Sex - Part 2
Mk 7:21-23 - Unzucht wird böse genannt
1 Kor 6:18 - Flieht die Unzucht, sie ist eine Sünde gegen den Körper
1 Kor 6:19 - Dein Körper ist ein Tempel des Heiligen Geistes. Ihr gehört nicht euch selbst
1 Kor 6:20 - ihr wurdet mit einem Preis gekauft. Verherrlicht also Gott in eurem Leib
1 Thess 4:3 meidet die Unzucht, beherrscht ihr euere Körper in der Heiligkeit, nicht in der Lust.
1 Kor 7:1 - Es ist gut für einen Mann, eine Frau nicht zu berühren
1 Kor 7:2 - Wegen der Versuchung zur Unzucht soll jeder Mann seine eigene Frau haben
1 Kor 7:2 - Und jede Frau ihren eigenen Mann
Gal 5:19-21 - aber die Werke des Fleisches sind deutlich: Unzucht, Unreinheit ... diejenigen, die solche Dinge tun, werden das Reich Gottes nicht erben
Eph 5:5 - Kein Unzüchtiger ein Erbteil hat im Reich Christi und Gottes
Offb 22:15 - Draußen sind die Hunde und die Zauberer und die Unzüchtigen und die Mörder ...
Kol 3:5-6 - Kasteien daher das irdische in dir: Unzucht, Unreinheit ...
(Quelle: Sebastian R. Fama. Copyright © 2001 StayCatholic.com. Übersetzt mit Genehmigung. Übersetzer: Mike Esquibel. Herzlichen Dank, Mike!)
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 New International Version (NIV): "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
What could you do this upcoming week that you won't fall for porn again?
That might include the following:
1) Make sure you won't have access to porn (like installing an internet filter, throw away porn magazines and the like).
2) Identify the triggers in your life (things and/or people that sexually arouse you) and try to get them out of your life.
3) Find out under what circumstances you usually fall (emotional, social or whatever else circumstances). That might help you find a pattern (for instance: if you usually fall when you are stressed out, seek healthier ways to deal with stress now).
4) Find out about the legitimate needs behind your lust (for instance the need for male affirmation) and seek ways to satisfy those needs a better way.
5) Find out about the underlying emotions. For example if you usually fall when you are angry, seek healthier ways to deal with your anger now.
Using our sexual energies another way…
Who hasn’t struggled with sexual issues in his or her life? Some think it is alright to do (almost) everything and anything that comes to our minds as far as sexual desires are concerned. Really? Resisting impulsive behavior is a sign of maturity and also something that sets human beings apart from other species. For the Jews and Christians (or Jewish believers in Jesus) among us leading a chaste life is something we do out of our love for God. We know that if He tells us to do or not to do something, then not because He likes to boss us around, but because He created us and loves us. Who should know better than Him what is good for us? When a loving father tells His child to do this or not to do that, then because he knows what could happen if the child does not follow the father’s orders. The worst thing that comes to my mind is what we pray for in the Lord’s prayer: “Lead us not into temptation”. This does not mean that God literally leads us into temptation. However, the worst scenario would be that God lets us go our own way, telling us “why, you think you know better and want to go by yourself? Okay, you can do just that!” Sometimes though the Lord seeks us by letting us go. He lets us go our own way so that having to face the consequences that this will bring along might bring us back to Him. Some sort of a last means to save an disobedient child.
Some believe that sexual energy somehow has to find a way to be expressed, else we “explode” (meaning that we “need it”, we need to have orgasm – and be it through masturbation – in order to stay physically and/or mentally healthy.) I am not a doctor and I will not give medical advice, but looking at the many people that live a pure life without having health problems through that – as opposed to the many cases of sexual transmitted diseases coming from an impure life that seeks personal pleasure and the “quick fix” rather than real satisfaction God’s way, I think I need not say more.
