This post could have many names, but I think my favorite might be,
“You can have an Awesome, Loving Catholic Marriage and Incredible, Holy Sex!”
“Organic sex. One hundred percent all natural ingredients. Safe for the environment of the body. Green sex, you could say, as encapsulated by the natural planning lifestyle. …Just sweetly unclothed sexual communion that’s utterly open to the beloved and to the (potential) adventure of parenthood.”
–Patrick Coffin, author of “Sex Au Naturel”
Can Catholics Say Sex Out loud??
Are we as Catholics even allowed to say “Awesome” and “Incredible” and “Sex” in the same sentence with “Holy”? Maybe not out loud in front of your in-laws or kids, but yes! God is love, the creator of marriage and relationships and he invites us to share in his creation through the love he has written in our hearts.
God Commanded it!
In fact, marital love (sex) is the first commandment he gave our original parents, Adam and Eve, in the garden, just before pronouncing EVERYTHING he had made good…
“God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth.”
Authentic Love, Sex and Fertility are All a Gift from God*
Notice that not only did he command them to “be fertile and multiply,” but he “blessed them” with the gift of fertility! He didn’t tell them to “go have some kicks and have kids when you’re finally ready to settle down,” but instead he said, “go, celebrate your marriage by loving each other and possibly* create new life to fill the world!” This is my paraphrased translation of course, but you get it, right? When two people love each other and embrace God’s will for their marriage, sex and fertility are something to celebrate as a blessing from God!
Green Creation. Authentic Love. Green Sex.
If you’re wondering how I jumped from Darlene Goes Green to Darlene goes “all sex-y,” I’ll explain. Authentic love, relationships and “green,” natural sex are all part of the big picture of God’s plan for creation. If you’re following our Laudato Si’ study on Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, it’s easy to see because the Pope, looking at the book of Genesis, explains that, “Human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor and the earth itself.” (Laudato Si, P66)
Creation values all life and through the dignity given to us by God, writes Pope Francis, “We were conceived in the heart of God, and for this reason each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.”
—Laudato Si, P65
I can’t even try to unfold all of the teachings of the Church on love and marriage in this post, but I have read and spent time with some great books and resources. If you’re looking for an awesome, loving Catholic marriage and incredible, green and natural holy sex, I’ve got a few faithful resources you’ll want to check out and share with your husband or wife today!
*Struggling with Catholic Teaching on Sex?
Please don’t believe the myth that the Pope and the Catholic Church expects us to constantly be pregnant or have as many babies as possible. It’s just not true. BUT, we are expected to let the size and timing of our family be within God’s plan by being open to life. If you struggle with the teachings of the Church on the human sexuality, chastity, and natural family planning, I urge you to learn more about them because most of the time people are confused and don’t really understand the true teachings of the Church or the reasons behind the teachings. If this describes you, these resources can help!
7 Great Books and Resources for Green, Natural and Authentic Catholic Love(and Holy Sex!)
All of these resources are faithful to Catholic teaching, but each one addresses the topic in a slightly different way.
- “Humane Vitae, On Regulation of Human Births,” Pope Paul VI
If you want the teachings straight from the Pope, this is for you. Humane Vitae is not an easy read, but if you take your time and let the Pope’s words sink into your understanding, it is a short, direct communication of what the Church teaches on the purpose of marital love, the regulation of births, and prohibition of chemical birth control methods. I had quite a few “wow” moments when reading it!
- “The Theology of the Body,” Pope John Paul II
Again, teaching straight from the voice of the church, St. John Paul II expanded and taught the lessons of Humane Vitae through 129 of his Wednesday audiences from 1979 to 1984. You can read them all online for free here (John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, EWTN) or order them in paperback here (Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body).
- Sex Au Naturel, What It Is and Why It’s Good For Your Marriage,” Patrick Coffin
Although I personally like the formal style of the Pope’s writings, sometimes it’s nice to have things written in a more clear, understandable writing style and you’ll find it in this somewhat brief book by Patrick Coffin. With both a Nibil Obstat and Imprimatur, it is completely authentic to the Church’s teachings while getting into the history of Humane Vitae, the Church’s prohibition on birth control and debunking a lot of the myths many of us fall into regarding Catholic sexuality.
- “Good News about Sex & Marriage,” Christopher West
If you haven’t been introduced to Christopher West yet, I’m happy to be the person to do it! Christopher has spent a good portion of his life studying and sharing the beauty of JPII’s Theology of Body in his writings, videos and talks. (In fact, it was one of his recorded studies of the TOB that helped keep my husband and me in the Church!)
This book also has granted both the Nibil Obstat and Imprimatur and is a written in an easy-to-read conversational question and answer style. As an RCIA Director, I find this book awesome for both understanding the Church’s teachings and as a resource for sharing the truths of the faith with others. I appreciate that it can be read from cover to cover, but it’s also easy to go straight to your most pressing questions through the index in the back. Christopher covers almost everything you could want to know starting with the Church’s authority to teach on the topic, to “how far can you go,” to annulments, to chastity, to NFP (Natural Family Planning), to “you name it, he’s covered it!”
- “Holy Sex! A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving,” Gregory K. Popcak, Ph.D.
Very different from the others on this list, Dr. Popcak’s book is one of my new favorites that I wish I had found years ago! In addition to the title being an attention grabber, so is its content. He fills quite a few pages illustrating the difference between eroticism and “holy sex” and gives us a roadmap to trusting and “infallible loving.”
“Holy Sex is a passionate, sensual encounter between two lovers committed to a relationship that is faithful and forever — a relationship that has the power to raise up the couple in ecstasy toward the Divine, leading them beyond themselves and empowering them to touch the love of God himself.” —Dr. Gregory K. Popcak
This book had me nodding with agreement and left me impressed by his helpful insights on how married couples can live or at least work towards “holy sex” in their relationships. Perfect for new couples preparing for matrimony, as well as for those of us celebrating years of marriage, I think this book is a helpful guide for all couples looking to deepen their relationship in God’s plan for our lives.
- “Green Sex, The Case for Natural Family Planning” Jason Evert (Recording)
You will want to hear every word of this truthful and motivational talk. Jason takes us through the history of Jewish weddings as well as the surprising truth behind the way birth control works and the way it damages our bodies and the environment. In a world now striving to “go green,” Jason says, “Shouldn’t the most natural and green thing out there be our gift of human sexuality?” He makes a strongly supported case “green sex” and how it is a great blessing for all of our lives, our health, and environment. If you have Amazon Prime or subscribe to Formed.org, you can listen for free here: Amazon Prime and Formed.org.
- For Your Marriage, USCCB Website
This is a great website by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with articles and resources to help us live a faithful Catholic married life. It covers all stages of the vocation of marriage including helpful question and answer type content. With a brand new look, the site is currently offering a free virtual marriage “retreat”. Check it out!
Through these books and resources, I’m sure you’ll soon discover that Catholicism is not a prudish religion that allows sex only for procreation, but instead it is a faith built on love and respect that focuses on the gift and beauty found in relationship — relationship with our husband or wife, between the couple and God, each of us and our neighbor, and with the environment itself. I hope you find them helpful for you and your spouse when striving for a more authentic love and an awesome, loving Catholic marriage with incredible, Holy GREEN sex!