Sunday, December 10, 2017

Where Love Is, God Is. On the 1st World Day of the Poor a poor man became a blessing to all who met him in the church.

My purpose in these posts is to bring a variety of Christian and other writers in a desire to share significant writings that in my estimation contribute to the common good and directly or indirectly give glory to God and extend the Lord's work of salvation to all of humanity. G.S.


A World Day of the Poor Story – The Joy of Encounters Given and Blessed by God

It happened at the Late Sunday Mass on the first World Day of the Poor, November 19th, 2017. Two weeks later, a Deacon wrote this note which in turn received the reply which follows from the Priest.

Note from the Deacon:

Reverend Father,
Two Sundays ago a crippled man entered after the last chance Mass had begun. He attracted my attention because of his demeanour. 

He stood throughout most of the Mass. During the reception of Holy Communion I do not think he received. When I returned to my place he stood a little ways off from me. However, now he was in front of my line of sight and was facing toward me. 

At the end of Mass, he stood with one hand on the horn of the bench where I was kneeling down following your blessing. I stood as usual as you processed to the confessional. I greeted you with my usual salutation, Praise be to God. 

You passed this man as you briefly spoke with someone you appeared to know. The crippled man continued standing there awkwardly, and I resolved to bless him seven times (within my heart). Upon opening my eyes, I reached out and touched him with one finger on the hand, which continued resting on the horn of the bench in front of the kneeler. 

I looked into his countenance and slowly he raised his head and faced toward me. Then, I held my gaze with his for what seemed like a very long time. I felt it was a great blessing for me. 

I do not remember getting up and passing by him to bow before the Lord before taking my leave of the Church. However, on the return trip home I remained in a state of sustained joy. Several days later, it was brought to my attention that Sunday was the First World Day of the Poor. 

An afterthought was that this man did not seek or gesture for money or help. He was just there. And it never entered my mind to offer him money. It was simply an encounter in the Lord's temple. A profound one at that. 

Do you remember seeing the man I have described? Has he ever presented himself before (I do not recall ever seeing him there)? 

Response from the Priest:

Reverend Deacon,

I believe that was the same night when after hearing confessions I went to chat with a few people who had waited for me. The poor man asked where he might use a phone to call for a cab. I brought him over to folks waiting for me because I just knew they would be willing to give him a lift, since they were going in his direction. 

While we were talking about it a young woman came up and, having overheard, said that she was going very near to where he lived and would be delighted to give him a lift.

So that is how it ended. Divine Providence arranged for that poor man to be a blessing to many. 

Pope Francis calls us by his words of encouragement and example to allow the Holy Spirit to open us up to such gratuitous encounters with Divine Mercy and Love, especially in those people we would not normally notice or from whom we would not normally expect much good. 

That poor man manifested his great joy at being noticed, welcomed, valued, and helped. In turn, his gratitude became yet another blessing on all who witnessed these enconters. Where love is, God is.


My purpose in these posts is to help spread the contributions of a variety of Christian and other writers in a desire to share significant writings that in my estimation contribute to the common good and directly or indirectly give glory to God and extend the Lord's work of salvation to all of humanity. G.S.


© 2004-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal  QC
© 2004-2021 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC

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Friday, November 03, 2017

Understanding and discernment as well as LOVE versus LAW - coming to understand the "ways of the Lord"

My purpose in these posts is to bring a variety of Christian and other writers in a desire to share significant writings that in my estimation contribute to the common good and directly or indirectly give glory to God and extend the Lord's work of salvation to all of humanity. G.S.


A recent CNA (Catholic News Agency) headline reads:

Theologian resigns from USCCB committee after publishing letter to Pope Francis

It is not the first time that controversy erupts over Pope Francis and what he says or does. Confusion often results from controversy, and it usually involves disputes over content, i.e., what Pope Francis says or does. There could be many reasons for such controversy and confusion, but I would like to explore only a few that often may not even be considered.

When we react to something, our reactions say as much if not more about us 
than about that to which we are reacting. 

Saint Thomas Aquinas was a brilliant Medieval philosopher who wrote that when we receive or know something, we receive or know it according to the mode by which we receive or know it. To illustrate with a ridiculous example, if I wear pink colored glasses, then everything I see will look pink.

There are many factors which have an important influence on how we perceive and come to know the reality around us, other people, and what others say and do.

(1) UNDERSTANDING - See Kohlberg's six stages of moral development

It is not difficult to understand how differently people interpret what they perceive when we consider what stage of moral and personality development they have achieved. To return to our subject, Pope Francis will be understood differently by people at different stages of moral development.

1. At the lowest level, someone whose primary preoccupation in life is avoiding punishment will want to know how Pope Francis' words and actions will help them avoid punishment or not. They may not find his appeals to conscience reassuring and would prefer him to be much more categorical and dispell any doubt about outcomes they may expect in various situations.

2. At a little higher level of moral development, a person will want to know "What's in it for me?" They could be encouraged by Pope Francis' warmth, understanding, and hospitality, but then they could also find discouraging his emphasis on paying attention to the needs of others.

3. As people enter into more conventional behavior, they want to be accepted by others; so they want to be sure that by following Pope Francis they will be accepted by others, but they could be unsettled by signs of resistance or opposition to Pope Francis' words or actions and the apparent disunity.

4. With further moral development people show concern for law and order. For this reason, they may be disturbed by any impression that Pope Francis misses opportunities to lay down the law or leaves any room for disagreement with the law or for other interpretations.

5. Beyond simple convention, people come to understand and embrace the notion of joint responsibility, and they adopt as their orientation "the social contract". At this point, they may more easily understand that Pope Francis is trying to inspire people to take responsibility for themselves and for others, and act for the common good. On the other hand, they can also go the other way and be confused when Pope Francis appears to give people too much latitude.

6. Finally, people who continue to develop their conscience enter into the realm of universal ethical principles, and at this point they discover and defend the sovereignty of the individual moral conscience. They recognize that the individual conscience becomes more enlightened as it adopts universal principles that bring it into solidarity with all of humanity. At the highest levels of moral development people become self-directing and self-disciplines; whereby they decide for themselves to follow moral principles and no longer need to be threatened or coerced into compliance. 

Perhaps this is the perspective that can best help one understand Pope Francis and what he is trying to do. Human beings need time to understand their place in the world, their relationship with others, with God, and with the world around them. Experiencing the love of God is the most powerful motivator drawing people to show love to others in return. Service motivated by love that is selfless is manifestly more authentic, its fruits are more likely to last longer, and life changes will tend to be permanent.
People who have experienced less moral conscience development show the greatest need for clarity. They want everything to be clearly spelled out in black and white. People with more developed conscience have come to understand that life is complex and usually involves many factors.

By this time more attention to detail is required, and they recognize that in each individual case and situation people must have the freedom as well as the responsibility to gather information so as to more fully understand the situation and apply to it the full understanding of their conscience, which by now takes into consideration the good of the individual as well as the common good, and particular circumstances as well as universal principles.

Societies have police forces in order to "bring back into line" those people whose moral development is insufficient to keep them travelling on the "narrow way" of serving the common good of all. 

We can understand how people could be unhappy with Pope Francis' open attitudes and declarations. Some want everything to be fully spelled out and are very uncomfortable when they are not. Pope Francis knows that people who want clear and simple answers can find them in the Catechism of the Catholic Church; so he doesn't need to repeat those texts and takes them for granted. He prefers to address the requirements of love and mercy beyond the simple demands of justice, much as Jesus set himself to do during his short time of ministry.

When Pope Francis is talking with real people in real situations, he trusts everyone to observe and be informed, to pray for God's guidance, and to come to the best decision they can. When they make mistakes, he is confident that as they remain open to God, then God will guide them to more and more understanding of the whole truth. In reality, none of us - or at least very few of us - are fully capable of embracing the whole truth about everything, especially about ourselves, and rarely all at once. It is rather over time that we can come into the full knowledge of the truth.

