Jakubczyk on Common Sense

Applying faith and reason to ideas, issues and events in today's world

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John J. Jakubczyk has been active in the Pro-Life Movement since 1975.  He served as President of Arizona Right to Life, Arizona's largest, oldest and strongest pro-life organization.  He was on the board of AzRTL for many years and now acts as the Arizona delegate to the National Right to Life Committee.  As the founder and president of Southwest Life & Law Center, he continues to use his legal skills to assist in advising, counseling and defending women, children, pro-life activists, organizations, as well as victims of abortion. A national speaker, motivator and adviser since the 1980s, he is very familiar with the history of the movement at the national level.   A founder and past president of Ville de Marie Academy, he served as a trustee for 15 years.  He has been an attorney in private practice for 35 years, is active in his church, married, the father of 11 children, and a proud grandfather.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Reflecting on true love - Deus Caritas Est

At a morning breakfast with members of the St. Thomas More society, the Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, encouraged the attendees to read Pope Benedict's first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. He gave us some thoughts on the subject but during the question and answer session was asked whether Humane Vitae, Pope Paul VI's encyclical, explaining the Catholic Church's teaching on artificial birth control, had hurt the Church's ability to reach out to people regarding the Gospel message.

Bishop Olmsted explained that Humane Vitae was correct in teaching the world of the essential connection between love and life and that it had been prophetic in predicting the problems men and women would face when separating the unitive and generative aspects of the marital act. Further, he pointed out the problems that society as a whole has suffered because sexual intimacy has been reduced to simply pleasure.

There are many people who have condemned the Church's teaching on artificial birth control without ever having read or studied the reasoning behind it. Indeed the most vocal critics tend to be those who will not take the time to actually understand the church's position. Further, too many Catholics are ready to attack the teaching without knowing what it states. Finally, there are a great many priests who are afraid to preach on subjects involving human sexuality. This ignorance makes the pope's first encyclical a must read.

The paradox of the Catholic Church's teaching on human sexuality is that it gives the person true freedom. It releases the chains of so-called "modern" thought that bind the individual and opens up a meaning and explanation of human sexuality and its purpose that liberate the soul. No longer is the person to be seen as an "object" of desire. No longer must a person "satisfy" or "meet certain needs" that never seem to be enough. Pleasure is found in its proper context and the true joy that is found in the relationship with the beloved is expressed in total self-giving and reception that mirrors the divine. Openness to the other, an awakening of the acknowledgement of the love of the other, a mutual appreciation of the unity of mind, body and soul, become the focus of celebration of love. This attitude of generosity allows for the couple to accept the gift of new life from God if so blessed. It is this example by the parents that provides children with a deep sense of duty to care for one another and to see the grace of God in all things and events, and most importantly in their fellow man.

The irony is that it is the Catholic Church which has the healthiest and fullest appreciation of the role and purpose of sex and love. The church's understanding of sex appreciates the dignity of both the man and the woman. She invites the man and woman to share their commitment to each other with God who will bless and strengthen their love for one another for the rest of their lives. She reminds the couple that they reaffirm their commitment to each other in the marital embrace.

The church offers true freedom to those in the single state by calling for people to treat each other as persons and not as objects, explaining the true purpose and place of sexual intimacy. This affirms the dignity of the person and underscores the importance of dealing with the whole person.

Benedict is very readable and logical, his style much more readable than Pope John Paul II, whose writings were so thick with substance that one literally "chewed" his words to digest their meaning.

Deus Caritas Est. God is Love. Indeed. With so many people lonely and afraid, how so important to hear this message at this time in the history of the world.