Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

7/31/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

To live in faithful, heterosexual marriages and rear children within a family is again countercultural. This is not the first time in history this has occurred. Libertine cultures are the mission field into which the Christian Church is always sent.

The Christian claims concerning life and marriage are not outdated notions of the past but the path to a future of freedom for all men and women. They  are the antidote to the malady rotting western civilization from within. Faithful Christians are a Counter Culture and consecrated married couples and their families, called from antiquity the domestic church, are the vanguard of this new Christian counter culture movement.

The Christian claims concerning life and marriage are not outdated notions of the past but the path to a future of freedom for all men and women. They  are the antidote to the malady rotting western civilization from within. Faithful Christians are a Counter Culture and consecrated married couples and their families, called from antiquity the domestic church, are the vanguard of this Christian counter culture movement.

The Christian claims concerning life and marriage are not outdated notions of the past but the path to a future of freedom for all men and women. They are the antidote to the malady rotting western civilization from within. Faithful Christians are a Counter Culture and consecrated married couples and their families, called from antiquity the domestic church, are the vanguard of this Christian counter culture movement.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/31/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Escriva, Opus Dei, marriage, family, Christian marriage, domestic church, gay marriage, counter culture, morality, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - As a young man I rejected secularist, atheistic humanism - but not humanism itself. The word once referred to systems of thought in which "human interests, values, and dignity predominated". That was before the word was co-opted by a myriad of atheistic systems of thought.

I was searching for truth, in many different places. I eventually discovered the thought of the early fathers of the Christian Church and came home to the faith of my childhood. I also came to understand that true humanism is found in Christianity. It is in and through Jesus Christ that the human person can overcome what drags us down and ensnares us, truly be set free, and rediscover our true identity and vocation.

We live in an age that has suffered under many counterfeit versions of what calls itself humanism. As a result, some Christians have completely rejected the term, believing that the secularist and atheist co-opting of the word are valid. They are not. The truth is that prior to these counterfeit uses of a noble word, it was Christianity that spoke of the true humanism, found in Jesus Christ.

C.S. Lewis, in his Studies in Words, coined a phrase -  verbicide - the murder of a word. Modern aberrations of the word humanism are an example of such a crime. They evolved in the latter half of the twentieth century. Western culture has been sucked into a moral vacuum. it has rejected God and His Truth and embraced the autonomous self as the measure of all things.

A plague of license masquerading as liberty has led to a new "morality" that is no morality; in fact, it is a thinly disguised paganism. It has no capacity to inform a  a just social order and is leading to cultural collapse. This collapse will not be averted by political conservatism, or any political movement, or party, for that matter. They are all inadequate for the task.

Western culture needs conversion, from the inside out. We need a Christian revolution of the heart.

Peter Maurin is a controversial figure in some segments of the Christian community. He shouldn't be. He faced the societal problems of his own age and offered a Christian humanism to counter the dehumanizing effects of the Industrial age.  Whether some of his thought was later co-opted by some with a leftist political agenda is a different matter. His book of prose entitled Easy Essays is a gem.

We need to again take the values of the classical and orthodox Christian worldview and knead them  into the loaf of western culture. They are the yeast which alone can revivify western civilization. We need to be about the task of, in Maurin's words, of "creating a new society within the shell of the old with the philosophy of the new, which is not a new philosophy but a very old philosophy, a philosophy so old that it looks new". 

Christianity gave western culture the truth that we are created in the Image of God. From that foundational understanding of the nature of the human person was derived the liberating political notion that we possess fundamental human rights, endowed upon us by the God who created us. Those rights are not given to us by any Civil Government. Rather, they must be recognized by Civil Government or it becomes an unjust government. That is the state we are in. The declining western culture grows increasingly hostile to the Christian Church.

There is a clash of worldviews with competing definitions of human freedom, human dignity, and human flourishing currently underway. Classical, orthodox Christians contend with the hostility of a secularist relativism which claims there are no truths. That is what makes Christians so countercultural. We insist that there is Truth, it can be known - and it must govern our lives together. This is also why we face growing persecution. Even though it is still relatively soft in its application.

Our path is paved with the insults, accusations and calumny of our fellow citizens. We are accused of being against progress and science for defending the dignity of every human life - including the Right to Life of our first neighbors in the womb. Yet, medical science confirms what our conscience long ago confirmed, those little girls and boys in the womb are our neighbors. It is always wrong to intentionally kill our innocent neighbors.

In the face of a manufactured of a right for homosexuals and lesbians to 'marry', we insist that marriage is between one man and one woman. It is a relationship defined by nature itself and revealed by the Natural Moral Law. This Natural Moral Law can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason. It is the stable foundation for the positive law, giving us the moral norms needed to build societies and govern ourselves. This Natural Law must also inform our positive law or we become lawless and our society devolves into anarchy. The evidence is all around us.

Marriage between one man and one woman is the first society into which children are meant to be born, learn to be fully human, grow in virtue, flourish and take their role in families and communities. Heterosexual marriage, procreation, and the nurturing of children form the foundation for the family, and the family forms the foundation of civil society. Civil institutions do not create marriage. Nor can they create a right to marry for those who are incapable of marriage. The institutions of government should, when acting properly, defend marriage.To do so furthers the common good.

To limit marriage to heterosexual couples is not discriminatory. Homosexual couples cannot bring into existence what marriage intends by its definition. To confer the benefits that have been conferred in the past only to stable married couples and families to homosexual paramours is bad public policy. Government has long regulated marriage for the common good. For example, the ban on polygamy and age requirements were enforced in order to ensure that there was a mature decision at the basis of the Marriage contract.

We insist that children have a right to a mother and a father. Of course, we care about the single parent family and the many broken homes. After all, we are Christians. We brought the very idea of embracing broken families into the public square. However, the existence of single parent families and fractured families does not change the norm necessary to build a stable and healthy society within which they can find the compassion and support system they need as well. In tact marriages and families are the glue of a healthy and happy social order.

To live in faithful, heterosexual marriages and rear children within a family is again countercultural. This is not the first time in history this has occurred. Libertine cultures are the mission field into which the Christian Church is always sent. The early Church was sent into cultures filled with people who thought they were advanced in light of the arts and sciences of their day. Yet, those cultures practiced primitive forms of abortion and exposure, a practice of leaving unwanted children on rocks to be eaten by birds of prey or picked up by slave traders.

Early Christian manuscripts like the Letter to Diognetus remind us that the early Christians transformed cultures much like our own. They lived in cultures of use where people were treated as property, cultures of excess where freedom was perceived as a power over others and license masqueraded as liberty. They changed those cultures from within. If we persevere in prayer, living faith and understand that this is a new missionary age, we can do the same.

The Christian claims concerning life and marriage are not outdated notions of the past but the path to a future of freedom for all men and women. They  are the antidote to the malady rotting western civilization from within. Faithful Christians are a Counter Culture and consecrated married couples and their families, called from antiquity the domestic church, are the vanguard of this Christian counter culture movement.

In his beautiful book of reflections called The Furrow, St Josemaria Escriva used a phrase that keeps coming to my mind; Rebels of Love. He wrote: "Nowadays it is not enough for men and women to be good. Moreover, it is not good enough to be satisfied with being nearly good. It is necessary to be 'revolutionary'. Faced by hedonism, faced by the pagan and materialistic wares that we are being offered, Christ wants objectors! Rebels of Love!"

The call of consecrated married love is a call to become such rebels of love. Christian marriage is more than a covenant (though it is that), more than an ordinance (though it is that) - it is an invitation to sacrificial love - to holiness. Christian Marriage is a participation in the life of God through which and for which we are given His grace. It is meant to be a sacrament. Marriage in Christ is what the scripture calls a mystery (see, Eph. 5:32). It is beyond words. It is meant to be lived and  become a model to be imitated and emulated. Consecrated Christian Marriage requires a radical - meaning back to the roots - way of life.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More U.S.

No Phony Truces in the Battle to Block Most Anti-Life, Liberal Court in a Generation

Image of The United States Supreme Court

By J. Kenneth Blackwell

While much of our attention is on the Presidential race, the looming battle over a Supreme Court nomination merits no less attention.  The battle lines are clear in this nomination and the future of the Court and our Constitutional principles are at ... continue reading


Fr Frank Pavone - Amoris Laetitia: Pope Francis' Encouraging Roadmap for Families Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

Amoris Laetitia is a timely and loving exhortation for families towards genuine charity that begins within the nuclear family. It can be described as a new road-map for a culture that has taken a sad and tragic detour. The Joy of Love recognizes women's ... continue reading


Catherine of Siena: We Need Saints for this Missionary Age Watch

Image of Today, in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar, we commemorate one of the greatest women saints of Christian history, Catherine of Siena.  While praying at Peter's tomb, she experienced the great weight of the Church fall on her shoulders.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Father, raise up women like Catherine of Siena for this new missionary age of your Church. Women who are so in love with you, and so conformed to the Image of your Son, they can do for your Church in this hour, what she did in her own. Saints are a gift for the ... continue reading


Christian student shockingly dropped from master's program for practicing religious rights Watch

Image of Andrew Cash was discriminated against for practicing his religious rights (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Andrew Cash practiced his religious rights at Missouri State University - and was dismissed from the master's program in counseling as a result. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic News Agency, Cash was referring same-sex couples to another ... continue reading


Not a newsflash, U.S. government authorized use of propaganda on American people...in 2013. Here's who to blame Watch

Image of Obama signed the amendment into law in 2013.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Does the news seem a little too pro-American to you? Does it seem reporters pull punches and that the real issues are ignored? Perhaps that's the result of a quiet change to the law that took place in 2013. A law banning the use of government propaganda on the American ... continue reading


The cost of incarceration: What can we do? Watch

Image of What can we do about overpopulated prisons and ex-cons' ability to find work (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)?

By Matt Hadro (CNA)

Experts from across the political spectrum are calling for criminal justice reform, as a new White House report shows the human and economic costs of the current justice system. Washington D.C. (CNA) - "This is a singular moment in one of the most challenging issues ... continue reading


Sickening portrayal of Jesus pinned to a dartboard presented as art in university library Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An appalling portrayal of Jesus plastered to a dartboard was posted up as artwork inside the Art Library at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "art piece," titled "Vitruvian Man," shows Jesus nailed to the dartboard ... continue reading


Which bathroom should you use? And why is this a question? Watch

Image of Figuring out which restroom to use isn't supposed to be a dilemma.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The American people are seemingly obsessed with public restrooms these days and precisely how people use the potty. The fear is being stoked by concerns that individuals who "self-identify" as the opposite sex, will take advantage of liberal policies and assault ... continue reading


Prayer Is the Path to Real Freedom Watch

Image of Prayer is the lifeline of a Christian

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Jesus said to his disciples: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. CHESAPEAKE, VA. ... continue reading


Why is Obama now sending 250 MORE troops to Syria? Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack Obama will be sending more troops to the Middle East.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

U.S. President Barack Obama announced 250 more special operations forces are to be deployed to Syria within the next few weeks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  Obama stated: "Just as I approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL, I've decided to ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 16:1-10
1 From there he went to Derbe, and then on to Lystra, where there was a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,2 ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:18-21
18 If the world hates you, you must realise that it hated me before it ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 30th, 2016 Image

St. Pius V, Pope
April 30: Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost ... Read More