Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Loss or gain?

I was on retreat this past weekend. More on that in other posts.

While driving home with the friend of my heart, we talked about sex.

Over the past months she's been getting brief hints of my Catholic understanding of sexuality, like wisps of the incense she has come to love. Yesterday we waded in a bit more deeply, though there are still more talks to come, more depths to be plumbed.

I explained the basic premise of God's design for sex as having two constitutive elements; it is both unitive and procreative. When either of these elements is missing, sexuality loses it's sacredness. It becomes disordered.

For example, when contracepting, we lose the procreative element and the ramifications are complex and wide reaching. Too broad to cover in this post.

Similarly in homosexuality, the unitive element may be there (and often isn't), but the procreative is also lost.

In the hook up culture, both elements are ditched, and all sacredness and meaning are stripped away, leaving nothing but a biological itch-scratching. Sex becomes very little different than urination or defecation.

(Appalling. But true.)

In thinking back on this conversation with my DiDi this morning, I realized that this is why masturbation is sin. It is neither unitive nor procreative, and so strips our sexuality of sacredness.

It is interesting that we view denial of our sexual urges as a loss, as if in not giving in to temptation, we are losing out. But it occurs to me that it is -in- giving in to these temptations that we suffer loss, because what we give up in those choices is so much bigger. We lose beauty and meaning and power.


Ike said...

For many in our culture, especially men, the giant Jupiter among the planets of our emotional solar system is sex. When the spectacularly larger sun of Christ’s supremacy is rejected as the center of the solar system of our lives, all the planets go out of orbit.

Suzanne Marie DeWitt said...

Ike, you certainly have a way with words. I particularly like "the spectacularly larger sun of Christ’s supremacy". Great phrase.