Dear Friends and Benefactors of CIH,
Praised be Jesus Christ! It has been such a blessing to watch the work steadily grow over the past few months! I should not be surprised at this, since we gave the work to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is her Heart which will triumph in this work and it is our prayer that she will lead many souls to the healing love of Jesus Christ. Our primary apostolate is serving survivors of human trafficking, a crime which has become more prevalent in American society, and worldwide, in the past decades. It currently ranks as the second largest illegal international trade, with the illegal arms trade ranking first and the illegal drugs trade third. How did we get to this point where human being are once again being bought and sold? A part of the problem has to do with the fact that, unfortunately, in contemporary society human sexuality has largely become depersonalized. What do I mean when I say “depersonalized”? Philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand describes it beautifully in his short work entitled, “The Encyclical Humanae Vitae: A Sign of Contradiction”:
“As long as I find someone only sexually attractive, as long as this person awakens only sexual desire in me, I in no way look up to him because of this. In the case of truly being in love, I am drawn into a dimension of depth, I become more sensitive and more reverent. In the case of isolated sensual desire, where I find someone merely enticing, I am drawn into the periphery. I even become less sensitive, less reverent. In the true state of being in love the beloved stands before me as a person in a unique way. I take him fully seriously as a person. In a mere sensual attraction the partner is an object for my satisfaction. In the case of truly being in love the whole charm of the other sex is embodied in the one beloved person, whereas in sensual desire the other is just one good representative of the other sex among many…The real state of being-in-love – as long as it lasts – possesses absolute exclusiveness. It is impossible – from the purely psychological point of view, to be in love with two people at the same time.”
This is at the heart of the problem of human trafficking in which women, girls, and boys are used as objects of pleasure. The dignity they have as persons to be loved is taken away and they are treated as objects to be used. I find the concept fascinating that “the whole charm of the other sex is embodied in the one beloved person” – and I think this is something we all know from experience. Interestingly, this loss of reverence for the other is precisely what Pope Paul VI predicted in his encyclical letter of 1968, Humanae Vitae, in which he condemned the use of artificial contraception:
“Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of the methods and plans for artificial birth control…a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection” (HV 17).
Human sexuality differs radically from that of animals because we are dealing with persons. God has willed that new persons come into being through the marital act and this is a great mystery which we have no right to put asunder. Our Mother the Church teaches us that the conjugal act is for the union of the spouses and for the generation of children and that the two ends of the act must both be present in every conjugal act. Man’s dominion over his body is not absolute, as we all experience in various ways. This dominion is even less absolute in reference to one’s sexual faculties whose biological makeup serves the end of the generation of new life which itself comes from God. The sexual revolution sought to separate these ends of human sexuality and has left in its wake many wounded people. It is our hope at Children of the Immaculate Heart to help women and girls discover their God-given dignity after all of the wounds they have experienced. God made us freely out of love and for love – please pray for us in our work to communicate that to survivors of human trafficking. It is our hope that through an encounter with the saving Wounds of Jesus Christ, our clients will come to know the true freedom of the children of God, both in this life, and in the world to come!