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Old 22nd July 2009, 12:08 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default Theology of the Body: lecture 12

12. Fullness of Interpersonal Communication

"What is shame and how can we explain its absence in the state of original innocence, in the depth of the mystery of the creation of man as male and female? From contemporary analyses of shameŚand in particular of sexual modestyŚwe can deduce the complexity of this fundamental experience, in which man expresses himself as a person according to his own specific structure."

Shame can be positive or negative:
{4:25} For there is a shame that brings sin, and there is a shame that brings glory and grace.

In one sense, shame can be negative, as when one is ashamed of one's sins.

In another sense, shame can be positive, recoiling from anything that would be shameful. Shame can refer to modesty, to sexual restraint, to an understanding of the limits of sexuality, to an acknowledgement of the dangers of sinning seriously in regard to sexuality.

The popular version of Theology of the Body teaches the opposite of what JP2 teaches on shame. The popular TOB teaches no shame at all and no restraint between husband and wife in the marital bed.

Adam and Eve before the Fall were naked, but were not ashamed. They were not immodest. Rather, there was no danger of sexual sin of any kind while they were in a state of original innocence (no concupiscence, no personal sins). But after the Fall, shame has the good purpose to assist us in avoiding every kind of sin, small and great, pertaining to sexuality, and to assist us in giving sexuality its proper and limited role in human life.

JP2 views shame as, to some extent, helpful to humanity:

"The analysis of shame clearly indicates how deeply it is rooted precisely in mutual relations, how exactly it expresses the essential rules for the "communion of persons," and likewise how deeply it touches the dimension of man's original "solitude.""

He also refers to shame as 'sexual modesty'.

He focuses on God and interpersonal communication, not on sexual acts, in discussing male and female:

"The whole biblical narrative, and in particular the Yahwist text, shows that the body through its own visibility manifests man. In manifesting him, it acts as intermediary, that is, it enables man and woman, right from the beginning, to communicate with each other according to that communio personarum willed by the Creator precisely for them. It seems that only this dimension enables us to rightly understand the meaning of original nakedness."
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Old 22nd July 2009, 06:30 PM
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Sacredcello Sacredcello is offline
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If shame entered into the world through the Fall, through Adam and Eve's disobedience to God, through the awareness of the possibility of sexual sin, then it would be extremely naive and foolish to teach that shame is bad and to be avoided because it does not reflect our original innocence. Unfortunately, this is precisely what is being taught by popular TOB authors Christopher West and Gregory Popcak.

Shame is a healthy warning signal to avoid danger, although it can be distorted and misunderstood. Jungian psychologists recognize this. One of my favorite books is called Women Who Run With the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. She deals with this topic through the telling stories from the folk literature and oral traditions.

If we don't have our sensors on for sexual sin, we are left in a weakened condition. Maria Goretti did not make this mistake, though she gave her life to protect her attacker from committing a grave sexual sin against her.
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Old 25th July 2009, 09:52 AM
Therese Therese is offline
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Ron,I have now read lectures1-12 on Theology of the Body,no questions from me.Thanks,Therese.
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