The liturgical season of Lent has surely begun not only in the Church but also in my heart and daily life! As Catholics we view these next 40 days as a time in the desert, a time of spiritual renewal and sacrifice. It is without fail that when lent rolls around each year I find myself struggling ever more to live the Christian life. Everyday seems to be a struggle in patience, fortitude, and most especially charity. For me it is equivalent of 40 days of PMSing.
The Church is wise though in her desire to "build in" so to speak this time of renewal for the Church and her people. Although I tend to complain either silently to myself or outwardly to others how hard these 40 days are, I always come away from lent feeling renewed and more eager to live a life for Christ. It truly is amazing when you step back from the world and give yourself time to reflect and meditate on Christ how you begin to see life so differently.
The past few months I have struggled greatly with keeping my cool when reading and hearing about the HHS mandate that President Obama has decided to force upon the Catholic Church. I found myself outraged, hurt, frustrated, pissed. I struggled with understanding how God was working in all of this, and how He would somehow bring good out of it. As a young adult minister I racked my brain with how to address this crucial topic with my young adults. How was I going to begin to educate them on the importance of Religious Freedom and why the Catholic Church stands firms in its beliefs on the dignity of human life? And when I thought long and hard about it, truly, it all comes back to sex. Our world does not understand the true beauty and purpose for sex and if we did we would not have the severe issues that we have in our world today. For when sex goes, so goes marriage, so goes the family and ultimately so goes society. Just take a moment and think about it. Before the 1960's and the sexual revolution we did not have the high divorce rates, all the children out of wedlock, abortion etc. It is when we decided to view sex as an extra curricular activity rather than the way to show love to your spouse and procreate new life that we began to have serious problems. No wonder we are where we are today. You look at a Victoria Secret display window these days and you are basically looking at porn, you can sit and watch anything on tv or in the movie theatre and there is always a reference to sex if not a full blown scene of the sexual act. We have become so desensitized to it that we barely notice it any more.
I am so thankful for this time of lent to truly focus on who God created me to be. If the only good thing that comes out of this mandate is that I come to fully understand God's true love for sex and His plan for it in my life than thanks be to God! I encourage all of you to do the same. We are the ones that can change the future for our children, we have to stand up and fight to do so.