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Archive for the ‘07 Observation’ Category

Soul

In 07 Observation on 2017/01/20 at 12:00 AM

Silence…Simplicity…Spirituality…Serenity

Service…Satisfaction…Survival…Sacrifice

Solitude…Seriousness…Self-Denial…Sensibility

Sincerity…Surrender…Submission…Security

Sacred…Sacrament…SAVIOR…SALVATION

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Fruitfulness

In 07 Observation on 2017/01/20 at 12:00 AM

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“The FRUIT

of SILENCE, is PRAYER,

of prayer, is FAITH,

of faith, is LOVE,

of love, is SERVICE,

of service, is PEACE.

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta

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Friendship by Fr. Joshua Voitus

In 07 Observation on 2016/12/15 at 12:00 AM

Misuse of the word “friend” in our modern society is unfortunate: friendship has been diluted to include mere acquaintances, even people on the internet whom we might not even really know. A lack of proper understanding of friendship diminishes our ability to form true spiritual friendships with people here on earth. But even more tragic is that this misunderstanding of friendship also has the potential to damage our relationship with God.

At their core, authentic friendships – like any relationship based on love – involve two or more people who seek the good of the other. True friends, then, aside from sharing common interests and enjoying each other’s company (of course, which is important, as you cannot truly build a friendship without spending time with the other), build each other up in word and in action. This building up reaches its peak and perfection in each friend assisting the other, not only in earthly tasks and trials, but in reaching the ultimate good of heaven.

Think, then, how important true friends are in our journey home to God! They will not only encourage us in our following of Christ, but they will also admonish us when we fail to live as we ought.

As St. Ambrose tells us in“On the Duties of the Clergy,” “(R)ebukes are good, and often better than a silent friendship … for the ‘wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of flatterers.’ (Proverbs 27:6) Rebuke, then, your erring friend … for friendship ought to be steadfast and to rest firm in true affection.”

A true friend will, therefore, love us enough to share in our joy and encourage us in virtue, and also have concern enough for us to correct us when we stray from the true path. For our part, if we are to be good friends, we must have the courage to do the same. Friendship, then, involves not only joy and happiness, but, at times, a sense of sacrifice when we might have to put aside our own desires to rebuke a friend or – far more painfully – humbly receive a rebuke from a true friend.

We must, therefore, recognize that friendship, in its authentic sense, is more than merely liking somebody’s company or having mutual interests. It implies a certain mutual exchange of love and concern for the good of the other, even to the point of a certain sacrifice of time or comfort. This exchange not only aids and supports us in our quest to grow in virtue and struggle against sin, but it can become a model in this life for our relationship with God Himself.

Our misunderstanding of the nature of authentic human friendship may potentially lead us to a misunderstanding of what God calls us to when He says He desires to be our friend.

Yes, God invites us to friendship with Himself: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends.” (John 15:15).

I can think of no higher calling than to be a friend of God Himself. Yet, if we misunderstand the nature of true friendship, then we run the risk of misunderstanding the nature of the relationship to which God is calling us.

A true friendship is, among other qualities, a mutual exchange of love and concern for the other. God, for His part, has demonstrated this love and concern in countless ways. He has done so in the act of our creation, in His revealing of Himself and His Will through the law and through Christ (who is the very word of God and is God Himself), and, ultimately in the sacrifice of the Cross, for “greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Even God, like a true friend, rebukes us when we go astray so that we may return to Him in love.

This free gift of God is wonderful, but if we are to be true friends of God, it is not enough for us to passively “like” what He has done for us as we would a “friend” on Facebook. Rather, we are called to an active response to His love – a response of love which impels us to follow God, even sacrificing ourselves and our desires to serve Him, just as we would a true friend.

Christ Himself says much the same thing when He tells the Apostles, “you are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:14) To be friends of God, we must treat Him as we would a true friend. We must spend time with Him in prayer (especially prayer before the Blessed Sacrament). We must study scripture and the teachings of the Church to learn His will (much like we would seek to find out the desire of our friend), and follow His will, even to the point of giving up anything which might separate us from Him. Then may we call ourselves true friends of God: people who know Him, love Him and serve Him, and who give thanks for all that He has done for us in friendship and in love.

Thus we can see how all true friendship is based on the love of God. All true friends will seek to guide each other, ultimately, to the supreme good which is God. They will do so even if it means discomfort or sacrifice. They will place the other person before themselves. By doing so, they provide a mirror and an example for the friendship to which God calls each one of us. Let us pray that we may be blessed by God with true friends in this life, and that we share in the joy of perfect friendship with Him now and in the life to come.

