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The Celebration of Love

June 13, 2023 5 min read
A double rainbow over a lake

The early days of June bring about the celebration of Pride parades in many Western cities. These gatherings give attention to the LGBTQ+ community, celebrating sexual differences, preferences, and inclusivity, all under the uniting rainbow banner. At first glance, any effort to promote greater love and acceptance seems noble and worthwhile. Yet it is helpful to understand the rise of this cultural movement within the context of our Faith and Christian anthropology. Doing so provides a lens through which human sexuality can be better appreciated and understood in its full dignity.

The Western world has increasingly embraced a mindset that fails to acknowledge the existence of a creating God. The result of this oversight leaves humanity with no foundation on which to understand our own nature and the meaning of our actions. Many behave as if there is no ultimate meaning or purpose to life, and therefore, there is no inherent significance to one’s body or actions. It therefore seems logical to assume that everyone should be free to create his or her own sense of meaning through creative self-expression, and any attempt to coerce others into believing that there is a certain way to live and interpret human nature seems arbitrary and bigoted. Given this cultural context, it is easy to see why the LGTBQ+ movement gains traction in the hopes of enabling its members to find meaning and direction through their own sexual identity and expression. In this, many people are united in the conviction that our lives must have meaning, and that we are not the result of random processes of evolution. Christian believers have common ground in this regard, which allows for greater dialogue in understanding our true nature and the dignity of our bodies.

Yet beyond the starting point of wanting to find meaning for our lives, the Catholic vision has always maintained the additional principle that we are created. This simple statement carries many ramifications, as it branches out into a matrix of other interlocking truths. These include the recognition that created beings have a Creator who provides a design for what He has brought into existence. It also implies that creatures will flourish when maintaining the intended design for which they were made. This design is not only limited to one’s shape or form, but also includes a plan for proper behavior and an ultimate goal of personal fulfillment that comes in being in communion with the Creator. Additionally, when human beings follow a different trajectory from that for which they were created, the Creator has provided a remedy for our waywardness. He has allowed us to be restored to proper communion with Him through the sacrifice and redemption offered by Christ, His Son. In this way, Christ fully reveals our humanity to ourselves, as Gaudium et Spes 22 says in the documents from the Second Vatican Council. The proper design for humanity is seen in how we were created and how we have been redeemed as beloved sons and daughters of God.

Many members of the LGBTQ+ movement do not share this vision of Christian anthropology. It is understandable that they still desire for their lives to have meaning and want a basic framework by which to understand innate desires for love, companionship, and sexual expression. Yet a quest of love need not be redefined by our own efforts. It has already been accomplished by God in the redemption He offers the human race through the sacrifice of His Son. That supreme witness of love on the wood of the cross embraces all people into His pattern of love and companionship, never wanting any person, past, present, or future, to be outside of His design for true and lasting love with Him.

Amidst all the complexities of our world and the competing voices that vie for our attention, one can sympathize with contemporary efforts to promote love that is supportive and accepting. In this, one can recognize that the emotions, desires, and passions with which we have been created carry a deep meaning in the design of human nature, which cannot be overlooked. We are wired for love. We are created for companionship. Yet the ways in which we understand the dignity of our bodies and the ways in which we enter into sexual unions should not be individually determined. If someone believes that his or her gender is different than what is externally expressed by the body, or if someone feels that they cannot identify with customary norms of heterosexuality, they still share a common desire for sexual integration and fulfillment. Yet such desires should find satisfaction in the designs of our Creator and the biological facts given to us by His design. For to act in a way contrary to the complimentary of His design for men and women, or to redefine our biological sexual identity, will only lead us further away from His plans for our lives, and therefore, further away from Him.

In a month in which many Western cities celebrate the gift of love and promote greater acceptance with the rainbow flag, the voices of Christians should ring loudly with the greatest vision of authentic love. That vision is rooted in our Creator’s offer of redemption and avoids the burden of leaving us to shape the individual meaning of our own bodies and sexual identity. There is much to celebrate in the gift of love. And in a desire to love with acceptance and compassion, our witness should give others a robust and compelling account of the truth. Such truth acknowledges the common ground that we desire love, companionship, and fulfillment. Yet it should also acknowledge the vital role of our Creator who gave us the symbol of the rainbow in his initial covenant with His people. Acknowledging Him as the source of the rainbow of love and His embrace of all His sons and daughters in a spirit of true acceptance, should be our true source for celebration during this month of June.

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