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I am a medievalist and an adjunct college instructor in the humanities at Union College. My research includes medieval theologies of history, text/image relationships in visionary and mystical texts, and the writings of the twelfth-century Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen. I am also a translator of medieval Latin and German texts, especially as relate to my research. I completed a Master's in Medieval Studies at the University of Notre Dame in 2010, a Fulbright Fellowship in Germany in 2008, and a B.A. in Classics and German at Boston College in 2007.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

De sancta sexualitate

When I read today Kara Jesella's article on CNN.com's Health section on the female orgasm ("The Big O: Fireworks? Or is your sex life less than explosive?"), I was most dismayed that she seemed to accept out of hand the assumption that the modern trend to have multiple sexual partners out of wedlock is not only acceptable but considered "healthy" and "liberating". It is not the so-called "repression" of abstinence before marriage that is wreaking havoc both physically and emotionally on our modern sexuality; rather, it is the disrespect with which we treat our sexuality, which we see no longer as a sacred gift from God to be shared only in the tightest bonds of human erotic love, that is, in holy matrimony, but as just another of the tools of selfish "individual expression".

A full understanding of one’s sexuality can only come through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom and in whom all things were made and are, therefore, understood. In this context, one comes to understand that one’s sexuality is not some independent department of the self; rather, sexuality is inextricably bound up in the whole being of body and of the soul. The modern idea of "sexual liberation" is deeply flawed because it lacks the central focus of creatured sexuality: Christ.

A new sexual revolution is needed to correct the degrading and dangerous excesses of the old; a second revolution to recontextualize sexuality within its complex relationship with the body, with the soul, and ultimately, with Christ; a spiritual as much as physical revolution to renew the sexual bond in which man and woman become one flesh, both physically and spiritually, a bond which must be found within the setting of the marriage covenant, its license signed and sealed not by the official at City Hall but by the supreme magistrate, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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