Confronting the Unreality of Same Sex 'Marriage'
things, of natural things, including natural institutions. Art (techne) and convention (nomos) become superior to nature (physis), and even begin to work at cross purposes with it.
Given this mindset, all things--and this includes marriage and all natural institutions--become subject exclusively to art (techne). Art for art's sake. Science for science's sake. Laws for laws' sake. Profits for profits' sake. Marriage for marriage's sake. There is no natural morality walking about and governing our modern artists, scientists, politicians, businessmen, or advocates of same sex "marriage."
The poet David Jones called the event that caused this "the Break." It is the rejection of nature as a God-given limit, as a source of meaning. It finds its source in the Enlightenment, but it has continued forward as if it were a destructive juggernaut. Whatever created thing hits "the Break" is broken. Once "the Break" hit marriage, and marriage suffered the effects of "the Break," marriage was broken. Same-sex "marriage" is the result of the natural institution of marriage that has suffered "the Break."
Once appropriated by modern man and rejected as a source of meaning, nature loses its significatory or symbolic message. Since grace builds upon nature, it follows that when nature suffers "the Break," the sacraments suffer as well because the sacraments build upon the symbolic or significatory meaning in natural things (bread, wine, oil, water, marriage, conjugal sex, etc.).
That is certainly true of the sacrament of marriage. In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul talks about the natural institution of marriage: "For this reason, man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh." (Eph. 5:31). That's nature.
Immediately, building upon natural marriage, follows the sacrament: "This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and the Church." (Eph. 5:32) That's grace.
In a sense, the sacrament of marriage does not destroy the original, natural institution, but perfects it. But it also presupposes it.
To marriage, which is a natural something-God-given-worked-with, something with all its inherent signs and symbols (complementarity of the sexes, openness to life, fidelity, monogamy), is superadded grace, a supernatural something-God-given-worked with.
Like the natural institution of marriage, a natural gift, the sacrament of marriage is also something given, a supernatural gift. For this reason, the Church has no authority to dicker with, to change, or to re-work the fundamental law of marriage, whether natural or supernatural.
"Therefore, what God has joined, let no man put asunder." (Mark 10:9)
When the natural institution of marriage suffers "the Break," something we are witnessing even now, its natural symbols are destroyed. There is no natural significance or symbolic meaning left in same sex "marriage." That's why it is no marriage at all, but a mockery of marriage, an ape of marriage, a travesty of marriage. It is an equivocal, an unreal marriage.
It is unable to hold any natural signification or symbolism which means, of course, it is not open to any sacramental grace which builds on natural signs and symbols. A sacrament is both a sign of the underlying reality and a cause of the underlying reality. If there is no underlying natural reality, no sign or symbol, it simply can't exist.
You can't baptize with dirt (you need water). A dog cannot confess (you need a person who can both sin, and confess sins). A woman cannot be ordained a priest (you need a man, an adam). You cannot receive last rites with toothpaste (you need oil). Two men or two women cannot marry (you need one man and one woman).
Same sex "marriage" is not only intrinsically lacking in complementarity of the sexes, it is intrinsically sterile. It is unnatural, has no natural significance or symbol, and cannot transmit or hold or contain, as it were, any grace.
It is as graceless as it is unnatural.
There is no natural good in it upon which grace can build. Same sex "marriage" is at most a human artifice, and an ugly one at that. Only a natural good can be a carrier of grace. An artifice--especially one which is unreal--cannot be a carrier of sacramental grace. It is as elusive a thing because as unreal a thing as the smile on a Cheshire cat.
Grace, a supernatural reality, requires nature, a natural reality. Something as unnatural as same-sex "marriage" is unreality.
In one of his sermons, John Henry Newman declaimed against "unreal words." In the sermon, ...
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: homosexual marriage, gay marriage, marriage, natural institution, Andrew M. Greenwell
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