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, something has been bothering me since I wrote the November 2017 Formation Program. In November’s program, I provided definitions for several terms that the LGBTQ community commonly use to define a particular facet of attraction, inclination or tendency within the LGBTQ community. My concern is that most these words do not exist within the vocabulary of the Christian Church in general. So, the definitions supplied were appropriated from the language of the LGBTQ community. I am troubled because I defined terminology that is not part of our Catholic Christian vocabulary. Do not get the sense that I am supportive of these terms, their definitions, the actions they imply nor that they are part of the Catholic Church vocabulary. These terms are often used by those who advocate that these concepts, attractions, inclinations etc. are normal mainstream parts of our humanity. This is not truth from a Catholic perspective. Just because society normalizes an action or way of life that makes it right, within the teaching of the Catholic Church. My reason for presenting secular definitions for these terms to you is that we hear them often within the social media. If our dictionary does not define them, we still need to understand what is meant by this terminology, for us as Catholic men, to be part of an intelligent rational faith based conversation in these areas.
(To be read by the Leader)
What does the Catholic Church say about those who struggle with “same sex attractions/homosexuality, and why? “All people are created in the image and likeness of God and thus possess an innate human dignity that must be acknowledged and respected. (CCC 1702)” “The phenomenon of homosexuality poses challenges that can only be met with the help of a clear understanding of the place of sexuality within God’s plan for humanity.” To begin, we need to understand what the Church says about sexuality generally. The United States Bishops prepared a document in 2006 entitled “Ministry to Persons with Homosexual Inclination: guidelines for pastoral Care.” The purpose of this document is to offer guidance in the face of pervasive confusion for pastoral ministry to persons with homosexual inclination or tendency. This document begins by speaking about the integral place of sexuality within God’s plan for humanity. “In the beginning, God created human beings in his own image, meaning that the complementary sexuality of a
man and woman is a gift from God and ought to be respected as such. Human sexuality is thus good, part of that created gift which God saw as being ‘very good,’ (created in the image and likeness of God) Gen. 1, 27.” The complimentarity of human sexuality is a part of God’s created gift which He saw as being very good. The complementarity of man and woman is an inherent part of our Lord’s creative genius and design. It is because man and woman are different yet complementary, that they are able to come together in a spousal union that is open to the possibility of new life. God’s loving plan included sexual desire to draw men and women together in the bond of marriage. This bond is directed to achieve two inseparable purposes. They are the expression of marital love (unity) and new life (procreation). This a key part of God’s natural law. “To the extent that man and woman cooperate with the divine plan by acting in accord with the order of nature, they not only bring to fulfillment their own individual human natures, but also accomplish the will of God.”
By its nature, the marital act finds fulfillment in the marital bond, providing the gifts of unity and procreation in a marital relationship, within the realm of God’s natural law. Sexual acts taking place outside the confines of the spousal marriage cannot fulfill with integrity the unity and procreativity for which God created the complementarity of man and woman within His creation. It is considered disordered, meaning that it does not follow the order of the natural law of God. St. Paul lists homosexual practices among many other activities that are not compatible with the Christian life, (1 Cor. 6, 9; 1 Tim. 1, 10). The Church teaches that homosexual acts are immoral, there is a significant difference between homosexual acts and having homosexual inclinations. We now have a picture of the role and the mandate of our sexuality within God’s grand scheme of creation. Next month, why homosexuality does not meet the criteria of natural law.
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.”