This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
This guide is inspired from the Christopher West talks from Gift Foundation: http://loveundefiled.blogspot.com/2010/05/gift-foundation-free-download.html Original Man “From the beginning it was not so.” We have left the state of innocence irrevocably behind. To have a good understanding of our anthropology we have to have a good understanding of where we are from. A search into history plunges us into our roots. Christ calls man to refer to the beginning of human existence: theological prehistory. It is indispensable to look at the original human experience in order to construct a theology of the body. This brings us to a relationship between experience and revelation. We cannot only ponder abstract considerations rather than man as a living person. We also have to look at the revealed word of God. We are not supposed to understand Genesis as literal or with historical certainty. The only way to the beginning is through the symbolism of the Biblical language. This is the mystery of the revealed word of God. We are not obligated to believe in a talking snake. Something diabolical happened in the beginning. A mythical language is used. Myth does not mean something that is not true: it means an archaic way of expressing a deeper content. These are stories that are revealed by God. When we speak about original human experiences, these are always at the root of every human experience. There are two accounts of the story of creation in Genesis. The second creation account is more a reflection on the subjective reality of the person. The first creation account is about the first experience of personhood. The three original human experiences are about solitude, unity and nakedness. Genesis says that original solitude is one of the first discoveries of personhood. “It is not good that man should be alone.” Man is alone without the woman. Man in the book of Genesis is not distinguished between male and female until after the deep sleep. Solitude is something that applies to every human being. We are alone in the visible world as persons. Adam was created from the dust of the ground, but he had something more, the breath of God was breathed into the dust. The breath of God was present. The animals are also created from the dust, but they did not have the breath of God in them. Adam was in charge of tilling the garden and looking after the animals. Reflect in your own life. Does this ring true? We are different from the animals. There is a difference between human beings and animals. Animals do not build cathedrals or skyscrapers. Have you ever seen a squirrel in line up for confession? Only human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. Solitude is the discovery that we are made to be in a relationship with God. Man has a capacity for freedom, and also for love, but because of this, it can also lead to evil. Adam, who has the breath in him, has a capacity for love. The only way to fulfil ourselves is through a loving relationship with God. Adam was not an anybody but a somebody. We are called to relationship with God, and called to love. This is experienced in and through the body. The human body expresses the person. The human person is penetrable and transparent. We are spiritual, but the spiritual is revealed through the body. Man discovers this in and through his body. The body reveals this through the spirit. Adam came to understand who he was. The body is not something that is synonymous with sexuality. Corporeality and sexuality are not completely the same thing. We are called to be in communion with others. Marriage is not the meaning of life but just a sign. The true meaning of life is found through a relationships with God. Sexuality is meant to mirror the relationship with God. Adam was called to love God. We are to live in covenant (in a marriage of sorts) with God. Sex is a word that normally refers to the difference between a man and a woman. Sex is not something you do, not something you are, not the sexual act, but the difference between man and woman. It is only in the creation of woman that mankind experiences sexuality. When Adam is put into a deep sleep, man returns to a state of non being. Women comes out of man in a creative act of God. Man wanted to find a creative being for himself.
Adam longs to give away the love of God in him. He dreams of a perfect lover, of a body and a person. At last, God creates a body that expresses a person. When he looked at the body of Eve, he saw that she was different from the animals, and shared Adam's solitude. She was made in the image of God and called to love. Masculinity and femininity are two incarnations of the same solitude, or humanity. They are two different ways of being a man. There is an essential difference. Man and woman complete each other. There are two ways of being conscious of the body. Every human is either man or woman. We cannot find meaning without any relationship at all. It is not the meaning of life to get married. We are clinging to a road sign rather than going to the destination if we believe this. Solitude then leads to the next experience: unity. Freedom is a prerequisite to love. All of God's creation shows something of God. Man has the capacity to love. Even dogs that copulate show something about God. The absolute denial of original solitude brings us to a level to believe that we are just like the animals, especially with our sexuality. This is not true. Man becomes in the image of God, not so much in the moment of solitude, but in a moment of communion. The blessing of our fertility is also part that we have freedom and the capacity to love. The joining of two bodies is a sacramental expression showing the communion of persons. It is a common union where one freely gives himself to another. It is a unity in goodness and gift of another. The mutual relation with one another is in a communion that mutually confirms one another as persons. The conjugal act (one flesh union) is deeply connected with the spiritual part of a person. If a man and a woman do not have a spiritual communion their bodies are lying to each other in sex. The devil attacks marriage as an expression of union. Many people think that sex is the last place to look for God. The conjugal union is part of the mystery of God. Sex taps into God's original plan as it was meant to be and looks to renew it. A truly marital act is not a loss of virginity, but a living of the truth of virginity. Virginity is synonymous with the integrity of the body and soul. Virginity means that the human being is untouched in the rupture of body and soul. In a true expression of the conjugal act, this confirms the dignity of the body. This is not a loss, but a gain. In this way, a married couple express spiritual love in their communion. Now people typically experience sex as a disintegrating experience. We must allow Christ to transform this. The experience of the marital act is not a loss. The marital act is reliving the original virginal value of the body. Man stands as a body before God. The two became one flesh. These are the words that constitute the flesh in the body. They contain an ethical and a sacramental dimension. Pope John Paul talked about the ethics of the sign. The one flesh union is a sign of God's love. In Genesis 2:25, we read that they were naked without shame. This allows us to penetrate the original experience. What is the experience of shame all about? Why do we experience shame as a phenomena? There is nothing shameful about being naked alone. When a stranger comes in, you cover your body. Deep within our hearts we know that we are meant to be loved, never ever to be used. We sense that a stranger will not look on you with love. A stranger is more likely to see the body as an object of selfish gratification. The body is not to be used as an object because we are called to protect our dignity. Perfect love casts out fear. In nakedness there was a defencelessness before the other. In the absence of barriers, there was a mutual exchange and an original innocence of knowledge. The deepest desire of the human heart is to be seen by the other. Sin has reaped havoc on this original desire by the twisting of original truth. Nakedness is key to understanding the original Biblical experience. When we see each other, we are not just seeing an exterior dimension of the world. We are all very good, because we were created with the goodness of God. We are gradually called to reclaim the good of God's vision. We are not perfect in this world because of original sin, but we still should strive for perfection. We will always need fig leaves in this world. The nakedness in the beginning is an example of purity. We see each other with the peace of the original gaze. Intimacy can be translated as “Into me see.” The body is a gift. It is
nothing but the sheer gratuitous gift of God. We are created in order to share the love of God. We are created as male and female to symbolise the giving of humanity. We open up ourselves in order to receive again as a gift. God creates us in self giving love. We are witnesses to creation as fundamental gifts. This is the source from where all self giving begins. Sex is a gift from God. It is meant to be lived as a gift. A gift means love. God gives himself to us because he loves us. We give back to him. Man and woman are self giving to one another. They symbolise the exchange of the trinity and were created to be a gift. God gives himself to us in creation. God's gift is stamped into the body. The nuptial meaning of the body is a whole reality that was meant to be created. This is an inner penetration of giving and receiving. The body has a nuptial meaning because in the marital spousal meaning, the body has a conjugal capacity of expressing love. The means of this gift is very central to the meaning and being of existence. Why did God make us this way? A woman's body does not make sense by itself. It is called towards communion and union. In the experience of the call to love we see a call to the perfect integrity of body and soul. The body shows exteriorly the reality of the soul. True love always bears fruit. God did not create us for his sake, he created us for our own sake. One in the sincere giving of oneself can we find ourselves. Another word for God's gift for us is grace. We were filled with the love of God. This is the nuptial meaning of the body. It is an indispensable theme of our existence. In sexual complementarity, this leads to a call of union and then fruitfulness. The freedom of the gift is to experience sexual desire as it was in the beginning. God created sexual desire in the beginning to love as God loves. Adam looked upon Eve's naked body and just desired to love her freely. He only saw her as a person and wanted to give himself to her freely. Adam trusted in the freedom of Eve. Adam could not grasp at her and trust in her freedom. The freedom of the gift is the freedom to bless, not to grasp or posses. Man and woman are both naked without shame to share in the freedom of the gift. Are you in control of your passions or are your passions in control of you? Are your desires unruly? Do you desire total freedom? Grace is a mysterious gift to inner man. It involves a disinterested gift of oneself. The word family is a beautiful acronym. It means forget about me, I love you. Original happiness is originated in love and is a call to initiate love. If you have God's love in you, you have to give it away. Perfect love casts out shame. God instituted the one flesh union from the beginning. It was a perfect experience of God's love. The meaning of the body is to be filled with God's grace. We truly participate in the divinity of God. The body and it alone can make visible the invisible love of God. In the one flesh union we are to make present and participate in the very life and love of God. Despite sin, we can reclaim the original reality. We can reclaim virginity. The deepest essence of married life was that Adam knew his wife. The knowledge and dignity of the person is the knowledge of the goodness of human life. Sin, suffering, damage has not cancelled out our goodness. The devil's goal is to prevent the gift of divine life. The devil goes after woman to deny the gift. Original sin is the denial of the gift. Men and women are called to be fruitful and multiply. There is pain for the man sowing the seed. Paul Quay, in the meaning of human suffering says that sexual sin divorces true love from suffering. In fact suffering should be embraced as part of true love. Couples that live the truth of marital love show that life is very good. Historical Man The theology of the body is a call to rediscover original fullness. It is to look into the interior self of man's deep heart. We experience the forces of good and evil within each one of us. The heart is the deep interior reality of a person. In the heart we know and experience the nuptial meaning of the body. God's plan works through the heart. The heart is where we consciously experience the body. The circumcision of the heart is where impurities are cut away, and the heart is opened and exposed
