Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Question for the Critics

This morning I sat at the train station wondering why some people have so much difficulty recognizing that human sexuality directly relates to divine mysteries. After all, our male and female bodies, capable of mutual self-gift in the martial act, where created so before the Fall. They were blessed and beautiful. When man sinned and lost his original innocence, his body and sexuality became tainted by sin, yet so did his intellect, will, heart and soul. We speak freely of the beauty, the participation in the divine, the redemption possible for these latter faculties, yet for many the body remains "tainted,"redeemable from its "sinfulness" only insofar as we downplay or even reject our sexuality. Such an attitude limits or ignores the extent that Christ's salvific death and resurrection can transform our entire being, body and soul.

By virtue of our redemption every single part of us as human creatures, every member and particle of our being can be transformed by the power of Christ. This includes our sexuality. True it must be treated with reverence, but if the Bible, the saints and the Church speak of human sexuality and relate the marital act to sacred and Divine truths and mysteries, we should also elevate our thinking about these things to the heights of heaven. The most beautiful and intimate traditions of the Church which unite man with the love of God use marriage and sexual language to convey the depth of God's love for us and the call for us to love as He loves.

May we not reject the mystical tradition of the Church and relinquish half of our personhood, our bodies, to the realm of the devil. May we come to see our whole person as reflections of the divine love, symbols of sacred mysteries and a participation in the very life of the Trinity. I will close with one of the most powerful examples I know of this: consider a marital act which results in the conception of a child. At the moment of conception the power of the Holy Spirit overshadows the woman and creates in her womb a human soul. Even if the sexual act was disordered (rape, fornication, etc.) because of it God Himself blesses that woman and touches her in a profoundly personal way, creating within her a person in the very image and likeness of God.

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