By Martina Casey
In Holy Sex! A Catholic Guide to Toe Curling, Mind Blowing, Infallible Love Making, Dr. Gregory K. Popcak lists five powers of Holy Sex.
Let’s begin by defining Holy Sex. According to Dr. Popcak, “Holy Sex is godly sex in the sense that it enables you to love with the power of God.” That makes so much sense, right?
Because, everything good and beautiful here on earth is a foreshadowing of Eternity, why would sex, in the right context, be an exception? Think of the great Saints, their description of the intimate encounter with God. St. Teresa of Avila’s famous statue, the Transverberation comes to mind. God is the ultimate lover, and Holy Sex is a small sampling of the great ecstasy we’ll get to experience in heaven. Here are the five great powers as listed in the book:
- Sex makes us holy. “Holy Sex, because it is intimately connected to God, the source of all joy and love, has the power to make the common holy because, when we approach it with the eyes of our soul wide open, we recognize that the sensual experience of lovemaking points to something bigger, something greater, something even more amazing. It points to the joy we will experience when, at long last, we fling ourselves into the arms of our Divine Lover, loving and being loved so completely that we will spend all of eternity crying out in heavenly union with all the angels and saints, “Holy! Holy! Holy!”
- Sex is Sacramental. According to Dr. Popcak “Catholics believe that every time married people make love they are celebrating the sacrament of marriage.” It’s also Sacramental because it’s redemptive in that it challenges unhealthy shame and expands “our capacity for authentic vulnerability at the deepest level of our personhood that, in addition to its power to unite and create, makes sex a sanctifying, purifying reality.” Put another way “all of us struggle with the awkwardness and fear of exposing the best and the worst parts of ourselves to our lover, no matter how caring and gentle he or she is,” and healthy sex overcomes that.
- Sex is a sign of God’s love. “As Pope John Paul II observed in his reflections on the Theology of the Body, Holy Sex manifests this sacramental sign most powerfully because of its unique capacity to make visible that which is invisible: that is, the passionate desire God has for each person and His longing to be intimately united with each person within a love that is free, faithful, fruitful, and forever.”
- Sex unites. “Holy Sex truly marries two people to one another. It makes them physically crave one another…our bodies were made to need each other.” Dr. Popcak lists studies pertaining to the chemistry of sex that indicate how relationships actually change the brains of people involved in them. This particular chapter of the book talks about the consequences of contraception as it pertains to physiological bonding. That’s why contraceptives are more than just pregnancy prevention, Dr. Popcak argues that the damage is far worse as it impedes the very flow of chemicals involved in love making.
- Sex creates.“Catholics believe that it is the human family that “images” or, in a sense, puts a human face on how the Trinity works.”Moreover, “openness to life promises a commitment to a love that will outlive the couple themselves. It’s a commitment to a love that will ultimately change the lovers and increase the power of the sexual union to make them want to be better people.”
In conclusion, Holy Sex is sex the way it was intended and it isn’t coincidental that the commandment before the Ten Commandments, the very first time the Lord gives His favorite creation an order is in Genesis 9:7 when he urges us to go forth “be fruitful and multiply.”
St. Teresa of Avila pray for us.