift that our sexuality and male/female complementarity is such an integral part of. It bears noting once again, that sexual intimacy between a man and woman outside the sacrament of marriage is also considered a serious sin, as this act is also contrary to the natural law that we are bound by as Catholic men and women. Natural law applies equally to homosexual and heterosexual children of God, despite the tendency on our part to think one sin is worse than the other. We are all children of God and we all fall short of the goodness that we have been created, in His image and likeness.
Brothers, in today’s society, even some of our own Catholics do not understand that Catholic moral teaching has an objective basis. One of the challenges we encounter is that some see Catholic moral teaching as nothing more than a guideline for how to behave as an individual and as a society. (Note, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, not the ten guidelines). “Catholic tradition, however, holds that the basis of morality is found in the natural order established by the Creator, an order that is not destroyed but rather elevated by the transforming grace that comes to us through Jesus Christ, (USCCB 2006).” The Church has always said that immoral actions, actions not in accord with the natural order or moral law, can never bring true happiness, because they degrade and undermine the human dignity given us by God. Brothers, we are speaking of those men and women who are experiencing same sex attraction, but the rules of morality and natural law which are fundamental to the teaching of Christ and the Church have a definitive impact on each of us regarding how we live out our Catholic faith.
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.”