10 October 2008

Questions and answers

I cannot quite decide if it is good or not that there are very few topics – if indeed any – that the high school students won’t discuss with me, seemingly at any time and in any place, from the very profane – and maybe even sordid – to the very sacred. I suspect, in the end, it is good.

Yesterday afternoon I was walking through the hallways of the high school from my classroom to the office when a student in a “study” hall called me in to ask, “Why is premarital sex wrong?” I responded asking, “Why would it be good?”

I find this method to be fairly effective. So many people want to circumvent the ancient and constant teachings of the Church, but when you ask them to demonstrate why the Church’s teachings aren’t good they cannot respond. I don’t think most people want to destroy the teachings of the Church so much as they want to find a way around them. So it was yesterday.

After explaining – yet again – the beauty and purpose of sexuality and marriage I then said something like, “If extramarital sex weren’t wrong in and of itself we wouldn’t feel shame when thinking about doing it. If it weren’t wrong, you wouldn’t be asking me why it is wrong; you’d just and go out and do it. Something inside each of us tells us that it is wrong and so we go about trying to justify ourselves.” That seemed to work pretty well, too.

Isn’t that the case, though? I wonder if – in this time when feelings are just about the only thing anybody considers – if we ought not to begin with the sense of shame that people feel about these moral topics which we try to justify to remove our shame. Let us not forget that prior to the Fall, our first parents knew no shame.

I never thought I’d say that.

Today the schools are not in session because of a teacher in-service day and – because of Columbus Day – school is cancelled on Monday, as well. In the area this is a common weekend for families to take a last vacation and go camping at a nearby lake with who knows how many people. Very often parents allow their high school age children to consume alcohol when they know very well they should not be allowing – and even encouraging! – this behavior.

Before dismissing my classes yesterday I told the students, “Be safe this weekend. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want to tell me about.” Usually I say, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” but for whatever reason I didn’t yesterday. Several of the students answered, “Father, we tell you about everything already!” True enough.
Keep the questions coming, kids, keep them coming.

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