The ARM of St. Michael
Human sexuality is a gift from God. To be able to live in our sexual nature > as health < is an inexpressible privilege, an incalculable wealth. This is the avoided question of questions in the modern world today: What is health? What is that one truly human health of sexual faculty?
The rewards of the orthodox loving embrace are cosmic. When all is in accord with divine design and purpose, the heights of conjugal ecstasy offer a glimpse of Eternity.
The arriving at this supernatural elevation is possible only by foundation and formation; learned respect, discipline, grace, and asking deeply, persistently the question What is human sexuality? What is it perfectly for?
It is paradoxical that the present age is glutted with information, myriad facts and details about the physical universe, but in very few places do people, let alone critically impressionable youth, find the paradigmatic reasons for human sexual faculty. Is it because pleasures of the flesh – lusts and every perversity that might attach to them– have become only an expression of personal preference, a social welfare entitlement, a mere civil right?
We might hold up two antipodes as a way to see where to move in the journey to true sexual literacy.
The first is the mutually continent, holy lovers in the matrimonial fusion. Rare are the flowers of these perfections:
• Mutually, because husband and wife choose to be on the same page, exercising selfless donation of the body to the other, honored as the highest evidence of human maturity and virtue.
• Continent, in that they reserve this covenantal moment wisely, knowing that indiscriminate and over engagement cheapen and destroy it.
• Holy, because they are entirely submissive to the divine biology of one man and one woman and, sexuality’s primary purpose, in humble solidarity with all creatures of obedient Nature, fecundation.
• Matrimony, because in every copulation, they of the one flesh, know the interlocking ovum and spermatozoon are not dismissed by a thought. The possibility of a completely new human person and the manifest gift of motherhood, always remain, in the marital act.
The second is the searching self of sexual gratification:
• Searching, chasing really, the “metabolic” “reward” of “excitement” and “intoxication”.
• Self, acting alone.
• Sexual, an animal reflex thought to be inevitable, incapable of being denied or mastered.
• Gratification, or satiety, the only relief for ungirded loins, but which only creates more desire.
Addiction is the deforming of one’s brain & nervous system by the witting and unwitting choice to grow around an intoxicant, until one is structurally indisposed any other way, altering even our perceived identity [see Delta FOS b]. Many times this occurs involuntarily and when young, yet at some point the absence of lived peace is eventually noticed, sometimes very much later in life.
Sexuality thus has enormous implications for the constitution or destruction of emergent persons. While healthy sexual faculty has only one simple, ordinary and sublime expression, sexual “identity” is expressed in idiosyncratic, seemingly limitless varieties, all uniformly lonely and restless at their core. This writer one such, formed once upon a time abnormally, in a season of great darkness.
Once any sexual obsession begins, delirium unfolds with nowhere to go but the rushed, nauseous taste of “eternity”. Pope Benedict has named addiction ‘the false eternity’. The swoon of compulsive “passion” is all phantasm and mirage, a high that evaporates instantly.
Is chastity a thing recognizable at all? Can the daily paper reading world today even imagine the possibility of sexual appetite being ordered or limited?
For humans, no. For God, yes. A pagan might assume the former with shrugs of “what-else-is-there?” The Christian clings to the Author of Chastity with prayers.
If chastity is not impossible for God, the only thing left is for the human being to see the obvious. Does that incapable one need a Savior? Is there believed a God who has overcome demons of sexual “identity”, entitlement and unchastity, demons of lewd imaginary embraces, demons of defiled intoxications?
Are we timid of confessing this creature impossibility? Here is Paul in Romans 5: 3-5: We even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to believers.
Here is an astonishing panorama of the cross-bearing addict in recovery, inching his way through the decades of life aimed at Heaven by dint of grace! Paul proclaims it can be done, but not by human powers.
Must each addict or compulsive make himself virtuous somehow, thus worthy of God’s kind intervention? Here is the little flower St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face: “…understand that to love Jesus, to be His >victim of love< the weaker one is, without desires or virtues, the more suited one is for the workings of this consuming and transforming Love .. But we must consent to remain always poor and without strength, and this is the difficulty …Ah! Let us remain then very far from all that sparkles, let us love our littleness, let us love to feel [our] nothing, then we shall be poor in spirit, and Jesus will come to look for us..He will transform us in flames of love.”
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven - Matthew 5: 3. Here is the radical love of God, who will give everything, even Himself, to the one who can be humble, empty, to the creature who remembers his littleness, who knows he can’t overcome, who knows He needs the divine hand, who has chosen the poverty instead of the would-be-god of self.
Keep praying, keep coming to Jesus, keep saying to him “My guide my King my Master”! Or say, “Abba, Lord Jesus, I cannot do it. You can do it. I abandon myself in You”. Or say, “Come Holy Spirit penetrate profoundly in me , to make of me a new creation.”
Faith empowered prayer is our only constant and weapon.
Almighty and eternal God, help your creatures, who can do nothing without You. Be merciful to us who draw near to You, seeking what we cannot attain for ourselves by merit or strength or any wit of our substance. We ask for the coming of the Holy Spirit to possess us and baptize us in a renewal of cleanliness, eager to share the good news of your blessing and help and salvation, in Jesus’ name we beg. Amen.