to the love of God. So often the heart is closed with callousness to the love of God. Christ is calling us to circumcise our hearts to the love of God. Christ's words show how deep down it is necessary to go to fulfil the Gospel. Should be fear the severity of Christ's words? Perhaps it would be better to have confidence in their salvific content. These words have power to save us from our lusts. In our own experience we know how deep our own lusts go. But our hearts are deeps than our lusts or experiences. Lust does not define you. Weaknesses and failures do not define you. Man must see again, if he is to regain the fullness of his humanity. Lust is severe and not a minor thing. We all have lusts in our hearts. This changes the way we see the whole world. When we uphold our dignity in looks, conscience and behaviour we begin with a new ethos, as the dignity of the human being is assigned as an ethos. There is a relationship between ethics and ethos. An ethic is a subjective norm. An ethos refers to an inner desire of the human heart. It shows what you are attracted to. In the sermon on the mount, John Paul II said that Christ was trying to bring the ethic and the ethos together. You can follow rules without being very holy. An inner change of heart is needed. The real ethos is to be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect. We need to love enemies and do good to those who persecute you. It is impossible to keep the Lord's commandment from the outside, it must come from the depths of the heart. The ethos of redemption is an ongoing conversion to change our hearts. Subjective desires come in conformity with the law. Christ not only confirms the commandments but leads us to a strengthening of the depth of the human person. He brings liberation from lust. The Christian ethos changes what you are attracted to and what you are repulsed by. The transformation of conscience and the value of body and sex according to the creator's plan can happen when we open our lives to Christ. The very desires of your senses are ordered to what is true, good and beautiful when we have a new ethos. The perfection of the moral good is moved to the good, not only by the will. In living morally we realise the very meaning of being a man. We are drawn by the will, heart and sensitive appetite. Laws in and of themselves do not change human hearts. Christ did not come into the world to give us more laws to follow. Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but fulfil what was led by the spirit, to bring freedom. The laws of the Gospels bring no new external precepts. Christ came to take rebellious hearts so that they would be in conformity with the law. It is possible to be lusting on the inside, but be following the law. With Christ's intervention, you no longer need the commandment not to do so. We only need laws when our hearts desire to break them. Law is not an imposition. Christ gave us the power to fulfil the law. If a person is led by the Holy Spirit, he no longer needs the law to commit adultery. If you are attracted to pornography, your ethos is wrong. Christ came to change your heart so that you would be repulsed by the idea of looking at another human being as a thing. This is not a theory. Justice happens with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the interior perception of values. Grace has the power to change hearts. Jesus did not come into the world to die on the cross to give us a coping mechanism for sin. He did so to give us real power to overcome sin. This is the news of the Gospel. We need a saviour. If we are to fulfil the meaning of life, we need a saviour, we cannot do it on our own. If you are living a Christian life without Christ, you just want to be a good person. Christ gives us a radical power of transformation. God has poured out upon us infinite grace. We just need to tap into that grace. God is perfect love. If God created deep desires for union and communion, God wants to fulfil our desires. God wants to give us the deepest desires of our hearts. All we need to do is receive. We can either grab out or receive. We need to resist the inner temptation to grasp and turn to receptivity. The Eucharist is thanksgiving. The father gives everything to the son. We have been goaded by the devil to think of the father as a domineering tyrant. God does not want to break our backs. The deepest yearning is for the donation of creation. Man turns his back on God who is love in the original sin which attempts to abolish fatherhood.
The our father prayer is the antidote to original sin. God is not a slave-driver. Faith is the openness of the human heart to the gift. On the cross Jesus is saying God loves you and wants you to grant you the deepest desires in your heart. Man loses purity of heart and the original freedom of the gift in the original sin. It brings a rupture between body and soul. We come to blame the body for this. Adam attempts to blame eve. How many men are tempted to blame women for their lusts? Women have a responsibility to dress modestly. Man also has an obligation to see her as a person. Jesus came to help us with the disorder of our hearts. We should never look on the sexual values of bodies as a thing. Shame serves to protect the value of a person. The purity of heart brings the absorption of shame by love. Shame is dissolved by love, swallowed up in love and in a positive sense it protects the dignity of the body in lust. Shame is a natural form of self defence for a person. It is also called modesty. True love swallows shame. Shame is the natural way of avoiding a poor sense of the body. In Jesus Christ, through the ethos of the redemption, we see the absorption of shame through love. Interpersonal communication was shattered by the original sin. Imprinted on this is shame and man's certain image of himself. In a negative of a photography we see something of what a picture is meant to look like. It is developed into a positive. The very fact that shame entered the human person means that we do not have to lose sight of God's original plan. This debunks the Lutheran notion of utter depravity. We still long for God's original plan. There is a difference between shamelessness and being naked without shame. Lust is uninspired sexual desire. It is the disorder of our passions, devoid of the love of God. Lust is sexual desire devoid of God's love. Hell and lust are the same thing. Sexual desire in and of itself is not bad. Lust seeks the sensation of a sexuality no longer at the freedom of the gift. It grasps at the other. Lust demonstrates the rupture between body and soul. It utterly violates the personalistic norm. Lust shatters the feeling of solitude. Lust dominates the heart and body. Lust ruins the matrimonial significance of the body. It aims directly to satisfy sexual needs. Lust is not capable of forming a proper communion of persons. The gift changes to grasping. In the extreme, lust is rape. There is great confusion between lust and love. How can we trust our hearts if we have mixed motives? We must keep our hearts under control. We are called to experience a true liberation from lust. This is the condition of all life together in truth. The impurity of the lustful heart is the root of all disordered behaviour. The deepest part of human ethics and culture is liberation from lust. Lust is part of both the male and female experience. Men generally experience lust as physical gratification towards women. Women have emotional gratification against men. As a generalisation, men will use love in order to get sex, while women will use sex to get love. With the ethos of the Gospel there is the possibility of a true internal transformation. Man has a special responsibility as he is to initiate the gift. They must be sincere, for women know when they are being used. It is even possible to use you wife to commit adultery. Some experience same sex attraction. They might have the struggle their whole lives. There is no magic prayer to take it away. We need to fill our tyres to progressively move towards the living God. The cross of Jesus Christ goes deeper than your wounds. God holds out the possibility of redemption to every one of us. You are not the sum total of your weaknesses and failings. Real power comes from the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is how we experience that redemption which is important. St Paul said that we groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies. Redemption is not just one aspect, but we also need the redemption of the soul. The redemption of the body is for the whole human person. Man has a cosmic dimension. There is the possibility of real victory in the battle between love and lust. This is a victory that we can already begin to experience. In the Old Testament they did not have the power to overcome lust. Polygamy
is allowed as a compromise with lust. The more the heart is disordered, the more you need laws and regulations to provide harmony. Laws are a symptom of a heart that is not yet transformed. The prescriptions of the Old Testament do not show any tendency to change the ethos in any way. If the heart is disordered, the body follows. There were people in the Old Testament who had the grace of the Holy Spirit just as there are people in the New Testament who are carnal and are not living under the regime of law. Christians are not people who just follow a bunch of rules. We progress to experience conversion of heart. This is a real power that works in us now. The redemption of the body is not an eschatological but a historical reality. We cannot return to the state of innocence. Christ's words on the sermon of the mount become for each of us, the power of mystery of redemption. Historical man is called to live conjugal union as part of the mystery of redemption. We have to fight the tenacious heresy of manicheeism. We must content our inveterate habits, based on the heresy of manicheeism. This sprang from dualism, the split of body and soul. It saw matter as evil and condemned everything that was corporeal. This also meant a condemnation to marriage and conjugal life. It said that the spirit was good and the body was bad. In has infiltrated the minds of Christians since the 3rd Century. There are many tenets of Manicheeism that would pass as normal from the pulpit. How many people think that the Church negates the values of sex? The theology of the body is a decisive time for the Church to exorcise the demon of manicheeism from Catholic moral theology. Christ does not devalue the body and sexual desire but reclaims God's beautiful desire within it. Christ sees the body as a value not sufficiently appreciated. The problem with our culture is not that it overvalues sex, but our culture has no clue how valuable sex is. The body is so good our brains cannot fully comprehend how good they are. Christ demands detachment from the evil of lust. The error of manicheeism lies in it being assigned to the evil in the body rather than the evil disorder of the heart. This is the difference between orthodox Christianity and heresy. The redemption does not immediately remove the consequences of sin. We still get old and suffer from concupiscence. The reality of concupiscence is that we should not hold the human heart in continual suspicion. The masters of suspicion (Freud, Marx) did not believe in the transforming power of the Gospel. Christ has set us free from the domination of concupiscence. Some people think that the Church teaches pie in the sky idealism. God's grace is all powerful. The cross should not be emptied of its power. It is not just a theory but something I know. The Cross of Christ is much deeper. God's commandments are not here so that we may be miserable, but he gives us these commandments that these joys might be in your and your joy should be full. We must learn to open our hearts to this invitation. Anybody can walk up to a piano and play random noise on the keys. It takes a real concert pianist to tickle the keys to lift the music to the heavens. Behind the pianist is mature spontaneity. Anyone can make just a bunch of meaningless noise. This is like lust. A husband and wife, through discipline and asceticism can discern the difference between love and lust. Lust crucified can spontaneously transform a heart and make beautiful music that lifts towards the heavens. This can be learnt with perseverance and consistency. We can learn in books or the abstract but what is really needed is through hearts and transformation to really learn this. People have not been educated in the real power of the redemption. Lust in the heart does not mean one's only options are repression or indulgence. We should open your heart towards the redemption. Lust is the twisting or distortion of something that God gave us. We should thank God for the gift of sexuality. When we are crucified with Christ, we experience the resurrection with him. The only way to get to Easter Sunday is through Good Friday. Why is Friday called good when on the day the most heinous crime was committed? The biggest good was committed on this day.
