A LifeSite reader alerted us about this homily given Dec. 8 in a Collingwood, Ontario church and which caused the congregation to respond with unusual spontaneous applause.
Although given in a Canadian Catholic parish by a Catholic priest, key parts of the message apply to most of the western, developed world at this time and the obligations of all Christians. We thought the overview of our culture so important and well presented that it should be shared with many others via LifeSite.
by Fr. Jim McLenaghen
Today we light the second candle of Advent, to signify the light of Christ in our world. The days continue to get shorter, and darkness increases daily. We know that on Dec. 21 the days start to get longer, and there is more light in the physical world. As I look at the nation of Canada - I wish I could say that the moral and spiritual climate is getting brighter. Instead, I fear that it is growing darker with each passing year.
Whether it's a little thing - like the recently reported decision of the ROM to eliminate B.C. and A.D - it's now BCE and CE … Or the sea change that threatens the institution of marriage vis a vis homosexuals - it is apparent that our society is becoming less and less Christian. Morally and spiritually it's getting darker not lighter. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged the Catholic community to make its views on marriage known to the Justice Minister and this current Liberal government. People, we have to make the politicians know what we believe.
The Catholic Church will actively lobby that the definition of marriage not change - but the government needs to hear from the Catholic community. They do not take for granted that the bishops speak for Catholics. Individual Catholics must make their voices heard. Let's face it. Our Catholic politicians do not listen to their bishops on social issues - Jean Chretien, Joe Clark, Paul Martin …. So why should they assume that Catholic Canadians in general listen to their bishops? I have a handout at each entrance with the addresses of our local MP and the Justice Minister - we need to write them and tell them what we believe.
The Holy Father has called our society a culture of death - and you know what? We are dying. We're not dying a natural death. As Joseph Campbell writes in a recent article, we are committing suicide. If we endorse homosexual marriages it will be one more nail in the coffin of Canada. It will be one more attack on a beleaguered institution - the institution of the family.
Pope JP II used the phrase "culture of death" to describe us because of wide-open abortion, artificial contraception, sexual promiscuity, the decline of marriage and the family, and materialism. They are all related. We are literally dying as a nation because of a failure to reproduce ourselves. Demographers point out that our birth rate has been below replacement level for 3 decades, and it is still declining.
Why is our birth
rate falling? There are a lot of reasons. Somehow, we have created a
society where individual rights are stressed to the point where we forget
that married couples need to have enough children to keep our society
vibrant and healthy. And you know what? Having children is a sacrifice
that married couples are called to make. It's expensive. 1600 years
ago St. Augustine described 3 significant goods of marriage:
These are still valid today. Homosexual unions are the counterfeit of marriage. They are notoriously unstable, and bring no children into the world. Our current government is doing nothing to safeguard the institution of marriage, nor is it creating an environment that is conducive for couples to have children.
Canada is an old man, demographically speaking. We're on life support - comfortable but dying. Our society tells its young people that sex is a personal choice. There's no moral dimension to it. It has no meaning apart from your own self-gratification. The Church begs to differ. Conjugal relations have a meaning and that meaning is to celebrate and deepen the love and commitment between a married man and a woman - and - to be open to procreation - to life!
When our society embraced the contraceptive mentality, it redefined the meaning of conjugal love. The Church has always said that the meaning of sex (conjugal love) is two-fold: the unitive and the procreative.
Society has said that the procreative aspect is optional. What has this contraceptive mentality brought to Canadian society? Promiscuity - younger and younger people engaging in sex without feat of pregnancy. Increased adultery contributing to higher divorce rates. Abortion - because if it is OK to contracept - it is OK to destroy the fetus when the first line of contraception fails. Promiscuity has introduced many new diseases, causing infertility. The rate of infection of STD's has gone through the roof in the last two decades. Why? Because - of course, sex if for personal enjoyment. There is no right or wrong way to go about it.
And now we have the latest aberration which the contraceptive mentality has brought about. If sex without openness to life is a good thing - then why not homosexuality? Why not indeed? The result of our abandonment of the laws of God regarding sex and procreation - could well result in the slow death of our country. Immigration will not save us. Upholding marriage and creating a moral, economic and social climate where married couples are encouraged to have children - will save us.
Sometime ago a Canadian politician made a remark that was widely quoted when he struck down the law on sodomy. He said that the government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. Well, what happens when the only thing happening in the bedroom is sterile contraceptive relations - and the population starts to plummet, and there is not a body of young workers coming up to replace those who are retiring? Who is going to pay for our generous pension plans and Medicare and other social programs? If we don't have children - the answer is - no one.
We light this candle to signify the light of Christ in our lives and in our world - but our world, the world of Canadian society - is getting darker. I agree with Joe Campbell, that at the root of our problem are the old deadly sins of pride, lust, and greed. These sins are deadly not just to individuals, but to entire nations. Therefore, it is all the more important for Catholic Christians to stand up and tell their elected politicians what they think, and make their views known.
Yes, the light of Christ is here. Yes it will come with great power at the end of this age. It's time to let his light shine through his people - in the public forum - for all to see. Please pick up a copy of the letter from the CCCB and write or email the powers that be.
Courtesy LifeSite and Interim Publishing