Introduction To Theology Of The BodyPresentation Transcript
Introduction to theology of the body Robert Colquhoun [email_address]
What is theology of the body?
A series of Scriptural reflections on the meaning of human love and sexuality written by Pope John Paul in a series of 130 speeches.
What does it mean to be human? How should I live a life of happiness and fulfilment?
Themes explored in theology of the body
Humanae Vitae (Church teaching on birth control)
Catholic teaching on the value of the body.
Our vocation and identity as sons and daughters of God.
God’s plan for life and love, God’s design for human sexuality.
Theology and the body
Theology is the study of God
Therefore, theology of the body is the study of God as revealed by the human body.
The body and one flesh union of man and woman reveals something of the mystery of God.
What do Christians believe about the body?
We are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-7)
We are mortal beings that go from ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
We believe in the resurrection of the body.
God became man through the incarnation.
Original Layout of TOB
Part One: A/ Catechesis on book of Genesis
B/ Catechesis on sermon on the mount
Part Two: A/St Paul’s teaching on the human body
B/ The resurrection of the body
C/ Virginity for the sake of the Kingdom
D/ The sacramentality of marriage
E/ Reflections on Humanae Vitae
First, who am I? Then, what should I do?
The difference ages of man
Original Man – Humanity before the fall
Historical Man – Humanity after the fall to the return of Christ
Eschatological Man – Humanity after the return of Christ. We will be perfectly united with God with no tensions between body and spirit.
Nuptial (spousal) meaning of the body
Communion of persons
Naked without shame
Freedom of the gift
Language of the body
Original Happiness: A happiness that was rooted in the perfect gift that was initiated by God, received in love, and shared in love.
Original Innocence: The state of Adam and Eve prior to their knowledge of sin, when their minds, hearts, and bodies were perfectly innocent.
Original Man: The era of humanity in the "original experiences" before the Fall, up until the original sin of Adam and Eve.
Original Nakedness: the first experience of Adam and Eve when they were naked without shame. Before original sin, lust did not even exist and all sexual desires were pure.
Original Sin: The first sin of Adam and Eve, when they distrusted God's plan and chose their own will over the will of God.
Original Solitude: The original state when Adam realized he was alone because he was without a true companion; it also refers to the human experience of being alone in the world as a person, as someone fundamentally different from the animals.
Original Unity: The initial experience of perfect unity between man and woman as they lived in perfect communion with each other and gave themselves to each other through the mutual gift of their bodies.
Disunity/fragmentation of humanity, of man from God, of male and female from each other, of the passions within each person, experience of shame.
Concupiscence is the inclination to sin.
Communion of Persons
The common union of two or more persons who give themselves to one another in love.
Love – “Love is willing the good of another person.” Aquinas
Nuptial meaning of the body
The body is an outward sign of an inward reality (sacramental)
Adam and Eve are made for each other
We are all meant to give to others and receive from others.
Human Sexuality as a Language
I want to give myself completely to you and to receive you as a gift.
I am not going to use you.
I respect your dignity.
I delight in you.
I want to be a parent with you.
Blessed are the pure in heart
Reflection on the sermon on the mount
“You have heard it said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mt 5:27-8)
Sermon on the mount
The redemption of sexuality after the fall. We are on a journey of redemption.
Christ’s word on adultery of the heart are a call to conversion.
Lust is a deception of the heart and a distortion of the language of the body.
The human heart is a battlefield between love and lust
The only proper attitude towards another person is love.
“ Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.. In sacrifice.” (Eph 5:1-2).
Christ appeals to the human heart.
Is it possible to commit adultery with your own wife? Yes- according to Pope John Paul.
St Paul’s Teaching on the human body
The opposition of the flesh and the spirit
“ The desires of the flesh are against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh.” (Gal 5:17).
Galations 5:19-22 – Works of the flesh as compared with the fruit of the spirit.
Paul exhorts Christians to make good use of freedom. “Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants to one another.” (Gal 5:13).
St Paul and the human body
Purity is a requirement of love.
The Body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
A section on the ethical responsibilities of art. Art must not violate right to privacy.
In between the extremes of materialism and Manicheeism.
Universal call to holiness
“ What God wants is for you all to be holy. He wants you to keep away from fornication, and each one of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honourable, not giving way to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God. He wants nobody at all ever to sin by taking advantage of a brother in these matters.” (Thessalonians 4:3-5).
How is TOB relevant to the concerns and needs of the Church in the world today? What are the signs of the times?
How can John Paul’s teaching influence and transform culture and society?
How is this message relevant and timely?
