The Dark Night of the Body
Why reverence comes first in intimate relations
By Dr. Alice von Hildebrand
Sexuality is particularly linked to the concept of personal intimacy. It is a central theme of the book. These are pages to be read attentively. The essential link between sexuality and intimacy is modesty.
Modesty is clearly explained in the book. offer a few reflections. Modesty is the nonrevelation of the person to eyes that would degrade her, as an object to be used. Tragically, the person herself may consent to be degraded. This, it seems to me, is the deep meaning of Jesus words concerning adultery in the heart [Mt. 6:27-28]. The eyes of conjugal love can see the person without degrading her. Conjugal love is chaste, while unchaste love is a contradiction in terms.
Dr. von Hildebrand s book offers a true analysis of intimacy and modesty in current Western culture. The author rightly dedicates some pages to pornography, the total violation of personal intimacy, because it reduces a person to a toy, degrades her to the level of an object. --Carlo Cardinal Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologna
What Dr. von Hildebrand has to say on the topic of sexual relations is, first, radical, in the correct and traditional sense of that word: it goes to the root of the matter. Her scrutiny here is rooted unabashedly in the creational vision disclosed to us in Sacred Scripture, and in the unremitting teaching of the Church. And, second, it is salvific, again in the ancient sense of that word: it rescues this most fundamental of all human relations from its ruin at the hands of contemporaneity. An incalculably important work. --Thomas Howard, Author