Growing up, I rarely found a good explanation for why premarital sex was wrong beyond a few "Church slogans" like, "Sex belongs in marriage" and "If you love the person you will wait." While these statements are true, they needed deeper explanation, which often was met with blank stares. Then I encountered philosophy, scripture, and St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body.
In our Gospel this Sunday we hear that God does not always want to uproot the weeds (evil) in the midst of our community. Evil insinuates itself so that if it were to be uprooted, we would be uprooted along with it. Instead God turns the weeds in an opportunity for grace and sainthood. This is the genius of our God, who can turn something as ugly as a cross into something that becomes a symbol of love and forgiveness.
Understanding the origin of evil, and reconciling an all powerful, knowing, and loving God with a world that is burdened by malice has been a long-standing struggle for many. The Church has answers both philosophical, theological and mystical that can help us begin to understand where God's love and grace are to be found in the midst of our experience of evil.
We know that God's love is unconditional, but this doesn't imply he lacks standards. The standards, however are simple statements about the truth of that relationship. In the Gospel this Sunday, Jesus teaches us what kind of disposition is unworthy of Him.
St. Thomas Aquinas was of the opinion that if a priest didn't know much about the angels, he was a bad priest. When I heard that, I decided that I needed to spend more time reflecting on this entirely unique community that God has created, and that we will one day join in the afterlife. Who are the angels, what can they do, and how do we keep ourselves safe from the demons who rejected God's love?
One of the hot-button topics today in and outside of the Church is "human-sexuality." Before we set forward with pastoral out-reach we should make sure we understand the Church's teaching and embrace it, so that what we seek to invite others towards, we ourselves are already embracing in our personal-lives.
In this pod-cast we discuss merely the fundamentals of human sexuality according to Church teaching. This involves the differences between men and women as images of the Trinity, matters of chastity and interior freedom, a brief look at contraception, and so forth. Enjoy!