"Therefore I urge you in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, for this is your spiritual act of worship." - Romans 12: 1-2
P erhaps the most difficult journey a woman makes is the journey towards sexual awareness and freedom. Most of us have been taught, either directly or through experience, to separate our sexuality from our spirituality. While the aesthetic notions of bodily purity originate and remain essential in monastic communities, they are of little use in lives of married women. A more relevant notion is that of the purity of heart which explores the motivations that drive our sexuality.

Many of us found the courage to explore our sexuality only after facimng great difficulties and earnest reflection. For some of us this has resulted in a sense that our sexuality should be hidden rather than embraced. For others, we have felt that we must abandon our spiritual journeys, because we could not authentically adhere to the sexuality prescribed by institutions of religion.

Almost every one of us came to this journey with a sense of disconnection between sexuality and spirituality. But we have come to realize that a woman can not fully experience God apart from her body. To even reflect upon the nature of God, she must at least use her mind. Because a woman experiences sexuality with every aspect of her being (her body, her mind, and her soul), her sensual nature is something that should embraced rather than ignored.

When we attempt to offer ourselves in worship or as sexual partners from a state of disconnection, our offering is never really complete. Our sexual disciplines give us an approach to sexuality that is fully surrendered. Through this we are able not only to accept the gift of sexuality that we have been given, but we are also able to offer ourselves as fully integrated and engaged sexual partners.

If we approach our sexuality from a state of disciplined obedience, we stand before God in a state of full surrender. It is through our sexuality that we are opened, laid bare, and made vulnerable. As we are taught to remain patiently in this state of being, we stand before our creator "naked and unashamed".