So what to do with that sexual energy? It is an erroneous belief that it can and should only be expressed through sexual intercourse or masturbation. Sexuality is not something bad. God has given us sexuality for a reason – for the good of the (heterosexual) spouses and the procreation of children. However, we are also told in the written Word of God that not all are made for marriage (and thus able to physically express their sexual energy through intercourse). Some renounce marriage for the sake of God’s kingdom. There we have the key: Those people express their sexual energies in a godly way: for the sake of God’s kingdom. What does that mean for us? Let’s ask God to show us our call, our vocation in life. He designed each one of us like nobody else on this planet and He did that for a reason. We were given talents that nobody else has and we are supposed to use them much like sexuality in marriage: They should become fruitful and multiply. “Not doing something” or “refraining from doing something” is only part of the deal. It is only a means, not an end, and it certainly does not bring rich fruit if things stay there. Those who renounced marriage for the kingdom of God do not stop to be men and women who have sexual energies. They must not stop there but express them the way God wants them to be expressed: for the sake of God’s kingdom.
Contraception, sex outside of marriage, why non-Catholics cannot receive Communion in the Catholic Church, and same-sex "marriage"
Well, thanks to a federal "judge", the great state of Alabama is about to legalize same-sex "marriage" as of this Monday. This is being touted as a "good" thing by those in the LGBT crowd and their allies. Alice has fallen down the rabbit hole...up is down, in is out, evil is good, and good is evil. We need to keep praying and keep working in the vineyard to turn our society around. Through Christ, all things are possible...
Continuing with what I started last week - here are the final four of a series of articles I wrote for our diocesan newspaper on Marriage and the Eucharist. It's basically the written version of my audio on the same topic, with a few modifications. I draw parallels between the two sacraments and then use those parallels to explain some of the Church's teachings that many folks have trouble with. In the articles in this issue, I'll be touching on the topics of: contraception, sex outside of marriage, why non-Catholics cannot receive Communion in the Catholic Church, and same-sex "marriage" . I'm going to reprint the articles exactly as they appeared in the newspaper, so if you think your diocesan paper might be interested in printing them, you can just copy them as is.
Marriage and the Eucharist. We ended last week with John 6:54, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life.” The Eucharist is all about giving us life...eternal life. By receiving the Eucharist into our bodies we are receiving God’s own life into ourselves. We are receiving Life itself.
Listen to what Paul says in Galatians 4:19, “My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you.” We need to have Christ formed within us. Christ, through the Eucharist, is giving us His very life. Christ, through the Eucharist, is planting the seeds of eternal life in our bodies. Seeds that will hopefully grow, aided by the Holy Spirit, until Christ is fully formed within us. Through the Eucharist, through receiving Christ into our bodies, the two have become one.
In the marital embrace, the wife receives her husband’s love and his very life within her. And he is planting the seeds of life that could very well grow until a life is fully formed within her. The two, husband and wife, have become one. And the two becoming one is most readily apparent when the marital embrace results in the conception of a new life. The two have become one have become three. It is here, in the life-giving and love-giving act of marital intimacy, that the family of man most closely mirrors the family of God...the Trinity.
Can you see how the Sacrament of Marriage is inextricably linked to the Sacrament of the Eucharist? How God’s relationship to us is most clearly mirrored in the relationship of husband and wife? How the Holy Spirit proceeds from the life-giving and love-giving relationship between the Father and the Son, just as a child proceeds from the life-giving and love-giving relationship between husband and wife? In the Eucharist, the Holy Spirit in a sense “overshadows” us and we receive Jesus into our bodies. The Annunciation, was, in some ways, a pre-figuring of the Eucharist. The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and the two became one became three.
The Bible starts off, in Genesis 2:24, with marriage. All through the Bible, Old Testament and New, the relationship between God and Israel, and then between God and the Church, is described in marital terms. And then, in the Book of Revelation, at the end of the Bible, at the end of time, we have the eternal Wedding Feast of the Lamb...the eternal union between Christ and His Bride, the Church, in the New Jerusalem.
Do we approach the Eucharist within a marital framework? Do we see it as the very intimate act that it is? Do we allow ourselves to be completely open to receiving Jesus...to receiving His love...to receiving His life? Do we keep in mind His total self-giving...His being poured out on the cross for us, whenever we receive Christ in the Eucharist? Are WE offering ourselves totally and completely to Him? Are we pouring ourselves out for Him? Are we allowing Him to change our lives? Are we allowing Him to plant the seeds of eternal life within us? Are we allowing Jesus to be formed within us? Or, do we allow the receiving of the Eucharist to become routine? Just one action of many that we participate in at the Mass? Do you mentally tell yourself, “Okay, Father’s holding up the host, we’ll be out of here in 15 minutes.”?
