November 6, 2022
THAT gospel episode where
Christ was asked about marriage and divorce (cfr. Lk 20,27-38) gives
us an occasion to clarify the true nature and purpose of both human
sexuality and marriage. It’s a clarification that, I believe, is
most urgent these days, considering the widespread ignorance,
confusion and error these aspects of our human life now suffer.
Our main problem with
respect to our understanding and attitude toward human sexuality is
that this has been reduced to a purely biological and human aspect
of hormones, passions, urges, instincts, sensual stimuli and genital
activity, and a naturalistic sense of decency and nothing more.
This is giving it an
incomplete, inadequate if not distorted and dangerous treatment. We
need to bring it to the terra firma of its true nature and
character, its authentic beginning, purpose and end, away from the
swamps and marshes of the sensually, if not genitally, dominated
Sexuality is reduced to
sex. Worse, sex is made the end-all of our sexuality. All other
considerations are made secondary, and even ignored, ridiculed and
finally rejected. Thus, there is that growing, headlong drift toward
an erotic and pornographic culture, at first hidden and later open.
Because of this
phenomenon, sexuality is not anymore inspired by reason, let alone,
by faith and love. Instead, the savagery of the passions and urges
is given free rein, with the matching fruits of all kinds of
anomalies and perversions.
Many people are abandoning
even the basic natural idea of masculinity and femininity. That our
sexuality is first of all a gift from God, meant to enable men and
women to complement each other not only for human development but
ultimately for the final communion among ourselves and with God, is
As to marriage, there is
no doubt that we need to revisit its true nature and purpose, since
this basic human and Christian institution is now besieged with so
many misconceptions and malpractices.
There is a need to realize
and appreciate more deeply that marriage, not only as a natural
institution but also and especially as a sacrament, is a path to
sanctity not only for the husband and wife but also for the family,
and from the family, for the society and the Church in general.
We need to see the organic
link among these key elements: the marriage between man and woman,
and the family they generate, as well as the society of which the
family is the basic cell and the universal Church of which the
family is considered the domestic church.
Seeing that link, we would
appreciate the strategic role that marriage plays in the life of men
and women in the world. We would appreciate the tremendous potential
good that marriage can give to all of us.
That is why everything has
to be done to make marriage achieve its fullest dignity. And that
means that we have to purify and elevate the love that is the very
germ of marriage to the supernatural order.
That love has to develop
from simply being natural and body-emotion-world reliant to being
more and more spiritual and supernatural, driven by grace rather
than by merely natural forces.
With the sacrament of
marriage, the love between husband and wife is already guaranteed to
have all the graces needed to make that marriage reach its fullness.
What is needed is the faithful and generous correspondence of the
parties concerned to those graces.