Our sins must be ready to die. In being crucified you will know a real freedom. Freedom comes according to the Holy Spirit. We want to see the world and body as God sees it. When we open our hearts and bodies to a power beyond us and that is present in us, this is what purity of heart is. It does not matter where you have been or what you have done. As much as concupiscence darkens the heart, life according to the spirit can lighten it. Purity of heart is possible. It is a manifestation of divine beauty. Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see the sign of God's mystery revealed through the body. To the pure all things are pure. Purity is the glory of the human body before God. Purity is not just the adherence to chastity and temperance. It is more positive than negative. It is more and more perfect to the dignity of the human body. So many people turn away due to the negative dimension of purity. Purity must mature to assert the true dignity of the body. We have the ability with the way we look at others in order to build them up or not. In mature purity, a man enjoy the fruits of victory won over by lust. It is possible to control one's own body in holiness and honour. The true efficacy of the Holy Spirit is the gift of simplicity, explicitness and interior joy. This kind of purity is a kind of maturity of authentic love. You were called to freedom. Do not use your freedom to be servant but to be a gift to one another. Do not submit then to a yoke of slavery. Do not use your freedom as an opportunity to serve the flesh. Freedom is necessary to love. The other side of freedom is the capacity to sin. Personalism has an emphasis on self determination: we perceive the possibility of virtue and the sublimation of lust towards the truth of love. A society that talks about freedom being about whatever you want to do is more orientated towards slavery rather than freedom. Freedom means the choice to say yes and say no. If you cannot say no, what is your yes really worth? True freedom brings liberation. This calls me to do good. Thank God we have merciful love. Can the naked body be portrayed in art without offending dignity? It absolutely can. The responsibility of the portrayal of the naked body in art is a delicate problem. It is a gift that can be threatened into an anonymous object of abuse. The artist must see the true dignity and nuptial meaning of the body. The intention of the artist is very important. If he only wants to fuel lustful desires he is not helping to see the nuptial meaning of the body. The manner in which the body is portrayed is very important. It is important not to divorce the object of the body from the person. It is important to overcome limits of shame. We can do this only with a proper resistance. Pope John Paul in the restoration of the Sistine Chapel called from the removal of the loin cloths. The Sistine Chapel is the sanctuary of the theology of the body. Pope John Paul's homily at the restoration of the chapel reminded us of the evocative words of Genesis that they were “Naked without shame.” We must promote the dignity and beauty of the human body, not be ashamed by any suffering involved and be ready for the resurrection, even in this life. Eschatological man First, we looked at the origins and history of man. This gave an adequate anthropology. We now look to the destiny of man. In the gift of redemption, we are gradually inflating our tyres. In the eschatological reality, we find a new dimension of human existence. When Pope John Paul talked about eschatological man, he mixed his Carmelite mysticism with phenomenology. The resurrection of the body is a key component of the Christian faith. Many people have an erroneous view of the human being. Some see man as a shell from which to escape. Our bodies will die and return to dust. One day again they will be raised. The resurrection of the body is the reply to the historical inevitability of death. Plato had the idea that heaven was the liberation from the body. A human soul needs a body to express itself, even in heaven. It is an obscenity when death separates the two. Ghosts and corpses cause horror because the body and the soul belong together. Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus. Death is an obscenity that is a cosmic reality. When Jesus had a discussion with the Sadduccees, his response to their question on the resurrection was that people neither marry or are given in marriage in heaven. Marriage will not be done away with but brought to ultimate fulfilment. Marriage is a foreshadowing of the sign that points towards heaven. Heaven is the
eternal marriage of the lamb. This is the fulfilment of original solitude. It is the only thing that will ultimately satisfy. God made us for himself and our hearts do not rest until they rest in him. We should not make the union of sexes an idol. If we do we lose sight of the heavenly ideal. We come to worship the creature rather than the creator. The union of the sexes is not the be all and end all. Every lie or heresy has a certain degree of truth. God gave us sexual desire. It is like a nuclear power of the soul. When misused, it is a human desire for heaven gone berserk. Our engines are inverted, liked imploding rockets on themselves when we close in on ourselves. We live in a planet of 6 billion people who are trying to make sense of their deepest desires and aspirations. The true blessings of a wonderful marriage are only a foretaste, not the full thing. We are called to ultimate fulfilment and to be grounded in a deep union with God. One human being would be crushed with this expectations to fully burden them. Marital union is a sign, an analogy a foreshadowing of what is to come. Marriage and procreation do not determine the fundamental fulfilment of being a body. They give a concrete reality in the dimension of being history. The earthly marriage is a preparation for the heavenly marriage. The body in its ultimate meaning is a marriage of God. We need to give oneself to and unite with another person. Marriage is only a tentative solution to original solitude. Celibacy for the kingdom is another attempt to solve the problem. The resurrection will be a completely new experience. Pope John Paul was someone who had been completely beyond the veil of the mystery of God. As a mystic, he had an understanding of the essence of the beautific vision, a range of experience of love. We can only express this mystery in words that groan. Humanity is not nullified but comes to fulfilment with the proper and appropriate meaning of the body and sex. We experience the perfect integration of body and soul if the life of God incarnate is within us. The primacy of the spirit is not at the expense of the body. There is always the tension of experience within the spirit. If we live according to the spirit and not the flesh, it is not that the possibility of sin will cease. This is not doing away with sin, because serious sin is always possible. We have inherited a very dualistic way of seeing the body and soul. Pre Cartesian cultures did not divide the reality into two mutually divided capacities. Descartes initiated angelism when he said that all that mattered came through his own thought. We have inherited this and placed our modern interpretations into the authors of the Bible. It is entirely erroneous to think of the body as good and the spirit as bad. Both the body and the spirit are capable of being spiritual. We receive divinity as a gift. Through the mystery of bread and wine, we share in the divinity of Christ. We will participate in the divine nature. Our small little brains cannot really take this in. Jesus Christ is the human face of God and the divine face of man. The beautific vision will bring us face to face in union with God. The mystery of God is through the body because it alone is capable of making visible what is invisible. God is a person not a concept. God is the divine subject who makes the gift of himself to us. He gives the reciprocal gift of himself to us. This is a mutual exchange- completely and definitely beautifying. There is an ecstasy in the eternal dimension. God gives himself totally to us. We are the only creature that can receive the totality of God. God gives the whole of himself, we come to share. In the communion of the human and divine, we have the body's capacity of expressing love. We have little idea of what heaven will really be like. Heaven might be like a state of perpetual virginity. The Virgin Mary lived in perfect union with God. We use our freedom to aspire to enter into perfect communion with God. Celibacy for the Kingdom
In part one of theology of the body we look at who we are as human persons. In part two we look at how we are supposed to live. Original man was the way humanity started. After the fall, we slowly tried to reintegrate body and soul. We needed to re inflate the tyres and follow the signs. Marriage and celibacy are two particular signs in which a Christian recognises two specific ways to love. There are an actuation of the most profound truth about man: that he is created in the image of God. This is not to reject those who have not worked out their vocation. Everything we have talked about applies to everyone. We can also make a vocational choice to be single in the world. This is also a valid choice if it is chosen in service to others, and not to indulge in selfishness. If we choose to sacrifice for others this can bring forth good. A single person can live out the nuptial meaning of the body. Marriage is not the only way to live out the nuptial meaning of the body. Celibacy is an eschatological pointer towards the wedding of the lamb. We only gain this understanding after seeing the sacramentality of marriage. Christ's words to the Pharisees wanted to see God's plan of marriage from the beginning. Some say if I have to be married to one woman for the rest of life it is better not to be married. Marriage for the Israelites fulfilled the covenant. Jesus said that some were Eunuchs from birth, some were made so by men and others made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of heaven. This would have been utterly shocking to the Israelites. It would have meant that they could not participate in the covenant. Jesus says that continence can also be a voluntary choice for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. The spousal analogy is in the eternal marriage of the Lamb. Those who choose to be celibate for the sake for the kingdom skip the sacrament for the sake of the ultimate reality. All energy and desire for reality is made for the marriage of Christ and the Church. A consecrated celibate steps outside of history. He proclaims the Kingdom of God is here. To avoid some major confusion about vocation: it is not what he gives