To conclude this subsection, a warning to balance concerns previously discussed–dignity, enslavement, and such–with the expression of human vulnerability, as well as an expression of that virtue, gratitude. Let’s read:
157. All the same, the rejection of distortions of sexuality and eroticism should never lead us to a disparagement or neglect of sexuality and eros in themselves. The ideal of marriage cannot be seen purely as generous donation and self-sacrifice, where each spouse renounces all personal needs and seeks only the other’s good without concern for personal satisfaction. We need to remember that authentic love also needs to be able to receive the other, to accept one’s own vulnerability and needs, and to welcome with sincere and joyful gratitude the physical expressions of love found in a caress, an embrace, a kiss and sexual union.
Our previous pope is cited well, rejecting a duality that would segregate sexual expression to a different place, at the cost of our dignity
Benedict XVI stated this very clearly: “Should man aspire to be pure spirit and to reject the flesh as pertaining to his animal nature alone, then spirit and body would both lose their dignity”.(Deus Caritas Est 5) For this reason, “man cannot live by oblative, descending love alone. He cannot always give, he must also receive. Anyone who wishes to give love must also receive love as a gift”.(Deus Caritas Est 7)
And a final “on the other hand” from Pope Francis:
Still, we must never forget that our human equilibrium is fragile; there is a part of us that resists real human growth, and any moment it can unleash the most primitive and selfish tendencies.
Remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.