BISHOP GEOFFREY ROBINSON…
In cooperation with Bishop Geoffrey Robinson and his publisher, John Garratt Publishing, we have pleasure in presenting the end chapter meditations from his book which has created so much interest around the world. Today the reflection comes from Chapter Nine.
"A Turbulence and a Whirlpool"
In so far as a sexual act between two persons is based on love, it is a means of giving expression to the very deepest longing of the human heart. It can neither fully express nor totally satisfy that longing, but it is one of the most profound and rewarding expressions of love there is in human life. It helps to reinforce the truth that agape (self-giving love) must constantly be renewed by eros (desire) and philia (affection).
Because the deepest longing of the human heart is as serious a topic as there can be on this earth, one of its most profound and rewarding expressions is also serious. Indeed, for those who see the deepest longing of the human heart as the foundation of all that is spiritual and the source of all meaning in life, its sexual expression is something we should treat with the greatest care, and even reverence.
Sex can, of course, be pleasurable and desirable in itself, irrespective of whether it is an expression of love or not, so sex and love are easily divided, and there are many dangers when this division occurs.
At the same time, persons who find a lifelong relationship in which sex and love are at all times and in every way in perfect harmony most probably don't exist,' and it is obvious that one cannot speak of failure for all who fall short of this near-impossible standard.
Sexual union is also the means by which new human life is created, and the relationship between the expression of love and the creation of new life is both complex and delicate. The complexity must never be oversimplified or underestimated.
Sexuality is a mixture of body, mind and feelings and it seems to touch the mystery of life itself, for it is a place where blind instinct, rational thinking and strong emotions meet like three separate streams forming a turbulence and a whirlpool. It is always ambiguous and paradoxical. There is nothing quite like it in human life to mock our rationality and give the lie to our claims of calm control.
When we begin to speak of morality in this field, we must tread lightly
Credit: These meditations are taken from the end of chapter reflections in Bishop Geoffrey Robinson's book, Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church — Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus, published by John Garratt Publishing. We thank Bishop Robinson and John Garratt Publishing for permission to reproduce these meditations on Catholica Australia.
We welcome your thoughts in response to Bishop Robinson's reflection in our forum.
©2007 Geoffrey Robinson