We've seen how the Catholic Church views sex as an amazing gift from God - one which reflects His Oneness and integrity, one which serves as metaphor and analogy of our ultimate union with Christ in Heaven.
And - in case I didn't make it quite clear in my last post, let me give a bit of emphasis to a little bitty detail that is going to be very very important in my next couple of posts:
There is only one epistle in the New Testament that was written to Jewish converts to Christianity: The Epistle to the Hebrews. All the others were written to Gentile (Read: Pagan) converts to Christianity.
Get that? Gentiles, not Jews. That means the early Gentile Christians were converted to Christ out of nonJewish cultures, out of cultures where sexual licentiousness was the norm, not the exception.
Talk about your major Culture Shock!!!
So, when you read St. Paul's epistles, or any of the others, but especially St. Paul's, since he was the Apostle to the Gentiles, remember: these things were written to people for whom the Christian paradigm was a MAJOR conversion! Not just in opinion, but in complete and total world view.
And so - when Paul is talking about sexual morality, he was addressing people for whom, previously, there had been no limits, no taboos, no prohibitions, no exclusions.
This is an extremely important thing to remember as we address issues of homosexuality, abortion, and birth control.
See you in a bit! Descartes and St Thomas Aquinas are begging me to come sit with them for a while!