http://www.ebenedict.org/ is a website connected with World Youth Day, Sydney. You can sign up for its daily email at the top right of the page here. It describes itself thus:
What is eBENEDICT?
Written by Administrator
Wednesday, 07 May 2008
WYD EVENTS & NEWS direct from Sydney!
Benedict is coming – and if you hadn’t heard already – he’s coming for World Youth Day 2008 to be held in Sydney from 15-20 July.eBENEDICT.org is an events and news website to help the pilgrims of the world prepare for World Youth Day 2008.
Hosted by TOWARDS 2008 with the support of Catholic Youth Services (Sydney) and the Catholic Weekly, eBENEDICT.org will provide daily updates specifically focused on the: i) Main WYD EVENTS in Sydney;ii) WYD Youth Festival EVENTS across Sydney; andiii) the Days in the Dioceses EVENTS across Australia.eBENEDICT.org is the second and final stage of the yBENEDICT project.
Cardinal George Pell launched the yBENEDICT news website to mark the 50 day countdown to WYD and eBENEDICT was launched 25 days prior to the event with a specific focus on WYD events and news.To get the best of eBENEDICT be sure to subscribe to eDAILY and see you in Sydney for WYD2008.
This article came in today. I'm sure they won't mind my printing it in full.
YSEX with Francine Pirola
Francine and Byron Pirola have been married for 20 years and have five children.
They are Directors of Celebrate Love, co-founders of Antioch, international speakers on the spirituality of sex and are members of the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council, they have a long history of working with youth and couples in the area of sexuality and intimacy.
What does the Catholic Church have to say about sex? In a word ‘WOW’. In fact the whole teaching of the Church on sex both before and after marriage only makes sense when you understand the ‘WOW’.
In our reductionist culture the biggest mistake people make when it comes to sex is that they think of it as primarily a recreational activity, and in doing so they miss its true essence - Sex is not so much something you do as something you say.
Sex is not just an activity; it’s a communication, a body language. It’s a language that speaks of total commitment; a willingness to become ‘one flesh’.
Every touch between people has meaning. When a couple makes love, something wonderful, something tremendously profound is being expressed … that’s why we still call it ‘making love’. By its very nature, making love is a body language - it says physically what a married couple say verbally on their wedding day “I freely give myself to you completely, totally… I hold nothing back”.
The Church in her wisdom understands this and holds out this vision of love to all who care to listen. The Church’s ‘problem’ with sex outside of marriage is not just that one might get pregnant or get a disease (though these are serious risks that can have life-long consequences). The real problem with sex outside marriage is what it does to a person’s ability to freely give of him/her-self through sex in marriage.
Whether we know it or not (or want to admit it or not), sex is always full of meaning; and that meaning is inherent in the very act itself. Sex is a total gift of self. If you are saying something with your body you don’t mean in your heart then there is an inherent conflict, and in that conflict everyone gets hurt. In contrast, when there is alignment with our bodies and our heart then we are genuinely making love.
Our God is love and our Church calls us to live with integrity in all aspects of our life, including our sexual expression. Sex is to simply too important to treat as just an activity; it’s a sacred body language - WOW!
At a more personal, level I still remember the day my Byron explained why he wouldn’t try to sleep with me before we married. “If I slept with you now but have not yet committed my life to you… then what do I have left to give to you when I want to say “I am yours forever?”... the same thing can’t mean two different things… WOW!
To hear more about the Church's view on Sex, and the Theology of the Body during WYD:
Francine and Byron Pirola can be found at WYD at the Love & Life Site (PMRC table), the Vocations Expo (Sex, Love & Marriage Booth) or helping out their friend, Christopher West who is regarded as one of the foremost speakers on making the Theology of the Body accessible to all.
They are also speaking at Magis 08 (Milson’s Point) on Thursday July 17, at 7pm (Sexy – Saint or Sinner?), and at 8:30pm (Mission to Love).