Monday, March 05, 2012
We Saw His Glory
I was going to start a little, tongue in cheek, campaign to unite under one head the Bishops' Conferences of England and Wales with that of Scotland, with its offices in Edinburgh, a not so subtle way of saving money and ensuring backbone was shared. I am not quite sure now, after listening to Cardinal O'Brien on the radio this morning, perhaps it was nervousness. There was nothing persuasive in what he said, others have already called it a rant. He rightly described the proposed change in the law as "madness", it would have been wise for him to have held the moral high ground and done his best to have appeared sane. At least there was no chance of it undergoing the process of some English cottage industry explaining to the ignorant uninformed what his Eminence really meant, it was characteristically in your face Glasgow Keith O'Brien.
We Christians are in the right but the rightness has to be carefully argued with those who are wrong. Haranguing people doesn't help. Remembering what we teach about marriage might be a start.
Marriage is both uniative and procreative, it is part of the Natural Law that the first: union, leads to the second: procreation. Natural Law is "natural" because it can be clearly demonstrated from empirical evidence and because it is reasonable. As Catholics we believe that human beings are rational and can for the most part be reasoned with.
Most of those who come to prepare for marriage, tend to have been living together for some time. When they decide to marry, it is that they want to provide the right environment for bringing up children. The vast majority of people want to marry and want children and want to bring them up in loving stable family. To be honest, they actually want that for other people and for society, even for those people whose same sex relationship is not intrinsically ordered to the procreation of children, they want something that comes close to this to it, because they sense it is good in itself, even those in a same sex relationship seem to recognise its goodness.
To inspire his disciples, to help them endure the Passion, the Lord allowed them see his Glory, he does not show them hell, on the contrary. Indeed the whole of the Gospels are an example of the showing forth of Glory, from the message of Angels, through healings and exorcisms and miracles, to the triumph of the Resurrection, even the Cross is given to us as Glorious Sacrifice, freely offered.
The Transfiguration is a vision of Christ's Divinity, the Resurrection, His Triumph, it is a Vision of Heaven, it is the other side of the Passion, it is the Reality of who Jesus Christ truly is.
In a world that seems to have lost hope, in which visions are drug induced nightmares we have a duty to offer a positive vision of the Divine.
It is honey versus vinegar.
In the inevitable debate about the nature of marriage we need to proclaim Glory of Christian marriage. Yes, in charity and with reason, we can point out the deficiencies of our opponents arguments but our understanding is more glorious, more rational, more of a reflection of true humanity, more liberating, more divine.
Those things done according to the Natural Law are destined by their nature to endure because they are intimately connect to life, those contrary to the Natural Law will wither and fail because they are about death.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake