Over the last few weeks, I've run into a couple of online personalities who have declared themselves to be apostacizing over the Church's teaching on "pelvic issues" such as homosexuality and birth control. This has always bothered me a bit, but it took me a while to sort out exactly why.
As Christians and Catholics we believe some rather incredible things. We believe that the universe in all its beauty and vastness and order was created by God. We also believe that God created us in His image, making us rational creatures with immortal souls. We believe that we sinned and separated ourselves from God, and that to heal this rift between us and our maker, God became man and walked among us. We believe that God allowed himself to suffer and die a humiliating death on the cross, that He rose after three days to show us how he held power over sin and death, and that He gave a Church, guided by the Holy Spirit which preserves His teachings on Earth and provides us with the sacraments which nourish us with God's grace. We believe that we are called to live according to Christ's teachings and that by the act of uniting our wills with God we can be unit with him for eternity in heaven.
We claim to believe all these things, and we have before us the example of many holy men and women who have given their lives, either in service or in suffering and martyrdom, for the faith. By accepting these claims and beliefs, we unite ourselves with something beautiful and incredible, we claim membership in a Church that claims to have been founded by God and to be guided and preserved from error by Him. We pledge ourselves to hold these truths even unto death. And we are united through the Church with priest and religious who have given up the natural human cycle of family and reproduction in order to devote themselves entirely to God's work, to the next world.
If someone has truly accepted all these unlikely and radical beliefs, if someone is truly prepared to live the faith and if necessary die for the faith, does it make any sense at all to renounce it over its teachings about sexual morality?
If we have really believed all of these rather incredible things about God and His creation of the universe and incarnation and suffering and death and resurrection and founding of the Church, shouldn't we be prepared to sacrifice much more than our sexual ambitions for that belief?
The sad fact is, all too often we believe rather cheaply. What does it cost us to say or feel, "Oh yeah, I believe that." And yet if we really think about what a major act believing something such as the Catholic Faith is, we should consider believing in the Faith in the first place to be the great decision. And if we are ready to be serious about the idea that the Catholic Church teaches the truth, than living out that truth should seem a rather little thing compared to the grandeur of what we are asserting to be true.