Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Very Heart of Reality

Mark Shea (Catholic blogger hated by many Catholics) writes a piece of great scope and insight on love in the National Catholic Register.

In it, he points out that purity can be fruitful, for all real love is fruitful, whether consummated sexually or not.  By contrast, "safe sex" is never fruitful.  Shea writes (emphasis mine)...

The artificial virginity of contraceptive sex boils down to the permanent attempt to strip mine the gold of pleasure from the sacramental union of love and fruitfulness, enthrone autonomy and pleasure, and declare love and fruitfulness “optional” rather than what revelation declares them to be: the very heart of reality. It is the attempt to replace love with power.

Love and fruitfulness are "the very heart of reality", and when we avoid this heart of reality, we replace love with power.  This is quite simply true. 

We don't want to admit it's true.  We tell ourselves that we celebrate sodomy out of tolerance and good will.  We tell ourselves we simply enjoy pornography and onanism and that there's nothing really artificial or untrue about either of them.  We tell ourselves that our myriad relationships that mimic friendship are true friendships, even though mutual sacrifice and "getting real" are both carefully avoided.

But we're fooling ourselves.  These things are all about power- the human attempt to usurp reality and to create an unreality that we can control.

Thus the two main themes of this blog over the years ...
Unreality is a form of idolatry, it is setting up contrived situations that we can control.  It is in the air we breathe at almost every single suburban parish.  It permeates the suburban Mass, usually in the form of bad music that conveys a theme of contrived love or artificial faith, and in the form of insipid homilies that never "get real".

But unreality is all around us in other areas of our lives.  Our economy, based on fiat currency, unpayable debt and usury - an economy stripped from any meaningful relation to the creation of tangible wealth - is "unreal", a contrived situation that we think we can control.  Our entertainment is more and more about spectacle and sensations-that-numb-our-senses and less and less about the quiet realities and the unsettling truth of daily life.  The contraceptive mentality has effected even "Devout Catholics" and turned the relation between the sexes into a trade off of mutual use for emotional stroking - even when sexual activity is not involved.

And of course, since we despise the fruitfulness of real love, the unrealities we create to avoid "the very heart of reality" become more and more fiendish. 

This is an unwavering law of human nature, and it does not flow intuitively.  Why can our false constructs not be humane and kind and happy?  Why must our houses of cards become dungeons of torture?  Why can't our utopias be heavens?  Why are they always hells?

Because when we shut out reality, we are shutting out God, who is the ultimate reality and the source of all that's real.  And when we shut out God, we shut out love, for God is love.  And when we shut out love, we are left with power.  And when we are left with power, we become devils in the flesh - slowly, and subtly perhaps, but inevitably and inexorably.  A man-made universe that shuts out love, truth and God ... is hell itself, and we are its demons.

Shea points to the main example of this - how our culture abuses children, affirming his motto "a culture that despises virginity is a culture that despises children," who, he explains, "are both its weakest members and the last images we have of both purity and virginity."

Thus abortion; thus the sexualization of pre-teens; thus my need to monitor comments on this blog so as to keep away Devout Catholics who in effect condone child abuse by claiming that children as young as 12 can seduce adults, and that it's not the fault of the adults who molest sexy kids, because after all Statutory Rape is a legal fiction and how dare I suggest otherwise and Bishop Finn is just a victim of the liberal media and so forth and so on. 

We're all hypocrites and sinners in one way or another, and it's always where the rubber hits the road, where we get uncomfortable and challenged and asked to sacrifice - for it is there that our Unrealities are threatened and our private little hells come tumbling down, for not only will the Kingdom triumph over the gates of hell out there, but it also threatens to triumph over the gates of hell in here - in our hearts - and that's where the other heart - "the very heart of reality" - the reality of love and sacrifice and fruitfulness - becomes most disturbing to us.


Benjamin. said...

On a slightly seperate note, I read an article today that is disturbing on a number of levels.
It is about New York City high schools giving out morning-after pills to girls. I read another article where a parent insisted that teens were just going to have sex, as if it were some requirement. Disturbing that the school systems are essentially pressuring students to have premarital sex. And the number of abortions.

And yet the insistence that the problem is the availability of tools and medication. Ridiculous.
And I suppose the parents won't acknowledge the real problem, one many of them share; self-control.

Anymouse said...

Those stories are disturbing, but that is simply the inevitable outcome of modernist views of human sexuality. Unreality is in a long term process of self destruction, and it will not be pleasant particularly because it will take such a long time.
"And I suppose the parents won't acknowledge the real problem, one many of them share; self-control."
They have realized they lack the moral authority to oppose immorality in others, and have chosen to give in rather than turn away from their evil.