Tuesday, May 14, 2013

3 Reasons Catholics Say "No!"

Got it? Now let me tell you why.
Image @ stjohnsprolife.blogspot.com

As an NFP teacher in training, I thought I’d try to tackle a tricky subject. Why does the Catholic Church teach that sex outside of marriage is wrong?
Let me preface this by saying that I think it’s the wrong question to ask. Rather, we should ask, why is the Catholic view of sexuality so right?
It is right because it allows sex to be used for what it was meant to be used for, and doesn’t settle for anything besides that.
The world settles for less.
The world says “less is best.”
The world says, “I give up – I give in. My emotions win.”
But the Church says “Um, no, the best is the best, and never settle for less.’
The two questions posed above are intertwined, but I think a little diving in would do some good. Here goes: three reasons why sex outside of marriage is sinful precisely because it is so lacking:


God created humans in His image and likeness, with a free will and all that jazz. But, he ALSO created humans to share in His inner life. What’s an “inner life?” Well, just like humans have thoughts, emotions, and internal processes happening, so does God. In this “inner life” of God, we find the Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father "gives" his love to the Son, who "receives" the love and reciprocates it. This love becomes manifest as a “new person” - the Holy Spirit comes forth, “proceeds” from the father and the Son.
Clearly, Boromir, you're not in a Catholic marriage.
Likewise, male and female are created to participate in this inner life in the domestic church, the family unit. So a husband "gives" his love to his wife, who "receives" and reciprocates it equally. This exchange of love brings forth a new spirit - the eternal soul of a new child. This is the tremendously incredible purpose and power of sex - to participate in the inner life of the Trinity. What a gift we have in it! What else lets us love like that?!
But on the flip side, anything less than using the gift of sex as it was intended is denying God's gift - and denying God and His gifts is a very serious issue. Here we are, given the gift of entering into the love of the Trinity, the love and creative power of God himself – but we say, “Nah, I’m good”? What a poverty that is to turn our backs on so great a gift of love for a few seconds of pleasure.


Marriage, in the Catholic Church, is a Sacrament. Like the Eucharist , it is a sacrament of communion. In fact, marriage is the first sacrament, commanded by God in Genesis (“Be fruitful and multiply”). It joins the two spouses in "one flesh" (Matthew 19:6), exactly how like the Eucharist joins us in the one body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:17). But unlike the joining of Christ to His Church (which is a “great mystery”), the Sacrament of Marriage is a detectable, carnal Sacrament. Flesh on flesh become one.
Sacraments: Ya can't have one flesh without the other....
Image @ .americancatholic.org

Using that Sacrament in a way that is outside of its purpose is a desecration of the Sacrament - just like taking a consecrated Host, the "one body of Jesus," and not using it for its intended purpose, in its intended setting. When the matter of the sacrament is used to profane, that is called sacrilege. The matter in marriage is our bodies. So when we use our bodies in a sexual way outside of marriage’s design, we participate in an anti-sacrament - a sacrilege.


Big Truth. Little Package.
Image @
Sexual unions, being Sacramental, must reveal a deeper spiritual Truth. The anointing at Baptism and Confirmation signifies a greater Truth of being anointed in the Spirit (Acts 10:37-38). The form of bread and wine at the Eucharist signify the greater Truth of Jesus’ body. Receiving the Eucharist allows us to participate in the Truth of Christ's life and redemptive self-gift.
Likewise, the form of the Sacrament of Marriage signifies a greater Truth of participating in God's power. God literally gives humans the power to create new, eternal life. By exchanging mutual, total, and completely free gifts of themselves (just as in the Trinity), a married couple can participate in God's power of creation. But, separated from its purpose, what happens?
When the Eucharist is received by someone closed to the gift, then that receiver eats and drinks judgment upon himself (1 Corinthians 11:29). Likewise, when marriage is used in such a way that the receivers of the sacrament are not open to its power, then they close themselves off to the graces and the life of God. Being closed off to God is what we call 'sin.'

Catholics say "No!" because they're not settling for anything but the best sex possible.

You know you want it.
I could go on. And I will! But not yet.

I’m reading Christopher West’s The Theology of the Body for Beginners again. I read it before, and it’s awesome, but it’s been a few years.
Reading it, I realize how much of a beginner I still am. It’s a great read, and I highly recommend it. I'll be posting more as I get deeper into it.

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