What’s up with all these Catholic “no’s”?

It’s been a while since I’ve gone to daily Mass. So today I got up and went to the church of many issues where one of the priests has rather edgy (as in not completely orthodox) homilies.

Today he talked about how the church is so full of “no’s” and how negative it really is and gosh darn it, shouldn’t we be exuding rainbows and butterflies? Okay, I added that last part, but you get the picture. He quoted the verse “I came that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10) and the quote “The glory of God is man fully alive”. Both of those are beautiful quotes, and ones which have depth far beyond the surface that he scratched on. He kept going on about how depressing our faith is.

I really wanted to stop him afterward and ask “Father, you were talking about how our faith is all full of ‘no’s’ but isn’t it also about some of the most beautiful ‘yes’s’ too? Isn’t that what the ‘no’s’ lead to?” But he was nowhere to be found when Mass was over. Darn.

So I thought about it more. Sure, being Catholic means saying no to many things. For example, being Catholic means saying no to (among many other things):

  • Abortion
  • Artificial birth control
  • Gay ‘marriage’
  • Intimacy before marriage

But, wouldn’t you know, God created us for far better things. By saying no to those things, we say yes to:

  • the beauty of the lives of each and every person
  • family sizes determined by God
  • balanced family lives lived out through natural law
  • pure and holy marriages centered on God

A truly authentic Catholic life shows the beauty of God’s ultimate design for the human person. He designed us to love and to be loved, and all of our “no’s” exist to lead us to Him. If we said yes to every human passion and appetite, we would be just like the rest of the world. But us? Us Catholics are different. We’re unlike the rest of the world because Jesus set us apart  to be the light of the world.

Instead of pushing aside these important topics, we need to confront them head on and live up to them. We need to show the world that our lives are different because of the yes’s these no’s lead to. And we are better because of it.

4 thoughts on “What’s up with all these Catholic “no’s”?”

  1. Hm, I could possibly see a good intention behind the less-than-perfect homily. But, of course, I wasn’t there and have a tendency to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the priest was trying to say Catholics should be happy and emphasize the positives. It’s not a bad sentiment, though it could easily get out of control and diminish the importance of the “no”s.
    Because you’re right. The “no”s are important. The “no”s are like a good mother saying “don’t burn yourself on the stove”. Which, as you point out, leads us to true happiness and all those “yes”s like not being burned.

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