God's "economy of salvation" takes our human condition into consideration and by his divine mercy provides us with sufficient time to embrace more and more of the truth moment by moment and day by day until we come into the full knowledge of the truth in Jesus his only begotten Son. Saint Peter taught that God is not delaying bringing down judgement upon humanity; rather, He is being patient. 
"8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed." 2 Peter 3: 8-10
(2) DISCERNMENT - Is ours a healthy or an unhealthy human condition?

Even such simple notions as "dying to self" or "mortification" can be understood or misunderstood according to a person's condition of health. A scrupulous person can be almost incapable of really understanding spiritual realities because their scrupulous turn of mind acts like a shield blocking any light from penetrating their spirit. For some people their obsession with detail can lead to unhealthy feelings of guilt that have no foundation in reality but are rather conjured up in their misguided conscience. The attendant anxiety has nothing to do with God and actually hinders people from being open and receptive to what God is doing and the loving relationship He offers.

When such a person tries to put into practice what they hear in the church about doing penance, they set out to put various actions into practice. However, their practices don't set them free to become more loving to neighbor and enemy alike; instead, their scrupulosity causes their new practices to make them even more self-obsessed.

Before an unhealthy person can truly navigate successfully deeper spiritual paths, they must first apply everything they hear to their unhealthy condition. If they are to renounce anything in order to "die to themselves", the very first thing they need to renounce is their scrupulosity. Once they become healthy again, they will enjoy clearer vision and be more likely to correctly understand what they hear about spiritual things.

This factor could also explain why some people react so differently to Pope Francis.

(3) The Law of LOVE versus the Law of punishable offenses

Saint Paul spent most of his apostolic ministry trying to help people differentiate between the Torah and the Jewish observance of God's laws, on the one hand, and on the other hand, Jesus' teaching about the Law of Love, i.e., the "Great Commandment".

The issue revolves around the question: "How are we justified?" or "How do we become pleasing to God?" or "How are we to be saved?" and an almost infinite variation of perspective on this question.

The Law - the Decalogue (10 words) which God gave to his people through Moses - and the infinity of  developing interpretations and applications of this Law in the lives of real people were intended by God to develop his people's consciences, because they had turned away from Him, just as Adam and Eve had turned away from Him in the garden of Eden.

There can be no reconciliation between God and human beings until people begin to recognize the ways in which they are offending God's love or turning away from him by turning inwards on themselves and ignoring their neighbor.

God is a selfless, loving, merciful, and life-giving, self-bestowing Being, and as long as we remain self-centered; then we can have little to do with God, let alone any kind of relationship.

However, the fault and failure happens when human beings get the notion that by following the Law they can be saved or acquire advantage from God or even exercise some measure of control over God and his behaviour towards them. In such a case, we observe the Law in order to "extract" from God the benefits we want. God becomes a vending machine and all I have to do is put in the coins of following the Law and He has to give me....

God knows that if He allows us to manipulate Him, we will self-destruct and will never enter into any kind of relationship with Him, which is the purpose for which He created us in the first place.

Enter Jesus on the human stage. Jesus insists on initiating a personal relationship and on personal responsibility. Jesus shows unheard of respect for the individual's conscience. He shows Love in person and patiently waits for people to respond to Love feely and willingly. In the end, Jesus lays down his life in order to demonstrate the true quality of God's love for human beings. God loves the person and is willing to overlook and forgive the faults.

This means that God the Father's offer of salvation - the restoration of our relationship of communion with God that was lost by Adam and Eve - is a priceless gift freely offered. To accept his gift implies and entails a change of mind, heart, soul, and life. To accept to be saved by Jesus means to enter into a new way of living, to live as He lived and showed us how to live, in communion with God and in solidarity with human beings and all of humanity.

The Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, and Priests were the different classes among the religious elite and authorities in Jesus' day. They insisted on literal observance of the Law and for the most part showed little or no patience, understanding, or compassion to individual people in the face of the difficulties they had in observing the whole Law all of the time under every circumstance.

Their hard and fast attitude permanently estranged from the Temple large segments of the population who did not have sufficient revenue or domestic help in order to fulfill the complex requirements of the Law in all of the religious establishment's interpretations and applications for everyday life. Jesus was most interested to reach out to all those who were in such ways excluded to bring them the good news that God was not excluding them but inviting them to enter in.

Today we have such "extremely religious" people in the Church who show the same hardness of heart and unrelenting insistence on external observance of the law and have little patience for real people.

The religious leaders of Jesus' day were not capable of understanding the divine mercy offered by God and embodied in Jesus to bring forgiveness, healing, and life to all his children. Similarly, in our day there are so many people who show themselves incapable of understanding the divine mercy for which Pope Francis has been given to us by God as a new witness. Pope Francis strives to be faithful to Jesus and to proclaim in fresh ways for our times the new life Jesus brought to Earth.


My purpose in these posts is to help spread the contributions of a variety of Christian and other writers in a desire to share significant writings that in my estimation contribute to the common good and directly or indirectly give glory to God and extend the Lord's work of salvation to all of humanity. G.S.


© 2004-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal  QC
© 2004-2021 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Who will defend the innocence of our children? What about women, men, and the elderly in their dignity? The gift of human sexuality?

My purpose in these posts is to bring a variety of Christian and other writers in a desire to share significant writings that in my estimation contribute to the common good and directly or indirectly give glory to God and extend the Lord's work of salvation to all of humanity. G.S.


As states impose sexual education on every child in the land, are they truly doing what is best for these children, or have they allowed themselves to become the unwitting tools of an ideology? We who are parents - fathers and mothers - relatives, teachers, pastors, mentors, and other interested parties, are we to stand idly by and allow our children and future generations to be violated and have their innocence shattered? Many German people later regretted having been intimidated by the Nazis and having remained silent out of fear. What is silencing us?

A distinct society

This is Québec, Canada, one of ten provinces known for its "distinct society" since the 1760 British conquest and the 1763 Act of British Parliament which unusually opted to allow French society and culture to continue unchanged alongside the British, which would now be dominant. The British Parliament provided for British Common Law to govern new arrivals (especially British ones) and to allow French civil law to simultaneously continue to govern French-speaking inhabitants.

During the so-called "Quiet Revolution" of the 1960's the Québec provincial government nationalized or privatized many health and social services, which were originally created by the Roman Catholic Church during the first generations of the colony, or which were developed later.

During all the time that elapsed since the foundation of the colonies in Canada between 1534 and 1608 until the mid-1900's, the French population and its clergy - despite differences of opinion and conviction - acted with one will and common purpose when they needed to collaborate to live out together and to preserve their French language, their faith, their values, culture, and society. Primary among their values were marriage, family life, social order, cooperation, and the value of human life as the bases of a harmonious and healthy community and society. This harmonious collaboration in the service of shared values has now eroded and changed.

Sexual education should be dispensed by parents not by strangers in schools

This September of 2017 - next month - the Québec Ministry of Education is poised to impose on the entire school population, from grades one to eleven, the most aggressive sexual education program this land has ever witnessed. This government is in effect aligning itself with those interests which for years now have been intensively lobbying from the United Nations to persuade or compel nations to abandon traditional values regarding human sexuality and any links of meaning or significance with Christian or other religious and moral principles.

The ideology which is driving "Comprehensive Sexuality Education" is in fact conductin a war on children all over the world and clearly trying to eclipse the Judeo-Christian understanding of human life and human sexuality as only one dimension of this life, albeit an important one. The Québec government and its Ministry of Education are aligning themselves with the proponents of the "sexual revolution" initiated by Alfred Kinsey in the 1940's and 1050's with his fraudulent science, and so they are choosing to ignore everything that our society has come to understand about human development and the maturation of the human person, as well as the social and religious values held and defended by this society until recently.

Kinsey and all those who adopted his erroneous data have done great harm to women and children in particular, as well as to men. However, a good number of people have been laboring to expose the fraudulent science with which Kinsey ignited the "sexual revolution" by enthralling educated as well as relatively undeducated people as he demolished social taboos against speaking about sex at all.

I invite you, reader, to reflect on this further with me, that we may see why sexual eduction should be dispensed by parents and not by strangers in schools.

Sexual education touches children to the very depths of their identity and their purpose and meaning in life; so it should happen in the loving and trusting context of the love and care of parents for their children. Parents know their own children most personally and completely, and in their parental love they are the most qualified and competent to dispense their children's complete human formation.

It seems apparent and undisputable, then, that when the state takes over this crucial parental role of introducing children to such an intimate dimension of their human life and identity - which for those who believe in God as He has revealed himself to Jews and Christians is inseparable from our life of faith in a personal and communal relationship with God - then what the state is doing is declaring that its citizens who are parents are incompetent to educate and form their children adequately.

So then, how is the qualification "adequate" being interpreted here? Those interests - that are so bent on having "Comprehensive Sexuality Education" adopted worldwide - want every child on the planet to explore and play with their genitals and those of other children years in advance of their puberty. It is no longer enough for these homosexuals to be accepted by society; now they want all of society to be as they are, and to this end they are attempting to intimidate the whole world into adopting this very aggressive sex education program. In their eyes, only CSE will be adequate to their ends.

Let's be perfectly clear about it - this CSE sex ed program is indoctrination - which is dangerous for children unless their parents ground them in a wholesome understanding of their human sexuality and dignity in accord with their family values. The web and social media already expose most children from a young age to sexual imagery - inappropriate for the most part from many points of view - which is another reason why parents should initiate sex talk with their children from a young age. Some parents may find this easier to do than others, but even when they find it awkward or difficult, it is still well worth doing, and children will be better off for experiencing their parents' support.

For parents and for all those who authentically care for children, the best way to serve what is good for children and most effectively serve their well being,  the context and setting of parental love and trust is to be prioritized and favored as the most adequate to educate and form children to discover and understand most fully and deeply their human sexuality and dignity. Even parents who embrace the secular values that accept the omnipresence of sexual expression advocate for parents to educate their children to understand their sexuality.

Parents naturally would appreciate true collaboration and support from their children's schools, the ministry of education, and their church.  Christian parents can choose from a variety of approaches from a Christian Bible Study to a Catholic online Family Life Education Program. A Roman Catholic woman - wife and mother - in France has developed an incredibly sensitive, insightful, and creative way to speak to her children about their human dignity and sexuality in a way that reveals the full beauty of God's plan for our happiness and "waxes" children to protect them and help them withstand the onslaught of our hyper-sexualized world.

Children and youth are in flux as they grow and develop

Psychological anthropology had firmly established by the 1980's that the human person has not yet experienced the full cycle of its human development until the mid twenties, when a person's identity tends to arrive at sufficient clarity to enable more mature, balanced, and responsible decisions. This means that children and youth are likely to experience a very wide range of emotions and feelings, but that throughout this period they live in a state of relative flux and development.

Care must be taken not to encourage children or youth to "lock themselves in" on a particular state of being or of experience by applying any social or psychological labels to themselves. Whatever it is that they are going through, they are quite likely to change over time. All the more reason then must care be taken to protect children from indoctrination and manipulative exposure to exceptional or risky lifestyles even though these may be portrayed as normal and safe when they actually represent conditions that present greater risk against health and life.

The period between the age of nightmares (from age 3 to 6) and puberty has come to be understood as the latency stage, when pre-pubescent children are not interested in sex and should be respected and allowed to thrive in their innocence. Naturally curious, they may act out their curiosity and play doctor or nurse to "examine" one another. Moreover, if exposed to sexual situations or images they will show interest, but if left on their own and not forcibly exposed to sexual situations, young children are not spontaneously interested. During this stage they may make derogatory remarks or exchange jokes with their peers to mask their interest, especially if their environment is particularly obsessed with sex and won't allow them not to be interested, but we should not conclude that they are. This has been the considered view of those in the medical and psychological professions, parents, teachers, and pastors until the sexual revolution of the mid-1900's.

Political activist interference in medicine, psychiatry, and science by lobby group interests

It is important to realize that some well established medical knowledge, based upon long experience and scientific study, suddenly changed in the final decades of the 20th century, but not for scientific reasons. The latency period was dropped as were all the psychiatric diagnoses that long considered homosexuality and other peripheral sexual practices as deviant or even diseased. 

The APA - The American Psychiatric Association - dropped homosexuality from its DSM II, its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, in 1973. This came shortly after gay lobby activists disrupted the APA annual convention in San Francisco in 1970, quite intimidating the speakers and convention participants. It was not strict science and medical or psychiatric practice that brought these changes in due course. The fraudulent science and ideological claims of Alfred Kinsey in the 1940's and 1950's exerted undue influence as well. The situation was governed more by politics than science.

The latency period in children is real and it protects them

The latency period, though held as a theory, is based upon observation and makes sense. Much of our medical and psychiatric knowledge is constructed on theories that show themselves to be reliable even though it may not be possible to define them as scientific laws. Not all that happens in nature is as clear cut as gravity. Our developmental stages came to be well established and generally accepted until the gay lobby exerted undue political pressure on medical and psychiatric bodies.

The latency period is good for children and it can be shown that they are worse for it when their latency is disturbed. So much is already changing within children that in order to develop a healthy persona they need during these intense few years to "enjoy a break" from the greater complexity and intensity of emotion which will most certainly be generated by puberty and the great upheaval of sexual awareness. They don't need to be forced to give more attention to sexual things sooner than their human nature requires of them, particularly during this period from 6 to 12 when they are far more preoccupied with learning and with competitiveness in a host of domains and activities.

Unless forcibly exposed to sexual things, during the latency stage the normal child is generally not interested in the other gender or in anything sexual, putting behind them their initial curiosity as little children quite intent on playing "doctor" and "nurse". Older children actually find the other gender or any overtly romantic behaviours as "disgusting" and may take great pleasure in declaring this to the world. While there may be subconscious interest or fascination with sexuality in general and with those who are different in particular, children normally like to show their disgust for such things and to remain free to give their attention to the other concerns and activities which they and their peers prioritize, such as comradeship, games, competition, learning, discovery, and adventure.

We must be alert to sexual abuse and vigorously protect children and all minors

There is a legitimate concern that some children are forcibly exposed to sexual matters, or worse, are actually abused sexually through exposure or by being touched and manipulated by others who are more sexually aware or even predatory. Sexual abuse of minors is a very grave wrong and we must do all we can to prevent it and to care for those who have suffered in such ways. However, protecting the innocence of every single child in a society can never justify broad exposure of all children to controversial sexual lifestyles as a strategy to protect them in advance from abuse by alerting them to every possible danger in exhaustive detail.

What is a woman? What is a man?

Our best understanding of human life is that we require some 25 years to emerge from basic human development with sufficient balance and depth to make responsible decisions for ourselves and for others. Our discussions about human sexuality likewise are more likely to serve the common good on the basis of altruism, that is, selfless love of others, as the primary principle that organizes human existence. This does not for all that exclude the legitimate love of self.

The woman who is aware of her own impulse to seek pleasure and avoid pain but who restrains her impulses when motivated by consideration for and love of others is, in this view, more feminine than should she favor herself over others. She is not forever depriving herself but deliberately choosing to withdraw her attention from self satisfaction for the time it takes for her to care for others, and the more she is willing to endure discomfort - even pain - out of love for others, the more womanly she is. Moreover, there is a higher or deeper or more perfect sense of joy or pleasure or satisfaction available to her for doing so, for serving others in this way. Putting up with labor pains for the sake of giving birth to her child(ren) is the classic example of female altruism.

A man is most manly when he puts up with discomfort and delays or puts aside his own pleasure to attend to and serve the needs and pleasure of others. The more patient, selfless, and courageous he is, the more manly he is deemed to be and appreciated and loved. A classic example of male altruism or selfless love is for a father to put the good of his wife and his children ahead of his own benefit or comfort, even to the point of laying down his life for them.

Similarly, this husband will withdraw his attention from his own pleasure as he approaches his wife in intimacy in order to attend to her; in order for the groom of the bride - the bridegroom - to "groom" his bride or care for her in the ways in which she most needs to be cared for. In the act of sexual intercourse, the male is notoriously "faster" than the female, and this tends to result in dissatisfaction or even pain for the woman when the man is preoccupied with his own pleasure and attending to himself rather than to his wife.

Chaste lovers versus sexual addicts

This is the whole point of chastity in the Judeo-Christian world view and anthropology: a chaste man approaches his wife not seeking his own pleasure but motivated and focusing his attention and energy on expressing love to his wife by attending to her appreciation and pleasure. In response, a chaste woman gladly receives pleasure from her husband and dwells not on her own pleasure only but rather with the beloved who is pleasuring her and responds to him with love, gratitude, and tenderness.

Chastity is primarily and constantly loving the other, not the pleasure I am getting in their company. Chaste love chooses to love the giver of the gift rather than merely on the gift or the pleasure it gives. Chaste marital embrace brings husband and wife face to face, revealing themselves to one another as they do their best to do all day long every day of their lives. How deeply they may contemplate and look into each other's soul through the windows of their eyes as they tenderly hold one another in loving embrace....

This is one reason why the many forms of sexual pleasuring rampant today that tend to join face to genitals rather than face to face may cause feelings of discomfort or embarrassment or shame in one or the other. We can be suspicious that what motivates one to want such things has more to do with desires that evoke addictive impulses than with authentic love of the other. A second reason to doubt the life-giving character of such practices comes from what motivated the Creator to assign pleasure to that specific function that is capable of giving life, of conceiving new life. We can legitimately doubt the validity of any other use we may want to make of sexual pleasure. The chaste conservation of genital sexuality for marriage and family is primarily a manifestation of respect for the procreative act, for the incalculable value of human life, and for the intention of the Creator.

Chastity outside of the relationship of husband and wife opens itself to a love that is wider and deeper than mere sexual passion and pleasure. Outside of marriage, people who love chastely put aside all that seeks sexual gratification in order to attend fully to the people they love and serve, as well as to attend with their full attention to the many complex facets of human life alone and together. Chastity opens one fully to experience and appreciate the simple pleasure of being alive and participating fully in one's life in every wholesome and moral way other than sexual genital expression.

Chastity reveals to human beings that genital sexual expression is not a basic human need akin to our need for food, drink, shelter, heat, clothing, work, society, play, truth, goodness, and beauty. All of these are necessary for human life; whereas genital sexual expression is not. People have clearly demonstrated in every culture and time that human beings can life a fully meaningful and happy life without sex, but there are many today who want to suppress this knowledge and history.

The ephemeral in love is a doorway to the infinite, to the divine

Sexual pleasure is notoriously brief and ephemeral, which is one reason why there is so much hype about it in human society these days. It is an attempt to strech out that sexual pleasure by capitalizing on the pleasure of anticipation. There is no doubting that anticipation is truly a precious aspect of our human existence. Even more precious is the contemplation of which we the human species are all uniquely capable. Married couples - husbands and wives - have witnessed that there is no greater pleasure than laying side by side after having given and received from one another in sexual union.

The undisputably ephemeral character of sexual pleasure is the greatest clue it contains that it was designed not to be experienced in isolation but in conjunction with a close friendship that grows into ever greater and greater depths. True love of the other wants to remain with the other forever to go on pouring oneself out in loving service of the other. Sexual union taken as a rogue act denies this truth and actually inflicts harm on the other as well as on oneself.

The inseparable bonds between sexual union, marriage, new life, and family are strong evidence for their design by a benevolent, loving Creator. Taken by itself, or for its own sake, sexual pleasure in "deflating" emotional energy leads to depression, disappointment, and intensifies loneliness; rather than intensifying communion and selfless love, for which it was designed. Employed as a natural means for developing couple unity and communion in marriage, sexual union unceasingly builds on the past and looks to the future while it attends so generously to the other in the present.

Moreover, for those who believe in God, God's love is enough to more than satisfy the human heart. In fact, only the love of God can truly and lastingly satisfy and fulfill the human heart, even that of spouses, and the love of God relieves spouses of the impossible burden of "making their spouse happy", which is humanly impossible. No human can "make another happy", but God can, because only God can perfectly bestow his life, his own self, upon us. In his Gospel John the Apostle and Evangelist reports Jesus declaring that we can only have life fully by welcoming his gift of himself into us, into our lives.

Sexual union in view of contemplation and the integration of human  life

From the moment they met and fell in love they have grown in their personal capacity to attend to the other and effectively express to the other their love and appreciation, their mutual help and service, and to discover ever more creative ways to spend time together, alone and including their children in time, as well as their families of origin, other relatives, friends, associates, those with whom they share their faith, neighbours, and even strangers. All week long they share their common life and the elements of their lives that are particular and unique to each of them. They journey together even as they are engaged in separate labors, duties, and activities.

Day by day they grow in admiration for one another's qualities and giving of themselves to others, and in compassion and understanding for one another's weaknesses and shortcomings. They offer each other mutual help, encouragement, support, forgiveness, rescue when needed, care, sollicitude, and love. All their intensity of living as individuals and of sharing their lives together and building up this new entity that is their "couple" relationship is what builds their family and creates their home, and it is into this "nest" that they welcome their children when these arrive; whether it is through their own mutual giving in conception and birth or by adoption.

It is all this living and giving and loving that is the true "foreplay" of love between husbands and their wives, which is going on all the time, and the more conscious they are of this truth; then the more beautiful and satisfying - even thrilling - are the moments they experience and efforts they deploy in anticipation of coming together in love and affectionate embrace. By the time they come to their moments of sexual union, their minds, hearts, and souls - for having lived their love for one another so truthfully and completely all week long - are vibrating more deeply and intensively than their bodies. Once their moment of sexual union is over - as it so quickly tends to be - they relax in the utter satisfaction of mutual love and contemplation as they lay side by side, glowing with the love they have for the other and the love they feel and receive from the other in the blessed relationship and union which they are uniquely privileged to enjoy together.

It is in this contemplative dimension of their marriage relationship that Christian husbands and wives discover the loving presence of God as the very source and fountain of the love pouring into them, through them, and out from them to one another and to their children. In contemplating one another in love, wives and husbands discover God revealing Himself in his perfect divine love to them in the person of their spouse. It is precisely for this revelation and life infilling of love that God the Creator designed human beings in his own image, male and female in complementary difference; so that in their willingness to forget about oneself they might in ever greater depths discover themselves and receive more abundant life in the very act of loving the other by giving themselves away.

Forgiveness pushes the boundaries and expands the limits of human love

For people who embrace the Creator's design for our life and loving, they discover how to live in two dimensions simultaneously: the human and the divine. In the human dimension they learn how to live through both pleasure and pain / discomfort without allowing these experiences to overly impress or disturb them; while in the divine dimension they discover ever more deeply how to love the other by pouring themselves out and spending themselves completely in a self-giving that ironically renews the self through the very act of pouring the self out, of spending the self to the very last drop for the sake of the other and the other's highest good. This is what could be called an integrated human sexuality because the sexual dimension is fully integrated into the full meaning and purpose of human existence with all the complexity and depth of what it means to be human.

You may have heard or read the expression or proverb: "to err is human, to forgive, divine." "All people commit sins and make mistakes. God forgives them, and people are acting in a godlike, divine way, when they forgive." This saying is from "An Essay on Criticism" by Alexander Pope. Christian spouses or spouses inspired by Christ who practice mutual forgiveness consistently plumb ever more profound depths of authentic love as they become ever more intimately familiar with one another's faults and are hurt by one another's sins and yet faithfully forgive the other with a pure heart sincerely desiring the other's good, conversion, and perfection. This dimension of forgiveness exponentially increases the mutual love of spouses and enhances their sexual embracing and expressions of love.

