Who Will Teach Love?

The contemporary response to damage inflicted upon so many young lives as a result of sexual irresponsibility is almost invariably a call for more education. The assumption is that the more an adolescent or young adult is given informtion about the biology of sexual commerce or — let us be blunt — techniques to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (among which an unintended pregnancy is virtually a subcategory these days), the less likely the sad results of an ill-informed decision. Thus, the latest mayoral crusade for more of the same in our schools. But who is to teach “sex” and what is there to be taught that, apparently, has not been well learned?
Understandable concerns follow the announcement because, experience shows, the content of such “education” often includes more than the “old style” review of biology and the standard behavioral suggestions regarding how to make sex “safe” from diseases and other undesirable consequences through none other than condoms, pills and such devices which, if correctly administered, can serve as muzzles.
Today, in order to accommodate what are perceived as growing sensitives to the “diversity” of sexual experience, every conceivable variation in the Karma Sutra is fair game for class-side exploration of how it might be at once accessible, even encouraged, for the young and the restless, so long as the appropriate prophylactic can be  applied.
Those who counter that the safest forms of sexual activity are pre-marital celibacy — and, make no mistake about it, the discipline of abstinence is a form of decisive sexual action! — and chastity always and even within marriage, are quickly reminded that even the children of the most enlightened evangelicals seem to fare little better than the not-so-moral majority when it comes to sexual discipline.
Granted all the above and the struggle every human being with a healthy supply of hormones deals with daily in our highly eroticized culture, it is worth remembering that the mind and will are also powerful sex organs that can be influenced by the images and suggestions to which they are exposed, as well as the encouragement or censure they receive from their social milieu. When virtue is encouraged and rewarded it is more likely to practiced or, at least aspired to. The problem is defining and agreeing to what that virtue is. Even more importantly, where can that virtue be seen and learned?
The understanding of Catholic marriage as a holy, sacramental and, if consummated, indissoluble union of two persons of different sexes exalts human sexual intercourse to so high a degree that it might even be seen as a structure designed by a highly relational (three-one) God whose essence is the eternal ecstasy of the ultimate love embrace.
Sex is only “itself” in its conjugal consummation, which is both mirror and prism of the forever love of heaven.  To “muzzle” or deprive it of its life-creating potential, or its promise of uncompromising fidelity unto death is to so wreck and distort it that one cannot really call it human sex at all. At best it is merely a failed experiment.
Much of what goes by the name of “sex” is just that: experimenting, grasping or gasping for love by pantomime or wishful thinking. Unfortunately, the deeper wounds of sexual incontinence are in the emotional scars and social devastation that are left to fester like gaping wounds.
A more holistic approach to “sex education” should include the testimonies of those who have learned by experience both the joys and challenges of living love conjugally — instead of those who can only demonstrate how to apply a condom to a piece of fruit and call it a day of learning.
Sex education deserves better teachers. The witness of persons who actually live the the challenge of conjugal love would be a great source of inspiration for those who, though the usual channels of incomplete or inadequate information, have only been offered counterfeits.

One thought on “Who Will Teach Love?

  1. Ah! I KNEW you’d have to include some covert maligning of gay people somewhere…how naive I am! of course! this is a CATHOLIC publication. JUST ONCE I would LOVE for someone, somewhere in this paper, to be INCLUSIVE in their tirades! BE angry that not everyone is considered EQUAL when it comes to love!

    “Lord, protect me from your followers.” Never has a prayer been more appropriate when it comes to you folk than in this day and age.