Monday, February 12, 2007

A new "star blogger"?

This past weekend, a very interesting exchange took place on our site between an anonymous blogger and "Jessica" who appears to be our newest star blogger. Thank you, Jessica, and welcome to our site! The following is their exchange:

Anon asked: "Within a marriage a couple must be open to life when consumating an intimate act. I understand that. However, in order for that to happen only the husband needs to have any kind of 'response'. For many women to have that same 'response' what you have described as sinful contact must occur. It seems a little one sided here! Does the church just not like women?"

Jessica answered: "Prior to his becoming pope, JPII wrote the book Love and Responsibility. In this book, he wrote of just the situation commented on by the above person on p.270-8, particularly p.272. Here's a (really) quick summary of what it says: In the marital act--for it to be a true expression of love, as God created it to be: 'it is necessary to insist that intercourse must not serve merely as a means of allowing sexual excitement to reach its climax in one of the partners, ie. the man alone, but that climax must be reached in harmony, not at the expense of one partner, but with both partners fully involved.' (yes, that's the pope writing:)

He goes on to say that the reality that it takes longer for a woman to become aroused means that a man should deny himself immediate sexual gratification and work to see that he and his wife reach climax 'as far as possible...simultaneously.' The man's desire should stem not from a hedonistic desire, but out of a desire to love and serve his wife in the marital bed. By acting in such a way, a man grows in the virtue of loving his wife like Christ loves the Church (see Ephesians 5).

I encourage this person to read Love & Responsibility and if this is daunting get books by Christopher West who helps explain the Church's teaching on marriage and sexuality. I assure you it is a beautiful teaching which fully appreciates women for who they were created to be; That is--we were created to be loved as persons and not used as objects for male gratification. Happy Reading--may it bring you closer to our Lord and his Church."

Anon responded: "You are really wonderful to respond with this- I will read. I hoped there would be some teaching about this somewhere- just didn't know where."


At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the archdiocese have a syllabus or some guide by which sex ed is taught to our Catholic youth? It seems, at least at St. Andrew's in past years that the class taught in 7th grade is a bit unstructured. I've heard the Q&A portion of the class has become a "can we shock the teacher" free for all. It would seem that a serious subject would deserve serious consideration. In addition, shouldn't sex ed begin when most children are entering into puberty? Fot many girls at least, it begins one to two years before 7th grade.

At 3:05 PM, Anonymous vocation of wife and mom said...

JUst read the Pope John Paul's teaching in this post! Wow! Talk about just putting it all out there! What a beautiful precious loving teaching!

This post touches my heart because my husband and I are living it. What graces God has poured out on us....even though we didn't know the fullness of this teaching. I still can not believe the Pope John Paul wrote in such detail about marital sex!
Open to life........People used to look at me like I was crazy toting around baby, toddlers, and with a big pregnant belly. Better you than me attitude. It did not phase me a bit. Each child brings new joy (and let's be honest - a lot of work), but we can't imagine life without one of them!

At 3:42 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

When I was pregnant with my most recent baby a woman actually walked over to me at school pick-up and, in front of others, said, "I heard you were pregnant again, but I had to see it to believe it." She went on to say, "I never know what to say to women like you." I responded,
"Congratulations is the usual." She actually told me she thought that wouldn't have been appropraite (Alex was baby #6). So, I'm glad to hear that the attitude of others doesn't phase you. Although I will be honest in saying there have been times I was a little relieved to have some space between babies, I actually find it less challenging to being open to God's will for me than dealing with the judgements others have for my choice to be open. Sometimes I actually have felt insulted by the questions from friends and family with whom I am quite close and are fully aware of the choice I've made to be open to life. At each and every family gathering, someone asks "the question". I know the blogger above knows it- "Are you finally done?" I too cannot imagine the world without each one of my shiny children. Each of them is proof to me that not only does God has a plan for me, but that he loves me very much.

At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God certainly does work through this blog site. these posts have just answered a prayer for me, or at least have pointed me in the right direction about an issue I had just been discussing with my sister about. Wondering what God's purpose and plan is for sexual intimacy between a husband and wife. Is it solely for procreation? and if the possibility of getting pregnant is no longer possible does that change His purpose and plan of the act. Should husband and wife no longer be having those relations. I will definetly have to get the book(s) to find more of the answer I am looking for. Just wanted to give thanks to God for such a quick answer (or direction to look for His answer in) to my prayer.
Any other comments from bloggers would be welcome.

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've often thought that an act of procreation is an act of creating life both within the womb and within a marriage. That's why I posted the original question that prompted the Jessica's great response. It didn't make sense that intimate acts would be intended for a man to enjoy physically, while a woman, even though she might emotionally enjoy the connection, would be little more than a vessel. I liked the information from Jessica. It confirmed what I believe about sex within a marriage- it's meant to strengthen a bond by each giving of oneself AND being open to life. If you are past child bearing years, sexual intimacy is still a neccesary tool for strengthening the marital connection.

