Catholics/loving Jesus

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Question
Now we can read Catholic mystics speaking about loving Jesus with romantic love. People have said that if a male person would love Jesus like that it would be strange due to the fact that both are male. There can only be a real union between male and female they say. How does Catholic theology answer them?

Answer
This is a good question.  My expertise is not in spirituality or mysticism.  While I will give you what I think is a satisfactory answer, nevertheless you may want to run this question by someone whose expertise is in spirituality with an emphasis on mysticism.  

You have to understand that the essence of the Body of Christ (The Church) is FEMININE.  The NATURE of the relationship between Jesus Christ and his body is analogous to the relationship between a husband and a wife.  This is why marriage is a Sacrament, and WHY marriage is by definition HETEROSEXUAL and cannot include HOMOSEXUAL couples.  The sacrament of marriage was instituted by God precisely because it mirrors the relationship between Christ and his Church. Notice in the prayers of the Mass or other devotional prayers the Church is referred to as "she" or "Holy Mother" or "The Bride of Christ" the "New Jerusalem."  

Males and females comprise the Church.  HOWEVER the relationship that Christ has with the Church in this life does not take place in the BODILY plane but the SPIRITUAL plane.  This again is why marriage is so important: we need a physical sign and symbol of something that is INVISIBLE.  Thus Christ indeed relates with males as a bride to a wife---but on the SPIRITUAL not the BODILY level. Otherwise- you would be right: the relationship would be homosexual.  

Indeed there can only be a true union of love (such as exists between a husband and a wife) between a man and a women. The relationship between Christ and his Church takes place in our Souls, not our flesh.  The union therefore continues to be inherently HETEROSEXUAL.  

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Father Dave Bechtel

Expertise

I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.

Experience

I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

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