Sexuality in marriage.
Husband and wife live day by day a “nuptial mystery” in their normal daily existence and therefore also in the loving and full exercise of their sexuality. They are accompanied by the action of the Spirit, who leads to completion the work of the Father and of the Son:
“Sexual union, lovingly experienced and sanctified by the sacrament, is in turn a path of growth in the life of grace for the couple. It is the ‘nuptial mystery’. The meaning and value of their physical union is expressed in the words of consent, in which they accepted and offered themselves each to the other, in order to share their lives completely” (AL 74).
Even if it denounces and refuses very clearly “… any sexual submission” (AL 156) in the document there is a very positive evaluation of the conjugal meaning of the body and therefore of its erotic dimension, consistently with a consolidated conception in the Church referring in particular to the teaching of Saint John Paul II on the theology of the human body, in the 80’s:
“God himself has created sexuality, which is a wonderful gift for His creatures” (AL 150);
“…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. 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” (AL 151);
“Christian marriage is a sign of how much Christ loved his Church in the covenant sealed on the Cross, yet it also makes that love present in the communion of the spouses. By becoming one flesh, they embody the espousal of the Son of God with human nature” (AL 73)
“…moments of joy, relaxation, celebration, and even sexuality can be experienced as a sharing in the full life of the resurrection. Married couples shape with different daily gestures a God-enlightened space in which to experience the hidden presence of the risen Lord” (AL 317).
(Comment by Jesus Moran at the meeting of the New Family Secretariats held in Castel Gandolfo from 3 to 6 November 2016)