up, but it is what he embraces. This involves sacrifice, but it is also embracing the heavenly marriage. One skips the foreshadowing of it in order to embrace the ultimate fulfilment. Christ refers to celibacy, specifically in the context about the discussion with marriage. Earthly continence towards the body talks of the glorification for the kingdom of heaven. One is witness among men that anticipates the future resurrection. Many people say that the solution is to get rid of celibacy. The only solution is the solution of celibacy: that is then we have any clue of what sex is about on earth. Consecrated celibates are a reminder of what we are destined for. We can only be satisfied in the marriage of the lamb. This is how we know the meaning of life. Christ's words do not express a command. The general rule is that people marry. The Church forces no one to be celibate. It must be a free choice in order to be authentic. Christ did not say he will force some to be Eunuchs. Christ's words are voluntary and supernatural. They involve a personal decision. Celibacy is unnatural because it is supernatural. Celibacy can only be lived with supernatural grace. Marriage also can only be lived with the gift of supernatural grace. For the Jews, marriage is a spiritual point because of the promise to Abraham. Celibacy is a way to live the nuptial meaning of the body. By remaining in solitude before God, a celibate chooses to remain in the ache of solitude before God. “It is not good for man to be alone.” We know that it is not good. I am going to press in that ache, so that I understand in a more concrete way that the only thing that can satisfy that ache is God alone. We are destined to be a partner with the absolute. Celibacy is about marriage with God. We are destined to marital union with God as part of the covenant of God. The fulfilment of solitude shows union of God is the only thing that fills man's longings. Celibacy is not a rejection of communion, but a call to live out communion in a different way. When Christ speaks of making himself a eunuch, he does not seek to hide the anguish that it can have on a man or woman, because of noble inclinations of nature. This brings anguish in sacrificing that ache of the solitude. Christ did not say it was going to be easy. Celibacy demands the breaking away from the good of marriage. Self sacrifices are indispensable if they are going to
be fruitful in the long run. The idea that vows of celibacy should be taken away due to infidelity does not make sense. What happens when we apply this theory to marriage? We should never compromise truth because we all struggle. We are called to live more in fidelity and turn to Christ. There is more margin for error in marriage because a married man must use his sexual faculty in a pure and holy way, and there is little definition for what that means. Celibacy and marriage flow from the same understanding of the redemption of the body. Marriage must never be understood as a legitimate outlet for concupiscence and having to repress it for the rest of one's life. Everyone is called to overcome the inclination towards concupiscence. It is only when we are overcoming concupiscence that we can discern a vocation. Celibacy is not just about formation, but also for transformation. A person who has experienced how Christ has set us free, celibacy not only becomes a possibility, it also becomes quite attractive. Christ gives us grace for your whole life to live. Whatever your vocation, you will still have to deal with the struggle of lust. Concupiscence is the disorder of the human passions. The solution to the Church's scandal is the theology of the body. It will help us to crawl out the mess made by the sexual revolution. “Oh happy fault that won for us so great a redeemer” will turn into “Oh happy sexual fault that won for us so great a theology of the body.” A person who wants to live a celibate life must experience freedom from lust. St Paul called for people to marry who could not exercise self control. It is true that marriage is a remedy of concupiscence. Marriage is all about life giving love. It is a sign to the spouses as an ethos. St Paul does not devalue marriage. St Paul also wanted to spare us of the troubles that couples have and he offered us his personal opinion. Celibacy is easier because there is less of a margin for error. Celibacy is also the superior vocation. St Paul said that each has his own special gift from God. Many have erroneously thought that where celibacy is good, that means marriage is bad. The idea that sex is impure and unholy is an idea that is bordering on heresy. The superiority of continence over matrimony never meant the belittlement of marriage. We do not find any reason for disparagement of marriage in the words of Christ. Marriage is the normal and the natural while celibacy is exceptional. The challenge is to find your gift and what it is that you have been given. A celibate vocation is a path to holiness, don't reject it. A married life is a path to holiness: do not reject it, but live it and receive it. Everyone must be faithful to his gift. The offer of that gift is a grace from God. Everyone must be faithful to their gift. One must seek the gifts that are proper to that vocation. Even if a man struggled with same sex attraction and has not experienced freedom from lust, it would not be good for him to be a Priest. If you are bound by lust you cannot be a gift to others. One must be sufficiently geared towards Christ his bride. The only freedom of the gift is to be free to be a bride of Christ properly. Marriage and celibacy do not divide the Christian community into two camps. The perfection of the Christian life is based on your whole desire about the marriage of the Lamb, not on whether you are having sex. Celibacy is a more direct participation in the marriage of the lamb, only by way of anticipation. The virtue of sacrificing the one flesh union and how valuable it is does demonstrate how wonderful it is. It is the tension of already but not yet. Virginity is not the absence of union but the perfection of union. Celibacy is dis valued when marriage is dis valued. The sexual revolution devalued both marriage and celibacy. If we don't understand the nuptial meaning of the body, we won't understand either vocation. We must be aware of what we are renouncing first. Every woman is called to motherhood, in either a spiritual or a physical sense. The nuptial meaning of the body bears us towards a deeper meaning of the body. It preserves the integral truth of the body without losing what it means to be human. We are in desperate need for the meaning and dignity of our bodies. This will help our world to heal from our wounds. The marriage of Mary and Joseph is a sublime paradox. Their marriage was one of profound spiritual fruitfulness. Christianity is full of paradoxes. God is three in one persons. Two become on
flesh. To be rich you must sell everything to be poor. To live you must die. Mary and Joseph live the celibate vocation and the married vocation at the same time. Mary and Joseph's marriage is the marriage of heaven and earth. They live both vocations. If we comprehend their marriage, our brains would explode and splat all over the walls. Joseph is the foster father of Jesus. He fully shares in authentic human fatherhood. He was not an adequate image to God the father. Joseph was not perfect. Joseph points towards who the father is to us all. Celibacy allows us to be even more of a gift to others. It is not a burden, but a joy. There is a statue of St Teresa of Avila who is in ecstatic union with God. There is also suffering in marriage as well as celibacy. The sacramentality of marriage Marriage is a covenant of grace. We can see in the sacramentality of marriage a total vision of the human being. Ephesians 5 is a key and classic text where the meaning of universe is contained. We see the greatness and dignity that God has bestowed on our bodies. This passage is a crowning theme of themes. There is a clash between how the world sees Ephesians 5 and how the Church sees Ephesians 5. The passage is a great mystery of spiritual warfare. It is a call to take up arms in a great spiritual battle. St Paul calls us to gird your loins with the truth. God has a salvific plan for humanity. Ephesian 5 is a compendium or summa in the teaching about God and man brought to fulfilment in Christ. It makes man aware of his supreme calling. It is a central theme in the whole of reality. Ephesians 5 reminds us that Christ fully reveals man to himself. We can try to understand how much richness in truth is contained in the scope of this wonderful passage. It is the meeting of divine mystery with the vocation to marriage. The logic of this marvellous text frees our way of thinking, and it does not devalue the thinking of the body or sex. Carnal love is meant to express the language of Agape. So many people contrast the language of Eros and agape. The nuptial meaning of the body is also the meaning of God's love. Eros is meant to be transformed by the carnal love of agape. The carnal union of spouses leads to agape. In Ephesians 5 we have a head and body analogy. A husband is the head of the wife. Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself. In heaven there is one Christ loving himself. We are Christ's body. Christ is the head and we are the body. The husband is the image of the head and the wife the body. Headship is not about domination as this is not what St Paul was getting at. Headship must not be like the gentiles who Lord it over their subjects. The master must be servant of all. Only the husband who is servant of his wife can claim authority. The husband and wife become one person, one subject without blurring individuality. There is perfect unity and perfect distinction. The husband and wife are lost and absorbed in another. The head and body analogy is of the bride and groom. The wife is a symbol of the Church. God loves us first. Our love of God is always a response to his love. But no husband is perfect like Christ. The nature of marriage makes it similar to the marriage of Christ and the Church. The analogy of an earthly spousal analogy is inadequate, but perhaps it is the least inadequate analogy we have. It helps us to penetrate the very essence of the mystery. Some people are critical of Pope John Paul's hypernuptialism. There are other ways to explain how God loves us. But Christ did not become incarnate as a vine or shepherd but as a bridegroom. The relationship between shepherd and sheep is not a sacrament. The spousal analogy is very efficacious in putting us in reality with the splendour of God's love. Ephesians 5 is illuminated by the supernatural life. It helps us to understand the meaning of the body, masculinity and femininity.
