It’s been a while now since the legalization of SSM in the US happened. And truth is, I got affected.
I got worried and I couldn’t just take it if I’d be silent about what I believe and know is right. If you are a believer, a Christian or specially a Catholic and want to know my side, please read on. But if not, then it would be hard for you to understand where I am coming from. Remember that this is a faith-based blog, a Catholic one to be exact.
This is also something very personal for me because I have a handful of friends and family members who are homosexuals and I hope they know that I love and care about them very much.
It may be a challenge for them to believe me, because they might think, or you might think that I am close-minded and that I’d be judging them.
But on the contrary, I know that I’m in no position to do so, I am also a sinner and I fail many times. But like I always say, I STRUGGLE. I struggle to live my faith and to sincerely show God that I love HIM.
Which leads me to my first question.
What do you think is your purpose in life? And do you really believe in Heaven and eternal life?
It may sound so cliché but for the past couple of years, I’ve come to a conclusion that our ultimate purpose in life is…. to LOVE.
Generally, we are all called to LOVE GOD and others. And that’s absolutely good enough purpose for me! I am here For LOVE and To LOVE. For that, I’m hoping to reach Heaven when my time is up.
To authentically love, we can go to Heaven after we pass in this earthly life. That’s how simple my principle in life is! Just look at the lives of the saints. But it’s not that easy as it may sound, because LOVE means:
1. To Sacrifice
To truly love, we ought to deny ourselves of self-indulging pleasure and superficial things that we want but do not really need.
From the book of Edward Sri’s, Men, Women and the Mystery of Love, he shares what authentic love is,
The fullness of love is looking outward toward my beloved and seeking what is best for that person, not just what is good for me. This, in fact, is how the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines love: “To love is to will the good of another [St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 26, 4, corp. art.]” (CCC, 1766, quoting Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, I–II, 24, 1).
When we love, we do not anymore only think of ourselves, but we think of others as well, because we already hold accountable for them. We become our “brother’s keeper”, or we become responsible to and for our spouses.
Matthew Kelly writes in his book, The Seven Levels of Intimacy:
But in order to love, you must be free, for to love is to give your self to someone or something freely, completely, unconditionally, and without reservation. It is as if you could take the essence of your very self in your hands and give it to another person. Yet to give your self—to another person, to an endeavor, or to God—you must first possess your self. This possession of self is freedom. It is a prerequisite for love, and is attained only through discipline. This is why so very few relationships thrive in our time. The very nature of love requires self-possession. Without self-mastery, self-control, self-dominion, we are incapable of love…. The problem is we don’t want discipline. We want someone to tell us that we can be happy without discipline. But we can’t…. The two are directly related.”
So when we aim for Heaven, we just do not aim it for ourselves, but we also have bring others with us.
3. To suffer, be free and victorious
Love is not a bed of roses without the thorns. It IS a bed of roses WITH the thorns. And because we make sacrifices, at some point we feel pain and we do suffer. But it doesn’t mean we are unhappy.
Little do we know that after everything, victory awaits. And we gain freedom from a love that is self-giving.
As St. John Paul II says:
Love consists of a commitment which limits one’s freedom—it is a giving of the self, and to give oneself means just that: to limit one’s freedom on behalf of another. Limitation of one’s freedom might seem to be something negative and unpleasant, but love makes it a positive, joyful and creative thing. Freedom exists for the sake of love. (135)
Now I’d like to borrow how Edward Sri explained this further and will quote him,
So we see that freedom is given for a purpose: for the sake of love. God gave us freedom so that we could choose to live for others, not just ourselves. The purpose of freedom is not to equip us to live a selfish life, slavishly pursuing whatever pleasurable desires come our way. We have freedom so that we can choose to rise above those self-seeking passions and commit ourselves to other persons, serving them and their needs. Therefore, while the modern individualist may see self-giving love in marriage as something negative and restrictive, Christians view such limitations as liberating.
And with that said, why else would we feel deprived or unfortunate? Why would we think less of ourselves?
We should feel honored! Because through loving, we become heroes. It may not be in the eyes of humanity, but it’s definitely heroic in the eyes of God.
Then in the end, we will get to share all the glory and honor God prepared for us in Heaven.
What else is more rewarding than that?! Nothing, for sure!