This is so because there can be no more perfect or authentic expression of love than forgiveness; since to forgive is to give with no assurance of ever receiving an equal return. Every time they are hurt and forgive, every time they have offended and been forgiven, every time they embrace and show love to the other, every time they pour themselves out in selfless effort and the giving over of their self, every time they love with divine love; every time, they add layers of beauty, truth, and goodness to their spousal love and mutual relationship. Every time they lay side by side after their embraces in the nuptial bed, they continue to weave the tapestry that is their married and family life and make room in its warmth for their children and all those they welcome into their "home".

Matrimony qualifies parents to educate and initiate their children to the beauty of living to love

All of this endeavour transforms marriage from a human contract into a divine covenant, from sexual union into matrimony, which is from the latin mater for mother and monium for state or condition. Matrimony is this enterprise of love initiated by the man / groom / husband and reciprocated by the woman / bride / wife, which creates the optimum conditions for the woman to transform into mother and fully activating her awesome powers for giving and nurturing life, not only for her children but also for her husband and for all those that are privileged to be welcomed into the family circle.

When married couples, husband and wife, embrace this awesome design in their mutual love, they experience the very love of God in each other and in their pouring out selflessly of themselves for the other. It is this very presence of the divine life-giving Spirit within their love and their couple that gives ever more life to husband and wife and the children they welcome into their family. They have every reason to be peaceful and to experience with great joy their great freedom and dignity in God, and have no true reason to be ashamed of their sexuality. They can enjoy and exercise their authority fully as parents to form their children in this wondrous understanding of the meaning and significance of human sexuality and its role in giving both life and love.

The complementarity of marriage and celibacy in the kingdom of God

It can truly be said then that woman needs man in order to fully develop her potential as woman; just as man needs woman in order to fully develop his potential as man. The man needs to love his wife - this other who will always be different from him - accepting in this way without limit to endure pain and deprivation and forgetfulness of his own impulses, needs, and wants, even to the point of laying down his life; in order to become truly manly. The woman needs to be cherished and loved to this extent by her husband in order to fully appreciate her own riches and generosity and so bloom and discover within her depths her almost limitless capacity to give of her riches, pouring out her very life in order to give and nurture life to others without destroying herself.

In the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, what is true of marriage and matrimony is equally true of celibate vocations whereby men and women separately pour themselves out in love and service to their fellow human beings in a great variety of life settings: for medical and social services; for education and human formation; for art, music, and literature; for the cultivation of the Earth and its resources; for the solitary and communal contemplation of the mystery of God; and for providing the opportunity and means for their fellow human beings to come to know, love, serve, and worship the Almighty. This too expands the horizons of all that can be integrated into our human experience.

Integrated human sexuality versus sexology

It would be foolish not to acknowledge that for other human beings, the acceptance or quest for pleasure and the avoidance of pain and discomfort is the primary organizing principle of human life. It is logical then for such people to view sexual pleasure as everywhere and always desirable, in or out of marriage. It their view, given that sexual pleasure is ever available and seems to cost nothing, it makes perfect sense to prioritize it.

From among the adherents of this view of human life and sex we hear that some see themselves as champions of the rights of children and youth to suffer no restrictions in the enjoyment of sex, not even from their parents. What they are doing is substituting themselves as the primary care givers of children, by the same token declaring those parents incompetent and holding them in contempt as likely antagonists working against children's sexual emancipation.

As this trend grows, tolerating no religious or moral principles that would limit in any way their quest for unrestricted sexual pleasure; the appearance of a new layer of society more intensively interested in sex has coincided with the development of "sexology" as a new profession with a claim to seek to help people with sexual dysfunctions or difficulties. Those who embrace this new trend may tend to reject the notion of a period of latency in children to favor the view that human beings are interested in sex in differing degrees from birth throughout their lives. These folks would be among the most energetic proponents of a school based Sex Education program to "trump" the parents.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education - a euphemism for sex without moral restraints

What we are currently witnessing throughout the world could be characterized as a hostile takeover by an aggressive sexual ideology - euphemistically called "Comprehensive Sexuality Education" - which is currently pushing on the world stage to displace what has been the normal constellation of human values since time immemorial. Credible witnesses report weekly the relentless attacks at the United Nations that aggressively seek to impose on all member nations their sexual ideology, which seeks to promote particular lobby interests rather than the actual good and rights of children.

The manifest intention of these lobbyists is to displace those values contained in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and adopted by the United Nations in 1948 and replace them with the complex ideology which underpins what is being called "The Global Sexual Revolution." It is no coincidence that Dr Alfred Kinsey published his first book to disintegrate western society's social and moral values with his first book also in 1948, ostensibly launching the "sexual revolution".

During the French Revolution the Marquis de Sade may have been the first to portray as pleasurable and desirable with the written word forms of sexuality that society found to be perverse. Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) and the Eugenics Movement has been less known but most people living today have at least heard of the Nazi's "pure race" National Socialist ideology which they carried out in Germany by exterminating all those deemed "impure". Here is a quote from Sanger indicating her thought about "engineering" the kind of society we want tomorrow through abortion.

“How are we to breed a race of human thoroughbreds unless we follow the same plan? We must make this country into a garden of children instead of a disorderly back lot overrun with human weeds.” (1924)
Eugenics was "in the air" at the beginning of the 20th century and popularly held in intelligentsia circles, at least some of them, primarily out of a concern for "overpopulation". Margaret is recognized as the foundress of "Planned Parenthood" which movement is far less about parenthood and planning for children and far more about planning for a reduction of babies, particularly among segments of society considered to be less worthy of passing on their genes. This movement is also promoting sex without consequences or risks, which is an illusion and a lie generating deadly effects throughout society. It generates a culture that holds in contempt the very idea of sexual abstinence.

De Sade and Sanger are among the pillars upon which today's sexual activists have their footing. In most societies it is the husband and wife couple that are the heart of the family, and any other models of sexual expression have been marginalized by the majority of their populations. This consigning to the margins may have been simply through benign neglect or withdrawal of attention or through active and even severe persecution and repression. One clear feature of the 20th century has been the various movements of emancipation and liberation, most notably of black slaves in the Americas.

Emancipation has been co-opted as an ideology by homosexuals in what was initially deployed as the social engineering agenda of the "gay lobby" in the middle of the 20th century. Documents internal to this movement have since come to light delineating a clear and deliberate strategy to approach the general population by winning sympathy to their espoused cause of liberation from persecution. Once sympathy was won, the next step was to progressively erode the general population's aversion to homosexuality until this different perspective was accepted as an alternative to the traditional model of marriage and family.

We need to distinguish the political movement from the lives of real people and families

What appeared to be the destination or final goal of the gay lobby was the advent of "gay marriage" or the social acceptance of marriage between two people of the same sex. In fact and practice, "same sex marriage" has stretched the traditional definition of marriage to the point that the word no longer means what it used to mean. Furthermore, the understanding of parenting has also been stretched to make the exceptional situation of single parenting a basis for extending this exceptional reality and practice as a normative alternative for parenting by two mothers or fathers.

We need to carefully make the distinction here between political movements and lobbying and the real lives of people and families. I would dare venture that most if not all of us know someone, maybe even someone whom we love dearly, who have entered into a "same sex civil marriage" and / or are raising children with two mothers or two fathers. As Pope Francis said so well, "Who am I to judge?" We can only have admiration and respect for anyone who brings children into the world or adopts them and the commits decades of their lives to raising them to live a meaningful life.

What we are discussing here is the political movements that are trying to replace traditional values with peripheral ones, that is, trying to indoctrinate children into thinking that a homesexual lifestyle is equal in value to the marriage of one man and one woman for the raising of children, and going so far as to encourage all children to experiment with homosexual sexual expression from a young age in order to engineer a society in which the homosexual agenda may become the dominant one. In the long experience of humanity, it can be fairly and justly said that children have a right to a mother and a father, to have both parents. The gay lobby will have none of that.

