Alumna speaks on relationships that order oneself to God

Margaret Ward
Staff Writer

A Franciscan University of Steubenville alumna said everyone is called to live in a network of relationships with God and each other at a talk Sunday in the Gentile Gallery.

Anna Carter, co-founder and president of the Eden Invitation, began by speaking of the human desire for intimacy.

“If we’re talking about sexuality, we can’t help but talk about our longings for intimacy,” said Carter. “And if we’re talking about our longing for intimacy, we can’t help but talk about all of those relationships that are beyond sexuality.”

Referencing Catholic teaching, Carter said, “We all exist in a network of relationships. Jesus existed in a network of relationships.”

She said when Jesus lived on earth, he modeled all kinds of different relationships. Quoting Christ’s words, she said: “I have called you friends.”

Carter said that man’s “broken relational dynamics” are a result of the fall.

Carter used the Catechism of the Catholic Church to explain the individual’s need to integrate chastity fully into his or her whole person. This is done by accepting one’s sexual identity, which she said is either male or female.

“The Catechism talks about chastity as the integration of sexuality within the person,” Carter said.

Carter said that passions are not always evil but can lead to both good and bad actions or desires. She said that in maintaining healthy boundaries in all relationships and practicing the virtue of chastity, Catholic individuals can order themselves to have a good relationship with God.

“Those longings for love, those longings for intimacy are good longings, they’re holy longings because ultimately they’re this longing for the Lord himself,” said Carter.

This talk was part of the Gift of Human Sexuality Symposium presented by Franciscan Life. Carter spoke previously on Sept. 6 and 7 in the Gentile Gallery on the topics of relationship and intimacy.