Eastern Oklahoma Catholic July/August 2012 : Page 2
A s Christians, we believe we are cre-ated in the image and likeness of God. We are called to have a relationship with Him, both as individuals and in our social relations. One of the principal ways men and women live out this relationship is through marriage. But lately, marriage in America has become the source of much confusion, with many contentious arguments as to what marriage means. Some argue that because everyone has a right to choose for themselves whether their acts are moral or immoral, marriage is simply a lifestyle choice that can be defined in as many dif-ferent ways as there are individuals will-ing to make that choice. Others argue that marriage is a civil right, which should be guaranteed by the government. They claim that because marriage is a “civil right,” any question of morality is simply superseded, cast aside in the interests of fairness, freedom and equality. Let me help you understand what is at stake in this argument regarding marriage. In this month’s column, I would like to ex-plain some basic principles of our human nature – what we call our natural law. I want to show that our freedom to love fol-lows from our intention to love correctly, that is, according to God’s intention for us, in a manner that reflects His love for us. Next month, I would like to continue this by explaining why loving in a manner that reflects God’s love for us is at the heart of marriage between a man and a woman, but sadly impossible in those relationships which pretend to mimic marriage. The Marriage of the Virgin, Raphael, 1504 The meaning of marriage Self-sacrifice and loving as God loves us 2 Eastern Oklahoma Catholic / July/August 2012 / www. dioceseoftulsa .org Is freedom the same as free will? If we Catholics are going to defend the notion that marriage is between a man and a woman because the notion of mar-riage, the reality of marriage, excludes the possibility of homosexual unions or polygamous unions, then it is important to distinguish – at the ‘git-go,’ as we say in Oklahoma – between two words which seem almost interchangeable: freedom and free will.
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