How Can We Respond To The Nationalization of Same-Sex Marriage?

Responding to the Supreme Court’s Decision
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Confraternity,

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision, which nationalized same-sex marriage in the United States, has initiated many new challenges for the Church in our country, and among those challenges is a new obstacle to purity. The sad thing is that those who are rejoicing most in the decision are the same ones who will be hurt the most by it.

I am going to leave the discussion about the issues regarding religious freedom to others. Instead I want to address the way in which this decision hampers our mission as a confraternity and to suggest some ways we can react positively to this new challenge.

The great struggle with sins against purity is that they wound us deeply. They cut close to our most fundamental desires and their healing requires the strength of God Himself. As a result of our weakness before sinful desire we often find it easier to pretend that they are not problems or to pretend that the way to heal them is to give in to them. When a society legitimizes these behaviors, it gives those who struggle with them a greater temptation to continue being enslaved by them. And sadly this is what has been done in our country time and time again under the influence of the sexual revolution, and yesterday’s decision provides yet another way to hide a wounded desire. In effect, we have become socially blind to the trials of those who struggle with same-sex attraction and who want to live lives of purity.

What shall we do in response to this blindness? How can we aid those who struggle with same-sex attraction to live lives of purity?

The first thing we can do is to resist the temptation to despair. The Psalmist says, “Put no trust in princes, in mortal men in whom there is no help.” (Ps. 146) Human power is not enough to overcome sins against purity, either individually or socially. “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Ps. 124) He is the one who holds all things in His hands, and we know that in the end He will make all things right despite our human failings..

The second thing we can do is pray for the strength to be ready to talk about the need for purity with others. It is a scary thing to talk about Catholic sexual morality in public, for we are often laughed at or ridiculed for our understanding of purity. But if we do not talk about it who will?

The third thing to do is to be ready to respond to hatred with Christian love. This love can take many forms. It can take the form of prayer, where we pray by name for those who are in bad situations and who may not want conversion. It can take the form of a friendly invitation, always keeping the door open for those who may not be ready to turn away from sin. It may take the form of forgiveness, when we forgive those who hurt us or others by their sins. No matter what form it takes, let us ask God for the grace always to respond to hatred with Christian love.

The last thing I have to suggest is to pray for inspirations about how to spread our message of purity better. What kind of initiatives can we undertake to help others come closer to God and to purity? We are in great need of new initiatives, and so I encourage all of you to think and pray about ways we can do this more effectively, for the souls of many hang in the balance.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, let us pray more fervently and ask the Lord for guidance and for strength. For He alone is the source our hope, and without Him we can do nothing. Let us trust even more that He will lead us out of these dark times into the light of eternal glory.

Yours in Christ and St. Thomas,
Fr. Ambrose, OP

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