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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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A Hierarchy of Love in the Home

Given that one sees a hierarchy in marriage; neither spouse should lead the other into sin. Similarly, parents can rightfully demand honor and obedience from children, but they must be worthy of such honor. Many things might be excused to preserve the peace of a home; but once a husband starts ordering his wife and children around as slaves, it will not be a happy home. When there is abuse, cruelty and sin; an offending spouse is stripped of authority by the one who is the source for all authority. The message of the Gospel is to embrace a sacrificial love. Jesus pours himself out on the Cross. If this is to be realized in marriage, then it must be mutual. The husband pours his hopes and dreams and life into his wife. Conversely, she pours all her longings and love into her husband. When there is this mutual self-donation, a couple may always be filled and whole. Indeed, their love may bear the wonderful and mysterious gift of children wherein God makes them co-creators with himself. When one gives and the other only takes, the one finds him or herself empty and the other caged in selfishness. Such a mentality is at the root of cold marriages, adultery and the culture of death.

Men and women are both made in the divine image; they have a need for mercy and a capacity for grace. The Scriptures make it very clear that they are called to be helpmates in becoming holy. Marriage comes down from our first parents to the present as an institution to bring fidelity and fruitfulness to the loneliness of the human condition.