Modern America is perhaps one of the worst cultures when it comes to sexuality. Not only has the culture become more accepting of overt sexuality over the past several years, it now seems that a promiscuous sexuality is being promoted, encouraged and celebrated as something to strive for. Parents dress their young girls in clothes that are clearly intended to provoke a sexual reaction, and they don’t even think twice about it. America is exploiting its children to advance the immoral concept of sexuality as something to be shared with the world. This sickens me to no end.
Men and women are, by nature, sexual beings. That is the way God created us; however, it was never the intention of God that human beings should flaunt their sexuality and turn it into a commodity. Human sexuality is sacred, and deserves to be treated as such. Several weeks ago, while working out at the gym, I happened to catch a few minutes of VH1′s Top 40 Music Videos of 2006. Of the 8 or so that I saw, all but one of them was extremely sexual in nature. They ranged from a man who was being unfaithful by having three girlfriends, hiding each from the others, to a woman using an ice cream cone as a proxy for the male phallus, to a woman basically performing oral sex on an unwilling (or all too willing?) guard. These are the best music videos of 2006? It wasn’t until I saw these that I realized how strongly I actually felt about the Culture of Sex that we are promoting in the modern western world. Our modern understanding of sex is that it is something that we should be free to share with whomever we please, whenever we please and for whatever reason we please. Sex has simply become something to do – it has lost its sacred significance, and this is shameful.
God gave humanity sex for two primary purposes: procreative and unitive. The modern conception of sex has removed BOTH of these elements, and turned sex into something purely about pleasure. I feel strongly that each of these two elements needs some discussion.
First, sex is meant to be a procreative act. That is, it is an act through which new life is to be brought into the world. Recall that God gave us the greatest gift of all – the life of His own Son, Jesus Christ. It is through this gift of Christ’s life for our salvation that we are saved. And Christ calls us all to share in this life by bringing new life into the world. There is but one natural mechanism by which life can be brought into this world and therefore share in the Life of Christ – sex. Many people claim that the Catholic Church is irresponsible for not teaching the use of condoms, birth control or other contraceptives. Individuals who argue this are misguided. The use of any artificial contraceptive device is intended to remove this procreative aspect of sex, that is, to prevent the woman from becoming pregnant. To remove this is to turn away from Christ and to tell God that you are unwilling to accept one of His most awesome blessings in this world – a child.
Second, sex is meant to be a unitive act. Sex is the single most intimate act that a man and woman can share. Intimacy of a greater scale can certainly be achieved spiritually and emotionally, but physically, sex is as intimate as it gets. This is the reason that sex is to be reserved for marriage – it is a holy bond shared by a husband and wife. When spouses come together in the most sacred act of sexual intercourse, they are celebrating their BONDED AND SINGULAR existence. No longer are they one man and one woman; rather, they are ONE BEING IN CHRIST. In marriage, they received the Holy Spirit and the two became one flesh. Sex is therefore a celebration of this One-ness. It is the ultimate gift of onesself to another person. It is for this reason that Christ calls all people to reserve sex for marriage. Sex as a unitive act is our most holy and awesome physical expression of love, committment and devotion. Sadly, modern society has destroyed this idea and turned sex into the next logical step of a relationship. No longer is sex the ultimate sacrifice for another person, no longer do we teach our children that sex is something so sacred and so holy that it must be reserved for our one and only spouse; rather, we encourage promiscuity through the media and by example. Mothers and fathers teach their children that sex outside of marriage is acceptable by providing them with birth control pills or condoms.
Our modern view of sexuality is appalling. America has convinced itself that sex is something that belongs to individuals. But it doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to God. Only with God and His Spirit does sex take on its true form, joining both the procreative and unitive aspects. When a husband and wife truly come together for this most intimate act, free of obstacles, the Holy Spirit descends upon them and turns their bed into an altar of the Lord. When celebrated for its true value, sex becomes the ultimate sacrifice that a husband and wife can make to the Will of the Lord. Sex, by its very nature, is meant to be an offering to God. Husbands and wives are called to cry out to the Lord, “HERE WE ARE, READY TO DO YOUR WILL. Bless us with a holy marriage, and if it be your will, send us children, that they may know the joys of sharing in Christ’s everlasting life.”
This is one of the most beautiful things I can imagine – one of God’s most awesome blessings! Christ calls all to a life of holiness. And married life is as much of a vocation as the religious life. Everyone called to marriage must realize that they are not called to marriage for their own sake, but for the sake of all humanity. Married couples are called to SERVE GOD with their marriage. In marriage, God truly joins two people and makes them one. Yes, they still exist as two separate phyisical forms, but their souls are forever joined as one. As such, every decision made by the husband is a decision made by the wife, and vice versa. Every sin committed by the husband is a sin committed by the wife, and vice versa. But the best part is that the married couple has the Spirit of the Lord and, if they discern and follow the Will of God, their marriage, their unity, will fill the world with Love, and Christ will be visible to all the world through them! Is this not truly amazing? And to bring children into the world only adds to the blessings God has already bestowed on a husband and a wife.
Most Americans, and sadly even most Catholics, have lost this understanding of just how sacred and special both marriage and sex are. Both are intimate gifts from God, and both create an everlasting bond between two people that can never be broken. Love is from God, sex is from God. These are not ours to give away; rather, they are gifts given to us by God to be shared infinitely with our spouse. I pray that this beautiful truth be made clear in the hearts of all men and women again soon!
May the Peace and Blessings of our Lord, Jesus Christ be with you always! Amen.