Friday, October 12, 2018

Reason no. 11 why I remain Catholic: Sexual morality

This is probably one of the most mind-blowing things I discovered during my conversion. I, just like many in the western world, thought that the Catholic Chuch's teachings on sexual morality were outdated, prudish and absolutely rigid. Then I came across St. John Paul II's "Theology of the Body" and my life changed. Literally, it changed!

“The human body includes right from the beginning... the capacity of expressing love, that love in which the person becomes a gift – and by means of this gift – fulfills the meaning of his being and existence.” St. John Paul II

This theological time bomb of a teaching, as George Weigel likes to call it, literally changed my existence. I found not only meaning in my life in Christ but then I discovered that Jesus gives meaning to our sexuality as well. Every, single, aspect of our sexuality.

So how to summarize something that has taken me years to discover? It has been like peeling back the layers of an onion, where with each layer there is always a more dense and rich teaching that ties back to Scripture and Tradition.

God is a trinity of persons. Within this trinity exists an eternal exchange of perfect love that flows from the Father to the Son.  From this perfect and eternal love proceeds the Holy Spirit. Therefore, God is a family. God is a perfect relationship of love within Himself. This is all expressed of course with the very poverty of human language that we speak. To summarize who God is is practically impossible.

We, in turn, were created in and from this Love that is God. We were created in the image and likeness of this most perfect union. Therefore, we are created to reflect this union in our own relationships. This unity of God can best be expressed in the union between man and woman. Essentially, it is only from the intimate union between one man and one woman, that life can spring forth. This makes us like God, co-creators of new life in love.

This is why the Church expresses the sacredness of sex. This is why the Church preaches that sex outside of the sanctity of marriage is cheapened. This is why sex is not only a sacred act that makes us co-creators with God, but it also expresses the beauty of God's perfect love. Sex is beautiful! Sex is pleasurable. God made it this way! It is only when sex is stripped of its meaning and severed from responsibility and life that it becomes a source of hurt and shame.

When I discovered the core of these teachings, I began to dig for more and more of the Church's teachings on sexual morality. I soon unearthed an abundance of treasures.  That the Church is rigid, prudish and outdated, cannot be further from the truth. The Church is wise and loving in her teachings on sex. It teaches us the truth of the beauty of how and why we were created so that we may live in the happiness God created us for. The Catholic Church is the one Church that has never changed her stance on the beauty and sacredness of the sexual union between one man and one woman.

In these teachings, I discovered true freedom from the shackles of what I had grown up learning from friends, media and sheer ignorance. It was in finding this fountain of truth that I was genuinely freed and able to live up to my full potential as a woman. I was released from the bondage of what society said I had to do in order to be accepted. Slowly I began to discover that my happiness was found not in what the world was preaching but what the Church had been preaching for centuries.

“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.” Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Other than the freedom I found in Christ, there has been no other freedom more exhilarating and sweet than to discover the truth and beauty of sex.

Disclaimer: Photo courtesy of pixabay

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