Picking Flowers with an Axe

There are others, Catholic and not, who have articulated sexual ethics beyond the strict legalism of the Catholic teaching (Dr. Mary E. Hunt, for example), and I encourage the struck and struggling to investigate their writings, but in this context I simply want to offer a call to conscience, and to experience: Look at your own sexual experiences.  Hold them gently.  Brush away the shame dusted on top so you can see them.  I am sure for most of us, there will be a great variety, even if we have been fully chaste according to the Church's definition. I am sure that you will, as I do, find some that are more connective, more loving, more creative, as well as some that are more stifling, more disconnected, more about fear and control than love. 

Perhaps that is a place to begin the search for an ethic that truly respects the depth and breadth of human sexual experience, if we look at ourselves, and open our hearts and our mouths, and tell each other what we see.

Read earlier installments of Young Women & Catholicism


Rebecca Lynne Fullan is a contributor toFrom the Pews in the Back: Young Women and Catholicism, and to the corresponding blog: www.fromthepewsintheback.comShe is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Harvard Divinity School.  She thanks her girlfriend for waking up in the middle of the night toread about sex -- this is a sign of a patient partner.

11/30/2009 5:00:00 AM