Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Marriage and Mysticism

From Fr. Angelo:
We are not all called to have visions.  Not all true visionaries are holy and visions don’t make anyone holy.  But we are all called to an intimate communion with God, which is the holiness that only God can work in us and which is the primary vocation of all men.  Sometimes God uses extraordinary charisms to confirm the presence of holiness in a saint, as he did with the stigmata in St. Francis and Padre Pio, but the presence of charisms prove nothing if they are not accompanied by heroic virtue.  Balaam was a true prophet of God, for example, but he was an utterly wicked man....
Furthermore, while it is true that the right use of all the Sacraments, including Matrimony contribute to our intimate communion with God, it would be a mistake to suggest that the use of Holy Matrimony is somehow singularly mystical.  The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony itself, its whole reality including the use of it, is a great mystery, because of its reference to Christ and His Church (Eph 5:32; here the Greek mysterion is rendered in the Latin sacramentum).  But if from all this one concludes that sex in the context of Holy Matrimony, even as it is experienced by saintly couples, is a uniquely instrumental in the mystical life, say perhaps even more than reception of the Sacrament of Penance, then one is veering very close to the kind of sex mysticism practiced by the pagans.  In fact, sex mysticism is a particular hallmark of both historical paganism and today’s neopaganism.  So the ambiguous use of word “mysticism” in this context can create a great deal of confusion, as indeed it has. (Read more.)

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