In the last few years it has become shockingly apparent that the impression that same sex marriage and parenting would be the final destination of the gay lobby was just that, a false impression, and nothing more. "Gay rights" has since progressively developed towards a full blown ideology which step by step was publicized as "lesbian and gay" rights, then "lesbian, gay, and bisexual" rights, then "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transexual" rights, then "LGBTQ" rights (adding Q for queer, or for some, questioning, and swapping transexual for transgendered), and most recently with the full deployment of "gender theory" initially in Europe, "LGBTQIA" rights, where T is for transgendered, I is for Intersex, and A is for Asexual.

It is finally clear now for all to see and understand that this entire social movement values, promotes, and champions nothing less than unlimited and unrestricted sex devoid of any traditional morality. This is not to say that those who bear in their spirits these convictions and aspirations are incapable of selfless love and dedication. On the contrary. Every human being is capable of altruism and at some point feels drawn to give selflessly, even courageously and generously. What we are considering here is the degree to which any individual or group wants human life and society to be sexualized. Once again, we are discussing here political manipulation of society and not the value of real lives.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is no longer quite as universal as it was

Before all these social revolutions, church, government, and most if not all public institutions served the public purpose of defending and promoting the values of the general population and the common good, which since the time of the colony consisted primarily but not exclusively of Judeo-Christian faith and values. While it is true that these values and the lives upon which they are based have gone through varying degrees of erosion; the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights has continued to most accurately represent this society's foundational values, particularly with regard to marriage and family life, and public institutions reflected this fact.

In the public square the primary motor driving change appears to have been what has rapidly evolved from the "gay lobby" into the "LGBTQIA" ideology. At the outset the gay lobby simply called for the general society to recognize as equal citizens those with a different sexual orientation and to help stop persecution and unjust treatment towards such persons. A major shift is now occurring as you read this from Europe to the Americas to Oceania and soon to Asia and Africa: those pushing this complex of ideologies is now demanding that their ideology and interpretation of human anthropology replace all that has gone before. For a growing number of individuals and practitioners of various social, medical, and psychological services, "wall to wall" sex is already the "new normal". Ultimately now, there are those who want children to be so indoctrinated that any other view of what is a human being, what is human life, and what is human sexuality will be stamped out.

The new sex education program will be encouraging children from grade one if not from kindergarten to "explore their sexuality" in every way imaginable, and presenting this as the new normal. Anything else will be increasingly seen as deviant, and perhaps soon, criminal. If you don't believe these words, then check it out for yourself.

December 8th, 1995, the Roman Catholic Church published "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality" which expresses clearly and intelligibly the place and role of our sexuality in our human life and both private and social beings. Sections V to VIII are specifically addressed to parents as the first educators of their children and declares that states should never displace or attempt to substitute for the parents, and that formation of children in their affective lives and in their human sexuality should take place within the context of their loving and trusting relationship with their parents and with reference to the constellation of our moral values and faith if at all possible.

More life and more love, not less

The good news brought to the Earth and humanity by the Son of God who became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, was born in Bethlehem, and came to be known as Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary and of Joseph the carpenter - this good news that He brought by his very life and example and then more explicitly in his preaching, miracles, passion, death, and resurrection - this good news is for all of humanity to experience more life and more love, not less.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believe in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God." John 3:16-21
Jesus revealed even more clearly than the Word of God in the Jewish Scriptures that God loves every human being and wants to pour into each person his own divine life. All He asks is that we come to know his ways and then to abide in them. The "manufacturer" has the right to issue instructions or a "user's manual", which is what God has done. It is up to each of us to take greater interest in what He has to say to us about Himself - about God - as well as about us, about our human life. After all, our life here is only a beginning, and when we die, we bring with us all that we have become as a person, both the good and the bad. We hope to lay aside all the bad and retain only the good by the end.


My purpose in these posts is to help spread the contributions of a variety of Christian and other writers in a desire to share significant writings that in my estimation contribute to the common good and directly or indirectly give glory to God and extend the Lord's work of salvation to all of humanity. G.S.


© 2004-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal  QC
© 2004-2021 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC

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Monday, April 24, 2017

“Please, talk to me about love, Mommy, Daddy.” Children can best receive formation in their affections and human sexuality from their parents.

My purpose in these posts is to bring a variety of Christian and other writers in a desire to share significant writings that in my estimation contribute to the common good and directly or indirectly give glory to God and extend the Lord's work of salvation to all of humanity. G.S.


“Please, talk to me about love, Mommy, Daddy.”

Notes from a conference in French “S’il-vous-plaît, parlez-moi d’amour”given at the Diocese’s offices March 29th, 2017 by Inès Pélissié du Rausas, a mother who has written books on how parents can form their children well at the various stages of their development in ways appropriate to each age to understand and live well their human sexuality. 

Inès advocates precocious but progressive education of children with tenderness by their parents in contrast to the intrusion of culture and society which, truthfully, is erroneous, violent, and damaging, all too often ruining or at the very least hurting our children’s innocence and ability to appreciate all the beauty, truth, and goodness of the gift of life entrusted to them by God and their own great dignity and that of others.
As lionesses are so ferocious in defending their young; so too should we be as parents to defend and form our children regarding their vocation, their calling to eternal life, which is at stake, and the spiritual strength God offers us with Marriage and family life. Let us think not only of our own children, but also of the children of others and of the poor. We need to rediscover or to acquire for the first time our spinal column, our backbone, and stand up for our children, for our family, for our Marriage, for others, for the poor, for the Church, for humanity, and for God.
With the Holy Spirit we have at hand an infinite variety of new solutions to age old problems created when people – motivated by so many hidden goals driving them – tamper with our children and seek to “play around” with their innocent, vulnerable, trusting and hearts. No one must play around with our children’s hearts!


There are 3 lobbies and “outside interests” putting considerable pressure everywhere and all the time on our children, and particularly on what the marketing strategists call “pre-adolescents”. In reality, there is no such thing as a pre-adolescent unless it is in the interest of someone to target children in the “latency stage” in view of influencing them in advance of becoming adolescents. The latency stage is what children live from the age of 6 until puberty, when in principle all sexual things don’t interest them or are even repugnant to them. In other words, there are interests out there addressing our children in the latency stage as though they were already adolescents, or potential adolescents, or children wanting to become adolescents. These interests threaten to interrupt the safety of the latency stage as they prematurely stimulate the imagination of children and, in so doing, to damage their innocence.

Tactic # 1.                   Under the pretext of taking the defense of freedoms / liberties and equality, such as, for example, the fight against AIDS, all manner of misinformation and outright lies are propagated, always with the overhanging threat of severe reprisals upon anyone who might dare to oppose this tactic in real life and time.

Tactic # 2.                   Consider all the frantic activity around pornography – such as with the considerable pressure on parents to provide their young children with an I-Pad, or I-Phone, or Laptop, or their equivalent – to sever the safety ties of young children to their parents and make them free to “roam” and be led astray by any number of “wolves” in sheep’s clothing presented to them in any number of creative and cleverly disguised ways.
        All pornographic voices and images and words speak of prostitution – none of them speak of love, not of true love, nor of divine love – but always of pleasure, greed, power, and domination. Solicitation to draw children into various forms of prostitution of their bodies as pleasure objects and to treat others not as persons but as pleasure objects often takes violent forms but is always aggressive with dangerous consequences.                                  
                    The person of the child is hurt, damaged, within their very self, but they also become dangerous for others by being conditioned to believe that they are incapable of mastering or restraining their own impulses.

SOLUTION                   We must do all we can to protect our children against these attacks and form them to learn to avoid such animal and predatory behaviors as are portrayed and promoted by pornography in all its forms. What is hopeful is that with children we can always repair any damage, and they can always learn and grow. With a child we can always love and begin afresh.

