In today’s Being Frank post, Big Ted…little ted, and friends… (he he, it’s actually a very good one), some of the comments highlighted a couple of very important facts; namely, that there is the perception and there’s the reality. Catholicism is often perceived as a religion of intolerance and restrictions – a bunch of nay-sayers – but the reality is that (if lived fully) it is the source of freedom and joy – found in being able to say “yes” wholeheartedly to the greatest and most beautiful, loving and true things of this world and the next. The Church is a loving mother who does all things for the greatest good of her children.
As Scribe pointed out, our present Pope is working to communicate this to the world and, I suspect, the members of the Church as well – that to be Catholic is to first of all to see and rejoice in the “yes”. This, he made clear in his second major media engagement as Pope, when he said, “Christianity, Catholicism, isn’t a collection of prohibitions: It’s a positive option.”
This is explained further – and masterfully so – by Dumb Ox (who, again, is not so dumb):
|Behind every “no” found in the truth of Catholic teaching there is always a far greater “yes”.|
|So, for example, to say “no” to contraception, as Christ calls us too, is to say yes to the best sex a married couple can have (truly loving, unitive and open to the wondrous possibility of bringing a new human being into the world).|
|A lot of it boils down to perception, as you point out Scribe (how many dudes you know post like this, not many, if any!) in your comment.|
|An unenlightened sheep looks at a fence and bleats about how restrictive it is; while the farmer who installed the fence looks at it and is knowingly reassured that the fence protects his beloved sheep from harmful predators, or from straying over a cliff.|
|That’s what grace is all about and that’s why we have to get out there and start opening our mouths and proposing Christ to our world – before all the fences are gone and all the sheep are dead, dying or living a lonely existence of aimless wandering without the shepherd.|
Talk about recurring paradoxes ;-).