The passage that claims that wives should submit to their husbands has sometimes led to a feminist revolt. This is entirely understandable if we deny the git. This would make God a tyrant. If man, who is meant to image God, is also a tyrant, women are justified in saying I will not be dominated by your sin. Male domination is something that has marked human history with sin. St Paul is in no way justifying sin. He is calling men in particular to ensure the balance of the gift. He is calling man back to be the original man. St Paul calls married couples to be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. To be subject to one's spouse means to be mutually given. It means mutual subjection. It is the reciprocal donation of self. Christ is the profound and mature model of subjection. St Paul outlines how there is a difference between male and female. Husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. This means they cannot treat them like doormats! Christ came not to be served but to serve, and lay his life down for his bridegroom. Wives should allow their husbands to serve them. The deepest desire of the human heart is to be loved in this way. To be afraid of the word submission is to miss its evangelical genius. Submission means to be under the mission sent with authority to give a particular service. St Paul called for Christians not to live as the Gentiles do. He called for Christians to be renewed in the spirit of their minds, calling them back to the original image. He was trying to restore original man. The husband is above all he who loves, the image of he who loves. The wife is she who is loved. Men can come to see their wives as an image of the Church. The attraction for a woman should be not to grasp her, possess her but to bless her. This blessing is not to lust after her, but to genuflect before her. A woman is part of the living God, the Church. Every woman is a living Church, who can have a living Church dwelling within her body. Whenever you are tempted to lust, remind yourselves that women are made in the image of God and pray to see a woman as an image of the Church. Pope John Paul II said that if a husband is to truly love his wife, he should not allow intercourse merely allow to serve his climax. He must take the difference between the sexes into account. He should attempt the climax to occur simultaneously. This should not be for hedonistic reasons, but for altruistic reasons. Men have a shorter and more violent arousal, for this reason an act of virtue is required for patience and self giving in the sexual act. Sexual arousal in a woman is more slow. It is a virtuous act to contain your own climax to help bring your own wife to a simultaneous climax. It is possible to seek pleasure of the other for altruistic reasons in service. This is a more and more accurate symbol of the eternal joys that are to come in heaven. Physical beauty is a metaphor for holiness. The Church should be holy and without blemish. In today's obsessive search for physical beauty, what we are really looking for is holiness. We must beg God to see other people purely. If husbands cannot see the beauty of their wife, in the midst of her blemishes, you cannot be said to love your wife as Christ loved the Church. Men should not make women try to attain some impossible standard of beauty. A woman's stretchmarks are beautiful because that is where she has said yes to you. We have been lied to time and time again about the meaning of the body in our culture. How many men prefer the fantasy of porn to their own wives, because they have bought into those lies. Christ's redeeming love can go deeper than any of this. We must beg God to see other people purely. Husbands have the challenge to see the beauty of their wives, in the midst of her blemishes, if you cannot see the beauty of the wife, you cannot be said to love your wife as Christ loved the Church. Some people are attached to an
impossible striving towards beauty. The great mystery of God is the mystery of the inner trinitarian life. God desires to share his mystery. How does God do it? He does this under the veil of signs and symbols. A sacrament is that which makes visible the invisible. That which is revealed in Christ was hidden in God in all eternity. The body enters the definition of being a sacrament. God uses the sign to communicate signs. The Catechism says that we need signs to communicate with God. A sacrament consists in the manifesting of signs. We need to proclaim the mystery but also to accomplish the efficacious gift of self. The body is capable of making visible the invisible love of God. We must proclaim the mystery but also accomplish the efficacious gift of self. God helps us to participate in the invisible mystery of love. The incarnation was not merely a response to sin. The incarnation is in the centre of history. We can only understand history and the future in light of the incarnation. Christ is the key and centre of the universe. He is the centre of everything and we are blessed with every spiritual blessing. In the supernatural world of the Father, these plans precede the original plan of man. The Father has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing. Marriage is a necessary precursor for us to live in communion with God. The redemption is the source of man's supernatural endowment. The mystery of Christ casts light on creation. From the beginning, God envisages the glory of a new creation in Christ. The incarnation was always part of God's plan. We live in a fallen world. What would happen if we didn't live in a fallen world? This is in the realm of speculative theology. Marriage is an efficacious sign of God's saving plan for us. We see a foreshadowing of Christ's union with the Church. The reality of married life is a sign that sums up the whole mystery of creation. The one flesh union is the oldest sign of the love of God. Ephesians 5 is a summa of the mystery of God and man. The passage is keystone to the meaning of life. The union of man and woman and the union of Christ and the Church is one great sign and one great sacrament. This is the divine plan in the creative world. God's plan of life and love continues despite the effects of sin. The one flesh union is a sign that points towards the meaning of life. It is the mystery of God in all of eternity. God's eternal plan becomes a visible reality through the nuptial union of the spouses. We should not make an icon out of this idol. We are so interested in sex, this is what we see when we untwist the lies about sex. This is why the devil attacks right here. The original grace was lost through original sin. Now we need Sacraments to restore what was lost. All of the sacraments remit sin. Every single human being is longing for union. We have always been looking for something. The sacrament of creation prepares us for union with Christ. Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. Grace is not only remission for sin, but allows us to have a real relationship with God. All of the sacraments are like marriage, because they are all nuptial and allow us to join to the bridegroom. The entire Christian life, unite us with the nuptial mystery in love of Christ. The Eucharist is the sacrament of the bridegroom and the bride. The man images Christ with his body. This is why only a man can be ordained a priest. The physical confers spiritual reality. The spousal significance of the body is that true authentic nuptial love redeems and heals us. Christ not only redeems us with his body. We share in the work of creation and the work of procreation. The nuptial love share in the work of redemption. A wife's love heals me. It taps into the exacting of who I am. Her love is so genuine she heals me. All woundedness comes from lack of genuine love. Healing can come from a real experience of real authentic love. Marital love is redemptive in Jesus Christ. The goal of married love is to get one another to heaven.
We are called to love as God loves. We are wounded because of original sin. Christ is coming into life as bodies. In marriage as for others becomes redemptive. The sign of married life does not happen at the exchange of vows, but at the moment of consummation. The Pope says that really the sign is both. It begins with the exchange of the vows. In conjugal intercourse, marriage then passes into reality what was meant with those vows. Intercourse is where the words of marriage become flesh. All of married life is a sign of Christ's love for the Church. Consummation is an expression of the sign. It is a sign that consummates the sign. Intercourse is the sign of the sign of marriage. All of married life is a gift. This becomes most evident with the union of one flesh. Sexual intercourse is the very particular expression of this sign. The body is the manifestation of the spirit. This means unity and assumes the reality of the sign. The language of the body means that the body speaks of the mystery of God. Man in his mystery and vocation is called to love as God loves. We cannot express this without God's love. Man and woman are ministers of the sacrament of marriage. They are called to express the meaning of their bodies. The language of the body is meant to proclaim agape: the mystery of God's love. The language of the body is prophetic, because a prophet is one who speaks for God. When the spouses proclaim the language of the body they participate in the prophetic mission of Christ. We must be careful to distinguish between true and false prophets. If we can speak the truth of the body, we can also speak a lie. One can speak lies with the body. Judas gives Jesus a kiss in the garden. Satan is the father of lies. He wants us to speak lies with our bodies. This is precisely the goal of the anti word. He wants us to speak lies with our bodies. We no longer speak lies with our bodies. This is what is at stake with sexual morality. Sexual union is meant to express the words of the body. How healthy would a marriage be if one is continually unfaithful in the marriage vows. If concupiscence causes many errors in the reading of the language of the body, in the sphere of the ethos of redemption there always remains a possibility of changing from converting error to truth. We rediscover true meaning of body and existence. Do not be afraid to leave the lies you have lived. Put them aside. You will be living your true nuptial gift. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Thank you Jesus that you saved us from sin. Love and fruitfulness First we have outlined an adequate anthropology: about the origin, history and destiny of the human person. This has been applied to all aspects of the human person. This was then applied to celibacy, marriage and the immorality of contraception. Questions about Humanae Vitae permeate as the sum total of this catechesis. The entire catechesis can be considered totally to reflect on Humanae Vitae: on human life. What is at stake in the debate on contraception is the very meaning of human life. The Bible includes an ode to erotic love. 2 Timothy states that all Scripture is inspired by God, that it is profitable for teaching, for truth, correction and training in righteousness. The song of songs is good for training us in righteousness. Pope John Paul was critical of those who rush to criticise the song of songs, making it spiritual or fictional rather than physical. The song of songs contains an exhaustive understanding of the sacramental sign of marriage. Both Eros and agape in involved in the love between the spouses which is both spiritual and sensual. The references in the dialogue of lovers is about hearing, loving and tasting one another. There is a profound connection between sex and eating. Both drives keep us alive. We need to eat to live, and need to reproduce to keep alive. What is a passionate kiss of lovers really saying? I want to taste you. I want to eat you. I want to consume you. I want to take you into myself to become part of you. If you are what you eat. This is why lovers nibble one another. The Eucharist is the mystical marriage between Christ and his
Church. This marriage is consummated by eating his blood and body. Some of the greatest theologians have enjoyed the book of song of songs. The “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh” is developed in full dialogue. The point of departure and point of arrival is the bride's femininity and the groom's masculinity. The attraction of the other person generates love. The attraction between man and a woman is raw material for love. Genuine love springs from mutual attraction. Love unleashes a special experience of the beautiful. This involves the entire person. It gives rise to mutual satisfaction. Both mutual attraction and the body in and of themselves are good. When we recognise the beauty and goodness of another person, we can see something genuinely beautiful. This lifts our sights to the heavens. The eloquent lover in the song of songs refers to his lover as a sister and that his heart is ravished with one glance. The word sister signifies the union of mankind, and the difference in feminine originality. The word sister signifies a disinterested tenderness, the sincerity of his desire, not an object. In a brother sister relationship they share a common humanity. This love matures later in life. To see a beloved as a sister presents a kind of challenge. This is precisely the point where people say that you do not do that kind of thing with your sister. But also, you should not lust after your bride. This is the challenge for men. One of the tragedies of dating is that immediately the expectations of romance and intimacy are present from the start. If you haven't come to know the other person as a sister or brother, this is missed and a relationship is based not on genuine love, but lust. Lust cannot unite two people. It does while the gratification lasts, and then something else comes along. The root of the problem of divorce is lust. The main threat to communication is selfishness. Often lust is at the root of this miscommunication. When we learn how to overcome lust, we truly learn how to communicate through communion. A lover describes woman as a garden enclosed and a fountain sealed. This metaphor recognises woman as the master of her own mystery. Every person is a mystery. This metaphor recognises that if a man is to enter into her garden, he cannot barge down the door. He cannot manipulate the woman into handing in the key. By offering the gift, and knocking one is brought to the sincerity of the gift. One is open to receive and the free opening present a risk for the man. She might refuse the gift. Jesus initiated a gift when he died on the cross. He was nailed to a tree and gave his body for us. He was refused. Love never violates the love of another person. The lover is open to receptivity with a freely given yes. The language of the body is read in truth, it keeps pace with the interior inviolability of the person. Ladies are master of their own mystery. If anyone is trying to barge down the door, do not surrender the key. Do not give yourselves to someone who does not have the key. They are not interested in going to the cross. Husbands who are addicted to pornography do not know how to love or how to care. Men must respect women as masters of mystery. This is a priority for men. In the book of Tobit, Sarah has seven husbands before Tobias. Before the consummation of their marriages, each man was struck dead. An angel comes to Tobias and he wants to take Sarah as his wife. He lives because he prays to desire God's original plan. He prays that he is not taking this sister of his because of lust, but with sincerity and that he should be granted mercy, and grow old together. Only the permanent total gift of self can be mirrored with the gift of self. Tobias wanted to live with Sarah for the rest of his life. In the face of authentic marital love, death has not a chance. In the face of life and death, Tobias and Sarah are unhesitating in facing this test. In the nuptial embrace is the embrace of life and death. Will you image God or will you not? If you cut yourselves off from God you choose death.
