Friday, 12 March 2010

Human Love and the Devil part two

The fundamental problem with human sexuality is that we are all damaged. This is the great truth that springs from a correct understanding of Original Sin, and it is largely untaught.

The reasons for it not being taught are many. I suspect some are:

1 that it entails belief in the Devil, which is not very fashionable;

2 that people think it engenders fear and guilt, which are not very fashionable.

However, with regard to 1, it is clear that Our Lord believed in the Devil - and indeed met him. With regard to 2, fear and guilt are appropriate responses to, respectively, the prospect of eternal damnation, and sin. They may not be the best or highest motivators to the devout life, and inappropriate fear or guilt can be very destructive, but to negate them all together is folly.

Moreover, Original Sin makes sense: we need to understand that at the start of the human race, our first parents ceded power in the world to a malevolent and powerful fallen angel (‘the Lord of this World’) and also did damage to themselves and their offspring. Then we can make sense both of natural disasters and of human frailty.

We are particularly damaged in the area of sexuality precisely because the Devil hates it. He hates love and he hates our ability to co-operate in the creation of new life. So he has focussed his attack there and caused great damage. Hence abortion, contraception, infidelity, homosexuality, paedophilia, pornography, promiscuity, frigidity,and every other destructive tendency in human sexuality: all spring from this fundamental damage - and we are all vulnerable to one or more of them...

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