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Any wife ought to say what she believes is right, in conversation with her husband, but in obedience to Christ and the Apostles she ought always to speak with respect, and bearing in mind the fact that, in God's sight, her husband is the head of the household; and God wants her to honour him as the head, according to the tradition.
Heroic people in England and Wales have defended the truths of the Catholic Faith, throughout fifteen hundred years - St. Thomas More and St. Margaret Clitheroe amongst them. In our day, brave witness is necessary if people are to realise that it is wrong to kill unborn babies, and that marriage requires a man and a woman to keep their vows, and live together in charity, open to life, in an exclusive relationship which is life-long.
One sin leads so easily to another; for example, when a woman idolises the man she loves, co-habits with him, pursues a career to be a glittering partner to him, rather that have a family, and then finds she is pregnant, she slides more easily into the grave sin of abortion than a woman who has already been prayerful and disciplined for God's sake, in a loving marriage begun in Church: a woman not ashamed to carry our ordinary domestic tasks, and who sees every baby as a gift from God to her and to her husband.
If we could see into the womb of a pregnant woman, as if through a window, we would see a tiny infant, given life by God, and meant to receive love and education by its parents, in preparation for a good life on earth, and the eventual gift of Heaven. How blessed are those children who are welcomed as the fruit of their parent's union, as God intends.
Marriage can bring tremendous joys, but there are dangers to avoid: sins to be avoided in order to lead holy married lives, to create a holy family, and to help one another, by God's grace, to be worthy of Heaven. The downward path which leads to darkness represents the way taken when people disobey God by contraceptive use, or deviant sex, or adultery, or other forms of grave betrayal or uncharity.
When a Government proposes that small children must learn about sex and reproduction, with no reference to God or morality, or chastity or marriage, they destroy the innocence of the young, impose an atheistic outlook, usurp the role of parents, who should teach children when they are older, and help, in effect, to destroy the school as surely (though in a different way) as if a gang of thugs were tearing down a wall.
Jesus Christ our God asks us to gaze above the rooftops, and across the whole of our land. He asks us to be aware that in this supposedly Christian country, in a supposedly civilised world, some politicians want to issue edicts that forbid us to teach right and wrong - especially about marriage, and purity.
We should be able to defend the Faith. It is not superstition. We believe in things Divinely revealed, but our faith is not unreasonable. God's beauty, power and laws are discernable in nature - including our nature and conscience. There is historical evidence for Christ's life; and His friends were transformed and made brave by His Resurrection. We have two thousand years of evidence - despite sins and mistakes - that Catholicism elevates society, marriage, government, education, treatment of the sick, and children, and brings peace, and hope of Heaven.
By trust, we help to build a good society. Christ set us an example by entrusting Himself to human care. He asks spouses to trust one another. He asks mothers to be worthy of their children's trust. He wants children to be able to trust their teachers, and the sick to be able to trust those who look after them; and the elderly too, even if they are not sick, should be with people they can trust.
Christ as an infant in the care of His Mother has set us an example of complete trust, which is a quality necessary for the good functioning of a good society. God the Father has arranged that people everywhere entrust themselves to the care of others: babies to parents, children to teachers, elderly people to their grown-up children, and spouses trusting one another. A good society should be ordered on the pre-supposition that citizens desire to lead good lives.
A couple who enter marriage while planning to disobey the moral laws, for example, by the use of contraceptives, or having agreed to divorce if they don't feel happy, are in great spiritual danger. It's as if they enter a meadow to begin the dancing after their wedding, yet do so near an old well, unfenced, nearby. It is very likely that someone will fall in and be lost.
When a person convinces herself that she is justified in a course of action, freely deciding to disobey God's laws - especially His laws about married love, it's as if she slides away downhill, in a snowy landscape, so slippery as to be like a ski-slope. It is very hard for her to return to the heights of a state of grace after such a lapse in faith and morals. Indeed, it is impossible, without God's grace, and without a willingness to change.
Priests, especially, must not regret their state of life. We cannot avoid all suffering, in this life, but God can help us to bear it. No-one should envy people who have another vocation. Which is the greater sacrifice: doing without marriage, to become a priest, or suffering within a difficult marriage, to be faithful to the Lord's teaching? God the Father will reward all who make sacrifices for His sake, since He is just.
There is more to voting that supporting an attractive person. Policies matter. The Lord invites us to reflect on this matter, as we try to decide whom to vote for, in elections for Government: Are these people, or those, the more likely to encourage in our country the sort of life and behaviour that pleases God? Do politicians who support family life also desire to help the weak and needy? Do politicians seeking power want to promote further abortion provision, and contraceptive provision to children, whilst not favouring marriage? We need to support those who do good.
It takes courage to be faithful to Catholic teaching on marriage. What Christ wants to see are many more faithful Catholic women: women who accept God's plan for married life, for example, and who avoid all sinful practices so common in our culture, and who do not neglect their children; women who pursue a career only if their children are genuinely well cared for; women who do not see it as demeaning to serve the family, and to respect their husbands, yet with each spouse respecting the other.
If we want to be saved, we must abandon our sins, like good people of past ages. Wise people follow the teaching of the Church. It is Christ Who wants us to believe what she tells us about faith and morals. There are people who call themselves 'practicing Catholics', however, whose ways of life include acts regarded with horror, for centuries: unchastity, contraceptive us, divorce with attempted re-marriage, and a failure to hand on the Faith to their families. Everyone needs the Divine grace given through prayer and the Sacraments, to be able to put the Catholic Faith into practice.
It is as if they are choosing to dive into darkness, whenever Catholics decide to ignore the teaching of the Church and follow a way of life always regarded by Christians with horror - involving unchastity, contraceptive use, divorce and attempted re-marriage, combined with a failure to hand on the Faith in its entirety to the children they do have. To ignore the Church's teaching is to ignore Christ, Who guides her by His Spirit - although Christ sees that some people are not entirely blameworthy, perhaps because of fear or ignorance.
It is a tragedy, when Christian bodies vote to discard long-standing Christian doctrines and offer a truncated version of Faith, having abandoned efforts to believe or share God's laws. Various leaders jettison - as if from a ship, into the deep - the truths that the Catholic Church still teaches about holy, indisoluble marriage, about sexuality, chastity, a male-only priesthood, and other matters.
As if throwing precious cargo into the sea, there are non-Catholic Christians who delight in discarding long-standing Christian beliefs because they want to fit in with popular culture, mistakenly supposing that they will draw people to Christ. It is a dreadful thing, in Heaven's sight, that prominent Christians, through the desire to be 'modern', can encourage others to ignore God's laws about sexuality, marriage, and other tremendously important matters to do with salvation.
The Purpose of the Priesthood, by Elizabeth Wang
‘The Purpose of the Priesthood contains encouragement and advice for Catholic priests. It reminds them about the central meaning of the Priesthood, and about the need to teach the Catholic Faith in it...
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