Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

June 1, 2009

ToB and the Single Life

Julian, thank you so much for your follow-up on Christopher West--I think the questions you raise are essential, and really reach at the heart of why I wanted to start this blog. In the small Catholic world, especially among college age kids, I saw time and again young woman who idealized sex and marriage because of a (I think faulty) reading of Theology of the Body, largely fostered by JPII Lite. They idealized marriage and sex, talking about it in such lofty theological terms, that nothing could live up to their expectations. This always bothered me; their romanticism was toxic--perhaps it was not perverse sexual fantasy, but it was still fantasy.

I always wanted to hit them on the head and say: Sex is messy; marriage is messy and full of pain (and wonderful in spite of that!); life is messy. If you are lucky, you will marry the best man you have ever known, and he will be your Christ-bearer--bringing you closer to Christ. But you won't marry St. Joseph, and if you expect him to be St. Joseph, you are setting yourself up for disaster.

It struck me as an odd point of view because Theology of the Body isn't really about sex and marriage. Ok, it is--but it is about sex and marriage because they are part of a much deeper inquiry, and inquiry into what it means to be a human, and to live out your vocation, and what that vocation might be based on. These questions are fundamental, regardless of whether you are married or not. And this is what we single girls must take away from ToB: how do I live a good life, and answer the "universal call to holiness." And then we have to go out and live those messy uncertain blessed lives that God has planned for us.


Julian said...
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Julian said...

You hit the nail on the head!

Plus, somethings tells me that if you ask the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph probably left his socks (or sandals) lying around the house. Holiness does not rid men of human nature!

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