Tactic # 3.                   We have all become painfully aware of and familiar with the latest new ideology which aggressively seeks to impose on young and vulnerable children and adolescents and even young adults a burden to select their own gender, as if our gender were an “à la carte” activity for human beings. Gender ideology negates human sex and gender by replacing male and female with homosexual and heterosexual, M - F with H - H.
                        This new ideology seeks to replace the individuality and complementarity of our human nature as designed by God with pleonasm – that is, with what is the same as, with redundancy – favoring what is the same as me, rejecting what is different from me. It is the destruction of the richness of complementarity for the sake of the identical.

SOLUTION                   We must avoid using any other terms than those given to us by God – male and female – and simply say that I am woman, or I am man, girl or boy. The term “heterosexual” was coined by a German who wanted to promote homosexual activity in the 18th/19th century. He used from the Greek “heteros” which means different and “sexue” or in Latin “sexus” which means separate or different. In other words, the term is redundant, saying the same thing twice. It’s a clever trick to annihilate the final purpose of our human sexuality – which is life and union for life and stability in Marriage and family life – and replace it with individuals seeking after their own pleasure.                          
                             In the Creator’s plan for our happiness, the finality of our human sexuality is union and fecundity, life and family. These other “interests” want to promote “sex ed” – that is, education to sexual practices that it is claimed “everyone wants” and how to practice them providing safety and protection from sexually transmitted infections and diseases. However, there is never any question or concern in “sex ed” to protect the person in all that we are and can be.
                             Such “sex ed” ignores and tramples the meaning and beauty of the human body as well as the body’s union to relationship, marriage, children, and family, and the truth that we all want to be loved. All the “dirty” content damages the child’s heart by presenting a perversion of human sexuality. The solution is to reach the child’s heart by treating with the truth, love, beauty, and life, which is good news, and “different from what you have seen”, what is presented out there in the world, in culture, and in the various media of mass and social communication.

SUMMARY         The pre-adolescent or rather the child in the latency and innocent stage is “beaten up or mugged” by publicity which treats him like and adolescent when he isn’t one yet.

First we have to present love as beautiful before we can treat what is dirty, false, violent, etc. We only have to look at video clips that turn various scenarios into pornography. Porn is to be avoided by everyone in all of its forms, because this garbage expresses itself in the heart and hardens it. The world of “hot” folks is actually glacial… cold… without real love which builds the other up without exploiting him or her.

7 to 8 years old is the age of reason which introduces a new form of stability for the child who leaves infancy behind.

6 or 7 to 12 is the latency period during which a form of modesty awakens and manifests itself in different ways. From now on the child wants to bathe alone, now having a greater awareness of himself, of his body. 

As a result the boy displays a kind of repugnance for everything sexual and even for marks of affection for members of the opposite sex.

The young girl for her part may begin to keep an intimate diary which must be protected from her brothers.

In any case parents must gently open their child to others during this period during which both girls and boys are inclined to close in on themselves.

In the west for the past 100 years puberty has been advancing and showing itself younger; without doubt due to pollution and the increased presence of estrogen in the environment due to the pill and other sources which end up in the waters and the soils and, as a result, in the food chain.


Paradox # 1.                       The child is really connected but very alone. He has a great need to be loved. Parents should ask themselves, “Does my child know that I love him?” Even in the culture we see evidence of this unavoidable truth as, for example, in the “Harry Potter” series of novels we see from beginning to end the conviction that “evil can do nothing against the sacrificial love of a mother.”
                Our children need to be absolutely loved by their parents, no matter the conditions. In addition there is the even greater good that they are wanted and loved by God. Let’s do what we must so that they can bathe in the love of God.

Paradox # 2.                       During this latency stage the child puts forward “me by myself” but for all that we continue to deliberately accompany, congratulate, and surround him with our love, perhaps a little more discretely, but just as truly and personally, despite the new “distance”.

Paradox # 3.                       External autonomy versus interior liberty – The child now becomes more competent in getting around and doing things, but going about taking care of his own needs by himself requires maturity, more than he is likely to have at this age. His incomplete maturity requires a degree of support that varies from one child to another. Parents need to observe and realize that during this latency stage the child cannot yet be really mature or entirely autonomous.                                                                                                                           Here lies the great challenge for the parent who is too busy and tired: to recharge his strength and energy for the good of the child in his suffering, pain, and shadows. The challenge is all the greater for the parent still living with his own sufferings, pain, and shadows; which he must manage privately in order to continue providing the emotional education of the child. This emotional education of the child becomes all the more difficult in view of the child’s own interior states. At this level, what the parent is going through can make him more compassionate to the states through which his child is passing, and this same compassion can allow the parent to sufficiently forget himself to attend to his child’s needs.
                          In the matter of emotional education in his human nature and sexuality, the child has the right to see, to hear, and to know his parents’ love story, and thus, his origins. It doesn’t matter if one of the parents and spouses is no longer around. The remaining parent must put aside all recrimination he may feel against his ex- spouse; because the child has both the right and the need to know about his origins in the love that his parents had for one another, and hence, for him their child.


The emotional and sexual education of our children needs to happen before they enter into adolescence, and it can begin as soon as they ask questions that remotely or closely touch all that has to do with their origin or sexuality. This education of the child by their parent must always be done with great tenderness and affection; for this is the most faithful expression of the truth about love which gives life not only at the beginning but which continues to give life all during life. Given the human and cultural situation in which we currently live, parents need reference points in order to effectively embark on the emotional and sexual education of their children.

Reference point # 1.                      Human love is lived in the world of human persons. Human beings are not things, not animals, not machines, not toys, but persons. We, human beings, we are a living network of body, soul, spirit, mind, and heart. So we’re not talking about a model of animal instinct as in wild or domesticated beasts. We are not human beasts, but rather human persons. This is why we absolutely reject all forms of pornography, of prostitution, or of perverted sexuality which, in every case, showcases instinctual, impulsive, and therefore, animal behaviors and activities.  

Reference point # 2.                      Your body – is you – it is not a thing which belongs to you, but you are your body at the same time that you are also your soul, your spirit, your mind, and your heart, which all together form the person that you are. So what your body lives, you live it too. That is why all behaviors which deform the human person and human sexuality by whatever pornographic expression – such as submission to concupiscence or instinctive behaviors such as fellatio and others – are a disruption of your dignity.                                          Serial or repeated sexual relations harden the heart which becomes incapable of truly loving or being loved; which brings deep suffering of isolation and interior cold. Having recourse to pornography causes the person with a hard heart no longer to believe in real love or even in life. Such a person may either be swallowed up in the impulse to suicide or may seek an escape in the artificial option of “no sex” or refusing to identify with any gender: “I am neither male nor female, neither man nor woman”.

Reference point # 3.                      Faced wit hall this pollution of ideas, of propaganda, and of interior states, what do we say to our children? “I am made to love… I have a heart.” The parent can and must soak the heart of their child in love and the child will himself or herself recognize “garbage” assertions. In the same way that one must wax well with many repetitions a piece of furniture made from high quality wood to protect it from stains; so must parents must “wax well” their children’s hearts, spirits, minds, and souls. The “layers” of wax are so many intimate moments of complicity with their child as they entertain all sorts of assertions about love – about their parents’ love but also about God’s love – of which he, the child, is the product and of which he continues to be the object, and of which he is also now becoming the subject, capable of loving in his turn in a disinterested fashion with a sacrificial love.


The mommy’s tummy, the mommy’s uterus is a safe cradle for the baby right next to the mommy’s heart where the baby hears his mommy’s heart, and together they make the music of two hearts beating together.

How will the baby come out of mommy’s tummy? The baby will come out by a little path reserved for life and for love, reserved for the baby to live, and also reserved for love and therefore for the daddy.

The vagina of the mommy is made only for life and for love.

The anus is for something else, to let the body get rid of garbage.
The channel for pee is also for getting rid of garbage, even if it seems to be the same channel for two different things, it is only part of it which is shared, but by only one thing at a time.


How did the baby get into mommy’s tummy?

Path of love # 1.           The baby entered into mommy’s tummy be the same special path that the baby will take to come out on his birthday. It is the little path reserved for life and for love, for the heart.

