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Old 1st August 2009, 12:30 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default Theology of the Body: lecture 14

14. Revelation and Discovery of the Nuptial Meaning of the Body

"God-Yahweh said—"I will make him a helper..." (Gn 2:18). The first man said the same thing. After having become thoroughly aware of his own solitude among all living beings on earth, waited for "a helper fit for him" (cf. Gn 2:20)."

The relationship between man and woman is a figure of the relationship between Christ and the Church. The Church was created to help Christ spread the Gospel. But the relationship between man and woman is also a figure for the relationship between God and Creation. God decided not to be alone; there is a certain goodness in God creating a universe, and especially persons with intellect and free will, who are like God. Adam could have been happy alone, in one sense, because he had original happiness; but then too, there was a certain lack of goodness until Eve was created. God could have been happy alone, in an unrestricted sense, but He chose to create the universe, bringing a goodness beyond Himself into existence by His own power out of nothingness.

'It is not good for man to be alone' refers to first to the relation between man and woman, but also to the idea of the individual versus the community of persons: the whole family, the Church, society in general.

"This purely anthropological verification brings us, at the same time, to the subject of the "person" and to the subject of the "body-sex." This simultaneousness is essential. If we dealt with sex without the person, the whole adequacy of the anthropology which we find in Genesis would be destroyed."

The above quote from JP2 serves as a rebuke of the popular version of TOB, which over-emphasizes sex, to the detriment of the whole person, of the community of persons in general, and the God-humanity relationship.

The popular version of TOB tends to emphasize sex so that, even when the teaching is entirely true, it errs by what it omits. For example, when TOB is teaching that sex before marriage is wrong, there is an over-emphasis on sex. One cannot teach people how to behave morally merely by saying what not to do. Then when speaking about sex within marrriage, again there is an over-emphasis on sex, so that the true teaching that sex within marriage is good errs by omitting its proper and limited place within the whole husband-wife relationship, and within the relation between the married couple and God. As a result, the husband wife relationship is distorted.

Notice also that JP2 emphasizes that Eve was created to be a helper to Adam, just as the Church was created to help Christ spread the Gospel, just as Mary was created to help Christ accomplish our salvation.

But what happens in the writings of many theologians, not only in popularized versions of TOB, is that husband and wife are described as having a false kind of equality. Truly, man and woman are equal in that they have the same nature; and this is the most fundamental type of equality, since your nature is what you are. This is the same basis for equality as found in the Trinity; the three Persons have the same Nature and so they are equal. But to ignore the simultaneous inequality between husband and wife is a serious error. The husband has a different role than the wife. This is clearly taught by the Saints, by Scripture, by the Magisterium. Yet many theologians use various means to erase this difference in roles. And the result is a distortion in our understanding of the roles of Jesus and Mary in salvation. Mary's role becomes exalted to be almost the equivalent of Jesus' role, with some lip service paid to his role being greater. The Magisterium becomes exalted as if it were God. The Church is no longer seen as a helper to Christ, but as if His equal. The misunderstanding in the relationship between husband and wife results in misunderstandings in the relationship between Christ and the Church, and between Jesus and Mary.
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Old 1st August 2009, 12:39 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,584

"There is a deep connection between the mystery of creation, as a gift springing from love, and that beatifying "beginning" of the existence of man as male and female, in the whole truth of their body and their sex, which is the pure and simple truth of communion between persons."

Again, notice the proper place given to sex within the greater goods of the whole person and the communion of persons.

"Masculinity and femininity—namely, sex—is the original sign of a creative donation and an awareness on the part of man, male-female, of a gift lived in an original way. Such is the meaning with which sex enters the theology of the body."

"Uniting with each other so closely as to become "one flesh," they will subject their humanity to the blessing of fertility, namely, "procreation," which the first narrative speaks of (cf. Gn 1:28). Man comes "into being" with consciousness of this finality of his own masculinity-femininity, that is, of his own sexuality."
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