Father Joshua Voitus is the parochial vicar of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Charlotte. Read the Nov.9 online at www. catholicnewsherald.com.

Merciful Forgiveness

In 07 Observation on 2016/12/09 at 12:00 AM

We are most Christlike when we forgive. Who am we to refuse to forgive someone for whom Jesus Christ died to redeem by His death?  Life is full of little and big discords, but we should not let these annoyances influence or dominate our lives. We do not have a right to hold a grudge against anyone, much less get even. We must not be cold or insensible to others. Deliberate, intentional shunning of anyone will be a serious obstacle to your spiritual growth.

You cannot be open to God’s will if you close your heart to your neighbor’s need. Do not deceive yourself by praying a great deal while closing your heart to another person. Do not think you are accepting God’s will if you are finding dealing with others tiresome, a nuisance or even repugnant. Both good and evil are permitted by God. You will encounter ingratitude from friends who do not understand you and people who hinder you. How you react is what makes the difference.

Humiliations and contradictions purify our souls, detaching them from our ego in order to have us bear more and more fruit. If we wish to have peace and serenity of spirit, we need to conform ourself to His will. This is the only sane way to deal with the weakness of others that impinges on our lives, and to deal with the frustrations or set-backs that are bound to come our way each day. To do this involves respecting the other’s opinions, decisions, likes and dislikes. Look to Jesus as your guide in how to deal with everyone: family, friends, acquaintances, unknowns. Just as mercy is God’s constant attitude towards all, so we too must always be ready to relieve anyone. So we must cultivate a sensitivity of heart so that our eyes and ears will be aware of the daily opportunities we have to show mercy.

Jesus is the most wonderful example of mercy. His mercy springs from His compassion. He  did not shun anyone and felt sorry for those who sought Him with their physical and spiritual ailments. He reached out to them with His grace. He knows we are sinners and He reaches out to us constantly. He is a merciful God who will not abandon us. He offers us the grace to repent and He is there for us in our daily struggles. He wants us to return to Him, to have us near Him, to protect us from straying, to strengthen and fortify us. Call on Him. He will answer you and help you carry your cross withe patience despite the irritations others cause you. God wants to prune away all things that prevent us from being Christlike. Humiliations and contradictions, suffering and illness, purify our souls, detaching them from our ego in order to have us bear more and more fruit.

Just as mercy is God’s constant attitude towards all, so we too must always be ready to relieve anyone. To do this we must first cultivate a sensitivity of heart so that our eyes and ears will be award of the daily opportunities we have to show mercy.
The peace of your soul is determined by your relationship to God. We seek peace and want our sins forgiven. God’s grace is there for us, dependent only on our desire to accept it. Never give up on yourself or any person because God is merciful. Repentance is possible because no one is beyond God’s grace. No matter how bad a situation is, God’s goodness and mercy is there for anyone who seeks Him. Testify to God’s mercy to bewildered or suffering friends, and guide prodigals to their loving and forgiving Father. The closer you get to Christ, the more you will seek to do His will. Avoid anxiousness by maintaining unbroken the bond of love; protect it with your life.

God Is With Us

In 07 Observation on 2016/12/09 at 12:00 AM

Do you realize that there is someone who loves you so much that He was willing to die for you? Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, who by taking on a human nature, He, the only-begotten Son of God, entered our human condition in order to redeem it. Jesus was not pretending to be God; He is God. To rectify our fallen nature, He endured Gethsemane and Golgotha so that we could understand His love for us, and, that as He rose from the dead, so we can rise with Him.In His Incarnation, Life, Passion and Resurrection, Jesus Christ was love giving Himself to us for us and accepting us for Himself because He first loved us. Commit yourself to Him in gratitude. Seek to imitate Him. He models every virtue for you. Turn your mind, heart, will, and soul over to Him, asking Him to lead you with His promised grace.

In joy as in sorrow, God is always there for us. As we focus on Our Lord, His Incarnation, Life, Passion, Death and Resurrection, we identify with Him upon whom we gaze. Christ gave Himself to man completely. He began to do so not only with His Incarnation and life, but specifically with His passion and death.Whenever you believe you are being sorely tried, look at the face of the suffering Christ and He will give you the grace to cope, the courage to hang on and to endure your ordeal.Look at the Crucified for mercy, salvation, understanding and hope. Christ Crucified loves you and you are looking at the proof. The sufferings Christ endured on the Cross for us provide us with an understanding that by uniting our sufferings to His, we can grow spiritually. Look to Him who is calling you to follow Him.

