Opening Prayer (PS 112:4-5)
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice. Amen.
Sometimes we got to "take one for the team." Childlovers are often not given (and indeed can't have) children, the very objects of their desire (whether it be a sexual desire, emotional desire, or even a truly loving desire), because sometimes God in his purpose wants the childlover to desire God first and foremost. We actually become idolaters if our love for children takes priority before our love for God. Christian Childlovers should love children for the sake of God, and if God's decision in their life is that they remain apart from children, then we express our love for God by living chaste lives and therefore "love children" as God would have us love them, even if it means being apart from them! We "take it for the team." This is hardship, but the fruits of it are God's perfect love in the world (the greater good than our own satisfaction, which is met in Christ). Christians are supposed to take it on themselves in order to be "a light to the world," the "salt of the earth" (the very "preservative" of humanity) (Matthew 5:13), so we can't afford to have disordered, earthly attachments (even to children). We got to keep all things in perspective and relative to our love for God, especially if it literally "weakens" us to do so.
Readings and Discussion
Some of the most cutting words the Lord gives are "For surely, they have their reward" (Matthew 6:2, and elsewhere). If this applies to you, which to some extent it applies to all of us at times, it means "congratulations, you wanted something and you got it, but now that's all you're going to get." In this respect, there is nothing worse than actually getting what we want all the time, because it means we can't receive anything else. People who have abundance have no need of anything, which is why Christ says "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 5:3), because those who know they don't have something are the ones open to recieving whatever the Lord is willing to give, knowing that He can give all things. We have to give up what we want and can't have in the flesh (whatever it may be) in order to obtain the greater gift that we often don't really want (let's be honest) and yet can have (and do have already) abundantly in the spirit (which is God Himself). Thus, God's message to St. Paul was not the lifting of the "thorn in his side," but the response: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness" (2nd Corinthians 12:9). God therefore sometimes makes us weak and lowly by denying us the objects of our desire so that we may need Him all the more.
For the Christian Childlover, perhaps God makes us pedophiles so that we can't have the object of our desire, only so that we should desire God instead, so that His power may be made perfect in our weakness. When His power is made perfect in us, the response is always an outpouring of generosity, even if it's motivated by a daily struggle against impure thoughts and temptations toward selfish gratification. From the abundance of our weaknesses, God motivates us to "power through it" and become holy like Him. So many saints (St. Augustine for example) were not propelled not by some artificial "innate holiness," but by the sheer depth of their insecurities, sins, temptations, and brokenness. Their weaknesses are what compelled them all the more to become that "shining city on a hill that can not be hidden." And thus, as the prophet Isaiah describes, deep wounds provoke charity and the removal of all malice and lust, and that action then provokes holiness and Godliness (faith inspiring works):
"Thus says the LORD: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am! If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday." IS 58:7-10
The faith of the Christian Childlover therefore should inspire him to put away all uncleanness, all malice, all lust, all disordered covetousness (of children), and replace these desires with cleanliness, charity for children (feeding the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless...etc.). It is not these works that "heal the wound" (disordered affections for children), but the faith that inspires you to go and do them (otherwise, your faith would've been a "dead faith" (James 2:26)), and then it's that same faith that also heals of your "wound," which is the disorder (pedophilia). The result is not just the healing of the wound though, but the betterment of your very soul... the very thing that makes you "you." You become the person you were made to be (a saint), rather than the just fallen creature that you are. Your "vindication will go before you" (looking ahead) and the "glory of the Lord will be your rear guard" (keeping you from ever "looking back" or "going back"). In other words, the Spirit in your conscience will stop you from returning to any unholy way that is now dead to you, especially if it may be a daily struggle.
St. Paul knew that this work, inspired by faith, was more important than mere declarations of faith without the works to back them up. A Christian Childlover can claim to be a follower of Christ as the day is long, but if he has no contrition and no resolve to change his life of sexual lust or even just puts the love of children before the love of God, he's deceiving himself and not actually following Christ. I can sit here and write this entire blog out and it does me not one bit of good (and in fact, can actually become a curse for me) whenever I fail to follow Christ in the same manner. Thus, St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that he did not come as a great rhetorical speaker and dazzle them with his own insights (even though he was a very learned man), but came and presented his weaknesses to them so that he could show the power of God to transform those weaknesses into holiness:
"When I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God." 1 COR 2:1-5
Likewise when a Christian Childlover presents his own weaknesses and failings (his lust, among others), he does so only so that power of God may be exemplified in just how far it was able to transform him from such a lowly state to a state of Godliness... once again, not by any power of his, but by that which comes in Christ by the Holy Spirit. By doing so the Christian Childlover fulfills the titles (Matthew 5:3) that the Lord gives to those who faithfully, even under weakness and constant temptation (and even through all the failings and fallings) execute under pain and hardship the vocation to chastity (which is self-discipline) and charity (which is love) that all people are tasked with:
"Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father."' MT 5:13-16
We may never lay our hands on someone and cure them of their ills, as St. Peter was able to do in the Holy Spirit for the lame beggar (Acts 3:1-9), but if the Holy Spirit (given by Christ) indwells in us, we can be perfectly healed or made perfectly whole, which is no less a feat. And then those who see us, especially other Childlovers, will be more apt to give glory to God in Heaven that such a "miracle" could take place, once they see the "change" in us for the better. The change in us, from a sinner to a saint, is no less a miracle for God than the healing of the sick. Through that, even though we may stumble and fall many times throughout our lives, we are made to be the "salt of the earth," and the "shining city on a hill that can not be hidden," and the "light of the world" or the "lamp set on a lampstand." We are to do these acts in front of others, just as Peter did with lame beggar, not so that we may be glorified, but that God may be glorified through us. And thus St. Peter rightly said: “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see" (Acts 3:12, 16b). From the depths of our God-given weaknesses come the height of our God-given holiness. That is how we become "Christ-like."
We are only the "salt of the earth" when we can say with total confidence, along with King David:
"I waited patiently for the Lord,
and he inclined and heart my cry.
He lifted me out of the muddy pit,
out of the mud and the mire.
And He set my feet upon a rock,
and established my steps.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise unto God,
and many shall see and fear the Lord,
and put their trust in Him." (Psalm 40:1-2)
Let us also recall the words of the Blessed Mother: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it be done to me according to Your will" (Luke 1:38). And finally, the words of the Blessed Lord Himself, before he was to "take one for the team" and be sacrificed for the good of all others:
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42).
Closing Prayer (PS 112:6-7):
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. Amen.
Grace and peace be to you.