Sex is the renewal of wedding vows. If this is not the case with your body you are promising something that you do not recognise. In the film Vanilla Sky, Tom Cruise's girlfriend tells him after they engage in pre-marital sex, “Your body is making a promise even if you don't.” Genuine love prefers to die than ever to commit evil. The truth of the power of love is that love has confidence in the victory of good. Love is victorious because it prays. The true language of the body is liturgical. Marital life is liturgical. Liturgy is the participation of the people of God in the work of God. The work of God is to love as God loves. This is the Church's celebration of divine worship. The act of sex is profound in the marital relationship. The gift of oneself to another is an act of worship. The marital bed can be viewed as an altar. The offering of bodies as a living sacrifice is a spiritual act of worship. When spouses live this out, they live this out with one another. The liturgy involves man's sanctification with signs perceptible to the senses. All of the sacrifices go through the good times and the bad. Married life is liturgical as the marital union could not be any more holy. Man and woman encounter a great mystery through the union of two that become one. If the idea of bringing God into the bedroom cramps your style: is that a style of lust or an act of love? God is love. To keep God out of the bedroom or fear of bringing God into the bedroom is the case for many. Many people have little idea of why God is part of the action, why he is intimately involved of why he should be. The Lord is the giver of life, it is he who is the Holy Spirit, active and present in the marital union. Spouses are not free to assign to their own meaning of the act. The meaning of the act has already been given by God. A pastoral concern means the true pursuit of what is good for man. This is a true understanding of what is good for human love. An ever clearer understand of human love is not to diminish in any way the saving teaching of Christ. Counterfeits can never satisfy. The essential evil of the contraceptive act is that it causes a rupture in the order of the person. One chooses the pleasure of the climax, but will not take the responsibility of the act. Is a woman going to be loved for her own sake if the man wishes her fertility did not exist right now. The idea that you will only have sex if you sterilises yourself brings the human person to the level of animals. This brings a rupture between body and soul. The inner truth of the communion of persons has been cancelled out. There is a law of gradualness in the progression with which we gradually come to understand these truths. However, the law of gradualness must never be compromised with the gradualness of law. It is possible to understand the immorality of contraception through reason. What one learns in the theology of the body is the deepest theological reasons for the immorality of contraception. Couples are called to be prophets in saying that God is life giving love. Couples that engage in counter signs become false prophets. The language of the body is changed from prophetism to counterfeit. Christ called on forgiveness for those who did not know what they did. There is no justification for people to be beaten over the head with the hammer of correction. Better still is the invitation to embrace one's own greatness. We are made in the image and likeness of God, we share in communion with him and married love is the foreshadowing of our union with God. We can speak the truth with our bodies. With the act of contraception, a blasphemy is given saying that God is not life giving love. In order to sin you have to know that it is wrong. Most people learn the language of the body in a construction site. They do not know the real meaning of the body because they do not know what they are looking for. We need to help them understand what they are really looking for. This does not mean that they have to be perfect tomorrow. A man and woman express a yes every time they unite in the sexual act. If a husband and wife were regularly unfaithful in their wedding vows, what would their relationship be like. Those who live in the ethos of the redemption bear themselves as a sign of the mystery of
redemption and creation. They live it as an ethos of the heart. They have no desire to use contraception because this is what the grace of God has the power to do. Some would prefer to be crucified that to use contraception and contradict the meaning of love. A counterfeit can never bring happiness. Does this mean you must have loads of kids? The Church calls for responsible parenthood. One cannot speak of acting arbitrarily or leaving it to chance. A married couple must work in conformity with every intention. God has a plan for every couple to live in conformity. This does not mean every family has to have 14 kids. Some prudently and generously decide to have a large family. Some couples for serious reasons and due respect for the moral law may decide to space children for an indeterminate period. The one flesh union is a sign of the kingdom. Not everyone is having sex right now. There is nothing wrong with abstaining from sex. Most people do this 99.9999% of the time. Abstaining from sex can be an act of love. There are many situations where a couple has a reason to abstain. If on of the couples was sick, abstaining would be demonstrating love for the other. Immediately after childbirth may not be the best time to bring life into the world. We are free as human beings to choose whether to have sex. If we do have sex we must conform to the will of God. How is it possible to decide whether or not to have a child? The guideline is responsible parenthood. This requires a conscious effort and an estimation of the good of the family and the good of the Church. The Church teaches that this must be the decision of the married couple themselves. They must arrive at these judgements before God. No one can read the hearts of others. Some people think they if they only have two children, they really must not trust God. There might be reasonable reasons for spacing births. The use of interfile periods can be used to space children. What is the morally correct level for the number of children? This is a dangerous and flawed question. There is a danger of believing that larger families are what makes families holy. Every child comes into the world because God wanted them to. If a husband could not control himself, this is not an act of virtue. The loving thing for a husband is to have self mastery. For parenthood to be responsible, the decision to avoid sexual union during the fertile time can be legitimate. We can space children, but should make sure that this desire does not come from selfishness. Responsible parenthood may include the willingness to accept a larger family if you prudently feel that this is what you are called to do. Natural fertility awareness can be used like contraception. The main calling of married love is procreative love. There might be religious reasons to be non procreative. You cannot be antiprocreative. Woman is a model of the Church. If you choose to enter my Church, God if it is your will, let there be life! The sterilisation of the womb would be to desecrate and violate its very meaning. If one sterilises the act- it is an anti procreative act. The difference between this and with either abstaining or using natural fertility awareness is cosmic. It is like the difference between miscarriage and abortion. God is the Lord of life. You take the powers into you own hands and make yourself God. God is always God with natural fertility awareness. You accept the way that God made you. You like the way that God made you. A man says to his wife, “Honey, I love your ovaries.” He loves the very fact that she could get pregnant. Contraception does not love the way that God made you. The wife's fertility is a curse. Any couple who lives the Church's teaching speaks a message about the natural law. Natural law is sometimes confused with the impersonal law of nature. Natural law pertains to man's rational participation in the divine law. This is the free participation in God's plan for our lives. Freedom
distinguishes us from the animals. When we tinker with human freedom, we tinker with natural law and other human persons. The body is not some sub human natural thing. The body is personal and biological laws involve human personality. The Church is sometimes accused in its teaching on contraception of reducing ethics to biology. When we tinker with our bodies we also tinker with our persons. Natural law refers to man and the integral truth of his subjectivity. This brings us to the fidelity of the creator. The divine person is the source of order and law in the universe. We are made in the image and likeness of God. God's love is not sterile. God's love is generous and this is why God gave us genitals, to participate in generous, generating love. Our fertility is stamped right into our bodies. We can tinker with God's design for human happiness. The teaching of contraception is not only based on natural law but also on the scriptures. The story of Onan is about how he spilt his seed and God slew him as a test of life and death. Contraception impedes the expression of love for a spouse. A true appreciation of the gift of fertility fosters authentic conjugal love, which upholds a love that merges the human and the divine. The whole of Humanae Vitae is about a God who has revealed himself as love. God shows his love as father , we are called to express a love of God and Father. Original sin attempts to abolish fatherhood. Contraception attempts to do the same thing. Couples who use natural fertility awareness express a love which rejoices with the truth. It is a love in which spiritual joy is expressed. Couples behold this as very God. The role of authentic love consists in the protecting the true communion of spouses. The power of love is expressed in this. God is not schizophrenic in having respect for the body. Marriage and conjugal love are ordered to the be-getting of children. Sometimes it is difficult to reconcile these two. The difficulty arises when man is lowered to concupiscence. The concupiscence of the flesh does damage to the body. Love comes when concupiscence is overcome. What happens when contraception is used is that we are contradicting loving as God loves. This is when the conjugal act is contradicting God's love. We are called to love as God loves. How can it be an act of love if we don't want God to be part of it. God is love. We want to be the masters of our own decision. It is virtue that makes us truly free. The practice of continence can be a virtue. The relationship between ethics and ethos is once again important. You can follow the rules of NFP without living the truth of conjugal love. Continence must be practised as a virtue and through the desire to uphold virtue. Only one is mastery of his decision is capable of true love. If on cannot say no, what is a yes really worth? If we cannot say no, your yes means nothing. Contraception was not invented to prevent pregnancy. We already have a 100% safe and reliable method of doing that. It is called abstinence. Contraception was invented by men because they didn't want to abstain. There is no other reason. It was invented so that men and women did not have to be masters of themselves. Man can only give himself to others because he is a master of himself and has self control. If this is not the case, he has stooped to the level of animals. Continence is not merely a technique. It is a definitive and permanent moral attitude of being in control of one's desires. This guides those desires towards the truth of love. A virtuous person tends towards good with all the spiritual and sensory powers. Continence is not about putting one's sexuality in a cage, but keeping them in check. A virtuous persons sees the transformation of desires. It is the reordering of the passions to experience as loving as God loves. This makes it possible to have self mastery and joy in leading a morally good life. A good man is he who voluntarily practices truth. A person who wants to succeed in this way must be committed to the progressive education in the will, in feelings and the most simple acts in which to put the moral position into practice. Asceticism and fasting is about gaining self mastery. Eating disorders are connected with a misunderstanding of the true dignity of the body. There is hope of healing for those that have eating habits.