We sometimes wonder why God sent His Son to die. Jesus took on our human nature so that we could regain the lost divine image. Jesus gave us so much out of love, yet He asks only that we return His love by doing the will of His/our Father. This we can do by bearing our trials and tribulations as well as by loving our neighbor for His sake. In taking upon Himself our human nature, Jesus Christ experienced every possible trial man undergoes. The sinless one, having endured our trials, sympathizes with our struggles, knowing our weaknesses. After having paid our debt, and while no longer on earth, He is in heaven where He mercifully intercede for us.

The irrevocable act of love is the Cross of Christ. Sinless, He willingly died for sinners. He died for us, and we are in His debt.It was on the Cross that Christ sacrificed Himself that you might live in Him.The life you live as a Christian must be a life of faith in the Son of God who loves you as no one else can. Be grateful for His gift of perfect love and demonstrate it by seeking Him with all you heart and living as He wishes you to live.

One of the greatest gifts you can offer God is self-donation. Whatever sacrifices self-donation requires will be compensated by the reality of knowing that what is most important to you is serving God.Self-d0nation to God can be done by anyone, anytime, anywhere in every walk of life. The essence of self-donation is trust in God. We self-donate when we decide to act in a Christlike way by changing our life to conform to His values and teachings.

We long to see God’s face. Look at the Crucified for He and the Father are one.Look at Him with the eyes of your heart and see yourself in them as the apple of His eye. Recognize His love for you and how He has created you in His image and endowed you with the dignity of a human person whom He has adopted as His own at cost of His only begotten Son.Uniting our sufferings with His redemptive ordeal, gives meaning and purpose to our trials. It is God who permits such events in our lives for the sole purpose that we might seek Him with love and become the persons we should be.

Christ, Our Model

In 07 Observation on 2016/12/02 at 12:00 AM

God sent His Son to assume our human nature in order for us to return to Him who created us. The eternal Son of God came that we would approach Him without fear and come close to Him. Jesus came as a true human being to set an example for us. He is our Model, our guide, our Goal, OUR GOD. You think that you are seeking God; however, be assured that it is He who is seeking you. He sent His Son to call you. The Divine Christ Child brings us the happiness we long for and soothes our soul. Look at the Christ with the heart’s eyes.  Ponder and dwell on God’s gift to you: His only-begotten Son. With the birth of Christ, a new era began for mankind, and for us.

Greet Him who came to give real meaning to our existence. While He came for all men, He came specifically for you. Accept the Christ-child into your heart. With child-like simplicity, receive the gift of the Christ-child and adore Him. Give Him the only gift he wants: Yourself.

The axial of history is the birth of Christ. His Incarnation shows us the image of our merciful Father who wished us redeemed; He gives us gifts we could never have imagined. The greatest of these is that we can know Him because He choose to reveal Himself to us. There is no way we could have merited  this gift because of our human condition, but God compassionately took on our human nature in order to transform us and take on His likeness.  We now have a God-given dignity. The meaning of Christ’s birth is not about then, but about now, about the linkage of your life to Christ.

Look at His life; The WHO who is important in our lives is Jesus Christ.  Are you living the way God wants you to or are you going your own way? To follow Christ involves developing a deep, personal friendship with God, which is continually nurtured and growing.  Aim to do what is acceptable in God’s eyes, what pleases Him. Let Christ paint His image on you by living according to His words. Let Christ live in you.

God has gifted us with the means to know, love and serve Him, which, will enable Him guide our minds, wills and hearts. Emptying ourselves permits Christ to imprint Himself in our hearts, living for, and by Him,  imitating Him. Christ is the Truth that transforms lives. Christ is the key, the reality of our life.  Faith in Christ must be the cornerstone of our spiritual edifice.

Being Christlike means not only believing in Christ as true God and true man, but demonstrating this belief to other by your words and behavior. Faith is accepting Jesus Christ and as Redeemer along with your  surrender of your will to His by living for Him, including the possibility of being martyred for fidelity to Him.  Out of sheer love, God is merciful towards us even when we have ignored Him. He heals us when we surrender ourselves into His hands.He gives us with His grace. How can we repay God for all His mercies? He rejoices when we return to Him.We are in His debt for everything.

