Catholics - "Ever-Virgin" Mary

As has been mentioned in some of Cecil’s work, Roman Catholics hold that even though Mary was lawfully married to Joseph for umpteen years or more, she remained a virgin all her life.

I can understand the significance of Mary’s virginity before giving birth to Jesus, but after that point, why wouldn’t/didn’t the Mother of God conduct normal marital relations with her (presumably) beloved husband?

Are there any well-versed Catholics here who could enlighten me on this point?

Check out the following thread in the “Comments on Cecil’s Columns” forum: http://www.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000184.html

Though I hate to think of myself as a “cafeteria Catholic,” this is one subject where I part company with my Church.

The gospels name four brothers of Jesus, and while the Greek word for brothers COULD be interpreted as meaning kinsmen in general, the more obvious meaning is far more likely to be correct.

The gospels give usreason to believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, but they give us no reason to believe that Mary remained a virgin forever. (And in any case, what would have been so terrible about a MARRIED woman having sex and more children with her husband?)

In my opinion, this merely reflects the Church’s unease with sex in general. The notion that sex is dirty (or one of God’s mistakes) is still rampant in some quarters of the Church.

Well, I won’t belabor the point, and I’m certainly not going to argue; but I do have a question for you to mull over.

John’s Gospel, Chapter 19, verses 26-27. It says that Jesus, hanging on the cross, saw His mother down below, and nearby was one of His disciples (the account doesn’t specify which one, although it is usually considered to be John himself). Jesus said to His mother, “Behold your son”, and to the disciple, “Behold your mother”. And from that point, the account concludes, “That disciple took her into his own home.”

My question: If Mary had other children who could have cared for her in her old age, who presumably were also in good favor with the authorities, WHY would He place His mother in the care of one of his disciples, whom He also knew were going to be experiencing some pretty heavy persecution in the very near future?..or could it possibly be that she had no other children to care for her?

Just something to think about.