Homeboy McCoy wrote a comment on Tuesday's Bright Maidens post that stirred thought in my mind and the minds of my Bright Maiden cohorts. We think it needs addressing.
Are the three of you currently single? Just to play devil's advocate, perhaps you can invite an unmarried practical Catholic woman in a steady relationship to share her thoughts on these issues.Julie responded:
I'm reminded of a quote from St. Jerome: "When the stomach is full, it is easy to speak of fasting."
She may have a perspective on the difficulties of remaining faithful to the teachings of Mother Church while grappling with sexual energy. Because love does weird things to your resolve.
My first reaction was a little unfavorable, I must be honest
Well, I'll start: No, I am not single and yes, it is definitely difficult to grapple with one's sexual energy when you really, really like a person. But it is possible, as everything is possible with God, and especially when the couple makes communication a priority. It also helps that we are both Catholic (and have the same understanding of human sexuality vs. a past person who liked to tell me how sexually repressed I was because I would not give into his pressures).And then Trista responded:
I don't really think of single people as having a full stomach- there is an ache to singleness. Love does come with its own complications, but there is a beauty in chaste love that is difficult to grasp when one already has bit the apple, so to speak.
I agree that it would be interesting to have the perspective of an "unmarried practical Catholic woman in a steady relationship," but that's not needed or a qualifier for the three of us to give our take on contraception and sexuality. ALL of us have sexual energy that we are dealing with and have dealt with in the past, in relationships with attractive, handsome men whom we were crazy about.
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Priests and celibate religious talk about NFP and sex. I teach and write about Theology of the Body on this blog. The teachings on sexuality and contraception are not topics that only people facing temptations can discuss.
I understand the suggestion was to help balance our take on the topic, but I'm here to say I think we have our bases pretty well covered.
We live in a hook-up culture and our age group is most-affected by this moral relativism, while single or within a relationship. I have faced and failed in the carnal temptations in my past. There are mistakes I live with everyday, even everyday I'm single.
Just like a mother teaches her teenage daughter to learn and set up her boundaries on this topic, we must make these decisions before facing those moments of heat.
Loving someone opens a can of wormy temptation; I've lived it. This is precisely why we need to determine our resolve at each checkpoint. The three of us are dating and getting to know men and we have made these decisions about our sexuality, no matter our relationship status.
I really appreciate the devil's advocacy; this is our rebuttal.