Do we approach relations, and particularly our physical relations, with our spouse within a eucharistic framework? Do we realize that whenever we “know” our spouse, that we are re-presenting ourselves fully and totally to him or her? That we are back on our wedding day and are re-presenting ourselves before God? That we are participating in an act of love that gives life, and that this act is a sign of the life-giving love that God gives to us? Do we contemplate these things? Do we raise physical intimacy with our spouse to a sacramental level, instead of a mere physical act?
Now, having drawn some of these parallels, let me ask the question: What if Jesus did not give all of Himself to us? What if Jesus held back the life-giving aspect of the Eucharist? In other words, what if we received His body and blood, but Jesus then did something to prevent that Body and Blood from producing life within us? We received the Body and Blood, but it was somehow prevented from forming Jesus within us? I think you may have an idea where I’m going here.
The question of contraception. Society says, no big deal. Most Catholics say, no big deal. But, looking at the marital embrace within a eucharistic framework, do you maybe see now why it is such a big deal? When a man and a woman use contraception, then the man is saying to the woman, “I am giving myself to you, but I am not giving myself completely and totally and without reservation. I am holding something back. I do not wish to share the life-giving aspects of this act with you. I do not want the two to become one” Or, the wife is saying, “I do not want to receive all of you with no exceptions. I do not wish to receive you completely and totally and without reservation. I do not wish to receive the life-giving aspects of this act from you. I do not want the two to become one.”
To continue with our parallels between Marriage and the Eucharist, when we receive the Eucharist, when we receive Christ into our bodies, we are receiving the very life of Christ within us. Galatians 4:19, “My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you.” Christ be formed in you. Through the Eucharist, Jesus is planting the seeds of life - His life - within us.
When a wife receives her husband in the marital embrace, she is receiving his very life within her. He is planting the seeds of life within her. Through contraception, the life-giving aspect of that act is held back. What if Jesus held back the life-giving aspect of the Eucharist from us? What if Jesus decided not to give Himself fully to us? What if Jesus prevented us from receiving life in the Eucharist. What if Jesus prevented us from having His life conceived within us through our reception of the Eucharist? What if Jesus, in a spiritual sense, contracepted? Could anyone ever consider that to be a good thing?
And what exactly is it that we are holding back from our spouse through contraception? Is it just one little aspect of who and what we are as human beings? Could you say, “Well, I’m not going to share this one aspect of me with my spouse, but I’m willing to share all the hundreds and hundreds of other aspects of myself with my spouse. In other words, I’m willing to share 99.9%, but just not 100%.” I don’t think so.
Listen to this passage from Genesis, chapter 1, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” And in Genesis 5 it says, “When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image.” God created man in His image and likeness. Man participates in this act of creation to produce children in his image and likeness. Scripture tells us that man is doing something God-like in the act of physical generation. The act of creating life, is, in my opinion, where man most closely imitates God and most closely cooperates with God. The act of creating life is where man mirrors God most closely. Think about it. God and man, working together to bring new life into the world! A new body with a new, eternal soul, into this world. Is this just .1% or some other small percent of who we are? Is the aspect of our humanity where we participate in the act of creation with God Himself, is that aspect of our humanity just one aspect among hundreds of others?
No! When we contracept, when we do not share ourselves fully and completely and openly and without reserve with our spouse, we are not sharing with our spouse one of the two major aspects of who we are as human beings. We were created to love and to give life. That is what the marriage act is all about...giving love and creating life. To withhold either love or life from our spouse, is to withhold a major aspect of who we are as human beings.
God is love. And because He is love, He gives life. His love is procreative...pro-creative. His love gives life. When we separate love from life, as when we do when we use contraception, then our love is no longer like God’s love. It is not pro-creative love. It is anti-creative love. It is selfish love. And when we separate love from life, when our love is no longer pro-creative, but anti-creative, selfish love, we start experiencing serious consequences - not just as individuals, or as married couples, but as a society. Just look all around you at the hell that has been created by the separation of love and life...astronomical divorce rates, abortion, out-of-wedlock births, test tube babies, human cloning, pornography, homosexual marriage, AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases, and on and on it goes.
When we receive the Eucharist, when we receive Christ into our bodies, we are receiving the very life of Christ within us. Again, He is planting the seeds of life within us. When a wife receives her husband, she is receiving his very life within her. He is planting the seeds of life within her. Again, what if Jesus decided to contracept in a spiritual sense? What if Jesus held back the life-giving aspect of the Eucharist from us? What if Jesus decided not to give Himself fully to us? What if Jesus held back the very aspect of the Eucharist that the Eucharist was designed to convey...Life!?
