They Have Gone Blind

“Oh, no,” I thought, as I pulled into the church parking lot in search of a Mass. “Here we go again. The ‘60s in all their glory.”   Against the morning sky, the irregular silhouette of the brick building looked nothing like a church.

I passed through the vast lobby into the angular church: sterile, bare, and plain. The one artistic touch was the stained glass windows, but I’m pretty sure I had seen them before–in the nightmare I had after reading Dante’s Inferno. Worst of all, behind the sanctuary the brown brick wall was broken only by a large, white square. The boring stucco outline reminded me vaguely of a parking garage. No colors, no aesthetic appeal. Just a blank backdrop.

To be fair, what the church lacked in design, the priest made up for in reverence. While I find it hard to feel I’m in a church when the decor tells me I’m in a town hall or modern art museum, by the consecration the “jaws-of-hell” stained glass windows had ceased to distract me.

But suddenly, as the priest raised the consecrated host above his head, it disappeared. I blinked in astonishment. Against the blank cream-white square of the sanctuary, the cream-white host was virtually invisible. “Behold the Lamb of God,” proclaimed the priest, as I could behold nothing but his raised hands and arms stretched up above the altar.  Just as I made an act of faith that the host was no longer bread but the Body of my Lord and God, so too I had to make an act of faith that the host was even there.  I simply could not see it.  My mind raced back to Thomas. “Blessed are those who do not see, but believe.”

Coming out of that church, I realized: when you paint your world one color, all distinctions and meanings disappear.  As I mused upon my invisible God and my blindness caused by the bad backdrop, it reminded me of another kind of blindness I encounter every day. “Why can’t they see?” I have cried in disbelief at the headlines I read this week. Radical gay-agenda activists are ranting more and more about “marriage equality,” and daily I discover that for many people, who man is and the purpose of sexuality have disappeared. They have gone blind.

What to me always has been, and always will be, an obvious and self-evident truth, is to them simply invisible. “Love is love,” they declare–a tautology disguising their ignorance of what love means. Their blindness is all-encompassing. Men can be women. Women can be men. Even children are sexualized to push the gender-destroying agenda. It is truly heartbreaking to witness their open-eyed delusion and one wonders how they can be shown the truth.

door to nothing 2

LGBT activists chose a rainbow as their emblem, but I believe a blank, single color–like the wall of a parking garage–would be much more appropriate. They use one and only one standard by which to measure their actions: sexual satisfaction. Human nature, the love of God, natural order written in our heart–none of this matters to them. All that matters is the satisfaction of their sensual desires, even if they are self-destructive and unnatural. Blinded by their overriding misconception of love, they cannot see the reality of the love of God.

Ignoring the contrasts and harmonies of men and women in their God-intended roles, they obliterate distinctions between genders. They level all things by one crooked ruler, paint all the earth one color, all one theme: so it is not surprising that their ability to see the truth disappears. They deliberately discard the context in which sexuality is meant to be understood; so they cannot see what sexuality actually means.  Sex is for two inseparable ends: the loving union between a man and a woman in a permanent relationship, and the procreation of children as the fruit of that love. If you reject that–as America did in the 1960s when it began to accept contraception and modern church art–then the authentic context is gone and the truth disappears. Divorce, abortion, and gay marriage logically follow as steps along a blind path, deprived of the light of truth.

Soon the Supreme Court will decide whether to legalize gay marriage in the United States, and gay rights activists are pushing hard to erase all lines between men and women. Against the backdrop of their disordered desires, God’s design disappears and they can no longer see the truth; and they want everyone else to see it their way, too.

But though many will keep telling me, when it comes to differences between men and women, that there is nothing there to see–just as some tell me the Eucharist is only bread–I believe that men and women are intrinsically different. I believe God made it that way. And I believe that that is not only incredibly good, but incredibly beautiful. It may be a long time before we leave behind the inheritance of the ‘60s, the backdrop which robbed our churches of their designed beauty and threatens to rob our marriages of their beautiful design. But I know that even if we cannot see the restoration of truth in society, the truth is still there. The Lamb of God is still raised on high, invisible though He may be, and He still shall take away the sins of our dark, blind world.

 

image credit: shutterstock.com

Lauren Enk

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Lauren Enk is a student at Christendom College in Front Royal, VA, where she plans to major in English and minor in Philosophy. She writes as an editor for Christendom’s student newspaper, The Rambler, regularly posts opinion articles at her own blog, God’s Spies, and is a regular contributor to The Catholic Young Woman Blog.

