24 February 2007

Lent - Meant for Sacrifice

Well, obviously its meant for much more than that. But the word "sacrifice" is one of the first to come time mind in discussing the season of Lent. "What is your Lenten sacrifice? What are you giving up for Lent? What are you offering up as penance?"

A few years ago a movie came out starring Josh Harnett called "40 Days and 40 Nights". I don't think I can sum it up much better than this tagline provided at imdb.com...
"One man is about to do the unthinkable. No sex. Whatsoever. For... 40 Days and 40 Nights"
I just couldn't believe that when I first heard it. What are we animals? Are we so severely scarred that it has become "unthinkable" to remain chaste?

I've only seen bits and pieces of the movie, but it's a pretty predictable plot. The heart-throb guy, who used to only think with his anatomy, falls in love with some groovy chick. He can't get into bed with her because of his Lenten "dare" and in turn learns to love her for who she really is is. Yadda yadda yadda. Again, I didn't see the movie but I guess Hollywood makes some kind of attempt at explaining true love.

So I started to think about it some more and I thought maybe there is some truth to labeling chastity "unthinkable". After all, the sexual act is meant to be our slice of heaven on earth. It's meant to lead us to God and help us discover the truth about Him and our very own existence. It should be unthinkable to be able to remove ourselves from that.

Now, I don't believe Josh Hartnett had that kind of understanding of his sexuality, but he knew there was something special about it. And sure enough it is in chastity, in sacrifice that he finds true love.

Trying to live chaste lives means always trying to live chaste lives. Not just for 40 days and 40 nights. But Lent can be a great time of renewal. A time to remember why we embrace such a bold task as saving ourselves for marriage; waiting to give our bodies within circumstances that show reverence to God.

The marital act is God's plan. It's His will for the two to unite in the flesh. He made us that way. But there is a time and place that He wants it to be fulfilled, and He wants to be a part of it. Outside of marriage, we basically tell Him "we don't want you here".

And so, as with Lent where we sacrifice for 40+ days in anticipation of the Lord's resurrection, we sacrifice until our wedding night in anticipation of the Lord's coming within our marriage. And just as God took the suffering of the Cross and made it the joy and glory of the Resurrection, He takes our suffering to remain chaste and brings to us the rewards of a free, total, faithful, and fruitful marriage. Heaven kisses earth.


22 February 2007


I'll just use this first post to welcome anyone and everyone who happens to come across this here blog. So... WELCOME!

Anyways, I have really no authority to start any kind of website that seeks to be a resource for authentic Catholic teaching. I'm just a student of theology working towards a master's degree. But JPII's Theology of the Body has truly changed my life and continues to shape me and move me closer to God through the power of the Holy Spirit. And so, I feel compelled to offer what I can.

What can I say? This is the teaching the world has been starving for. This is the message about sex and sexuality that so many people are craving. We all desire that Trinitarian love, whether we realize it or not. That desire is what wakes us up in the morning and keeps us going. We all know there is something greater out there, something we were made for.

So why so many broken hearts? That desire has been distorted. Hindered. Spun out of control. It's pointing to something much less satisfying than the love of Christ and saying, "This is what you want. This will make all the pain go away". And yet it doesn't. Enter Pope John Paul II.

The Great Pope provided us with the key to unlocking some of the world's greatest mysteries. He tells us that we can reacquire the original innocence of Adam & Eve. He tells us that we can have a glimpse of the inner life of the Holy Trinity right here on earth. He tells us that our bodies are good and reveal our very faith to us.

So, Lord willing, we'll unravel pieces of this monumental, revolutionary teaching with some cold hard facts, tender hearts, and hopefully some humor along the way.

Thanks for stopping by.

Pax Christi -