MARRIAGE

  Marriage is a sacrament. The union of man and woman in matrimony is holy and sacred. The love of spouses mirrors the love of God for man. "Authentic married love is caught up into divine love." (CCC 1639). But for everything that God offers us which is perfectly holy, Satan offers us something which is perfectly evil. In place of the perfect love of man and woman, Satan offers the spiritual opposite, which is prostitution and pornography.

  Pornography "offends chastity because it perverts the conjugal act...It does grave injury to the dignity of the participants..." (CCC 2354). The Catechism really hits the nail on the head. It perverts the conjugal act. It is Satan's opposite, evil offering to God's pure and holy offering. Those involved may have started with something that didn't seem to be harmful at the time but it soon becomes a downward spiral as they look for something more "exciting" or "different". Eventually the conjugal act can become so separated from its intended purpose, and the line between watching and participating become so blurred some can become involved in prostitution. As the Scripture says, "In consequence, God delivered them up in their lusts to unclean practices." (Rom 1:24). God allows us to go on a ride to nowhere if that's what we want.

  These evils have been around for a long time, but we are beginning to see attempts to legitimize them by the entertainment media. There have been several films within the last year or so about indecent dancers. Recently a film about male strippers in Britain was presented as a comedy. This is the favorite tactic of those who seek to destroy Christian values in others. They treat the subject as comedy in order to get people to laugh at their own convictions. Television shows have made light of the subject and now we even see advertisers trying to treat the subject as a joke. These activities poison the relationship between spouses which thereby weakens the unity of the family. The family is the thread that holds society together. We know that next these same entertainment media will try to accelerate the downward spiral they have started.

  It is important that we understand the terrible destructive nature of these awful vices. It is especially important to remind ourselves at this time of year. June is traditionally associated with weddings. It is no accident that this kind of sleaze oozes up through the floorboards around the time of weddings. It is Satan's attempt to destroy the purity of marriage, to make us miserable, to destroy us.

  It is our duty as Christians to speak out strongly against these occasions of impurity. If we hear any talk of "bachelor parties" we need to remind everyone that the time before weddings is not the time to poison our views of the sacred bond that God has created. We must guard our homes to ensure immodest films or other materials don't enter. Finally, we must understand what the Church teaches so that we can explain it to others.

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Published by The Minnesota St. Thomas More Chapter of Catholics United for the Faith, June 1998.