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Are sexuality and spirituality opposed to each other? To anyone who has struggled to align their sexual desires with the call to be holy these might seem in opposition, but they don’t have to be.
Sex and the Spiritual Life will help you understand that you can experience fulfillment through sexual integrity—a way of life that affirms the presence of God and the sacred in our sexual feelings and expressions. You’ll hear from a selection of Catholic men and women—married, clergy, religious, and single—whose stories will inspire and equip you to reclaim the joy and wholeness of sexual integrity.
Addressing sexuality across a wide range of vocations, challenges, and experiences, each of the contributors to Sex and the Spiritual Life reflects upon living out the Church’s teachings about human sexuality with integrity as a means to achieving spiritual maturity. All those who want to experience the benefits of sexual integrity will be inspired by their witness, and benefit from their practical advice. Contributors include Patricia Cooney Hathaway; Timothy P. O’Malley; Deacon James Keating; Susan Muto; Eve Tushnet; Fr. John Riccardo; and Sr. Sarah Fairbanks, O.P.; as well as clinical specialists in addictions and marriage and family life.
In this groundbreaking book, you will find insights into the following topics:
· the relationship between sexual integrity and spiritual growth
· how the wounds of sexual abuse and addiction can be healed
· the link between sexual and spiritual intimacy in marriage
· how young adults can receive the formation they need to discover their vocations, navigate the complexities of being single, and live in community
· how spiritual friendship informs faithful living within the homosexual community
· the role of sexual desire in the lives of clergy and religious
This is a much-needed book for thoughtful Catholics to help them reclaim sexuality as a positive, joyful component of the human experience and to present a path of healing and hope for those who need to chart a new course.
A Note From the Publisher
“This book is the gift we all need to experience renewal and regeneration, both individually and as a parish.”
From the foreword by Fr. John Riccardo
Executive director of ACTS XXIX
“A rethinking of the mystery and the beauty of human sexuality is important in a changing world and culture, especially for Catholics of every state and walk of life. This book asks real questions and encourages listening to the experience of others. These personal testimonies offer radical hope to Catholics to live what the Church teaches faithfully and joyfully.”
Cardinal Joseph Tobin
Archbishop of Newark
“This timely book provides the antidote to the crisis we are living in as a Church and as a society. I enjoyed every chapter and learned from the insights of the contributors who represent the full gamut of sexual vocations. Sharing their stories with humility, vulnerability, and honesty, each writer draws on their personal life experience and the wisdom and healing they have gained through a lifetime of prayer, studying scripture, and connecting to the riches of our Catholic faith. Anyone who desires to live their vocation with integrity and joy should read this book. I highly recommend it.”
Founder of the John Paul II Healing Center
Author of Be Healed
“Sex and the Spiritual Life is a much-needed, mature approach to a subject that is deeply rooted in both theology and the spiritual life. That sex and the spirit are interrelated must never become a forgotten fact or bitter banality. In these pages you will find the lived experiences of those whose approach to sex and the spiritual life has a nobility and freshness that steers clear of naïveté.”
Rev. Agustino Torres, C.F.R.
Founder of Corazon Puro
“For more than twenty years, our work in marriage restoration has revealed that sex and sexuality is a topic that is frequently suppressed and avoided, and yet our experiences of these things shape our identity. More than ever, we need a book like this in which contributors share their stories and offer hope for others, showing how the good news of the Gospel and the teachings of the Church can give us the tools we need to untwist traumatic experiences of the past in order to learn and heal from them.”
Julie and Greg Alexander
Founders of The Alexander House
“Sexuality is a great fire within us and a powerful source of energy but, like an electric line carrying 50,000 volts of energy, it needs to be handled with proper care so that it supplies light and heat without burning the house down. This excellent series of essays honors sexuality for the great and sacred gift that it is. Such an understanding erases the false dichotomy that exists between spirituality and sexuality that sadly is seen most everywhere, both in our churches and within the culture. This is a needed book.”
Rev. Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I.
Author of The Holy Longing
“An evangelical friend of mine has a kind of rubric regarding sermons: I believe it is true; what I want to know is, ‘Is it real?’ Patricia Cooney Hathaway has assembled a powerful cohort of Catholic teachers, thinkers, and leaders to present us with the truth of Catholic doctrine on sexuality; and, more importantly, they make it real.”
Most Rev. Michael J. Byrnes
Archbishop of Agaña
“In a culture that disfigures the beauty of an authentic Christian anthropology, this book offers an insightful and compelling response and a hopeful pathway toward healthy and holy integration. Patricia Cooney Hathaway and the highly esteemed contributors offer spiritually rich, theologically sound, and pastorally forthright wisdom regarding sexuality, spirituality, and living the Gospel as joyful witnesses of God’s unconditional love.”
Rev. Msgr. Todd J. Lajiness
Rector and President
Sacred Heart Major Seminary