At 12:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not easy to always be open to life! I have several children and can not imagine life without them. My husband is open to having an even larger family. Of course I would cherish a new life, a new baby, but I get nervous. My husband used to be more cautious now he has thrown caution to the wind. I am glad that I can remain anonymous on this site.

Are there any saints who might help me to be less afraid? Are there prayers? Is it a sin to worry about it so much?

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was pregnant and a little fearful about how I would meet the demands of another child, my cousin emailed me this excerpt of one of John Paull II's letters titled Mulieris Dignitatem-

Although both of them together are parents of their child, the woman's motherhood constitutes a special "part" in this shared parenthood, and the most demanding part. Parenthood - even though it belongs to both - is realized much more fully in the woman, especially in the prenatal period. It is the woman who "pays" directly for this shared generation, which literally absorbs the energies of her body and soul. It is therefore necessary that the man be fully aware that in their shared parenthood he owes a special debt to the woman. No programme of "equal rights" between women and men is valid unless it takes this fact fully into account.

Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the woman's womb. The mother is filled with wonder at this mystery of life, and "understands" with unique intuition what is happening inside her. In the light of the "beginning", the mother accepts and loves as a person the child she is carrying in her womb. This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise to an attitude towards human beings - not only towards her own child, but every human being - which profoundly marks the woman's personality. It is commonly thought that women are more capable than men of paying attention to another person, and that motherhood develops this predisposition even more. The man - even with all his sharing in parenthood - always remains "outside" the process of pregnancy and the baby's birth; in many ways he has to learn his own "fatherhood" from the mother. One can say that this is part of the normal human dimension of parenthood, including the stages that follow the birth of the baby, especially the initial period. The child's upbringing, taken as a whole, should include the contribution of both parents: the maternal and paternal contribution. In any event, the mother's contribution is decisive in laying the foundation for a new human personality.
-John Paul II

Given what motherhood entails, especially with several children, who wouldn't have apprehensions? Also, I especially like the "man owes a special debt" part.

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While having a large family is truly wonderful but what about the expense? Today to raise a family is indeed very expensive. I know it must sound shallow asking about the financial aspect of having a big family but I often wonder how one does especially if you want to send each child through Catholic school.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is the woman who "pays" directly for this shared generation, which literally absorbs the energies of her body and soul.-TO the anon who qouted this - thanks.

From anon who is nervous about expanding the family.........there are many reasons to be nervous. Unfortunately, I had very difficult deliveries and getting older is not going to make it easier. My main fear is that something will go wrong this time.
Guess I need to convey this to my husband.

The last anon mentioned the expense.....that does not sound shallow to me. That's a valid reason to use natural family planning, in my opinion. Our first three babies were born in four years! Now you want to talk about a squeeze on the budget- a whole lot of sacrifice.

At 1:00 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

Fortunately SAA is one of the parishes that still offers a significant sibling discount (Thanks,Fr. Mike)!!! Unfortunately, Catholic high school may be out. It's true- a large family requires many finacial sacrifices. Just the weekly groceries can be staggering. Then, add the clothing, CYO sports (they've gone up!!!), dance classes, summer camps and all the other things society has imposed on us as "neccessities" for our youth. It can be stressful to make ends meet. It takes careful planning and some explaining to my kids that we have to make choices about things in our lives. It's not a popular lesson in our household, but I think an important one for them to take into the world. There have been and probably will be more financially lean years, but I wouldn't give back one bit of the laughter for any amount of money. There's always time to make money, but really such a short time to create a family. One lasts , the other doesn't. I know it sounds trite, and I'm not advocating financial irresponsibility, but some choices are well worth sacrifices.

At 1:33 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

To anon with the throw caution to the wind hubby-I almost forgot...

Discuss your health concerns with your husband. Maybe you and he can meet with your doctor together. I had a VERY difficult pregnancy with my 5th child. I had significant health issues and was in and out of the hospital. At one point, we were concerned that neither the baby nor I would survive. After the baby's safe arrival, I had my first "I'M DONE!" moment. When I healed and was back to myself months later, I forgot that feeling. However, when I discovered I was pregnant again, the fears came rushing back. I was very worried something would go wrong. I dscussed my fears with everyone who was in a position to support me- husband, mother, close friends and my doctors. We all worked together to create a plan to get through my pregnancy with little complication. I had to ask for help with things that I couldn't physically, and sometimes emotionally handle. Worse yet- I had to actually accept the help that was offered! It was a humbling experience (I have a tendancy to take on a load and ask for no help). Ask for support from those who are in a place to help you, most especially your hubby and doctor. It helped assuage my fears, and maybe it would do the same for you.


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