Pope Francis called a meeting in Rome this week seeking conversations among 200 prelates. The topic: how to make Church teachings on family issues relevant for today’s Catholics.
For openers, the men listened to Ron and Mavis Pirola, a married couple from Australia, talk about sex. Nice ice-breaker for a complicated task.
The couple explained how important sex is to their 57-year marriage; claiming sexual attraction brought them together so long ago. The couple spoke of marriage as a “sexual sacrament with its fullest expression in sexual intercourse.” And while they had read Church documents on family matters, the couple said, “They (documents) seem to be from another planet…and not terribly relevant to our own experiences.”
The Church has spoken on many “family life” topics – abortion, contraception, sex outside of marriage - we know the list; however the Church has seldom proclaimed what many people know: sexual intimacy between two people in a loving, committed relationship offers a glimpse of sacred surrender, awareness of divine presence through our human experience. God is near.
Yes, men, it is true: not all sacramental moments occur in church. Often we experience sacred, sacramental moments in our homes, in our bedrooms. Really, we do.