Last weekend, another horrific mass shooting occurred, this time at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs. As Christians and as Catholics, we should mourn this latest tragedy, not because the people inside adhered to a certain ideology, but because they were human beings with the same God-given value and worth as the rest of us. After the shooting, I saw a picture on Facebook that said “Love is an awful thing to hate.” It was obviously in reference to the shooting because the background was made up of rainbow colors. This is a true statement when applied to real love, which is sacrificial and when romantic, between a man and a woman. Love also requires truth, which as Christians we know does not apply to LGBTQ ideology.
The secular world today wants us to think of love as something that makes us feel good and makes us happy. While this can be true sometimes, it’s also the reason why marriages in Hollywood and around the world don’t last. Once their marriage stops making them feel good and happy, couples want a divorce. But real love goes beyond feelings and makes us sacrifice for the other person and will their good even if we want something for ourselves or happen to not like them very much in the moment.
Love IS an awful thing to hate. Jesus was hated to the point that He was put to death, and He was Love Itself. But as He says in John 14:6, He was also Truth: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Thus, in order for something to really be love, it must also be truthful. We can only really love someone if it adheres to the Truth of Jesus Christ and His Church. “Since by obedience to the truth you have purified yourself for genuine love of your brothers, love one another from your heart,” St. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:22. So in order to love, we must first learn the truth and then abide by it. And we know that in Genesis, God clearly states that He created us male and female (Genesis 5:2), and gave Adam and Eve commands to be “fertile and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). Jesus also drove this point home in the Gospels (Matthew 19:3-6). True marriage and romantic love can only be between a man and a woman, and anything else is merely using another person to satisfy one’s feelings and desires, which is the opposite of sacrificial love.
As regards to the shooting, perhaps a more suitable expression is “Humanity is an awful thing to hate.” These victims were human, no matter what ideology they claimed to be a part of, and the blatant disregard for the dignity of life is something to be mourned as well. We should pray for the repose of the victim’s souls as well as for the shooter.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.