26 October 2009

Village News: Catholic Philosophy 101

Dear Villagers,

Thank you to our faithful Director of Faith Formation, Monica Pope, for an inspiring talk on the Holy Trinity last night! Father Eric Weber, a past parochial vicar of St Thomas once said that it is nearly impossible for anyone to speak for more than 10 minutes on the Blessed Trinity without committing heresy. With that stern admonition, Monica did a beautiful job elaborating on the truths that God has revealed to us about His Trinitarian nature! We must be careful not to lose the gift and mystery of the Trinity by trying to reduce it into our own terms. The Church has continuously called the Holy Trinity the central mystery of the Christian faith! For your further meditation, please see the attached scriptural meditations on the Trinity.

Here are a few truths we talked about last night:
1. In the unity of the one God, there are three distinct Persons. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #253, 254)
2. The Triune God consists of three Persons who are but one essence. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #202)
3. The end of all things is the inclusion of God's creatures into God's Trinitarian unity. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #260)

This Sunday, we're focusing on Catholic Philosophy. Catholic Philosophy presents us with a set of basic principles with which to determine the morality of various actions. Drawing from St Thomas Aquinas, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and Veritatis Splendor, we’ll be examining some tough ethical questions through the lens of Catholic Philosophy and Moral Theology! Join us next Sunday from 5-6:30 for another great Village meeting!

---This Thursday Night from 7-8pm, our Dead Theologians Society is focusing on St Francis of Assisi.

---Your Question of the Week is, "What does the Church officially teach on homosexuality?"

You are in my prayers!

The Village News

This Thursday: Dead Theologians Society
This week our dead theologian is Saint Francis of Assisi! Join us this Thursday from 7-8pm for our (now) regular DTS meeting! We will gather in Beth’s office for snacks and social time starting at 6:30, move to the Church Choir Loft at 7pm, and have more snacks and social time from 8 to 8:30pm. Through the Saints of yesterday, the Dead Theologians Society, or DTS, inspires the youth of today to become the saints of tomorrow!

Next Sunday: Catholic Philosophy 101
Catholic Philosophy presents us with a set of basic principles with which to determine the morality of various actions. Drawing from St Thomas Aquinas, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and Veritatis Splendor, we’ll be examining some tough ethical questions through the lens of Catholic Philosophy and Moral Theology! Join us this Sunday from 5-6:30 for a great Village meeting!

Next Sunday: Youth Council Meeting at 4pm Before Village
Attention Youth Council Members: Nealia Fil, Melissa Shelcusky, Erica Wells, Marina Argiero, Brendan Hufnagel, Tony Pilon, Ellen Dowling, Mike Megargle, Will Chavey, Sebastian Renteria, Tom Pilon, Danielle Arsenault, Chris Silva, Emma McClory, Robert Peters, Thomas Donahue, James Pope, and Isabel Pope.

Come by 4pm next Sunday, for the second (and last) Youth Council Meeting of the semester. The Youth Council meets 2x each semester to provide youth input to guide upcoming Village events. All those serveing as Team Leaders are a part of the Youth Council, as well as a number of teens who are not on any particular Team.

The Village Fall Retreat, December 11-13th
Did you know that every single Village Retreat has a late night Taco Bell run? This semester our retreat theme is “Lord, to whom shall we go?”! These words come from the Gospel of John Chapter 6, after Jesus promises to give His Body in the Eucharist. Many of his disciples think he has lost it, and stop following him. Jesus turns to his remaining disciples with the question- “Do you also want to leave?” The Apostle Peter replies, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Your Question of the Week: What does the Church officially teach on homosexuality?

Having same-sex attractions does not change who someone is in God’s eyes! Even if you have had feelings of same-sex attraction, this does not change who you are. You are not the sum of your thoughts or feelings- you are God’s Beloved Son or Daughter. Let’s start with the very meaning of sex- our very bodies show that man and woman are made for each other. Sexual love is a participation in God’s work as Creator, and is a gift of self to the beloved, in marriage. It is designed to be a total, faithful, and fruitful gift of self. Sex outside of the marriage vows is not a total, faithful, and fruitful gift of self- therefore the sexual act becomes the antithesis of love- use.

Those with homosexual desires are called, like all Christians, to live the virtue of chastity. Chastity means abstaining from sex outside of marriage, adopting a lifestyle that recognizes the true meaning of sex, and recognizing the goodness of being made male and female in God’s image. Homosexual desires are not in themselves sinful- it is only when one acts on the desires, or encourages the desires, that they become sinful. The homosexual act, acts intended to arouse or stimulate a sexual response from a person of the same sex, is opposed to God’s plan.

Sexual love is designed for a man and a woman in the context of marriage for two reasons. 1. We’re Called to be Fruitful: “God has willed to give the union of man and woman a special participation in his work of creation…“Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28). Homosexual acts close the sexual act to the gift of life. 2. We’re Called to be Complementary: “Man, the image of God, was created “male and female” (Gen 1:27). Men and women are equal as persons and complementary as male and female. Marriage is instituted by the Creator as a form of life in which a communion of persons is realized involving the use of the sexual faculty.” (PBenedict)

Old and New Testament consistently condemn the homosexual act- Genesis 19:13, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-28, 32. “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" -1 Cor 6:9-10

Scientific studies on what leads people to embrace a gay lifestyle have produced mixed results. Some suggest there may be a genetic predisposition- so the actions cannot be sinful or unnatural, but many are born with a genetic disposition to alcoholism, but that does not mean these desires should be fulfilled. Some say that they were born with the desires; so the actions cannot be sinful or unnatural, but we are all born with many desires that are unnatural- alcoholism, masturbation, self-centeredness, etc. Having these desires is not wrong- but acting on them is.

Therefore, we are called to LOVE: those who have same-sex attractions and those who act on them “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” (Catechism 2358) Still, the Church’s effort to love and accept those with homosexual desires does not mean approving of their choices to act on these desires.

More Support + Resources: Courage- an outreach of the Church that ministers to those with same-sex attractions. Encourage- an apostolate of the Catholic Church which ministers to relatives and friends of persons with same-sex attractions. Check them out online!


Minni-Mo said...

Beth -the questions of the week answers are always so great! Thank you for doing all of this. I appreciate everything you do more and more every time I get on here. <3

DucInAltumBeth said...

Great!! So glad you're still following, and finding them helpful! :) My biggest challenge is keeping them short. This week I had to give out the answer in 9pt font to make it fit on the Village News handouts!!

Miss you Dominica! :)