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Homily
Fr. Paul Ward

Sunday, November 6, 2016
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

 

Social Doctrine (7/7): The Capital Sin of Lust and the Public Square

 

1.    

   Today we shall finish a cycle of seven homilies which I have spread through the fall on the topic of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church. In each I have taken one of the capital sins, discussed its manifestations in society and then pointed to social doctrines that show the world a way out of slavery to so many sins. The last capital sin is that of lust. I take the Lord’s words from the Gospel regarding marriage as a cue; ah, if I had time, I’d like to give a whole homily just on today’s Gospel.

   There is a challenge preaching about this topic because there’s so much to say; but also because of the fact that there are young and innocent ears present among us. Parents should be the ones to teach their kids the important and beautiful plan God has for marriage and procreation – yes, parents, not school programs – and so I ask you all to pray for me as I proceed, that I may be as modest in speech as effective in preaching. But grave matters must be addressed, especially in light of the elections approaching.

   It is no secret that we live in a very impure, immodest and promiscuous society. These evils of the world have affected every one alive today, in different degrees and in different ways. It is important to recognize one’s wounds and errors in such matters, so as to turn to God’s mercy and ask for his help that each one life with purity according to his state in life. For God created the body as something good, and in the body we serve him; we do not say that marital intimacies are unchaste – they are chaste – but we do say that those faculties of the human person are easy to abuse, to dedicate to selfish pleasure, or even to the manipulation of others.

   The evils protected, and I dare say promoted, by the political societies of our times, most especially now here in America, of which I desire to speak today are these: abortion, “gay marriage” (or the political equivalence of sodomy to marriage) and the state’s promotion of contraception. There are other problems, and still more that do not have a specific, major political backing, such as young people living together without marriage and pornography. But these three should assist us in discerning when it comes to casting a vote.

   First, abortion. We as Catholics always encourage women who have been wounded by abortions to have trust in God – there is mercy with him, and yes, one, can start over with the Lord. So as I speak here of abortion, it is not with hostility, but with mercy for women and their babies; and my hostility towards the position of abortion held by some politicians is out of love, to protect our dear sisters in the Lord.

   Why this great war on the unborn child? To understand abortion we must understand its diabolical origins and trace its path; we will see that the abortion is like the conclusion of a very, very mistaken argument. The demons hate God and wish to destroy us; this we know. And as in marriage, humans imitate the love of the Trinity, the unity of persons of the Trinity, and the creativity of the Trinity through procreation, they attack marriage with special acumen. Furthermore, when the goods of marriage – adults know what I mean – are abused, life-lasting wounds arise, and demons want that for us, too. And so there are so many temptations of the flesh, so much immodesty in music and films, so much perversity on the internet. (Studies show that the average age when a child first sees hard-core porn is eleven. Let parents note this, and prepare their children – by age 11, St. Maria Goretti knew what the sin was, and that it was mortal, and died at the hands of an assailant to protect her virginity.)

   Now, mortal humans, who take immense pleasure in these kinds of things of the flesh – pleasure in the body, and pleasure in the emotions – are more than happy, often, to comply with the demons, becoming willful slaves to this sin. And when one things lead to another, there’s a pregnancy. Intimacy is a beautiful and serious thing, meant by God for marriage; and of its nature has this serious consequence, namely, the conception of a child, which is a life-changing thing for every parent. And so men and women, who wish to live with promiscuity, but without consequences, try to find ways to get rid of the conceived child. One means is contraception. And if contraception “fails,” people turn to abortion. Abortion, then, stands as the ultimate failsafe for promiscuous singlehood, and childless marriage. It is the ultimate sign of selfishness, the sacrament of demons. This is why the bad guys need to have it so badly.

   Abortion, however, destroys babies. It grievously wounds mommies. It distorts daddies. It eliminates population, worse than the black plague, with all the societal demise that always necessarily comes with shrinking populations. It pits man against woman. It trains both sexes to use each other as objects. It is a lack of love in the extreme degree. It is murder.

   If you, then, vote for a politician that is in favor of abortion, you are then giving that politician power to promote this evil in society according to the nature of his political office. You become a collaborator in sin. You become a collaborator in abortion. You become a co-murderer. It is because the Catholics of our times are so poorly educated that they cannot see this obvious logic. Remember also that a politician that will murder a baby in his mother’s own womb will not stop there. In fact, certain candidates for a certain party have a long line of dead bodies that surround their political activity. If they’ll kill a baby, they’ll kill you as soon as they think they have a good reason to do so.

   It is not enough to say that you are voting for the pro-abortion candidate for some other political reason. When the people of a society are killed by politicians in this matter, until that gets solved, there is no other political discourse. Abortion isn’t just “one issue,” as the empty rhetoric of the left likes to say, accusing pro-life voters of being simply stupid or unsophisticated by calling us “one issue voters.” It is all the issues wrapped up in one.

   Incidentally, we have a presidential candidate and a “Catholic” vice presidential candidate who are rabidly pro-abortion. You will commit a grave sin if you vote for them, for the reasons just stated. If we love women, if we love babies, if we love God and neighbor, we must fight abortion.

   Besides abortion, there is the evil of contraception. I have said something about this already. At this point I wish only to add a reminder of the HHS mandate. In 2012, as a result of “Obamacare,” or the Un-“affordable care act,” Health and Human Services under Sibelius mandated that contraceptives be provided for everybody by health coverage. This would mean that even the Catholic Church would be providing contraceptives. Of course, we as a Church could not accept that. Indeed, the Catholic Church almost alone among the Christian Churches condemns their use, making the HHS a nearly direct attack directly on Catholics, indeed, on Catholic moral teachings. If anyone here does not realize that this is persecution, then you really need to wake up. There was some initial resistance, but the resistance puttered out, and now no one really knows what the Church is doing on this; I can only presume that the health care providers hired by Catholic services are complying with the HHS mandate. I think of the times of Henry VIII, when all the bishops committed apostasy against Rome and declared Henry, the King of England, as the head of the Church – except one, St. John Fisher, who paid for his fidelity to Rome with a beheading. Where are the John Fishers of our times? I think they’re too busy fundraising, having committee meetings and trying to stomp out traditional religious practices.

   A third evil promoted especially by one of the parties in the current election is that of equating two sodomites with marriage. All of you who are married should feel insulted. Indeed, we currently have a Catholic vice president who is proud to preside over rituals which are called, and I hardly get the words out, “gay weddings.” Give me a break. This, too, is an attack on marriage; and as marriage is the building block and foundation of society, this attack is just one more toll of the bell marking something dreadful.

   What is this dreadful thing? The collapse of our civilization.

   Much more could I say on these important topics, and I know you could, too, if we were to discuss them, say, over a cup of tea. But it is time now to turn to the solution – the Eucharistic sacrifice. The Lord loves us and has mercy on us, and will come again; sin has no power over him. Let us, held by the hand by Mary the Virgin Mother of God, go to the altar to ask God to rid the world of sins of lust, to cure our society against these and so many other attacks on marriage, and even to heal our own lives, where we may have been injured by sins against the sixth, so that one day, forgiven and healed, we may join the angels and saints forever in heaven. Amen.


 

 

 


 

Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Librevia Editrice Vaticana

 

Vatican Website

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

Archives of Homilies on Elijah during Lent 2016

 

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