Rousing Her Radiance: Day 18
Smashing the Serpent #2
Grieved by our divides, made whole only though Divine Mercy, we stand and fight for Her radiance: the Church’s clear witness of chastity.
She has the authority to do so. And She must clarify Her good news. Now. A colleague of mine who works with teens in a local parish recounted how a ‘non-binary’ identified girl she serves is waiting for the results of the synod. ‘Have they said if it’s ok to be gay yet?’
She’s vulnerable, not clear on her sexuality and unformed in her faith. Yet in a sweet way she believes in Church authority. Will our Church rise in this hour and reveal Jesus who routs all counterfeits by confirming-in-love this teen’s original dignity?
Prophesying the deconstruction of sexual identity, Pope John Paul II re-envisioned us with Theology of the Body. Pope Benedict deepened and applied this truth in myriad ways. Their approach to a culture beginning to open to a consumer-driven array of sexual ‘selves’? Probe and clarify Church foundations. They mined treasure from Her depths. Both gave us a winsome vision of man and woman—wounded yes, but more subject to Love than shame in the light of radiant Jesus!
John Paul II clarified that Jesus redeems the true self He envisioned. He brings us back to the garden then plays it forward. He saves what He made.
Gratefully, groups like the Theology of the Body Institute have taken this truth and made it accessible to people of all ages and education levels.
Francis didn’t get the text. Or he’s not reading it. He seems to be reading the landscape differently. Rather than probing and raising Church foundations, he engages more from the surface, from what is evident in the world today. He makes sense of gender deconstruction by adopting LGBTQ+ language, as the current synodal document makes clear. This represents a big shift from the previous two synods which rightfully discouraged identifying and grouping people with sexual disorder.
The effect of such language is to neutralize identity brokenness until it’s not broken at all. The sexually disordered become a ‘sexual minority’—a people group, a temporary landing place for a confused person but not a home.
That vulnerable ‘non-binary’ teen needs to find her home on the Rock. Whatever her defense is, she remains a woman of dignity behind the rainbow veil. Only Love can rent that veil and only Jesus Himself, at work through His people (like my marvelous colleague), can help her rediscover that lost dignity.
‘Jesus, smash the serpent. May faithful synodal leaders (and all of us) raise foundations of love and truth today. Let darkness scatter as we envision and reclaim the original dignity of all people.’
‘Father, we thank You for Jesus who established the Church on a Rock against which hell will not prevail (Matt 16:18). We pray for every Christian leader to build on Her firm foundation of sexual clarity and integrity. Father, unmask the deceiver and divider of Christians and unite us in one Spirit. As weak members of Christ, we ask for truth to guide our pursuit of sexual wholeness, for grace to sustain it, and for spiritual power to transform us. May we reflect the chaste radiance of Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18) as we “shine like stars in the universe, holding out the word of life” (Phil. 2:15-16) to a lost and hurting world.’