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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Romans, Chapter 14, Verse 15
If your brother is being hurt by what you eat, your conduct is no longer in accord with love. Do not because of your food destroy him for whom Christ died.

Adjust your habits and traditions remembering that the mind like the body can be demanding of its own way and must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit. Contemplate you do not have to believe or act on all the things the mind tells you of the things/pleasures and entertainments it wants.

The body like the mind also needs to be disciplined; the body is an excellent servant but a poor master.  When we obey the voice of our servant the body it ultimately leads to our destruction and eventually we walk in darkness.  Yet, when we trust in the Lord and master our bodies from addiction and or lusts of the flesh we thrive.  God’s ultimate wish is for us to thrive.  The Lord offers a choice to those who walk in darkness: either trust in the true light, or walk in their false light and suffer the consequences.

James 1:12-15 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”


Amoris Lætitia[1] Passionate love, marriage and virginity (158-162)
Many people who are unmarried are not only devoted to their own family but often render great service in their group of friends, in the Church community and in their professional lives. Sometimes their presence and contributions are overlooked, causing in them a sense of isolation. Many put their talents at the service of the Christian community through charity and volunteer work. Others remain unmarried because they consecrate their lives to the love of Christ and neighbor. Their dedication greatly enriches the family, the Church and society. ”Virginity is a form of love. As a sign, it speaks to us of the coming of the Kingdom and the need for complete devotion to the cause of the Gospel. It is also a reflection of the fullness of heaven, where “they neither marry not are given in marriage.” Saint Paul recommended virginity because he expected Jesus’ imminent return and he wanted everyone to concentrate only on spreading the Gospel: “the appointed time has grown very short.” Nonetheless, he made it clear that this was his personal opinion and preference, not something demanded by Christ: “I have no command in the Lord.” All the same, he recognized the value of the different callings: “Each has his or her own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.” Reflecting on this, Saint John Paul II noted that the biblical texts “give no reason to assert the ‘inferiority’ of marriage, nor the ‘superiority’ of virginity or celibacy” based on sexual abstinence. Rather than speak absolutely of the superiority of virginity, it should be enough to point out that the different states of life complement one another, and consequently that some can be more perfect in one way and others in another. Alexander of Hales, for example, stated that in one sense marriage may be considered superior to the other sacraments, inasmuch as it symbolizes the great reality of “Christ’s union with the Church, or the union of his divine and human natures”. Consequently, “it is not a matter of diminishing the value of matrimony in favor of continence.” “There is no basis for playing one off against the other… If, following a certain theological tradition, one speaks of a ‘state of perfection’; this has to do not with continence in itself, but with the entirety of a life based on the evangelical counsels.” A married person can experience the highest degree of charity and thus “reach the perfection which flows from charity, through fidelity to the spirit of those counsels. Such perfection is possible and accessible to every man and woman.” The value of virginity lies in its symbolizing a love that has no need to possess the other; in this way it reflects the freedom of the Kingdom of Heaven. Virginity encourages married couples to live their own conjugal love against the backdrop of Christ’s definitive love, journeying together towards the fullness of the Kingdom. For its part, conjugal love symbolizes other values. On the one hand, it is a particular reflection of that full unity in distinction found in the Trinity. The family is also a sign of Christ. It manifests the closeness of God who is a part of every human life, since he became one with us through his incarnation, death and resurrection. Each spouse becomes “one flesh” with the other as a sign of willingness to share everything with him or her until death. Whereas virginity is an “eschatological” sign of the risen Christ, marriage is a “historical” sign for us living in this world, a sign of the earthly Christ who chose to become one with us and gave himself up for us even to shedding his blood. Virginity and marriage are, and must be, different ways of loving. For “Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him.”  Celibacy can risk becoming a comfortable single life that provides the freedom to be independent, to move from one residence, work or option to another, to spend money as one sees fit and to spend time with others as one wants. In such cases, the witness of married people becomes especially eloquent. Those called to virginity can encounter in some marriages a clear sign of God’s generous and steadfast fidelity to his covenant, and this can move them to a more concrete and generous availability to others. Many married couples remain faithful when one of them has become physically unattractive, or fails to satisfy the other’s needs, despite the voices in our society that might encourage them to be unfaithful or to leave the other. A wife can care for her sick husband and thus, in drawing near to the Cross, renew her commitment to love unto death. In such love, the dignity of the true lover shines forth, inasmuch as it is more proper to charity to love than to be loved. We could also point to the presence in many families of a capacity for selfless and loving service when children prove troublesome and even ungrateful. This makes those parents a sign of the free and selfless love of Jesus. Cases like these encourage celibate persons to live their commitment to the Kingdom with greater generosity and openness. Today, secularization has obscured the value of a life-long union and the beauty of the vocation to marriage. For this reason, it is “necessary to deepen an understanding of the positive aspects of conjugal love.”





[1] Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.

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