Before I pose my question, I feel I need to introduce myself a bit. I am a Catholic convert. My forum name was my baptism name, which I will explain on a different post in a different topical thread. I have experienced many different protestant denominations in my search for truth before finally coming home. I even found myself defending Catholicism against my protestant brothers and sisters long before I considered coming home. I just wanted to be a truly informed ‘apologist’ (though somewhat amateur compared to the caliber of people like Jimmy Akin, Karl Keating, my friend Carl Olson and others).
In addition, I had a very bad bout of Leukemia which is a testimony in itself of which I am writing a book entitled, “A Journey of Miracles”. One incident occurring during my Leukemia is that I was literally dying when a Jesuit came to my room and offered me absolution. This was a profound turning point for me. But enough of all that. Now we should get to the question…
I have always thought of sexual relations as dirty…even in the context of a marriage. I know it’s probably wrong to think that way because I realize God did not institute marriage to be a ‘dirty’ thing, but a wonderful experience, as well as sexual relations within that institution.
I know that Scripture speaks of it in both ways. Paul speaks of marriage as a positive thing. He also gives advice in one of his pastoral letters that it is better to remain single for the sake of serving God more fully; to be consecrated to a life of holiness in service to God.
Having said all that, how does this tie in with Mary’s perpetual virginity? Well, I am just wondering, if sexual relations are not dirty within the context of a marriage…and Mary was married to Joseph, why would it be so wrong for her to engage in sexual relations w/ Joseph after the birth of Christ?
Now I have read some answers to questions related to this on this website. I know I will probably get responses like, “Mary was ‘consummated’ by the Holy Spirit.” or “It was necessary for Mary to remain pure as one having been a vessel of the new covenant (Jesus), born w/out the stain of original sin.” which of course ties in w/ the immaculate conception.
Therefore the question still remains…If sexual relations within the context of marriage is pure why would it be necessary for Mary to remain sexually inactive?
I thank you all for your gracious answers in advance.