Thursday, December 29, 2016

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 151

151.  To those who fear that the training of the passions and of sexuality detracts from the spontaneity of sexual love, Saint John Paul II replied that human persons are "called to full and mature spontaneity in their relationships", a maturity that "is the gradual fruit of discernment of the impulses of one's own heart".149  This calls for discipline and self-mastery, since every human person "must learn, with perseverance and consistency, the meaning of his or her body".150  Sexuality is not a means of gratification or entertainment; it is an interpersonal language wherein the other is taken seriously, in his or her sacred and inviolable dignity.  As such, "the human heart comes to participate, so to speak, in another kind of spontaneity".151  In this context, the erotic appears as a specifically human manifestation of sexuality.  It enables us to discover "the nuptial meaning of the body and the authentic dignity of the gift".152  In his catecheses on the theology of the body, Saint John Paul II taught that sexual differentiation not only is "a source of fruitfulness and procreation", but also possesses "the capacity of expressing love: that love precisely in which the human person becomes a gift".153  A healthy sexual desire, albeit closely joined to a pursuit of pleasure, always involves a sense of wonder, and for that very reason can humanize the impulses.

149 Catechesis (12 November 1908), 2: Insegnamenti III/2 (1980), 1133.
150 Ibid., 4
151 Ibid., 5
152 Ibid., 1: 1132
153 Catechesis (16 January 1980), 1: Insegnaemnti III/1 (1980), 151.