Our lives are a time of preparation – a time to remove from our lives whatever hinders our relationship with our Creator. Examine you motives, actions and heart to know how you are faring in the journey. God sent His Son to redeem you. Accept Him, your Redeemer, or explain to yourself what holds you back from the great value that is God’s gift of His Son. See that your soul is always prepared to receive Him, by correcting yourself and getting rid of whatever baggage hinders you journey.

“Blessed are the meek…”

In 07 Observation on 2016/11/25 at 12:00 AM

Meekness is rooted in spiritual strength; the meek are truly strong. Meekness protects from hostile attacks. It passes over others’ impatience, irritation, irritability and even contempt, by either ignoring the attack or disarming the offender with a calm and serene smile.

Lack of meekness is born of pride and expresses itself in outbursts, impatience and irritability, the net result of which is loss of serenity and peace of soul. The meek person does not sulk but tells God about the problem or injury inflicted.

A woman bereft of meekness is critical, neglectful and forgetful of others because she in centered on herself. To be meek, one must do battle with the natural tendency to have the last word, to be the center of attention, to think of oneself as essential, and above all to see others in negative ways. A meek woman is not a show off. She is not boastful, but she does acknowledge her natural talents as gifts of God.

The meek woman never refuses to speak to anyone. She acknowledges that God places next to her people in some need that she cannot ignore or just pass by. She opens herself to others with words of comfort; she uses her speech to console, teach, correct in a kind and generous manner. She is being Christlike when she act meekly in dealing well with others, particularly making those around her happy. She does this with kind words, gestures, support, and encouragement as well as readiness to forgive, to let thing of no consequence just slide off. Kind-heartedness and patience understanding conquer. When she act in a meek manner she recognizes that the neighbor Christ tells you to love is whomever happens to be near her or come into her life.

Meek women avoid like a plague: useless chatter, gossiping, irrelevant arguments, sarcasm and calumny. They have their tongues under control and know when to be silent. They show a willingness to bite their tongue when injured or insulted by not retaliating. Thus, they accept the humiliations life brings and seek to use them to grow. Instead they act kindly by showing understanding of the flaws and errors of others without correcting them.

Friendly affability warms, dispels loneliness, warms hearts as does a friendly hello, giving a small complement or making a caring comment or inquiry.

The meek woman is careful not to answer back quickly or speak hurtful words. Instead, she awaits the better time and gives way in matter of opinion. She does not try to be right about everything and on the contrary, is sufficiently docile to accept advice. A readiness and willingness to change her mind indicates she is aware that there are more than one solution to a problem.

To be meek means to have self-mastery, to be self possessed and hard to rattle. The meek will inherit the earth because they are not slaves to impatience and bad temper. Instead, they are serene in the possession of God with their souls in seeking Him in prayer.

Docility is essential for growth in meekness. You cannot be docile/meek if you insist stubbornly on what you have already decided is right. The meek woman recognizes that she is not her own best advisor, and takes advantage of the suggestions and advice given her by others whom God has placed in her path as aides.We need to have a prudent distrust of our own judgment because our ego can derail us. We must permit God to mould us through others and the circumstances of our lives.

We learn to be meek and humble of heart by meditating on the Passion of our Lord who suffered so many humiliations, and by considering His humility in the Holy Eucharist where He waits for us to visit Him and speak with him. Therefore, we can walk the way of meekness accepting humiliations, accepting our defects and struggling to overcome them. Then, we will find in Him, who carries the greatest portion of our burdens, a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light.”

“Blessed are the clean of heart…”

In 07 Observation on 2016/11/25 at 12:00 AM

Like the Greeks who approached Philip, we too say that we would like to see Jesus. God Himself and His creation can only been seen by those whose intentions and attitudes are good.

To be clean of heart means to be selfless, looking at everything from God’s point of view rather than our own. By putting God first we can keep our hearts pure. It is in the heart that the soul can defile itself. This occurs when envy, spite, evil desires or evil intentions sprout in our hearts. Once conceived, they are brought to life in actions. You cannot “see Jesus” in your neighbor if your imagination has cluttered your hear with a tapestry of false images. So, it is in the heart that we can offend God instead of loving Him. Consequently, anything that comes between us and God must be avoided, corrected, given up; we must remove all obstacles and ask forgiveness of God for what we have done.

In order to really have a pure heart, we must have right intentions which mean that Christ alone is the reason for and object of our actions. We begin this by making our daily Morning Offering Prayer we learned as children. As the day goes on, we must ask ourselves: What am I doing? Why? and For Whom? Do everything for His glory and when you encounter difficulties, do not allow yourself to be discouraged. Simply ask yourself: Is this God’s work or mine? Is God leading or am I? Correct intention brings interior freedom and peace of soul.