The resurrection of the body
How do we picture life after death or heaven?
Sadduccees denied resurrection of body (Mk 12:18-27)
JP2: “The resurrection (of the body)…means.. A completely new state of human life itself.”
Gender a permanent dimension of our being even in heaven. We do not marry in heaven.
“ The resurrection means a new submission of the body to the spirit.” “The forces of the spirit will permeate the energies of the body.”
Resurrection of the body
1 Cor 2:9-10 “No eye has seen, no ear heard…what God has prepared for those that love him.”
“ Divinization in the ‘other world’ will bring the human spirit such a ‘range of experience’ of truth and love such as man would never have been able to attain in earthly life.” (Dec 9, 1981).
Resurrection of the body
Resurrection of body complete fulfillment of nuptial meaning of the body.
Nuptial meaning: “The capacity of expressing love: that love precisely in which the person becomes a gift and- by means of this gift- fulfils the very meaning and being of his existence.” (Jan 16, 1980).
Our masculinity and femininity is a physical sign given to us so that we might know that we are called to enter a loving communion in imitation of the trinity.
Marriage common and natural response to desire to love and be loved.
Then why celibacy?
Mt 19:12 Christ talks on celibacy for the Kingdom.
“ For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.”
Self denial required
A charism or gift from God, and an invitation.
“ Man (male and female) is capable of choosing the personal gift of his very self, made to another person in a conjugal pact in which they become ‘one flesh,’ and he is also capable of freely renouncing such a giving of himself to another person, so that, choosing continence ‘for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven,’ he can give himself totally to Christ.” (John Paul II, April 28, 1982).
The Family background of Jesus
“ The marriage of Mary and Joseph conceals within itself, at the same time, the mystery of perfect communion of the persons, of the man and the woman in the conjugal pact, and also the mystery of that singular ‘continence for the Kingdom of heaven: a continence that served, in the history of salvation, the most perfect ‘fruitfulness of the Holy Spirit.” (March 24, 1982).
Contradiction between marriage and celibacy/virginity is resolved in the marriage of Mary and Joseph.
1 Cor 7:32-5: brings undivided attention on the Lord.
To be anxious of the things of the Lord and to please the Lord.
Celibate person a signpost of our destiny with God.
To consider: 1 Cor 7:17, 1 Cor 7:20, 1 Cor 7:28.
Paul is not anti marriage.
Marriage and celibacy complimentary. Both are an act of donation.
Marital love reflects God’s love for his people.
Marriage is a symbol of Christ self-giving love for the Church.
Hosea and Ezekiel speak of Israel being like an unfaithful wife, even a prostitute.
“ Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph 5:25)
How much did Christ love the Church?
JP2 calls marriage the ‘primordial sacrament’ as it “transmits effectively in the visible world the invisible mystery hidden in God.”
God reveals himself to our world through marriage.
Tobias and Sarah
A beautiful testimony to marriage in the book of Tobit.
Marriages do not have to be pre-scripted by the mistakes of the past
Prayer before wedding night: Tobit 8:7-9– “I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age.”
Reflections on Humanae Vitae
Contraception is every action before, during, or after sexual intercourse that attempts to prevent it from being procreative. These acts are intrinsically evil and can never be approved. (CCC 2370).
Purpose of intercourse is for babies and bonding: unititative and procreative (HV 12)
Chastity means to live in the order of the heart. (Nov 14, 1984).
Continence protects the dignity of the conjugal act.
Prophecies of Humanae Vitae n.17
Contraception leads to marital infidelity.
General lowering of moral standards.
Man forgets the reverence due to his wife, reduce her to an instrument of his own desires, no longer a partner with care and affection.
Who will prevent public authorities from imposing their use on everyone.
Key characteristics of human love: free, faithful, total, fruitful.
Contraception not part of God’s plan. Obstructs love of donation.
Language of the body should be expressed in the integral truth of its meaning.
Contraception takes the gift of fertility out of the gift of self.
These are some of the positive effects of studying the theology of the body:
• What it means to be a human person•A beautiful teaching about love and life•The original beauty of God’s plan for humanity and its application towards our lives.•An understanding of the beauty and goodness of the body•A positive message of the gift of sexuality•Understanding the relationships between love and sex and the difference between love and lust.•Hope and redemption in Christ.•What the Church teaches about sexual morality.•Train in faithfulness, building marriages for the future.•Help to discern your vocation and calling in life.•What God’s purpose is for the body.•A clear understanding about chastity.•Learn about faith and what God has planned for your lives. New found hope about faith and life.