The ARM of St. Michael
Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss [her]?”He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” [His] disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” He answered, “Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”
Matthew 19: 3-12
No one on earth speaks as Jesus does, in true authority. The sermon on divorce addresses those who sense the transformation of low flesh into blessed soul. It shows us the original source of sexual error: hardness of heart. Hard hearts cannot or will not perceive the Truth. Hard hearts ignore wisdom and do what feels inebriating. Hardness of heart can be voluntary, knowing God’s designs, with consent to uphold them, and refuse them anyway. It can be involuntary, as when doing haplessly, because of deep disfigurement, what one has come to hate.
Sexual faculty has been designed by God for a two-fold purpose: to bind the holy two of marriage in one flesh, which science also begins to reveal in our time as the extraordinary biochemical interplay of two persons living in each other’s very cells. Two, the creation of children, necessary for life on earth. This essence of human sexual function is simple and complete: one man one woman, united in each other for each other, and which alone begets child.
What then is the problem? The refusal to accept the truth of eternal order and design, and instead to argue a “new order” from human ideas, weaknesses, preferences, accommodations, and attachments. We know well the late cascading litanies of sexual identity error. They begin with the ancient effects of original sin and extend to the ideological experiments of modern nations, which falter in their dependence and adherence to natural law, grace, and the Only God Who made and blessed them. For the United States and Europe, the moral erosion begins circa 1850, with retreat from religious conviction among the wealthiest and educated.
Increasing portions of the last six generations of the industrial west have accelerated the idea of abandoning human biological vocation altogether. Beginning with Hemingway’s “lost generation”, effete children wounded by the first spread of western addictions, who turned to wandering, hedonism, intellectual tourism, curiosity, luxury, avant-gardism, atheism, and prodigal escapism from family. The first tracings of feminism in communist Russia during the 1910s. Then after the first world war, the fearful, post-traumatic plunge into modernism, with its overturning of morals, manners, traditional feminine roles, invention of simple contraception, altering of sexual mores, elevation of science & technology to religion, creation of mass media and mass economic culture in the 1920s; the awful double-bind of the worldwide great depression and development of medical contraception in the 1930s; separation of church and state after the second world war in the 1940s; another post-war post-traumatic medicating, in the legalization of pornography & contraception, and sexual revolution of the 1950s; the “liberation” of women, removal of prayer from public schools in the 1960s; discarding of marital values, no-fault divorce, legalization of abortion, de-pathologizing of homosexuality and ascendancy of individual interests over family responsibility in the 1970s; the proliferation of sexual diseases, “neosexual” solipsism, self addiction and perversion rising through the 1980s, the Supreme-Court spoken civil right to existential self-definition, the revival of paganisms and the omnibus of Internet porneia during the 1990s, “civil right to sodomy” in 2003… “gay marriage” in 2016…. In all, 170 years of moral declination, to the point of legislated disobedience to natural law. In other words, to a world where many enshrine the right to lust and proclaim the sexually unordered as normal.
Why? Hardness of heart, broken wills, broken consciences, lack of discernment, instruction, biological literacy and faith. Lust is a flood that has unknowingly engulfed a multitude, such that leaders, even in the Church , want to pronounce sexual idiosyncrasies and inversions as incurable and irreversible. But the true and beautiful and good God will not submit to his creature’s false hope in the sexually unordered.
Sex under Nothing’s influence, becomes a self-kingdom that keeps its lone victim oriented in the perpetual experience of intoxication. Missing is soul, spirit, reason, God’s plan, God’s design, wisdom, wonder, natural complimentarity, cosmic delicacy, meaning, theology of the body. Substituted for this inexhaustible paradigm is mere sensuality, license to crave, hoard, and abuse the flesh of impulse which begets bad habit, obsession and compulsion, vice and sin. In lusts, sex becomes third party, something that obtains an exclusive focus, an end in itself. In other words, an idol, a false god. Lust always incarcerates its ‘believer’ in an isolated world of power and control, frequently unaware that it is a yoke of slavery. Even the substance of a person ‘I am who I am’, is insidiously exchanged instead for an act, ‘I am what I like to do’.
In true Love, there are only two complimenting pairs of eyes & hands; two clean hearts, two pure souls who are not looking at the carnal snare , but only at each other in the presence of God. It is this option, the apple of taking, of control, Satan’s goad, that wants to eclipse the true human heart of giving, and human obedience to creature faculty and purpose.
Are we ready yet for the Creator’s already perfect design? Are we ready for His way of grace and divine guidance, our sacrifice to never give up trying to want what is pure and clean for our hearts and lives? Are we nauseated by soulless modernism? Are we sick of drifting darkly in dying empty flesh?
Heavenly Father please send the Holy Spirit with the gift of discernment, so that all souls can see disfigurement when it has found its way into the heart, to see when one’s heart is hardened by sin, by habit, by pride, by spiritual ignorance, by deep unchosen wounds. Give desire Father for true health in mind and sexual faculty, in our hearts, to those in most need. Give us all desire to accept the truth of our creation, the truth of our nature, the unalterable and noble truth of right sexual faculty. Forgive us Lord for the abyss of our stupidities and give us the desire to believe in mercy and to will our transformation out of sexual disfigurement by your gift of salvation, by the blood of Christ. We beg with faith in Jesus’ name. Amen.