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This message is intentionally explicit about sex, wholeness, and holiness
> The "problem" of the relationship between sexuality and spirituality
> seems to me to revolve around the challenge to individuals to maintain
> an awareness of the sacramental aspects of sex, an awareness that sex
> can and should be an outward and visible form of an inward and
> spiritual grace.
I agree. Unfortunately, for too many that means suddenly we have to
become antiseptic about the erotic details, rather much the way that some
versions of Song of Solomon perversely violate the Hebrew text by putting
Christian interpretations in the headings to assert (not just suggest)
that the erotica is really not erotica at all, but a poem about Christ and
his church. The tremulo turns on louder than at a schmaltzy funeral. My
students are pleasantly shocked when I have them read sections of the book
aloud. Only then do they actually hear (and see!) the delicious detail.
The Song of Songs does not mention God once. It doesn't have to. God is
present in God's creation.
"God must have liked sex since he made it," said W. H. Auden.
I think Auden is way too tame.
God made sex, as She made Leviathan, 'for the sport of it.'
I share the concern of those who want to connect sexuality with
spirituality, but it is just as important in the equation to connect
spirituality with sexuality.
The word HAL in Old English yields three words in Modern English:
'whole,' 'hale' [as in 'hale and hearty' = 'healthy'] and 'holy'
The three still are the same thing. You cannot be healthy or holy without
I believe that St. Paul was dreadfully wrong about dividing the mind and
the soul from the body (no wonder he wanted delivered from the "body
of this death" once he had failed to see the connection!).
Sex in no way defines us, but it is integral to who we are, and we
devalue it to our peril, and typically those who do make others around
It is no accident that one of the enduring stereotypes of clergy for at
least three centuries has been of people so lost in spirituality that you
dare not even whisper any erotic suggestion in their presence. That is a
far, far cry from our Lord who clearly enjoyed the sensual pleasure of the
woman washing his feet with her hair.
If we could just move beyond spiritual pablum.