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Is Sex Holy?

Marriage is an intimate, lifelong partnership in which husbands and wives give and receive love unselfishly. The sexual relationship expresses their married love and shows what it means to become “one body” (Genesis 2:24) and “one flesh” (Mark 10:8, Matthew 19:6). The sexual union is meant to express the full meaning of a couple’s love, its power to bind them together “the unitive aspect of marriage “and “its openness to new life” the procreative aspect.

Sexuality within the context of the Catholic Church is a call to love divinely; fully, faithfully, totally, and fruitfully like God’s love.

The sexual embrace is a gift from God that is meant not only to deepen the love between spouses, but also to forshadow the powerful love and ecstasy of heaven. Because sex is so good, it has widely been attacked, and we often have to fight to regain a sense of its original purpose and beauty.

Holy Sex is not meant to be confused with mere eroticism that is rampant in today’s world. It goes much deeper beyond just physical pleasure in the moment.

Good News About Sex and Marriage | THEOLOGY OF THE BODY

“It is by the grace of God that we have our children and a redeemed sex life as well. My husband, Frank, and I have learned that our sexual union should be focused on giving rather than getting. NFP provided the environment to live this out. We are so grateful that we now have the kind of marital union that God had planned for us! It has changed our lives so much that we became NFP teachers to spread the good news.”

– Jennifer and Frank

Why is sex so good and beautiful that it is holy?

  • It is intimate – the most complete way one person can give him/her self to the other
  • It is exclusive, a gift meant to be reserved for one’s spouse
  • It recognizes the presence of God in each person
  • It unites; It leads to a deeper, more complete way of knowing another person
  • It is the only natural way that two human beings can co-create their own children
  • It invites God into the intimate sphere to breath life into these children
  • It is the renewal of sacramental vows, so brings forth grace and strength
    “The Church teaches that every time a Christian married couple makes love, they are physically restating their marriage vows and recommitting themselves to all the promises they made at the altar.” Holy Sex! Gregory K. Popcak (109)
  • It leads to more perfect love between spouses and God
  • It reveals God’s love for his people and Christ’s love for his Bride, the Church
  • Sex communicates the language of the body

When Sex is Rightly Ordered

We can all agree that sex is sometimes used out of the context that it is created for, leading to gaping wounds. That kind of sex is sex that is not rightly ordered. What should Holy Sex look like in its GLORY?

“Holy Sex is a passionate, sensual encounter between two lovers committed to a relationship that is faithful and forever – a relationship that has the power to raise up the couple in ecstasy toward the Divine, leading them beyond themselves and empowering them to touch the love of God himself.”
-Holy Sex! Gregory K. Popcak (19)

It is so much more than Selfish Pleasure-Seeking, it is about the Other

“Such a view is the opposite of the sublimity of sexual union that is experienced when you are both animated by love, when you seek sexual intimacy not for its pleasure, but as a way of manifesting the deep love which exists between you. At these times, your sexual ecstasy transcends bodily pleasure and includes a genuine joy that springs from the union of your souls deeply delighting in each other.”
By Love Refined Alice von Hildebrand (28)

“This love tends to a unique union and even partly constitutes it: a community where two persons constitute a closed union which can exist only between them. Conjugal love establishes a relationship in which the regard of each one of the two parties is turned exclusively upon the other.”
Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love by Dietrich von Hildebrand (8)

Marriage can Flourish

“In such an ideological situation, it seems very important to stress again the spiritual significance of marriage – and to explain not only its primary end (procreation), but also its primary meaning as the intimate union of two persons in mutual love.”
Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love by Dietrich von Hildebrand (xxv)

Holy Sex Stays Alive and Active throughout Life

“…the properly disposed Christian couple experiences each private ‘wedding celebration’ of lovemaking as a beautiful, life-giving, energizing, desirable event. No matter how tired they are, they want to fall into the comforting arms of their best friend and lover. Such a couple can’t wait to walk down the aisle to their bedroom (or any other room, for that matter) and renew their vows on the altar that is their marriage bed (or sofa, or dining room table, or stairway, or…). To such a couple, sex is not ‘just one more thing on the to-do list’: it is the fountain from which they drink to grow in love and celebrate the partnership that daily helps them become who God created them to be.”
-Holy Sex! Gregory K. Popcak (115)

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Read More!

For more in-depth reading on why sex is holy, read Holy Sex! A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving by Gregory K. Popcak, Ph.D.

Good News About Sex & Marriage: Answers to Your Honest Questions about Catholic Teaching by Christopher West