Marriage

Secrets, Sex, & Spirituality

As with so many things, I learnt this the hard way. Some things, even (and especially) beautiful things, are meant to be kept secret. Some blessings can’t be shared without being corrupted, and sometimes exclusion is necessary for a deeper inclusion.

The obvious natural example of this is sex. I hardly need to explain that the less exclusive it is, the more it becomes “cheap” and the more it is objectified. What you have received is given to you alone, for you alone, and no one else matters in it. Within such intimate gift, a whole microcosm is built, in which there is no one but lover and beloved, and therefore love can become all.

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But I didn’t intend to write about sexuality. As per usual, this is even more true on the supernatural level. Sometimes God gives us certain insights, experiences, blessings, or gifts, and it’s not about anyone else– it’s just Lover and beloved, together in their own microcosm. To try to share these things, is to try to make them about others, and it only does violence to the gift given. Others won’t properly understand and appreciate them, because they’re not meant for them. Instead, we ought to harbour these secret gifts, treasure them, and savour them ourselves, regularly reentering our hidden world and praying to our Father “who is in secret” [Mt 6:6].

If you feel concerned about the seeming exclusivity, and perhaps selfishness, of this, don’t. Just as sexuality naturally overflows into new life and deeper love for all, so this hidden intimacy with God supernaturally overflows into spiritual children and deeper love for all. These loves, like every authentic love, reach out to all, but only by moving through us, transforming us into love.

 

God bless you!

 

P.S. I honestly had no intention of writing about sex, but then I never know what I’m going to find when I write. You can probably guess I’m reading Theology of the Body for Beginners at the moment, and am honestly blown away. I can’t recommend it enough.

God bless you again!
P.P.S. This was originally published as ‘Intimate secrets with God’, but honestly, that title was boring, and it didn’t fit as well as the new title.

God bless you! 

My Best Valentine’s Day Yet- and I’m (still) single

Today has been an incredible, beautiful day, filled with wonder and love. Yes, I’m (still) single. But surprisingly (for me), there’s no bitterness or fear in that fact. There’s no fear of ending up sad and alone.

I know that love is far bigger than all this. It’s far more than “finding the one”. It’s more than having loyal companions in life. It’s even more than all the people in your life. Love is bigger than everything.

And today, listening to the rain and not my iPod as I walked to mass, hearing God’s word and Father’s homily, receiving Jesus in his Eucharist, eating and laughing with friends, reading about St. John of the Cross, doing dissertation work, listening to Radio 1’s live lounge and dancing, and going for a night run, I was thoroughly immersed in God’s love, present in His whole creation, in me, and in my very existence. All the universe is made in love, for love!

And I also joyfully contemplated how God reveals Himself in the love between couples. How we cannot completely commit ourselves to everyone, because we (most of us, at least) cannot be in two places at once; but, so that we can show God’s absolute, undivided loving commitment, we do so for just one individual, giving our entirety to them alone, as God gives His entirety to each of us. (Meanwhile, celibate people reveal God’s love by giving themselves entirely to all humanity, perhaps unable to be all for any one, but demanding nothing in return.)

I was also caught by how the phrase ‘To be together as though still alone’, captures both the fullness and emptiness of love. Fullness, because if when together you feel no judgment, and perfectly happy to be yourself as though alone, then you are loved, and by their love, they give you your being. Emptiness, because if when together, their lack of acceptance isolates you, so you can’t share yourself, they are not loving.

Also, the song ‘Mirrors’ by Justin Timberlake. Such an incredible expression of love, to the point that it begins expressing Divine love.

As far as I’m aware, it’s the Bible that first suggests that love makes us a reflection:

‘Love never ends… For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.’
1 Corinthians 13:8…12,13

And St. Clare saw,

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How did Justin figure this out??? God bless him.

 

So if being in a couple is so wonderful, why am I fine with being single, at least for now? Because I could not be loved any more than I already am, and I know I am called to love absolutely at each and every moment of my life. I have Jesus, no one can take him from me, and with him I am to bring him to the world. By his cross and resurrection, I know that love never fails. I know that the fulness of love and life are already mine for the taking.

 

God bless you!