07 June 2011

Hope: the cure

I was thinking more about Pope Benedict's message about openness to life and my conversation with Chad and Dillon on the way home from Henderson, KY. At first, I thought: "here is a good opportunity to teach what is wrong with contraception" because contraception is a violation of hope, among other things. I was tempted to teach in this way because rationally speaking contraception is the linchpin of all sexual morality. It seems to me, however true this is, it would amount to treating a symptom rather than the disease. You see, the disease is lack of hope. Contraception, however important, is a symptom. I am not much of a doctor, but it does seem to me that the cure has to be directed to the disease and not to a symptom.

I learned this lesson from an otherwise unfortunate encounter with the Neo-Catechecumenal Way. The Neo-Cats did not teach what was wrong with abortion directly, but everyone coming through the catechesis understood what was wrong with it. The point basically is this: it is a lot easier to come to acceptance of the moral law as a whole when it flows from the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the way, the truth, and the life, and not the other way around, because the truth comes in one big package that way rather than in discrete little bits, each one of which has to be argued on it's own. When I become convinced that the truth of Jesus Christ subsists in the Catholic Church, then all manner of things fall into place, including a proper understanding of openness to life in the marital act. I have opened myself in that case to faith, hope, and charity. Rather than having to correct every deficiency of hope individually, I am filled up with hope across the board. My confidence that God can be trusted makes me open to children, certainly, and to so many other things too! It is really the answer, for example, to the very depressing meeting we had about the Priests' Benefit Foundation yesterday afternoon. It is reasonable for the diocese to make financial provision for the support and care of retired clergy. It is unreasonable for fear about the future to enter the discussion, and that is what happened. I wish that everyone at the meeting yesterday could have been at the cook-out at the Bishop's house on Saturday evening with the seminarians and prospective seminarians. They would have had hope. Money is not security. Fruitfulness is.

Of course, there are many lessons for me in all of this, lest I get on my high horse! I can just hear some of you thinking: "physician, heal thyself!" And you would be right. Come, Holy Spirit, and fill me with hope!

This post seems very convoluted. I hope that you are getting what I am proposing. It is dangerous to wake up very early with something that you just have to write down!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:The Vortex of Despair


Diezba said...

Not quite I sure I get this one, mon Pere:--

(1) Why was the encounter with the Neo-Cats unfortunate? I've heard they're legit;

(2) Don't let the priest's benefits foundation meeting get you down: just remember how you answered me when I asked, "Who supports priests when they're old since they don't have children?"

(3) Are those who are clinging to monetary hopes for their old-age support afraid because they have no vocations to support them?

CeeCee said...

You wrote this from "the vortex of despair"? When were you in Memphis?

talamarieb said...

Yes, is Memphis nice this time of year?

Padre, voglio pregare per voi in Italia! Noi continueremo ad avere speranza!