From all eternity, Almighty God has conceived of our salvation, and the image in His mind has been a heavenly wedding, the marriage feast of Christ the Bridegroom with His spouse, the Church. Thus He created us male and female, and in the fullness of time He made the stable and fruitful communion of man and woman into a sacrament of salvation.
Therefore, people love weddings. And not just for sentimentality’s sake. We love weddings because they show us an image of heaven. As the Fathers of Vatican II put it:
As God of old made Himself present to His people through a covenant of love and fidelity, so now the Savior of men and the Spouse of the Church comes into the lives of married Christians through the sacrament of matrimony. He abides with them thereafter so that just as He loved the Church and handed Himself over on her behalf, the spouses may love each other with perpetual fidelity. (Gaudium et Spes 48)
Beautiful. But we also have to confront the messier side of this business. If our First Parents had never fallen from grace—if sin had never entered the world—then no one would ever fornicate, or marry imprudently, or cheat, or divorce, or do any other destructive or unchaste thing. But…
Couldn’t Christ the Lord have become man without a mother, seeing that he was able to do so without a father? …Would it have been difficult for the Wisdom of God, the power of God, the only-begotten Son of God, would it have been difficult for him to make the man whom he was to attach to himself from whatever material he wished?
But…he wished to have a human being as mother…Christ wished to adopt the male sex in himself, and he was happy to honor the female sex in his mother. You see, right at the beginning the woman too sinned…each partner was taken by the devil’s evil deceit.
If Christ, then, had come as a man without any acknowledgement of the female sex, woman would have despaired of themselves…
In fact, he honored both sexes, he acknowledged both, he took both to himself. He was born of a woman; don’t despair, men; Christ was happy to be a man. Don’t despair, women; Christ was happy to be born of a woman.
A lot of us have heard the canard: “The Catholic Church has a hang-up when it comes to sex.”
If you hear this while you are on your way out the door to Mass today, just smile patiently.
You are no prude. You are on your way to celebrate one of the Church’s biggest feast days, the day when a man and his wife had sex, and the world was changed forever.
We are not afraid of the way God made us, male and female. We say that it is good for men and women to get married and make babies.
The peddlers of the contraceptive culture of death–they are the prudes. Their stratagems try to turn sex into something shameful.
Sexual sin is shameful, sure enough. But the Church does not have feast days for sins, and today is the feast day of the conception of a baby.
Today is the day when God, St. Joachim, and St. Ann–together–gave us our Lady. She was conceived the old-fashioned way. God made a new Garden of Eden in St. Ann’s womb. The baby was pure from the first moment of her tiny, beautiful existence!
…continuing with the P&BD theme of telling it like it is, here is a Chris Cooley quote for you:
“We just sucked. Right now we suck as an offense.”