For all of you who are confused and disillusioned with the way sexuality is being lived out by many people these days, I announce that we are on the cusp of a new sexual revolution. Perhaps most surprising is who started it-the late Pope John Paul II, who at the beginning of his pontificate in 1979 devoted 129 of his Wednesday audiences to sex, which has been called his "theology of the body."
"Theology of the body" simply means God's plan for us is not only revealed through spiritual ways, but God has actually stamped His plan for creation right onto the physical body itself, so that we would never forget that plan.
What is this sublime mystery that theology of the body teaches us? Basically, it is the mystery of an eternal and almighty God who reaches down into human history desiring to marry, yes marry, His people. God does not want us to see Him primarily as a judge and lawgiver, but rather as a Father who wants us to be caught up in a divine love affair with Him, beginning here on earth and then fully consummated in heaven.
Consider, for example, our sexual organs themselves and the act of marital intercourse. Theology of the body teaches us that the way a man and woman naturally fit together during intercourse is a way in which our bodies reveal their "nuptial meaning," that we were made for communion with each other and with God. When read in light of theology of the body, some theologians even speculate that the orgasmic pleasure experienced in sexual intercourse is an intended foretaste of the ecstatic joy of heaven.
As human persons, we can even mirror the inner-life of the Trinity itself. Father and Son exchange a bond of love that is so strong that a third Eternal Person proceeds, the Holy Spirit. In an analogous manner, when husband and wife give themselves entirely in sexual intercourse, the strength of their love can also result in another person.
Like any loving mother, the Catholic Church says "no" to certain aberrations because we not only have the ability to speak deep truths about God and His relationship with us through our human sexuality, but we can also speak harmful lies.
Masturbation, fornication, contraception, homosexual acts and divorce all prevent us in one way or another from loving the way the Trinity loves, as a total and permanent communion of persons exchanging love that is life-giving. Jesus Christ demonstrated this same kind of love by sacrificially giving Himself on the cross to His bride, the Church, so that we all may have eternal life.
With its ability to answer fundamental questions about sexuality, who we are as male and female and the meaning of human life itself, Pope John Paul II's sexual revolution promises to be one sexual revolution you don't want to miss.
Keener is a student taking classes in the School of Education.