Our exterior appearance is not of any importance compared with our inner life. We must ask God’s help in keeping our hearts pure and must be on guard duty 24/7 in order for it not to be defiled by jealousy, envy, spite or any disordered desires. We must be careful to have proper intentions in our actions because our egotism can make an obstacle out of any good thing. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to guide our hearts and follow His guidance with docility as He transforms us.

To maintain a pure heart involves controlling our intellect, our memory and above all, our imagination, and above all the interior dialogue those produce, easily derailing the heart. A wise man once referred to the imagination as the lunatic in the house. Useless imaginings can lead to loss of proper perspective and become a spiritually destructive force. Often the imagination can create false scenarios which can lead to unjust judgments which cool the heart.

The prompt dismissal of useless thought is the initial means of purifying the imagination. Then, comes the replacement of wild imaginings, suppositions, and projections by focusing on some aspect of the life of Christ, thus displacing the unreal with the real and true. Essential to keeping one’s heart pure are: guarding the senses, avoiding sinful situations, controlling ones entertainment, being temperate but above all, having recourse prayer and to the Sacrament of Confession.

If your heart searches for God, your heart will find Him simply because he is looking for you like the father of the prodigal looked for his son. We can always count on Our Father’s help to put us on the right track again. He understands us and is there to encourage us in our struggles. He never ceases to love us even when our hearts have turned from Him. He will never abandon us.

“Blessed are the merciful…”

In 07 Observation on 2016/11/11 at 12:00 AM

What is a merciful woman like? First of all, she is not like the morphine addict who slowly poisons herself, becoming completely unaware of the insidious and deadly effects of selfishness on the soul.

The merciful woman is one who is determined to help and support others in a kind and disinterested way. Recognizing that her own nature is flawed, and loving God in others requires her to begin over and over again, she prays for perseverance. Her loving heart is vigilant over the needs of others and on guard to protect those entrusted to her care as well as whomever God sends her way. She generously goes about doing good to others wherever she sees a need, be it spiritual or material, emotional or practical.

Above all, she is a forgiving person and not only disarms by her merciful ways those who have offended her, but does so in a manner that her forgiveness leads the offender to reconsider. The merciful woman knows that by nature it is easier for her to indulge her desires and plans rather than her duties which she at times looks at with anxiety and impatience. She is able to be merciful because she is very aware of this natural tendency to prefer her own plans rather than be self-giving, and thus she makes the effort to relinquish her plans and help those who have erred. In particular, she is conscious that everything she does has repercussions, and no action is without its impact on those which whom she deals.

In particular, she is not afraid to use opportunities that arise to gently correct family members and friends when they need to be alerted to the dangers of the ways and ideas that are contrary to what is true and right. Seek to understand others even when they seem to be unaccepting. By being a friend can cause other to open their hearts so be prepared to help them.

Show mercy and kindness to those who are sad, dejected, ill, or lonely. Comfort the grieving and the sorrowing. Never act indifferently to a suffering person; rather spend time with those who need physical or spiritual consolation. Never seek repayment or praise; that your are doing it for God in your neighbor is a rich enough reward.

We will only have mercy in our hearts when we offer mercy, when we forgive, our enemies from the example and with the help of Christ. Mercy is not simply a matter of giving alms to the poor, but also of being understanding of other people’s defects, overlooking them, helping them not only to cope with them but to love them despite whatever defects they may have. Mercy suffers and rejoices with others.

Your love of God can be measured by the way you treat those who need help. Follow Jesus’ example who was always motivated by mercy and always acted out of mercy. Lead others to turn to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother for solace, peace, and mercy.

Temperance by Donald DeMarco

In 07 Observation on 2016/11/11 at 12:00 AM

In January 1936, a meeting took place between Mohandas Gandhi and Margaret Sanger. The subject of their conversation on that auspicious occasion was contraception.Gandhi had a different understanding of birth control. For him it meant temperance, or self control.Mrs. Sanger was, at that time, the high priestess of the birth control movement. For her, as well as for her legion of followers, “birth control” meant contraception.

During their meeting, Sanger tried to convince Gandhi of the moral legitimacy of contraception. She wanted people to rely on contraceptive technology. Gandhi, who regarded the use of contraception as sinful, wanted people to rely on human virtue. He offered, therefore, a more human and less technological remedy for avoiding unwanted pregnancies. The great Hindu leader proposed a method in which the married couple would abstain from sexual union during the wife’s fertile period.

