Friday, September 16, 2011

When Souls Mattered More Than Being PC...

I've recently read a blog post from a blogger that I really respect that seemed to equate not embracing a particular action that Catholicism teaches is a sin, with "hating" everyone who struggles with this sin.  I was sad to see this normally grounded Catholic mom, who I really respect and love to read, embrace the mentality that not loving a sin means you're a bigot who hates the person struggling with temptation.  I'm not going to link to the post, because I'd like to address the issue in a broader way rather than focusing on one controversial topic, which I think could obscure the entire point of the post.

Once upon a time souls, which are immortal, were seen as more important than the physical momentary pleasures of this world. People still struggled with all the same sins we struggle with today, but maybe it was tiny bit easier for the average person to turn away from temptation, because people knew what their neighbors would think and how society would react if their actions were laid bare.  The effects of giving in to concupiscence wasn't just some far off, abstract fate, because there could and likely would be consequences in this world as well as the next.  The sinner was told that he or she needed to repent, rather than being told that "we're all okay" or that "the path of love says that I can't tell you that what you're doing is upsetting to God, because that would make you sad or uncomfortable and if I say something that makes you sad or uncomfortable in any way, that can't possibly be loving, right?"

Today you can find someone to say pretty much any sin is A-Okay and absolutely normal.  The mainstream media does its best to normalize whatever they feel should be normalized, while vilifying any Christian figure with a backbone as a hate-filled bigot.  There's no understanding of the concept of hating a sin, but loving the person struggling with the sin, because we all have to be okay with everything everyone does or we're "judging" them.

And that's the next quote you're likely to hear.  "Jesus says not to judge!  So you can't say this is wrong!" usually spoken with a triumphant air.  They have no idea that applying this to any rebuke over any action is a complete twisting of Jesus' teaching.  It's like taking a sound bite from the scripture, while ignoring it's context and relationship to other verses (like John 7 for example, where Jesus tells us not to judge by appearances but to judge with right judgement).

You see, our souls still are more important than the pleasures of the moment.  It's not kindness to pretend that something is okay when we know it's a serious sin.  We shouldn't hate anyone.  But we also shouldn't pretend that we can all go around doing whatever we want and everything will be okay.

I won't be pointing out all the rampant examples of fornication that we see in our culture and telling my kids that those people are sinners.  But I will explain to them over and over again that sex outside the sacrament of marriage, which it was created for, is a serious sin and is very wrong, no matter what society says.

Does the fact that I believe sex outside of marriage is wrong mean that I hate everyone who struggles with, or embraces, this particular sin?  Of course not.  I feel sorrow when I think of how normalized this sin become in the media and in our society in general... I'm deeply saddened by how something beautiful and life-giving is twisted and viewed as an animal impulse... to see it used in a way that degrades and damages rather than a beautiful part of the vocation that so many of us are called to.

 So let us not apologize for believing what the Church teaches and for lovingly applying those teachings in our lives.  Let us not be so afraid of what others think, that we kowtow to the whims and norms of a society that is becoming increasingly amoral.  Let us love God with all our hearts, and let us live lives that show the world that fact, by loving everyone, but turning away from sin and embracing what is truly possible when we let God have the proper place at the center of our lives.


  1. I'd say the following is a shameless plug for my blog, but I don't write on it often enough to promote. However, I did do a post reflecting on similar thoughts a while back, which can be found here

    if anyone is interested.

  2. Amen, amen, amen.

    (By the way, I'm wearing my new snood to Mass this weekend!!) :)

  3. I've been thinking about this same topic a lot lately. Thank you so much! You said it so well!


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