The Catholic Imagination Analysis

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In the book, “The Catholic Imagination”, Greeley examines the Catholic views concerning human sexuality. Two arguments are present in Catholicism. One argument argues that sexual desire can be considered as a sacrament, since it is a part of the human condition and is created by God, and the other argument argues that sexual desire is sinful. Human sexuality is used in scripture as a metaphor of Jesus’ love for his church and God’s love for his people. Many Catholic individuals believe that erotic desire is “good, virtuous, and beautiful” (56). For example, in a series of poems found in the Song of Songs, passion between unmarried people is presented. In addition, sexuality is present in all art forms. In his sculpture, “The Ecstasy of St. Teresa”, Bernini depicts Saint Teresa in an orgasmic or sensual state. She is experiencing pleasure in the human aspect, but is also overcome with love towards God. In Catholicism, love towards God and experiencing sexual pleasure, are not separate, just as Bernini 's statue presents. Spiritual ecstasy and sexual ecstasy work hand in hand. Moreover, San Juan de la Cruz (Saint John of the Cross), writes about a man in search of sexual pleasure in a poem titled, “One Dark Night Fired With Love’s Urgent Longings”. He uses words like “breast” and “caressing”, which clearly indicate sexual pleasure and desire. However, some critics state that the poem appears this way only when removed from its context. In context, some argue, the words which
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