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  • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

    Brings yet another meaning to what Fr Bob Barron calls ‘Beige Catholicism’ :)

  • kirk

    Lauren: As I read along in your column, I could feel the energy and truth of your message, for it speaks of the monotony of a single colored rainbow, without contrast or unique individuality. I pictured all men, women and children dressed in the same color clothing, Borg-like common thoughts, each knowing all, all knowing and approving of each.

    Then, as I neared the end, I read your words, “Divorce, abortion, and gay marriage logically follow as steps along a blind path, deprived of the light of truth.” I was caught up short. I know you are young, obviously brilliant, and love your faith. I may not be so young, or brilliant, but I do love my Catholic faith – and yet I was gathered up in your sentence like a trussed up turkey ready for the oven on Thanksgiving day – for I am divorced. Whatever my reasons, I am equated with the same rampant abortion & gay marriage advocates of the present day. Perhaps in your studies, you should acquaint yourself with valid reasons to divorce, like the protection of self and children from abuse and unrestrained, unrepentant adultery by the spouse of one such as myself. Then you might not be so quick to cast us all into the same pit.

    I will keep you in my prayers that you do not have to walk a mile in my shoes.

  • blkequus

    the church has always permitted married couples to separate when in a dangerous situation. But in general divorce is a horrible practice, that destroys families and damages children.

  • MjMcC

    Kirk, I agree with your sentiments, and I share your situation. I am also a divorced Catholic. However, we must acknowledge truth when it is right in front of us no matter how painful it might be. Yes, I had valid reasons for a divorce, and I pray that God, my children, and my Church can forgive me and my former spouse. The mistakes I made will have ramifications for generations. But I also pray that my children might not make the same mistakes. Divorce is rooted in the same problem as abortion and same-sex attraction: an overly self-absorbed personality. I can’t speak for all divorces, but the seeds of my divorce (and many others) go back to the fact that I was immature when I got married. The difference between a mature person and an immature person is not age but outlook. The immature person thinks first and foremost about themselves while a mature person can make a gift of themselves to the ‘other’. That’s where divorce, abortion, and same-sex ‘marriage’ intersect.

  • MjMcC

    Lauren, nicely written article and certainly a voice and opinion that needs to be heard in today’s culture. Wonderful connection to the Eucharist and the sad state of Church art and architecture (and as a musician, I should also admit the sad state of our music) that I swallowed so readily as a child of the 60′s.

    Pope John Paul II talked about this same problem in his teachings on the Theology of the Body. And that was based squarely on the shoulders of Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae. What else could be the purpose of sexual intercourse? If it is merely for procreation, the ‘other’ simply becomes a means to and end to create another human. If it is merely for sexual gratification, the ‘other’ becomes a means to the end of satisfying selfish desires. Either way, we ‘use’ the other. We turn them into an object. We treat them as something less than human. Only when we recognize the dual purpose of the conjugal act will we acknowledge the human dignity of the partner.

    You have exposed the truly pernicious problem of same-sex marriage. In denying both purposes of sexual intercourse (they can neither fully unite sexually nor procreate) it becomes obvious that a same-sex relationship is rooted selfishness, objectifying the ‘other,’ refusing to acknowledge the human dignity of the partner. Why would we think this is okay?

  • Lisa C

    Well said Lauren!

  • pnyikos

    Lauren is, after all, still a student, and we can’t expect perfect wording when so many adults use the word “divorce” with the understanding, “and remarriage”. In other words, they use “divorce” in its full secular sense.

    Catholics are allowed to divorce; it is remarriage or sexual relations with others while divorced that is impermissible. In fact, I read a booklet on annullments which actually said a civil divorce is a good idea before beginning the process of obtaining an annulment. This is logical: if there was no valid matrimony to begin with, it is best that the couple not live like husband and wife until their sacramental relationship is clarified.

  • QuoVadisAnima

    While all this is true, the reason the blind are leading here is because we are living in the Age of Cain. The homosexual activists are succeeding because of a predominance of people who ignorantly shrug their shoulders & say ‘that’s their choice, it doesn’t matter to me”. IOW, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Why do so few Christians, and especially Catholics, realize that God’s answer was ‘yes, you are!”?

  • Maria

    No one really has divorced people in the “same” pit. But, the question, and I am the child of a divorce, is really why did you marry that person in the first place. You made that decision–a leopard doesn’t change its spots.

