Enter into the Suffering of Children

As Attacks on Marriage and Family Increase
Holy Father's Message Speaks to Our Mission

by William B. May

SAN FRANCISCO, April 21, 2011-- Forty days ago, we asked you to dedicate your Lent to marriage and family. During this Triduum, as we “ascend to the heights of Calvary” with Christ, let us join in his passion and death, and the hope and joy that come with his resurrection. Let us ask him for the grace to help us combat the forces that we are dealing with.

President Obama’s recent decision not to defend The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was based on his Administrations' stated policy that there is no legitimate government interest in marriage for the raising of children by both of their biological parents, which was Congress' justification for defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

There is legislation pending in the California Assembly, SB 48, that, if passed, would sexualize the social studies curriculum even in elementary schools by changing textbooks to highlight contributions by gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered people. It is one of many proposed laws that are geared to contribute to the curriculum that is already undermining the understanding of love, relationships, marriage, and family for millions of California children.

We are disturbed by these things and grow restless. If we are not careful this can lead to despair and a sense of hopelessness.

Pope Benedict, in his homily today for the Chrism Mass, shared this reflection:

“Our heart is restless until it rests in you”, said Saint Augustine at the beginning of his Confessions. Yes, man is restless, because whatever is finite is too little. But are we truly restless for him? Have we perhaps become resigned to his absence, do we not seek to be self-sufficient? Let us not allow our humanity to be diminished in this way! Let us remain constantly on a journey towards him, longing for him, always open to receive new knowledge and love!”(emphasis added)

Enter into the suffering of the victims of marriage breakdown and of young people whose ability to form healthy relationships is being encumbered by a corrupted understanding of love, marriage, and sexuality

We are restless because we are working on a human time-frame, looking for a human victory. Importantly, the Holy Father is telling us that this seeking to be self-sufficient, focusing on our detractors and those who are undermining the foundations of society, distracts us from our search for God, and therefore diminishes our very humanity.


Just as we enter into and unite ourselves with Christ’s passion, pray that we can enter into the suffering of the victims of marriage breakdown and of young people whose ability to form healthy relationships is being encumbered by a corrupted understanding of love, marriage, and sexuality. May we become love—even to our detractors.

As we prepare to defend DOMA and fight SB 48 after Easter, may we never forget that we are roped together with Christ as we make the ascent and work toward rebuilding a culture that promotes the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society.  

William B. May is Chairman of Catholics for the Common Good.



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