I am sure that you have heard somebody say, “I am only Human,” as if to excuse themselves from judgement after making a mistake.

Isn’t this a strange way to respond? As though being human meant they had no choice or possibility of better action?

This is the exact opposite of the truth.

Animals act instinctively. They eat when they are hungry and procreate when they are in season. They will fight other animals – even those in their family group – who dare to get in the way of these needs being met.

But as humans, we are above animals. We do not respond instinctively to needs as they do. We are rational beings with an intellect and will. We have the freedom to love and worship. We can discern right from wrong and freely choose the good.

When we make a bad decision, we do so freely. To say, “I am only Human” makes no sense. Precisely because you are human, you had the capacity for better action.

Unlike the hungry lion, who will fight family for a piece of meat, I have the capacity to sacrifice my food for my children even when I am hungry. In like manner, even if I feel a strong sexual urge, I am – despite what many will say – capable of rising above an instinctive reaction and I am free to discern how to respond to that urge. Just because the urge or desire is there does not mean I am powerless to discern how to respond to it.

Karol Wojtyla writes in Love and Responsibility, “Man is not responsible for what happens to him in the sexual sphere since he is obviously not himself the cause of it, but he is entirely responsible for what he does in this sphere.