    The repercussions of divorce on the family and on the succeeding generations and family members. The confusion it brings to the children never ends even when it is time to bury the parents–together? Not together?

  • BillinJax

    The Seen and Unseen

    We need to ask ourselves “What do you Catholics believe when
    you proclaim, I believe in one God…….and in all that is seen and unseen or
    visible and invisible as it is now? These are not and must not be just words to
    a devout and conscientious follower of Christ and faithful Catholic. Hopefully
    you are saying we are aware of the forces of Evil constantly surrounding us
    trying in any way to tug, tease, or tempt us from accomplishing our mission to
    do God’s will among men. We realize we live in an imperfect world as the result
    of sin which lives in those Evil forces attempting to steal as much of mankind
    as possible from the shelter of Christ’s sacrifice of Love within the Fathers
    house. Understanding this allows us to look beyond the seen for the unseen
    within what men propose as solutions to our problems or methods to improve
    conditions or to the vain attempts to tamper with the very physical elements of
    life itself. These are the areas where the powerful forces of Evil can disguise
    themselves as benevolent benefits or evolving enlightenment for a society too
    eager to advance to an earthly man made Utopia without pain or consequence and
    privilege without price.

    Our Lord came and was seen as a humble but faithful servant
    of Father in heaven teaching the ways of the Father of Love but also
    acknowledging the ever invisible presence of the devious deception of Evil
    opposed to His Will, promising us that whoever would believe in Him shall be
    worthy of the unseen Glory of God awaiting redeemed mankind.

    We may consider what we see as our modern western society
    the height of human achievement and marvel at our accomplishments but at the
    same time are we not also witnessing the unforeseen collapsing of it both
    morally and structurally?

    Far too often in recent history we have seen how leaders
    avoided the moral challenges in the light of truth and chosen do their work in
    the cool comfort of darkness where their deeds are less visible and the sleepy
    eyed gatekeepers have often been unwilling to sound the alarm for fear of
    disturbing the peace. As a result decisions have been made, choices are in
    place, and worst of all we have changed our language and vocabulary to fit an
    agenda contrary to our conscience. An unborn child is no longer a human being.
    Killing it is not a crime it is a right. Pregnancy is a disease or at the very
    least, as our own president has declared, it is a punishment for poor hygiene
    practice. Preventing pregnancy is praised and to be rewarded by a benevolent
    Federal government with free contraception for women and young school aged
    girls. All the while the same government disallows any mention of God in all
    its public schools and buildings. Religious liberty is no longer
    constitutionally protected but subject to the interpretation of bureaucrats in Washington.
    Free speech is soon to be a thing of the past as power hungry elitists and
    legislators have assumed the role of judges of vocabulary allowed to determine
    what can be publicly permissible speech. Every Christian value which helped build
    the shinning city on the hill is being challenged or cast aside to establish
    the Utopia of fools and it is time for us to unmask and reveal the Evil
    presence in the public policies proposed by the blind or misguided individuals
    perpetuating the corruption of our culture. The most potent weapon of Evil is
    our unwillingness to recognize its existence among us.

    Pray the hearts of the faithful will be opened that
    they may be able to see the unseen and unmask and reveal the Evil presence
    among us today

  • Annamarie

    I agree with everything Lauren has pointed out so beautifully. However, what are people like me, who did NOT want a divorce, to do? In the state in which I and my ex-husband live, he would have gotten the divorce no matter what. All I could do was to make the best “deal” I could to continue to live due to an illness that is over a decade old, finally erupting into a nervous breakdown when the pressure to “get a better attitude” to get well became too much. Not to mention a PRIEST advised my husband that his best course of action for his happiness would be to divorce me! This was after we had had our marriage blessed in the Church as we acknowledged that our original “wedding” was not leading us closer to our Lord, plus we both had become practicing Cursillistas. Twice my husband vowed, as I did, all of our wedding vows. How is it I am dumped into the same bin, is what I think the other people were trying to say, as those who actively work against the Church.

    I have no doubt I was not guilt free in our marriage, but who is? But when he had cancer, I never made the first squawk about leaving him in the year he was being treated with chemotherapy, and then all the time that went by being checked again. He was, and is, a medical miracle.

    There is no “fair” in life. I understand that, but, please, do not run off from Holy Mother Church who so very much want to be part of parish life! There may be no “fair,” but surely there is just. Is making people like me feel unwelcome in the very Church we have devoted most of our adult lives when we most need the prayers of our priest and congregation, just?

    If you can explain it to me, please, please do.

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