That’s what we do when we contracept. We hold back the life-giving aspect of the marital embrace - the very aspect that the marital embrace was designed, by God, to convey. Can that ever be a good thing? God put the two aspects, love and life, together in the physical union between husband and wife. When we contracept, we are separating what God has put together. We are separating love from life. And doesn’t Scripture say, let no man rend asunder what God has joined together?
Why are non-Catholics not allowed to receive Communion in the Catholic Church? It’s because receiving Communion in the Catholic Church, when you are not a member of the Catholic Church, when you have not committed yourself completely and totally to the Church, is like having sex outside of marriage.
A lot of folks reason that since sex is a gift from God - after all God gave us our sexual desires - then it can’t be wrong to use that gift and act on those desires. It doesn’t matter if one is married or not. Especially if it’s two consenting adults. Well, we’ve shown that God’s way of doing things involves 3 steps: 1) Commitment, the man shall leave his mother and father, 2) Marriage, he shall cleave to his wife, and then 3) The two shall become one. The physical consummation of the marriage is the sign that there is a lifelong commitment already in place. It is the sign that these two people have given their very lives to each other. It is the sign that God has joined these two people together.
Sex outside of marriage is a lie. You are speaking a lie with your body. You are saying I am committed to you for life with your body, when actually no such commitment exists. It is a lie, a very serious lie. You are lying to the person you are committing this act with. And, even if you are “in love”, it is still a lie. Why would you want to engage in a lie with someone you are supposedly in love with? When you put step #3 - the two shall become one - before steps 1 or 2, you are messing with God’s plan for marriage. And whenever you mess with God’s plan, something unpleasant will eventually result.
Sex outside of marriage is getting things out of order. There is no lifelong commitment in place, therefore the sign of that commitment, physical intimacy, should not take place. To be sexually active outside of marriage is to be consummating a commitment that does not exist. It is engaging in a lie.
Drawing the parallel, a lot of non-Catholics believe that they should have the right to receive the Eucharist in our Church. They even get offended when they are told that they can’t. A lot of Catholics believe it’s no big deal if non-Catholics receive the Eucharist. But allowing non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist is, again, tantamount to approving of sex outside of marriage. If a person is not a Catholic, then that means that they are not fully united to the Church. They have not made a total commitment to the Church. The Eucharist is the sign and source of unity among Christians, and particularly so for Catholic Christians. It is the sign that the two have become one, and that the many have become one. If someone is not a Catholic, even though they may believe what Catholics believe about the Eucharist actually being the Body and Blood of Christ, they cannot receive Communion. They are not fully united to the Church, no lifelong commitment has been made. No commitment...no consummation...no Eucharist!
When we receive the Eucharist, we are saying, with our bodies, that we believe what the Catholic Church teaches...in its entirety. We are saying we believe not only what the Church teaches on the Eucharist, but we are also saying that we believe what it teaches on the priesthood, on the Communion of Saints, on the Sacraments, on Mary, on the Mass, and on and on. If someone who is not Catholic receives Communion, then they are saying to us, with their bodies, that they believe all that Catholics believe. That they have made a commitment and they are consummating that commitment. But, they don’t believe as we do! And they haven’t made that commitment! That’s why they’re not Catholic.
Therefore, for them to receive the Eucharist, would be a lie. They would be lying with their bodies before God and before man. Just as those who engage in sexual relations outside of marriage are lying with their bodies to each other and to God. So, if anyone ever asks you why Catholics do not allow non-Catholics to receive Communion, you can simply say that it’s because we don’t believe in sex outside of marriage. That is why we do not allow non-Catholics to receive Communion in the Catholic Church...we do not want them to engage in a lie.
And that is why we, as Catholics, cannot receive Communion in Protestant churches. We would be saying, with our bodies, that we believe as they believe. But we don’t, so it would be a lie before man and God to receive Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, in a Protestant church.