Path of love # 2.           Daddy and Mommy love each other and tell each other, but it isn’t enough – just like when you are glad to see me and give me a hug – so Daddy and Mommy give each other a special hug.

Path of love # 3.           When the heart of the daddy and the mommy are full of love; then the daddy’s heart is also full of love and he is able to give all his love to the mommy. The Daddy’s rod gently lifts up and is able to enter into the mommy’s path which is reserved for life and for love.

Path of love # 4.           Then there is a crowning of their love… there is great joy in their united hearts and bodies, and it is from this love that the child begins to exist in the mommy’s tummy.


The education of our children belongs to our right and our duty to think and to speak. Various ideologies try to intimidate us and reduce us to silence, but it is more essentially our right and our duty to speak more precisely to our children who, for their part, have both the right and the need to know the whole truth about their life and their origin, their human nature, and their human sexuality. Adolescents now observe the dichotomy among the various voices demanding their attention and allegiance; so we must approach them with a much more precise language.

Approach # 1.                  Confronted by all the voices speaking of human sexuality, with adolescents we need to talk all the more precisely, because they have a greater need to understand more concretely.

Approach # 2.                  We must also speak to them of the interior battle and of self mastery; that as human persons we have a great capacity for self-control, but we must exercise it, and that our self mastery grows with time and practice, and that the love of God is the source of our interior strength. It is God who loves us first and who draws us to love Him, to love others, and to love ourselves.

Approach # 3.                  It is good and necessary for us to elicit in the child – and eventually the adolescent – admiration for the perfection of love. Loving is like having a good voice. To sing well one must see and know the partition well. The lyrics and notes of the partition are: respect for the other, fidelity to the other, tenderness towards the other, and paying attention to the expectations of the other.

Approach # 4.                  Homophilia – at the beginning of adolescence youth find reassurance in their peers and can feel all kinds of emotions towards their peers, but there is nothing sexual about it. However today the culture (which for decades has been manipulated by those with strategic agendas to change society’s attitudes) so the culture tries to sexualize the other. Unfortunately, this sexualization of the other renders more difficult any ordinary true and disinterested friendship without any sexual overtones.

Approach # 5.                  One must certainly not listen to voices that advocate “trying everything” in terms of sexual activity, because we have a “body memory” which even after a single act colors everything that follows. That is why outside of the loving relationship of one man and one woman in a committed, permanent, exclusive, and faithful union, such as in marriage, all sexual activity conditions the human heart on a path of egoism and the quest for personal pleasure; which hardens the human heart and makes true love all the more difficult.

Approach # 6.                  A youth can become aware of a “dragger” or homosexual predator trying to impose on him or her. This youth must understand – this is absolutely essential – that “feeling” something is not “consenting”. The youth, like any human person, remains ever free to ask himself, “What do I want?” and “Is this good or not?” the “No!” of which I am capable in my conscience protects me in order to one day be able to say a beautiful “Yes!” to the person that I will choose to love and who will love me in return.

Approach # 7.                  The young adolescent woman like the young adult woman can find herself temporarily in the condition of “homo femini” or fear of male sexuality because of its violent portrayal in pornography. She must learn from her parents that it isn’t really like that in a loving relationship between human persons.

Parents, have many gratuitous moments sitting down face to face with your child. See the relationship of befriending when the fox meets the little prince. We must approach gently, and that takes time. For boys, it’s better by the father; but if not, the mother must do it. For example, the mother can say to him, “Your father and I want to tell you…”


Original sin consists in man and woman turning away from their relationship with God the Creator to prefer making up their own life, their own reality, their own universe, their own definition of human life and of good and evil. There is nothing more painful in our human condition than this isolation from God, who is not only our origin in love but also our destiny.

That is why it is essential for parents to introduce their child to God. However, we cannot give what we do not already possess. Still, with God, it is never too late. So, the simple realization by parents that there is somewhere within them some sort of desire to give their children what is best can already open within them the gateway to all that is “beyond”. These are the opportunities in real time, in the present moment, to give their children the “sacraments” or knowledge of God, or prayer, or spirituality, or faith.

The heart of the Judeo-Christian Tradition is clearly that the God who is good and loving, the Creator of the Universe, wants to have a relationship of friendship and love with every human person. God, who is infinitely rich, wants to give us everything, but all the obstacles that exist are within us… the “gates” within us are not always open, or else they are not always open wide.

BAPTISM – At Baptism God the Holy Trinity engenders within the human person a “family relationship” of adoption introducing the person – even a newborn baby – into the heart of the relationship of communion already existing from all eternity and which “defines” the divine being we call God and whose nature Jesus has revealed as a “communion of divine persons in a single divine being”. The life that exists in God in perfect love and perfect harmony begins to “flow” or “vibrate” in us, and we begin to “live in God”. As for everything else regarding our human life on Earth, this new life “in God” must be cultivated, first by our parents and godparents, but gradually by the free and motivated participation of the child himself or herself.

CONFIRMATION – Whether it is the day after its birth or at 11 / 12 years old, at its confirmation or chrismation the child receives a new “effusion” or “outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God” as the apostles and 100 or so other disciples received as they gathered around the Mother of Jesus in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is ever at work to infuse his gifts: piety for greater respect for the works of God, especially man and woman, girl / boy; and all the other spiritual gifts for the person and the charisms for the good of others and the Church. Parents can and must help their child to see himself or herself as loved by God and that they receive themselves from God in love. Their gender – female or male / man or woman – was given to them at their conception and will ever manifest itself and develop.

HOLY COMMUNION – as the mother gives of her blood / milk in nursing her baby at the maternal breast, so does Jesus – risen from the dead and Son of God – give of himself as spiritual food to communicants, giving us in holy communion a veritable “transfusion” of the divine life He possesses with his Father and the Holy Spirit. Our sharing in the divine life of love which is in God and in which we are initiated through Baptism is not yet “permanent” on this Earth, but it will only be permanent in Heaven when we will have accomplished our life and mission.

ANOINTING OF THE SICK – As He did in Palestine, Jesus continues to heal the sick and wounded while forgiving sins and driving out evil spirits who at various times torment the baptised.

PENANCE – RECONCILIATION – Jesus allows us to meet Him face to face as He did when He walked the Earth through the representatives He gives himself and whom He sends us in the persons of his priests (HOLY ORDERS).

MARRIAGE – To those who believe in Him and who put their trust in Him Jesus vouches that their love will reflect his faithful and sacrificial love for his Church, his Beloved, the body of all his assembled faithful disciples.

P.S.: Genesis portrays God’s creation of humans as man and woman in original innocence. Sin divided us into man or woman. Patriarchy is domination by man. Feminism reduces us to neither man nor woman. Gender ideology seeks to neutralize our innate human gender as woman or man by replacing our identity with the illusion of a “choice”. For its part, the “gay” culture and homosexual “lobby” prey on young children before puberty and young adolescents who are likely to be experiencing temporary “Homophilia” as they develop, in a deliberate strategy to impose their ideology on them precisely when they are most vulnerable. Their objective is to have the young “fall” and identify themselves as “gay” or “lesbian” and, in effect, deny and abandon their great dignity as girl or boy, woman or man, in accord with the gender with which they were endowed at their conception. The good news is that Jesus Christ our Lord restores lost innocence and our capacity for the reciprocal gift of self for which our gender as man or woman empowers us, and which is God’s gift to us to enable us to live our human life and love in the image and likeness of God the Holy Trinity.

These notes were taken from a conference given March 29th, 2017 at the offices of the Archdiocese of Montreal by Inès Pélissié du Rausas with added thoughts by me. He book containing a much more complete and detailed explanation of her instructions to parents is entitled:

“S’il te plait, parle-moi de l’amour ! »

It is available from Amazon in France at this link: 

or at at:


My purpose in these posts is to help spread the contributions of a variety of Christian and other writers in a desire to share significant writings that in my estimation contribute to the common good and directly or indirectly give glory to God and extend the Lord's work of salvation to all of humanity. G.S.


© 2004-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal  QC
© 2004-2021 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC

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