151. To those who fear that the training of the passions and of sexuality detracts from the spontaneity of sexual love, Saint John Paul II replied that human persons are “called to full and mature spontaneity in their relationships”, a maturity that “is the gradual fruit of a discernment of the impulses of one’s own heart”.(Catechesis (12 November 1980), 2) This calls for discipline and self-mastery, since every human person “must learn, with perseverance and consistency, the meaning of his or her body”.(Ibid., 4) Sexuality is not a means of gratification or entertainment; it is an interpersonal language wherein the other is taken seriously, in his or her sacred and inviolable dignity. As such, “the human heart comes to participate, so to speak, in another kind of spontaneity”.(Ibid., 5) In this context, the erotic appears as a specifically human manifestation of sexuality. It enables us to discover “the nuptial meaning of the body and the authentic dignity of the gift”.(Ibid., 1) In his catecheses on the theology of the body, Saint John Paul II taught that sexual differentiation not only is “a source of fruitfulness and procreation”, but also possesses “the capacity of expressing love: that love precisely in which the human person becomes a gift”.(Catechesis (16 January 1980), 1) A healthy sexual desire, albeit closely joined to a pursuit of pleasure, always involves a sense of wonder, and for that very reason can humanize the impulses.
What struck me is what was not cited by Pope Francis: the notion that sexual expression is a form of communication, of language between lovers. Not, as our modern culture expects, gratification or entertainment. You readers: are you seeing anything notable here?
Remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.