To grow in virtue, you have to be realistic and know where you are. You start small, then grow and you know yourself. When we talk about virtue, it is not just about natural capacities. Some virtue is given by grace. Self mastery is a renewed effort at all stages of life. Continence is not only the ability to abstain, we must also have a positive understanding of it. It is positive both in content and character. It is an exacting and long work. When we are mature in self control and character, we no longer need to keep desires locked up in a cage because we desire what is good. The first manifestation of conjugal chastity might be resisting the lust of the flesh. Those who indulge in lust are like making a noise on the piano, just banging on the keys, because they do not know what love truly sounds like. Chastity does not impoverish the manifestations of affection but enriches them. Both man and woman when they move away from concupiscence experience a new language of the body, altogether unknown, it frees one away from the tensions of sex. We must be willing to die in resisting any temptation to indulge lust, even in marriage. Humanae Vitae brings a view of married life, marked by Christian realism. Sacraments inject sanctity into our lives. They respect the transcendent power living within us. They help us to have profound respect for the gift of piety with awe and reverence for God and creation. We are called to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. In married life, the Holy Spirit stirs up an attitude of respect in the couple. This profound experience of respect for the other is part of the interior resonance of chastity. Couples then are not afraid of divorce or infidelity but chastity reaches the unrepeatability of someone that no one can replace. You don't just love the characteristic of someone, but know that your spouse is unrepeatable. Relationships based on characteristics will always be based on shifting sands. This is because someone is not loved for who they are. True love through chastity reaches the unrepeatable nature of a person. You know that no one else can replace you, even if your bum sags. This is part of the respect for the work of God. It comes from God, and leads the couples to respect the dignity of the conjugal act. They are filled with veneration for the conjugal act. This brings veneration for the majesty of the redeemer, the spousal love of the redeemer. Humanae Vitae brings an authentic marital spirituality. They open their flesh to the indwelling of the spirit. The mutual union of when spouses become one flesh is that they participate in the life of the trinity and live life according to the spirit. They become one flesh and welcome the Lord, the giver of life. Every child is a manifestation of the work of the Holy Spirit as a sign of the redemption and sign of eternal life. The sign that the couple says when they render their act sterile is I do not want eternal life. Culpability is not assigned. I prefer the momentary pleasure of a sterilised orgasm to the participation in the inner life of the trinity. This is a bad choice. If you know what you were choosing you would not do this. Marital spirituality is best lived by the grace that comes from the Sacraments. This is the most infallible and indispensable. Marriage and family life is enhanced by the power of prayer. Grace that flows from Eucharist and Penance is an indispensable part of living the truth. Contraception is the antithesis of an authentic marital spirituality. It is a no to the mystery of redemption. It brings a subjective lack of understanding to the understanding of the exceptional conjugal act. God's love is an invitation, and encouragement of a merciful redeemer who wants to forgive you. This leads to a profound awareness of the sanctity of life and the mystery of creation.
Theology of the body a key component of the new evangelization
The future of the family passes by way for the family. The renewal of Christian life can only come about through the renewal of Christian life. Pope John Paul's theology of the body provides the antidote to the culture of death. It is a theological foundation for the new evangelisation. As a fresh theological proposal, it compelling demonstrates to the world the full truth of God's plan for the body and sexuality. Far from being prudish or repressive, it brings a liberating and redeeming ethos, that corresponds deeply with the desires of the human heart. The theology of the body is not just about sex and marriage but demonstrates truth and existence that has ramifications for all of theology. It challenges us to think of sexuality which speaks of the divine. Cardinal Angelo Scola has said that virtually every thesis in theology can been seen in a new light by the rich personalism that is implied in the Theology of the body. Few theologians have taken up this proposal. The Church has barely begun to unpack and develop this theology. It can be applied to all areas of the Church's realm. Few priest preach on such themes, but theology of the body has over 1000 Biblical references. One can take any Sunday reading which is related to the message of theology of the body. Yet there are a microscopic percentage of Catholics who know about the theology of the body. But numbers are growing. You now have a particular responsibility to promote this important message. The essential message of the theology of the body is that God is love and that we are made in his image. It is how we reveal the plan of love in the world. The theology of the body contains a wealth of mysteries that keep on deepening the more you come to learn. It is impossible to comprehend everything. But do not be discouraged. The anti life heresy has threatened to destroy our culture at its roots. John Paul has attempted to vanquish this attack by a theological exegesis on the economy of salvation. The theology of the body might be remembered as a pivotal moment in the life of a fledgling Church. Pope John Paul said that the twenty-first century would be a century of religion or it would not be a century at all. In 1976 he said that perhaps we are experiencing the highest level of tension between the word and anti word in human history. This could be the last lap in denial since the knowledge of good and evil between them. Our Lady of Fatima says that in the end her immaculate heart will triumph. Pope John Paul was the greatest influence in the whole world in bringing the fall of communism. In 1982, he went to Poland to preach to people who had been oppressed and appealed to the dignity of the human person as something that nobody can snuff out. He talked of the happiness and fulfilment which brought a revolution, bringing down the Iron curtain. The sexual revolution has brought far more carnage than Marxism. But slowly a new revolution is starting that is bringing down the culture of death to build a culture of life. There are many parallels between Communism and the Sexual Revolution. The Berlin Wall was a barrier between east and west, perhaps as the biggest symbol. Likewise, pills, injections, plugs, surgical implants and sterilisation are a barrier between a man and a woman. But we are already seeing the first signs of the falling of the wall. The culture of death cannot continue much longer because it has already rotted on the inside. Christians are people of hope. We have faith in God our father. God is preparing a great springtime of Christianity. You can already see the first signs. There is a burning desire to know the meaning of life and to share it with others. This is a sign of true hope. 2,000 years ago 12 people changed the world. We will change the face of the earth. Everyone is longing to hear the message of the Theology of the body. The whole world is a mission field waiting to soak this up. It is not a new message or a new program. The program already exists and is the same as ever. The new evangelisation is directed to areas that have historically been Christian but have lost their faith. A baptised non believer is a new phenomenon. Christianity in some places is just a cultural thing because it has lost it meaning and purpose. Vatican II was a call for the Church to return to the living experience of faith. Evangelicals can really complement Catholics with their real relationship
with Jesus Christ. Catholics have many gifts to learn from us and vice versa. The Gospel should be brought with a new ardour, methods and means of expression. The cry of the new evangelisation should be “Do not empty the cross of its power!” The new evangelisation is an effort to come to a deeper understanding of the newness of faith. When we come to a new understanding of the mysteries of faith we also need a meaningful way of communicating them. The Church is called to announce, bear witness and the communion of holy witness. The Gospel message is stamped into our bodies. We are called to love as God loves. We are called to union with God and must incarnate the Gospel in our way. We have to get in touch with human questions: what does it mean to be human? Modern rationalism is divorced from Christ. It does not tolerate mystery. It does not accept the complementarity between male and female. It does not acknowledge the full truth revealed to man that has been revealed in Jesus Christ. It radically opposes Ephesians 5. It holds a vague deism belief of a supreme being. God became man in order to save man. Jesus is a redeemer and also a bridegroom. When man loses sight of a God that loves him, when families do not share in the mystery of the God of love, things are reduced to a mere temporal dimension of life. Earthly life becomes a mere scenario for existence and financial gain. He who dies with the most toys wins. Theology of the body reunited us with the great nuptial mystery. This is the reply of the Church to modern rationalism. Christ fully reveals man to himself and reveals the sham of modern rationalism. Christ is the bridegroom of the ultimate mystery of the sacrament of life and love. This is where the religion of the God became man encounters the religion of the man who made himself God. Those who reject the nuptial mystery reject the God who is greater than we are. Those that say “I think, therefore I am,” hear from the God who says “I am who I am.” God gives us great gifts when we turn to him in love. At the beginning of a new millennium, we cross a threshold of hope and are entering a new springtime and new Gospel of life. We are in the passover between the culture of death and the culture of life. The theology of the body is not a formula. It is about a person. It is about a theology that has taken on flesh. We shall not be saved by a formula. At present we are in a collision of forces of good and evil. What is at the heart of this battle and clash is the man and woman's call to life giving communion. The one who will win this great clash is the one who welcomes the gift. When Christ returns, will he find faith? Faith in its greatest sense is the openness of the human heart to the gift of the Holy Spirit. Sin denies the gift. Faith welcomes the gift. Sin is the opposite of faith. Mary is the bride without spot or wrinkle. All glory be to the world made flesh who welcomes the gift. The mystery of original sin The following is in the realm of speculative theology. We cannot know with certainty what the original sin was, because it is not specified in the Bible. However, this does not mean that we cannot ask questions about them. We must keep in mind that we can never know about mysteries fully. Below is a provocative theory of original sin. The theory is laid out clearly, with the arguments. This is not to be taken as a certainty. Don't dismiss the conclusion but challenge the arguments. How do we understand original sin? The story uses the symbolic language to understand the fall, using fruit and a tree. Original sin was a definite act of disobedience. As it is a mystery, symbols are the only thing we can use. All of our reality is sacramental: we live in a world of visible signs that communicate the invisible mystery of God. The whole human story is a drama, learning to
