I recently started reading What the Church Teaches About Sex: God’s Plan for Human Happiness, by Robert L. Fastiggi. I was interested in the book because I am a new Catholic and just about to get married (in 7 days, in fact!). Also, from my perspective, the Church’s teachings have been much maligned and are fairly complicated, so I figured this book would clear some things up.
The foreward is by Dr. Janet E. Smith, who has a really good CD called “Contraception: Why Not?” that I got from my NFP class. She does a nice job of outlining the book and explaining who the author is and where he is coming from.
The book itself is very informative. The author has a lot of background research to support his writing, from the Catechism, papal writings, etc. It is fairly dry- I will admit that I had trouble getting through it and could only read a few pages a day. It’s pretty dense reading and almost feels like a textbook. However, I did find it more understandable than say, Christopher West’s Theology of the Body, which I have tried to get through but is still very confusing to me.
The author includes a lot of great quotes from other sources such as this one from Pope Paul VI, that married love establishes a trust between partners that
“enables them ‘to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul…'”
Also, he does a good job of explaining that pesky term, concupiscense, which I heard in RCIA, Pre-Cana classes, and in Theology of the Body, but didn’t quite get until I read this book.
Overall, this is a good book, and it gives you the information that you would expect, but I don’t think it’s an easy read.