It frequently seems that people today have lost their way to true happiness. Love, deep and true love, is possible and the only road to happiness.
Just look at commercials on television. I don’t care what’s being advertised—cars, vitamins, diet programs, hair coloring, clothing or whatever. Too much of the time, the appeal is sex appeal: You buy or use this product and you’ll be irresistible to the opposite sex.
The problem is this: Sex sells. It sells because our society has become ignorant of the mystery and wonder of human sexuality. It’s all about sexual “freedom,” and personal pleasure.
Forget about total commitment. Forget about true love—oh, but it is said, “We do love each other.”
St. Josemaria Escriva said that only a chaste man and woman can experience true love.
You see, true love is sacrificial. It’s what marriage is all about: “I die to self for your sake,” say man and woman in marriage. Otherwise, it is not really a solid marriage. Without that total gift of self you cannot claim to love truly and completely. Our Lord said that the greatest sign of love is that you are willing to die for another (Jn 15:3). And that’s what marriage and true love is all about: “I die to self for you.”
You have to die a little, to live and love a lot. Invitations to “little deaths” arise every day—overlooking a remark that suggests an angry rebuke; sharing chores when you are ready to rest; caring for your friends’ baby while they are out playing golf; sitting up all night with your loved one who is ill; living chastely while the world urges you to commit adultery or practice artificial birth control.
And the list could go on.
I’m reminded of “The Good News About Sex,” a book written many years ago by Father David Knight, a long-time friend. It would be worth reading today by parents and teens.
Sex is sacred. It is given to us by God. Chaste sexual love between a husband and wife is one way of dying to self—you each become totally vulnerable to the other, seeking mutual self-giving. And, second, and by no means least, God’s gift of marital love is for the procreation of children. The bearing and rearing of children, by loving faith-filled parents, is a holy sign of God’s unending love, of the Church as a community of Eucharistic love—that love which dies to self for the sake of the other.
You can’t claim Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or honestly claim to be Christian, if you reject out of hand his authority and teaching and that of his Church.
Children are a burden and blessing. So was the Cross of Christ. My wife and I thank God for the family he has given us: seven children, twenty-one grandchildren and, so far, thirty-three great-grandchldren.
No wonder that Planned Parenthood hasn’t drafted us as a poster family!