Maronite bishop dives deep into the ‘masculine soul’

Maronite bishop dives deep into the ‘masculine soul’

Mansour wrote that Christ “rebutted the religious leaders of the day who were justifying divorce by referring to how Moses allowed a man to divorce his wife for any reason whatsoever.”
Jesus responded by stating “that it was God’s intention from the beginning that what God has joined no human authority should separate,” Mansour wrote, adding that his new command “shattered all previous rights to male domination in marriage.”
“Jesus, it should be noted, was speaking only to men, because women did not have the ‘right,’ given by Moses, to divorce their husbands. Thus, Jesus was indicating that a woman and a man are, by nature, and by the intention of the Creator, of equal importance and dignity,” he wrote.
The call to chastity

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Noting that men and women are able to give themselves as gifts to each other in the sexual embrace, Mansour said that “a man and woman need to develop within themselves the virtues necessary to ensure that they can be faithful to each other.”
Mansour wrote that chastity orders sexual intimacy to be “appropriately expressed in fidelity, love, and mutual reverence,” adding that “man completes woman and woman completes man, as two halves make a whole.”
“We can easily enslave ourselves to our desires, passions, compulsions, addictions, and whims. Pornography, masturbation, and sexual promiscuity are always sinful, as is sexual harassment or abuse,” he wrote. 
Mansour wrote that if one falls into any of these sins or crimes, “he should repent of these quickly, and ‘flee’ from them, saying that professional help may be necessary in some cases.
“We should all work to rid ourselves and the culture of such ills, to make our culture and ourselves, more holy, chaste, and respectful, especially for the sake of women, girls, and boys,” he wrote.
Mansour said that one way chastity can be used in marriage is through Natural Family Planning, a method of tracking a woman’s natural cycle which can help couples either conceive or avoid pregnancy.
“If a couple for serious reasons prayerfully recognizes the need to space children, they should not make recourse to contraception but work together to achieve a healthy spacing of children in the chaste and natural way given by God,” he wrote.
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On the topic of children, Mansour said that God intended “these ‘little ones’” to enter the world in the context of the marriage covenant. 
“A child has the right to come into the world through this kind of marital love, embrace, complementarity, and commitment, in which the mother and father mutually pledge to love and care for the child and each other in a stable and permanent relationship,” he wrote.
Turning his attention to the single and celibate man, Mansour wrote that these groups of men are also called to live chaste lives and deny themselves.
Mansour cited Pope John Paul II, who referred to the “nuptial meaning of the body,” adding that those who forsake marriage for the sake of the kingdom can live in a “spiritual union” with God. 
“This gift, in imitation of the chaste and celibate Christ, depends on and deepens one’s communion with God, and sets one free to embrace an intense and life-giving love for others,” he wrote.
A man’s prayer

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