Friday, September 04, 2009

"Oh baby! did I image the Trinity for you?"

Lately I've been seeing a lot of this kind of thing

Book encourages prayers before sexual intercourse

and it is making me think there is a good reason why people outside the Faith think we are looney about sex.

Joyful Mysteries as foreplay probably not going to do it for most people.
Silk Vestments and Fishnet Stockings
All kidding aside, in a poignant moment, my mother once admitted concerning marital sex, "I mean I enjoyed it, but I never stopped feeling guilty about it." To which I muttered silently, "Poor dad."


In recent decades, we have heard far more than we used to about the virtue of Chastity as practiced within a marriage -- faithfulness to the spouse, openness to life, and self-sacrificing love between the spouses...We need more role models of Chastity than poor Maria Goretti, or monks who tamed their flesh by wearing hairshirts and refusing to bathe.

Still, I know that I'm not the only person who feels a little . . . squeamish when speakers wax eloquent about the Theology of the Body...

What makes me squirm in my seat is when Catholic writers try to laying really heavy emphasis on the theological realities of marriage -- more emphasis than ordinary human experience will bear. It may well be true, as one Theology of the Body writer likes to emphasize, that in some sense marital intercourse helps both partners to enter into the "inner life of the Holy Trinity." But is that kind of thinking . . . sexy? I'm single, so readers can correct me here, but the last thing I want to hear about on my wedding night is Trinitarian theology. If the Sorrowful Mysteries make lousy foreplay -- sorry, Mom -- the Joyful ones won't do much better.

Or, as the inimitably succinct Kathy once put it to me in an email, what is wrong with this picture: a young woman who, as she was preparing for marriage, was looking around the internet for a pair of flannel bloomers to wear to bed "to preserve his chastity".