Last night after cuddles with my husband, I laid in bed and browsed Facebook and stumbled upon this amazing article, “The marriage bed is an altar“. It is a fantastic article that I want to read to my husband and I can not stop thinking about it. In summary, the author makes the analogy of the Eucharist to the marital act. Stating that in each act the giver gives himself freely and vulnerably, just as the precious body and blood of Christ is handled in the priest’s hands, or the husband and wife in the marital act.
One quote from the author that I loved and I’ve been thinking about all day is that we are at times blind, and only able to “see what is in front of your eyes (the body of your spouse, or the simple appearance of the host) blinds you from the immensity and beauty of the gift you are receiving.”
That sentence made me think deeper. I know the beauty and truth of the Eucharist, Jesus truly giving himself to us, allowing us to become one with him. But this can be directly related to the marital act. In the act you truly give yourself to your spouse, becoming one. The Eucharist is so powerful, it fills you with the life of Christ, it is life giving! And again, in the same way, the marital act is truly life giving, allowing a new person to grow inside a mother’s womb.
But so easily we are blinded by what the marital act or the Eucharist means. We cheapen it, we turn it into a symbol, we contracept, we no longer treat it as something precious. It turns into another object in our lives, to be used as a commodity.
Could it be that once we started seeing the Body and Blood of Christ as just merely a symbol, we then turned to our spouse and saw the marital act as a symbol too? Not as a life giving act, but as an object to be used without true reverence? (See John’s post about conquering lust.)
Being a convert to the Catholic Faith I’ve seen both sides. The Eucharist as a symbol, being passed around the pews and consumed, in a strongly pro contraceptive environment that strips away the true meaning of the marital act. To now being immersed in the Catholic Faith, where the Body and Blood is handled reverently by the priest. Where one walks up to the altar, as on your wedding day, to receive your Savior as he freely gives himself to you. And in following Christ’s example, spouses then give themselves freely to each other, without restraining their fertility, being vulnerable to Christ’s plan and open to the love and sacrifice of a child.
The Catholic Faith truly believes the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of our Lord, just as it truly embraces the fertility of the marital act without turning the act into a mere pleasure symbol. Both are life giving and changes a person if embraced without the worlds blindness. The Eucharist giving you the life of Christ, the marital act opening you up to give life to another.
Thank you Kaylin Koslosky for your article!
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, I am currently rereading “Men, Women and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility – by Edward Sri“, it’s a great book based on the writings of the Saint!