accurately read signs, sacraments: who God is and who we are. The Genesis text is loaded with symbolic meaning. The serpent enters the garden. Many theologians have talked about the sexual imagery or innuendo. The serpent can be considered a phallic symbol according to this theory. The garden is often used to talk about a lover's womb. In the Song of Songs, we read, “You are a garden enclosed.” The imagery is sexual in some sense. A serpent has entered the garden. Some who have read the genesis text believe that sex caused the fall. In essence, original sin is the falsification of the truth about God and man. In formulating a hypothesis about God and man, we are looking for a sign. Symbolism communicates deeper meaning. Sin is an antisign that contradicts the meaning of God and the meaning of humanity. This takes place in the human heart. We also speak of human sin as pride: pride is an internal reality and also an external manifestation of pride. By eating the fruit, Adam and Eve took into their being a lie. As they took this fruit into themselves, the act of original sin is pride both inwardly and outwardly. Man was tempted by the devil and let the trust in his creator die in his heart. His disobedience of God was an outward manifestation. In sin, man chose himself over and against God. We don't want to be like the creature, we want to be like the creator. We are like God, but in original sin was without God, and not in accordance with who God is. This involved the denial of the gift. The devil tempted man to believe that if he ate from the tree he would be like God. The implication here was that God did not want us to be like him. God already created us in his image. In essence, sin is a negation of God as creator and what God wills for us in the beginning and forever. God wills nuptial union for us. This is the eternal mystery of God. This is in and through the primordial sacrament. Heaven is the eternal consummation. In sin, man rejects this gift of God. Original sin is not the first sin in the step of things. Original sin gives birth to all other sins. It is a parental sin. The parents of the whole human race gave birth to sin. In order to uncover the plot of Satan, we must try to think with the mind of Satan. God creates nothing that is evil. Lucifer fell through pride. Satan beheld the eternal plan of God to divinize us. He became envious of us of the plan to divinize us. The incarnation was not an afterthought. From all eternity God planned to take on flesh. This was not a consequence of our sin. Satan had a desire to see the plan of God. He could not accept the idea that beings lower than the angels could be raised higher than the angels. Angels would then be called to serve en-fleshed creatures. Angels are called to serve us. We each have a guardian angel. As human beings, we are both spirit and matter. We are breath and dust together. The eternal son would take on flesh and divinize us. Satan wants us to serve him and reject the plan of God. His motto is non serviam: I will not serve. Satan's plan is built through a denial of God's plan. This might be through separation, denial or divorce. The symbolic plans to bring together, unite and combine: this is God's plan. This world sees the combination between the symbolic and the diabolic. Satan wants the sign to be the anti-sign. Man's relationships to God also is highly symbolises. In the union of man and woman is the efficacious symbol of Christ. God's plan is through the gift of himself. This is through union, communion and marriage. We all contain the mystery of God within us. This is revealed in and through our flesh. This is a call of life giving communion. Satan's goal is the attack on the communion of God and man. With the attack on the symbol: the man and the woman sin and death entered man's history. Man and woman was created and call to become one flesh. There is great meaning in sexual complementarity. Man is called to go out of himself to make a gift
of himself to his bride. The gift of complementarity is also part of the male embrace. It is the man who proposes to the woman. This is symbolically very important because man gives the gift of life. Woman receives the gift of life. In receiving this gift, she also gives the gift of life. In this way, giving becomes accepting. The mystery of giving and receiving brings about the communion of persons. This shows us in a particular way in the image and likeness of God. Mankind gives, receives and accepts. Right from the beginning, we were given the blessing of fertility. Original sin cannot be properly understood without the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God. Sin consists in pride, a denial and negation of being made in the image and likeness of God. Original sin is a contradiction of what it means to be created in the image and likeness of God. Sexual complementarity is part of God's plan. God is symbolically masculine and initiates the gift of life. All of humanity is symbolically feminine because we conceive the gift of divine life within us. Just as a bride conceives new life within her, we are made to receive the gift of divine life within us. Woman is representative of the whole human race. We must thank every woman for being a woman, for being a symbol for mankind telling all of us to receive the gift of God's life within you. Mary is the fulfilment of humanity. Mary received the gift of love as a whole being. She received divine life within her. That is why she is our model and mother. Edith Stein was a big influence on John Paul II. She is under consideration for being named a Doctor of the Church. The narration of creation is full of mysteries in which we cannot consider here. Why was it forbidden to eat fruit? What fruit was given to the husband to eat? Why did the tempter approach the woman first? God gave us 2 commandments in the garden. The first was a positive commandment: be fruitful. The second was a negative commandment: do not eat the fruit. These two commandments are linked. They are the flip side of one another. This is interesting to ponder. George Weigel has said that in Genesis chapters 1-3, sexuality, procreation and moral choosing are all intimately linked. Satan proposes moral relativism. The symbolic meaning of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil is there. There is a close relationship between sexuality and communion. Adam and Eve lacked knowledge before the fall. The significance of knowledge is important here. Adam and Eve had some concept of evil prior to the fall. Man experienced original solitude and nakedness. They proclaimed a knowledge of good in the original conjugal union. Through original sin woman is brought pain in childbearing and man is brought suffering in tilling the ground. Both male and female sin in the fall. There is a clear distinction of roles in the punishments for original sin. The tempter first tempted the woman. This was not because woman is more easily induced towards evil. Is it because he has easier access or because there is a greater significance with the woman. The original sin is a rebellion of our creation as creatures. Satan tempts woman to believe that God is not gift. The goal of Satan is to reject our subjectivity to our gift. This convinces the one who embodies the receptivity of the gift. The woman embodies receptivity to gift. If there is easier access to the woman whose receptivity is subject to fear and vulnerability. Satan wants to teach us that God is not a gift, and to negate the significance between sexual difference as this is where we learn the distinction between God and creature. Satan works to distort the way we think, God is placed into a position of suspicion and accusation with the idea that he does not love us. Sexual complementarity is symbolic of the union of God with humanity. Satan's goal is to get us to reject position as the one who receives because God initiates. In temptation we take a homosexual
relationship with God. God is already the masculine initiator. In rejecting God's imitation, we aim to take life on a par with him. Sigmund Freud said that a sexual activity was perverse when it was independent of the orientation towards procreation. A contraceptive act is a union with variance with the original order. It is an anti sign of gift and sign of God's love. Original sin consists in rejecting God's love. Generation embodies the gift. The book of genesis describes the generation of life with God. All generation is like the generation of life in God. We share in the eternal generation. Spouses participate in the creative power of God. This is part of the eternal mystery of generation. The Father generates the son and from their love comes the mystery of eternal generation. This is the overflow of life giving love. The eternal mystery of life giving generation is through the triune God. Procreation is rooted in creation. It is a reproduction of the mystery of creation. God is our creator. We have a call to live in co-operation with him as co-creators. This is how we image God. The call to be fruitful is to live in the image in which I created you. The mind of Satan wished to keep us from God's gift of life and love. How is mystery of life in the world demonstrated? How do we make visible life and love? The sign of the mystery of creation, God wants to make the anti sign. Satan wants to make it a sign of anti love. The witness to creation is through the witness to love as the source of self giving. The body tells us the mystery of God's creative love. This happens in and through the body. The child is the one flesh union reality that the parents have become. Original sin was part of the beginning of untruthfulness. Satan's goal is to falsify creative love. The rejection of love that determines our beginning in nuptial union is part of Satan's plan to negate our beginning. He wants to wipe us out and take us out. This reminds us of our receptivity. God is the giver of life and love. We must receive the gift of life from him. We are in a position of receptivity to him. Where is Adam in the story of the fall? A serpent has entered the garden. This is the sanctuary of God. It is attacking his bride. Was not Adam in charge of guarding the garden? Is eve's womb a garden? In the Song of songs we read “You are a garden enclosed, my sister, my bride.” The womb is also a sanctuary. Satan's attempt is to deny creation. In his envy he wants to impede the whole thing. Women is destined to bring the son to the world. Something profound is going on here. Man's role as father is also attempting to be abolished in the world. Satan is aiming at fracture, separation and disunity in order to impede our divinization. His goal is to devour the child. Each time that motherhood is repeated in history, in the woman, we see a struggle for every human being in their yes or no to God. Either a yes or no to God's eternal plan for humanity. Satan's attack is against the woman. Redemption is the flip side to the fall. Woman brings about a yes to God in eternal life giving communion. Mary's fiat is yes to conceiving life in the womb. Original sin might have been a no to the gift of life. This is precisely what Satan wants from all humanity. Both Eve and Mary are approached by Angels: Lucifer to deny God's life and Gabriel to receive God's life. Lucifer is the anti-annunciation. He does not want us to be divinized from ourself. Satan is the anti word. In original sin, Eve denies receptivity to God. Original sin abolishes fatherhood. Satan's anti word claims that God is not gift, not life, not generous and this negates the son. Satan's goal is to destroy
the son. If God is not father, he has no son. Satan's goal is to deny the son. The Antichrist is the one who denies Christ come in the flesh. When Adam and Eve reject God the image is one of sterility. Rather than image the life giving generosity of God, they have become an image of non life. They decide themselves what is evil. When temptation came, they denied God as father. A contraceptive couple who intentionally sterilise an act of intercourse perfect the anti sign of the nuptial mystery. In 1968, moral relativism entered the Church. An intentionally sterilised act is the devil's language. It makes the sign the anti-sign. It is a negation of the act of the creator. It falsifies creative love. The attempt to abolish fatherhood and motherhood is a denial of the incarnation. Contraception denies man's creaturely status. I will decide whether or not whether life is life giving. The language of the body can also bring the language of Christ. A woman who intentionally sterilises says let it be done to me according to thy will. Every human being is a reminder of the word made flesh. The original sin may have been contraception. All sin participates in denial. We are looking for the parental sin committed by parents. Nuptial meaning deals with our origins. It talks how we come forth towards life and love. The denial of the nuptial meaning of the body is an efficacious anti sign. We can see in our world the chaos that has come from contraception. But even right after origin sin, we read the proto evangelium, redemption is immediately linked to the woman in childbearing. The proto evangelium proves that original sin does not destroy love. Despite the devil's attempt to deny creative love by evil, the new Adam and Eve undo original sin. The no of original sin is overcome by the redemption of the second Adam and Eve. Eve accepted the anti word, but Mary believed God's word and conceived that word within her. St Paul states in 1 Timothy 2:4 that woman was deceived, but she will be saved through childbearing. Life giving communion was restored at the cross. Our sin can be the denial of the life giving nuptial union. Satan did not foil the plan of God. Satan wanted to obliterate the son. But through the greatest abomination, the greatest good is unleashed. At Golgotha the cross became the tree of life. The cross is our hope for the power of life. In 1884, Leo XIII had a vivid dream where he saw Satan ask God for 100 years with which to obliterate the Church. As a result he wrote the St Michael the Archangel prayer. Paul VI is quoted as saying that the smoke of Satan had entered the Church. On the 25th July 1968 the dignity of human life was upheld. A culture that rejects humanae vitae plays out the same denial of original sin. The issue over Humanae Vitae is the struggle for the value of the meaning of life itself. With contraception, women reject their femininity to be like men, men want to be like God and divorce and fatherlessness become rampant. The world is facing the greatest confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church most starkly in our day. We are called to proclaim life giving love. Faith is the openness of the human heart to the gift of God life. When the son of Man returns, will he find faith on earth?
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