Rousing Her Radiance: Day 6
Ordering Our Courts
‘Beauty is the radiance of truth.’- Thomas Aquinas
I love this Church. Strength and clarity for the day arises from quiet contemplation on Christ Crucified. He points to the tabernacle below the crucifix where He deposits Himself in the host. I am grateful to hold this thought; addicts struggle to think beyond self-pleasure, and I am free now, able to savor the Source of my freedom.
Who can fathom the God-Man who gave all to gain you and me? More marvelous still, He opens the door of the tabernacle and beckons: ‘Eat and drink Me; I’m better than the false gods who wanted your blood. I offer Myself to compose you—to unite into wholeness what was “fragmented into multiplicity”’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2340).
The Holy Meal heals me. I am now a chaste-enough man but my wholeness hinges upon receiving His self-gift. The lure of the world in its broken images and ideas still beckons to me. This Jesus at the most visceral level reconfirms my chastity, that is, chaste Jesus frees me to mobilize for real love and connection while refusing divisive unrealities.
My masculine integrity is bridal. Manliness is first Marian. Like Mary, Christ-bearing can only be received, not attained. To be a faithful bridegroom I need the gift of the Bridegroom, over and over.
We who still recall the sting and seduction of unchastity need this Church and her head Jesus. The powers that create life can also destroy it; sins against chastity flare up and fan out to burn many.
There are more important goals in life than overcoming sexual sins, but few things disrupt and diminish one’s life more. Lust fractures spiritual sight and skews sound judgment and decision. Noble goals become impossible when captivated by unchastity.
Josef Pieper says it best: ‘To be open to the truth of real things and to live by the truth that one has grasped is the essence of the moral being. Only when we recognize this state of things can we likewise understand the depths to which the unchaste heart permits destruction to invade its very being.’
Pope Francis tends to scoff at Catholic ‘conservatives’,especially American ones, for majoring on ‘below the belt’ issues. All I can say is that a soul divided by unchastity is unable to proceed onto higher ground. Thank God for our beautiful Church! By her very design she invites us to recognize our divides and become united with the Source of freedom.
In her courts, our ‘courts’ find vision and power to be ordered aright. Order in her courts liberates ours.
‘Thank You Jesus that we can hold holy thoughts! And thank You for Your house in which we can gaze upon Your beauty and consume it. Faithful and true, You make a way for us to be faithful and true. May we aspire to and honor the ordering of our sexual gift. May order in the Church hasten the ordering of us as members; may we champion this order for all with hearts to hear.’
‘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.’