June 26, 2008

Cardinal Egan...

...talks about definitions:
No one likes definitions of deeply human realities. For a definition can be cold and remote, or at least seem to be such. When what is defined is deeply human, one feels the need for a bit of poetry in the defining, lest the wonder of the defined be somehow lost.

Marriage is a case in point. It is a permanent, exclusive relationship of a man and a woman who seek fulfillment in acts of love, and especially in that act of love which in the ordinary course of events leads to the procreation of offspring. The definition is accurate, but the poetry is missing. Nor should this be a surprise. A definition of motherhood would never do the reality justice, and the same might be said of a definition of patriotism and so much else that is deeply human and inevitably entangled in feelings and emotions.

Of late, there is in our society a movement to change the definition of marriage. The reason, however, is not a lack of poetry in the timeless and classic definition, as some would suggest, but rather a desire to make marriage into something it is not...I might want to be considered an angel and to be recognized as such. Still, in point of melancholy fact, there are elements of the angelic that are simply not to be found in me.

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