“Man Becomes an image of God not so much in the moment of solitude but of communion” (see TOB 9:3).
Communion is what Adam so desperately longed for, and it is what each and every one of us need. God knew this in the garden and said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). Adam realized he was alone in his humanity and alone because he didn’t have a relationship with a woman. One could say Adam had a human need as well as a physical need for communion. Both of these needs could be met by Eve in a beautiful way. Eve became feminine-human for Adam. But it is important to note that even if there was another male in the garden, Adam would still have been alone even in his humanity because feminine-humanity would have been missing. Masculinity and Femininity are “two different incarnations of the same human being” (TOB 8:1) and both are needed.
Not only are both needed, but both sexes are created equal. Woman was made from the side of Adam, “not that she is inferior or somehow less than him, but quite the opposite – that she is equal to him” (Zeno Pg. 18).
One of Satan’s biggest tricks is pitting the sexes against each other because he knows the power that true communion has by mirroring God’s love for us. This is why we see many lies such as men are just predisposed to sin more visually or that women do not struggle with pornography. These are lies straight from the pits of hell.
Yes, men and women clearly have differences in their biology. However, these differences did not originally pit us against each other. For example, we know that biologically at puberty the males brain is more easily sexually stimulated while the woman starts to want to be more sexually attractive. These are caused by actual changes that happen to our bodies. It is easy to look at this and say that men are biologically more prone to sexual sin while women will give in more to sexual sin to get love.
However, I think maybe a more accurate portrayal is that men hit their sexual peak earlier because they are called to initiate the love, while women become more involved in looking beautiful because they want to receive that love and give back.
We have to stop looking at the differences between the sexes from a negative point of view, but rather we should look from a positive view which can help to bridge the gap we have created.
Now, Eve was taken from Adam and, through her very body, he saw that this was at last, “bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh” (Genesis 2:23 paraphrased). He saw this because when he looked at her he saw both her body and soul. He saw her entire personhood. This look is something pornography does not allow; instead, it strips the body of any meaning besides just sexual fulfillment from another.
By seeing the other’s entire personhood, Adam and Eve could come together in full communion, even sexual communion, and mirror God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “In marriage, the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion” (CCC 2360). Again, God is an eternal exchange of love-Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father loves the Son, and the Son returns this love; through their love, the person of the Holy Spirit is sent forth. In the same way, a husband and wife come together. The husband loves the wife completely. Receiving that love, she then gives it back and through their love comes new life, perfectly mirroring the Trinity. St. John Paul II calls this kind of self giving love a reciprocal self gift. This is why sex is such a sacred act because it mirrors the love that God wants to share intimately with each and every one of us.
Now, God is not a sexual being so his love for us is not sexual, but he does in a sense want to marry each and every one of us. Numerous doctors of the Church and theologians comment on how the Church is the Bride of Christ and how on the Cross Jesus gave his body for his bride much in the same way that a husband does to his wife on their wedding night. This gives the words Christ spoke on the cross, “It is consummated”, so much more meaning. God consummated, in a certain sense, his love for his bride, the Church, on the Cross.
Communion is so important to us as humans. We all long for and need communion: first with God and then with others. God invites each of us to his wedding feast in heaven; in contrast, Satan offers us death through pornography. Which would you prefer?
© Tommy Shultz, 2017
I do not claim any rights to the photo used.
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