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The Living Spirit
Monday, May 14, 2012
ACCORDING to the Creator’s master plan, human beings are made man and woman in God’s likeness. Therefore the difference between the sexes and their relationship to each other is willed by God. Therefore the man should leave his father and mother and join his wife and they become one flesh.
It is a fact, however, that there are human beings who have a natural inclination toward the same sex. They are born that way and we may assume that a same-sex partnership is also willed by God, provided they won’t consider their partnership a marriage. When God created the human being, He said that it is not good for men to be alone.
According to the same master plan of God, the man and the woman can marry each other, be fruitful and multiply. Marriage is by nature indissoluble. What God has joined together, no man shall put asunder.
It is a widespread practice nowadays that a large number of young couples cohabit from an early age without the benefit of a marriage contract and they easily take this for granted. In Bisaya, we call this puyopuyo. I believe this is a serious deviation from God’s plan.
Another deviation from this plan is that a couple gets married because the woman is already expecting a baby. Such marriage is in most cases premature. A marriage should be contracted after a period of serious courtship. During that courtship, they can test each other whether they are compatible with each other but also whether they are willing and able to control themselves out of respect for each other.
Indeed, it may happen that they fail but at least they have tried. There is a difference between those who try to live according to God’s order and fail and those who fail without ever having tried it. The sad thing is that many young people go into a relationship with each other without realizing that their relationship should be one of love and not of pure sexual desire. That is really the meaning of following God’s master plan. You can discover it through contemplation, if you go into discernment.
Another deviation from God’s master plan is the fact that many couples live together as cat and dog. It turns out that they are not compatible with each other and incapable of really loving each other. The solution there is marriage counseling and if that does not work, then they better separate. They can have a legal separation, a separation from bed and board. This is not a divorce in the strict sense of the word. They can have their marriage declared dissolved, null and void. That means there never has been a marriage in the first place because there was an impediment at the time that the marriage was contracted, for instance, there was no free will on the part of either the man or the woman. In such a case, both of them can remarry.
Like Jesus of Nazareth, as Christians we have to “bring the Good News to the poor, consolation to the broken-hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives.” In the Catholic Church there are still all sorts of rules, laws and regulations that prevent us from proclaiming the good news. The Church should review its official teaching with respect to marriage and divorce and make it more in line with God’s master plan and in consonance with the good news. Whether you like it or not, men’s life is a temptation, whether you are married or you chose to be a celibate. What counts in both cases is the purity of heart.
St. Paul in his letter to the Romans has this to say: “Through faith, we are at peace with God. Sufferings bring patience, patience brings perseverance and perseverance brings hope. Our hope is not deceptive because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us’ (Rom. 5, 1-5). That is the Living Spirit which prompted me also to write this column.”
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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 15, 2012.