Sixth Sunday Of Easter

April 30, 2016 Column Father De Celles

The Logic of Life and Love. Love is logical. Now, to some that may seem a strange thing to say, since we tend to think of “love” as being merely a feeling, or a passion. But if you say you love me and then scream at me and try to kill me, we can all see that’s not love, and those actions are not consistent with the logic of love: logic, reason, tells you if you love someone you will act and even think a certain way toward them.

Love, then, is logical. And love is at the core of Jesus’ life and teaching—but so is logic. St. John’s Gospel begins with the words: “In the beginning was the Word…And the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us.” Of course, he’s talking about Jesus, God who become flesh, a human being. But the term we translate here as “Word” is actually the word “logos” in the original Greek text. “Logos” is usually translated as “Word”—so that we understand Jesus as being the communication of God to man, God speaking, or revealing God to man. His “Word.”

But “logos” also means “reason,” and it’s where we get the word “logic.” So, St. John says not only is Jesus the Word revealing God to man, but He reveals the logic or reasoning of God to man.  And so we see, for example, whenever Jesus teaches He is extremely logical in His approach.

Logic cannot be separated from Jesus or from His Gospel. Or from His creation—the whole world is governed by logic: science is supposed to be about logic.

Unfortunately, we don’t always act logically or reasonably. Sometimes we act illogically or unreasonably because we choose to. But sometimes we act illogically because our reason is impaired, perhaps by drugs, alcohol, confusion or by mental illness. But that isn’t the way we are supposed to be—something’s wrong that needs to be fixed.

The problem is, nowadays people are willfully rejecting logic and reason —even the most basic logic called “common sense.” And it’s not just an individual rejection, but we’re seeing a whole societal rejection of logic.

We see this in lots of ways. For example, we see it in the unbridled anger that too often fuels the debates about things like “same-sex marriage,” race relations, illegal immigration, the economy, and the redistribution of wealth. I think we see it especially in the presidential races—the unprecedented unbridled anger on all sides. Some of this anger is reasonable—but so much of it is just not.

But just how far society has rejected logic came home to me in a powerful way the week before last when I read that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that if a girl thinks she’s a boy, we all have to treat her like a boy, and even let her use the boy’s restroom. It doesn’t matter what the science of biology, or even psychology, says, or what common sense says. And then to compound things, a few days later the “conservative” political party’s leading candidate for the presidency came out and agreed with them.

Have we lost our minds? A boy is a boy, a girl is a girl. What if a 10-year-old boy thinks he’s a 25-year-old man—would we have to let him buy alcohol and vote? What if a 30-year-old woman thinks she’s God—do we have to worship her? Where does it stop? Logically?

It reminds me of the Hans Christian Anderson short story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” where two charlatans convince an Emperor that they’ve sewn him a magnificent suit, when really there’s nothing there. And so he processes naked around the streets and the people, in fear of being labeled stupid, express admiration for his beautiful new clothes. Until one little boy shouts the obvious: “”But the Emperor has nothing on at all!”

Some people would say all this is “hate speech.” No, this is love speech. If someone thinks they are someone or something that logic, reason and common sense says they are not, they have a terrible problem. And we don’t help them by denying that problem, much less reinforcing that problem.

Jesus shows us how to love these people by healing the sick, not patting them on the head and “celebrating” the goodness of their illness. There is a logic to life, and to love. And that logic tells us we must help those who suffer gender confusion. We should be patient with them, and try to protect them from unnecessary harm. But we shouldn’t pretend they don’t have a problem, a disorder.

My point, though, is not so much the “gender” issue, but the loss of logic and reason in our society and public discourse and the loss of the logic of genuine love —if you love you will do this, and you won’t do that.

And then all the questions it raises for us Catholics. How much has this illogical approach infected your life? How has it infected your children? How are schools, especially public-government schools, teaching them to think illogically? How do you love your children and protect them from all these lies? How do we talk to people who suspend or even contradict logic? How do you respond when your employer tells you to ignore reason? What do we do when schools and judges and even the president tells us, “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” What will this do to laws: laws that are not rooted in reason are fundamentally unjust? How can society go on like this, without logical discourse, without just laws, without common sense? How do you vote for president when 4 out of 5 of the major candidates don’t have the common sense to answer the question, “is a girl really a girl?”

Sadly, using logic will get you in trouble nowadays. But Jesus commands us: “Love one another as I have loved you.” And Jesus loves us by revealing the logic of the mind of God and suffering and dying on the cross to save us from sin. The logic of love sometimes means being willing to suffer, even die, for the ones you love, and for living and loving according to that logic.


The Month of May. Lots of things happening this month in the parish. One big event is next Saturday with First Holy Communion for the second graders—please keep them in your prayers. But the whole month of May is the Month of Mary, so next Sunday, May 8, after the 12:15 Mass, we will mark this devotion with the “May Crowning.” All are invited to join us. Also, I encourage all of you to keep this devotion by praying the Rosary during this month—even every day. I especially encourage all families to pray the Rosary together at least once a week.


Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles