by Rev. Jeff Loseke
The Easter Season celebrates divine life and love, especially as it is shared with us. We have been redeemed by God and given a share in His divine life through the waters of Baptism, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation, and the nourishment provided in the Most Holy Eucharist. As God’s people, we reject sin and promise to live a new life of faith in Christ. Indeed, as witnesses of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, we do what St. Paul urges: “Offer your own bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God… Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect” (Rom 12:1-2).
When mounting the wood of the Cross, Jesus Christ put His Body into our hands and breathed out His Spirit upon us with His dying breath. He gave Himself to His Bride, the Church, totally, freely, and faithfully. This gift has borne great fruit in destroying death and giving new life to countless children reborn from the Church’s maternal, baptismal womb. In God, love is always unitive and creative. It is always faithful, free, total, and fruitful. This is the kind of love that the world has rejected, because the Prince of this World, Satan, knows that this kind of divine love has the power to redeem the world and to transform the children of Adam into the children of God. And so, one of the Devil’s most pernicious temptations against the kind of love that God has shown us is through the widespread embrace of contraception and surgical sterilization, rejecting the very first words God spoke to our first parents, “Be fertile and multiply” (Gen 1:28b). The Evil One has convinced so many Christians to believe his lie that our sexuality and our fertility are diseases that need to be cured. Since the early 20th century, artificial means of contraception and birth control have even been touted as a means of liberation for women. Let’s be honest, however… the real message being communicated under the veil of that lie is that the female body, with its cycles of fertility and infertility, is seriously flawed and even undesirable in its natural state—it must be changed, fixed, and controlled.
As a pastor of souls, I know that this is an area of great moral distress for so many Catholic families, especially since many of them have never been presented with a full and faithful teaching of the beauty of our human sexuality as God designed it. How can we be faithful to the Gospel of Life if it is not preached and taught to us? Especially in our age, when so many evils are waging war against marriage, the family, human sexuality, and so forth, the whole Church must give ever greater witness to the beauty of God’s plan for His people. “Let your love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good” (Rom 12:9).
The Reverend Jeffery S. Loseke is a Priest of the Archdiocese of Omaha and is currently the pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Gretna, Nebraska. Ordained in 2000, Fr. Loseke holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome and is working to complete his doctoral degree (Ed.D.) in interdisciplinary leadership through Creighton University in Omaha. In addition to parish ministry, Fr. Loseke has served as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force, taught high school theology and college-level philosophy, and has been a presenter for various missions, retreats, and diocesan formation days across the country.
Art: Mother and Baby in an Interior by Wilhelm Meyerheim, 1882 (Wikimedia Commons)