So, again, if anyone ever asks you why non-Catholics cannot receive Communion in the Catholic Church, simply ask them if they are in communion with the Catholic Church. Ask them if they believe all that the Church teaches, on everything, not just on the Eucharist. If they say no, ask them why it is they want to receive Communion in the Church when they are not actually in communion with the Church? Ask them why they want to receive the sign of unity, when there is no unity? Make it clear to them that the act of receiving Communion in our Church is a declaration that they believe as we believe. And, if they don’t believe as we believe, then, should they receive the Eucharist, they are committing a lie with their bodies and it would be an egregious offense against the Church and against God. Tell them it is just like sex outside of marriage. They want
Finally, one other area where we can use these parallels between the sacraments of Marriage and the Eucharist to help us form an appropriate response, is this idea of same-sex “marriage”, so-called. A very hot topic these days. There is not now, never has been, and never will be, such a thing as a same-sex “marriage.” It doesn’t matter how many judges issue how many licenses and how many wedding ceremonies take place - there will never be such a thing as a marriage between two men or two women. God is the author of marriage. He made it. He defined it. He joins the two together. God has defined a marriage as something to unite one man and one woman. Period.
One man cannot marry another man and one woman cannot marry another. Why? The two cannot become one. For the two to become one, there has to be a life-giving bridegroom and there has to be a life-receiving bride. Between two men, there is no one to receive the life of the bridegroom. Between two women, there is no bridegroom to give his life to the bride. Consummation is not possible in either situation.
A union, as such, between two men, would be as if Jesus wanted to give us His life in the Eucharist, but we had no way of receiving it. It would be as if Jesus died on the Cross, but never
instituted the Eucharist. A union, as such, between two women, would be as if we all wanted to receive the life-giving force of Christ in the Eucharist, but there was no life-giving force to receive. It would be as if Jesus instituted the Eucharist, but then never died on the cross for us.
There can be no such thing as a same-sex marriage, because there is no such thing as “life-giving” love, love that produces life, in a same-sex union. Two men cannot produce a life between them. Two women cannot produce a life between them. It is a physical impossibility. Therefore, same-sex “marriage” is an impossibility in the eyes of God.
St. Paul tells us in Romans, chapter 1, that the desire of a man for another man, or of a woman for another woman, is unnatural. But you don’t have to believe in the Bible, or even in God, in order to understand that St. Paul was correct. All you have to do is look at the body of a man and the body of a woman and you can easily discern that nature has designed a certain complementarity between the bodies of men and women.
So, just from a simple observation, we can discern that nature designed a complementarity between the bodies of men and women. We can discern that sex was designed by nature, to 1) be the physical union between a man and a woman, and 2) to perpetuate the survival of the species. Same sex unions go against nature in both regards. A man’s body was designed to join to a woman’s. A woman’s body was designed to receive a man’s. So, same-sex unions are contra nature. They are inherently unnatural.
And, if nature does indeed have a creator, then if same-sex unions are contrary to nature, it is safe to say that they are contrary to nature’s creator. This is not about being “mean” to two people who are “in love” and it has nothing to do with “homophobia” or anything of the sort. It actually is an act of charity to oppose what society is trying to impose. If the Catholic Church is correct and homosexual acts are indeed acts of “grave depravity” and they are indeed “intrinsically disordered” (Catechism, #2357), then the most important thing to consider is the salvation of the souls of those committing these acts that are contrary to nature and contrary to nature’s God.
It is not mean, or somehow homophobic, or anything else of that nature to desire the good for a person and, particularly, to desire the ultimate good for a person - the salvation of someone’s soul. The best thing a person can do if you know of someone who is struggling with same-sex attraction is to talk to them about God’s love for them...and to give them whatever support you can to help them live a chaste lifestyle.
And, it just so happens that the Diocese of Birmingham has recently seen the establishment of a chapter of Courage, which is an apostolate of the Catholic Church that ministers to persons with same-sex attraction (www.couragerc.org). If you would like to find out more about the Courage chapter here in the Diocese of Birmingham, you can call the Courage chaplain at: 256-221-8844. All calls are completely confidential.
Marriage and the Eucharist...the two shall become one. I hope this series of articles has helped you to see and understand how intimately and intricately these two sacraments are linked together, and that they have helped you to look at marriage from a eucharistic point of view, and to look at the Eucharist from a marital point of view.
(Send any questions/comments to: [email protected] If you would like to sign up for John’s free apologetics email newsletter, simply go to: www.biblechristiansociety.com. You can also order his free CD’s on various apologetics topics at the website, including his CD that covers this topic which is entitled: “Marriage and the Eucharist: The Two Shall Become One.”)