Immaculate Conception, pray for us! 12/11/2015

Scripture (Luke 19:41-44) reveals Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. A daily commentary on each day’s Mass readings (“The Better Part”) says Jesus “looks down upon this city, chosen by God to be a lantern for the world, whose vocation is to be frustrated by the stubborn refusal of its leaders to admit God’s sovereignty.

“Jesus weeps… because he knows that those who reject God’s rule and the peace it brings simultaneously submit themselves to Satan’s view (we only have two options), and that means destruction.” One can only imagine how bitterly our Lord must weep over the confusion in our culture about God’s design for the gift of human sexuality and its misuse and degradation resulting from this confusion.

Of particular concern is the growing acceptance of homosexual behavior, same-sex “marriage” and transgenderism, all of which gravely distort and misuse God’s sacred gift of human sexuality. But other forms of misuse and degradation of human sexuality have received attention recently.

A Dec. 7 Omaha World Herald article reported that “sexting — the sharing of explicit sexual images and videos — is spreading to younger and younger kids, even middle schoolers.” And the internet, which nearly everyone has access to through the ubiquitous smart phone, has fueled an epidemic of pornography in our culture.

The U.S. Bishops addressed this epidemic in a just-released statement on pornography entitled Create in Me a Clean Heart. “The rise of the Internet presents the most dramatic difference between pornography in decades past and more recently,” the statement says. “While online media can be a fruitful avenue for evangelization and personal encounter, the Internet also runs the risk of appealing to a desire for instant gratification and replacing human presence with ‘virtual reality.’

“Online, pornography is instantly accessible, seemingly anonymous, mostly free, and has the appearance of being endlessly novel. This potent combination has had devastating effects on many men and women. The widespread availability of the Internet means that pornography is in the home, at work, and often literally at one’s fingertips with the prevalence of mobile devices.

“The Internet’s perceived anonymity can entice a person to view images or engage in activities that he or she would hesitate to do off-line, and the novelty of Internet pornography can itself be intoxicating, affecting brain chemistry and seducing viewers to keep clicking. In contrast to a magazine, the Internet has no final page.” The full statement can be seen on the U.S. Bishops’ website (search for “Create in Me a Clean Heart).

The misuse and degradation of human sexuality is also on display in music lyrics, movies, television programs, and advertisements. The objective seems to be to push the bounds of sexual degradation as far as possible.

This misuse and degradation is manifested in the fact that the Little Sisters of the Poor is having to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent the federal government from forcing them to participate in the distribution of abortion-inducing drugs and other contraceptives.

I’m confident that the numerous ways man misuses and degrades human sexuality makes our Lord weep. After all, He made human beings “capable of a higher kind of love than concupiscence, which only sees objects as a means to satisfy one’s appetites; the person is capable rather of friendship and self-giving, with the capacity to recognize and love persons for themselves.

“Like the love of God, this is a love capable of generosity. One desires the good of the other because he or she is recognized as worthy of being loved. This is a love which generates communion between persons, because each considers the good of the other as his or her own good.” [from the Vatican document Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality]

In 1959, the U.S. Bishops consecrated the United States to the Immaculate Conception. As we continue to ponder the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrated Dec. 8, let us ask our Blessed Mother to intercede for our nation before God that He would have mercy on our sins against purity and that our society will understand and live the true meaning and dignity of human sexuality