“God, sex and the eternal longing”

I don’t know about you, because I don’t really know you, but I have this longing and desire for being known. To be seen and valued for just being who I am (not the “pretend people” we usually act like). I think everybody has this desire. It would be so relieving if the pressure to be “this” or “that” could be taken away. It would be so liberating if we could just be what our heart desired rather than what our parents or our society tells us to be. I say this because down deep, your heart desires to be true. Down deep we all desire true love, true communication and true bliss. It is this desire that makes us try everything to gain those things. We try different religions. We try sex. We try drugs. We try money. We try work. We try, we try and we fail. The more we fail, the more jaded we become. We stop to believe in that true love is possible. We stop to believe in beauty and in “fairy tales”. We stop to believe in knights and princesses. We bury this eternal longing for true love, communication and bliss under the stones of “reality”. We stop to believe in romance and in giving our selves to the other. Instead we focus on satisfying our own wants and needs.

I went to an event called “Fill these hearts” this Saturday. A man named Christopher West talked about “God, Sex & our eternal longing”. He draws most of his teaching from Pope John Paul II and his “Theology of the body”. I think the pope wrote this book because Christians for so long has presented the body and sex as something sinful and “unchristian”. The pope (and Christopher West) makes a different point. They claim that our bodies are theology (not only biology as secularism would have us think). Our bodies are a “way to know what God is about”. Our body is one of the best ways actually, since they are a big part of our person which is created in the image of God. It is not mere chance that you have this feeling of non-satisfaction in your life. That you crave more. It is not just survival instinct, and you know it. If it was just that than everybody would stop the hunt for more when they produced offspring and had “food security”. But man continues. Man desires more. Bono sings about it: “Still havent found what I’m looking for”. Jagger sings about it: “Cant get no, satisfaction”. We keep searching, studying, inventing, abusing and hunting because we are not satisfied. Our bodies and minds craves closeness. If we look at our bodies we see that the male and the female body is made to fit together. They fit into each other for the purpose of entering intimate communion. This communion can be so close that it begets new life. Our bodies and sex is not sinful, it is the twisting and abuse of them that is. A relationship between a man and a woman who works properly is as close of an icon of the Trinity you can see. It is giving and receiving and giving back. It is the enjoyment of each others differences. It is total unity yet still remaining who you are. It is eternal communion.

Art, music and movies speaks about this relationship all the time. Something in us wants to express what love should look like (because we do know what it should look like). We hear songs like “Endless love”, “Eternity”, “Eternal flame” and so on. We know that we long for this on an eternal scale. Do you hear songs that touches your heart that goes like “I will love you for 48 hours, then I will leave”. We are not touched by songs like that because we know that is not really love. That is twisted “love”. We know that true love has eternal implications.

To borrow some terminology from Christopher West. We have this hunger (for true love). Some people are starved because they have been raised on a starvation diet. This starvation diet is when you are told as a child that you can’t eat because all food (sex) is evil. This is very common among Christians, “Sex is bad”. Some people are raised on fast food (sex all the time) and can’t get satisfied because it tastes the same, and it is not very nutritious (this is very common in secular society). They have forgotten the flavour of true, homemade food. They still crave solid food but they have forgotten where to get it or how to make it. The starved people will eventually go to the fast food line if they have to choose between starving and fast food. They will start eating the fast food. The ones that are already trapped in the “fast food” addiction will eat and eat and never get satisfied (ask Jagger).

The truth is that sex is not evil, it is good. It is part of our make up. It is the desire to be close to the other. It is our eternal longing. To have true communion. It is an icon of the eternal dance of the Trinity. But it is also true that this relation must be based on and in the Spring which it comes from. It must find its strength in the One who make communion possible. Without God as the anchor in our relationships they will fail and we will remain unsatisfied. Because ultimately your eternal longing of closeness is a longing for Him. If you have tried all the venues to find peace, closeness, intimacy and happiness but ended up still wanting, why not try something you have not tried before? Try asking God to satisfy your eternal longing. He will satisfy you.

In Christ,

Fr. Jakob


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