On Opposite Sides of the World

It may be that no two more utterly disparate world figures of the twentieth century ever met to discuss a moral issue of such critical and global significance. Sanger was a libertine whose religion was pleasure. In a letter to her sixteen-year-old granddaughter, she advised that “for intercourse, I’d say three times a day was about right.” Gandhi, known as Mahatma or “Great Soul,” was an ascetic who dedicated his life completely to truth and peace. He led his people in India to their political independence, and both his example and his philosophy have continued to inspire others who labor for the same goals, including Reverend Martin Luther King jr. and his fight for civil rights.

It is not an exaggeration to compare this meeting between the voluptuary and the ascetic with that between Satan and Christ after the latter had fasted for forty days in the desert. Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood in 1939 and later became honorary president of International Planned Parenthood. Drawing from her second husband’s wealth, she established the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau that financed the development of the birth control pill. Gandhi, a man of God, was entirely self-effacing. He advocated natural family planning and preached that virtuous temperance should be rooted in love. “If love is not the law of our being,” he declared, “the whole fabric of my argument falls to pieces.”

He called the particular form of temperance he practiced and preached, brahmacharya, a Sanskrit word referring to perfect control over the appetites and bodily organs. In 1924, Gandhi stated that, fully and properly understood, temperance, or brahmacharya, “signifies control of all the senses at all times and places in thought, word, and deed.” It includes, yet transcends, sexual restraint. It rules out violence, untruth, hate, and anger. It creates a state of even mindedness that allows for self-transformation in God. Gandhi saw in the use of contraception the potential for man undoing himself. The virtue of temperance or brahmacharya is needed, he felt, for man to be truly himself and to allow God to work through him. Therefore, contraception, which divorces the sexual act from it’s natural consequence, divides man, separating him from the meaning of his own actions. For Gandhi, contraception “simply unmans man”:

I suggest that it is cowardly to refuse to face the consequences of one’s acts. Persons who use contraception will never learn the value of self-restraint. They will not need it. Self-indulgence with contraceptives may prevent the coming of children but will sap the vitality of both men and women, perhaps more of men than of women. It is unmanly to refuse battle with the devil.

Rome Has Also Spoken

Pope Paul VI echoed many of the thoughts that Gandhi expounded concerning the evils of contraception. Gandhi stated that, “As it is, man has sufficiently degraded woman for his lust, and artificial methods, no matter how well-meaning the advocates may be, will stillfurther degrade her.” Pope Paul VI wrote:
The Many Faces of Virtue
by Donald DeMarco
It is also to be feared that the man, growing used to the employment of anti-conception practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.

Gandhi advised people to use that particular part of temperance called “self-restraint” to achieve “self-transformation.” Pope Paul VI underscored the importance of “self-mastery” in matters of sexuality (cf. Catechism, 2346). They both spoke of the importance of education and the cooperation of external agencies. Neither was hesitant in identifying the use of contraception as an evil and a disorder. Both saw contraception as an enemy to marriage.

Separate Paths

The distinguished British journalist, Malcolm Muggeridge, long before he became a Roman Catholic, offered a comment in praise of Humanae Vitae that may be taken as an apt comment on the 1936 discussion between Gandhi and Sanger:

One of the things I admired the Church for so much was Humanae Vitae. I think it’s absolutely right that when a society doesn’t want children, when it’s prepared to accept eroticism unrelated in any way to its purpose, then it’s on the downward path.

The paths of temperance or brahmacharya and eroticism most assuredly do not move in the same direction. As current history has indicated, the former leads to a culture of life, while the latter leads to a culture of death.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Donald DeMarco. “Temperance.” from The Many Faces of Virtue (Steubenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing, 2000): 43-46.

This article is reprinted with permission from Emmaus Road Publishing and Donald DeMarco.

THE AUTHOR
Donald DeMarco is adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut and Professor Emeritus at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo Ontario. He also continues to work as a corresponding member of the Pontifical Acadmy for Life. Donald DeMarco has written hundreds of articles for various scholarly and popular journals, and is the author of twenty books, including The Heart of Virtue, The Many Faces of Virtue, Virtue’s Alphabet: From Amiability to Zeal andArchitects Of The Culture Of Death. Donald DeMarco is on the Advisory Board of The Catholic Education Resource Center.

Copyright © 2012 Emmaus Road Publishing

Reprinted with permission from CATHOLIC WORLD on line.