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Theology of the Body. John Paul II Developed in 129 General Audiences. A 4 Year Catechesis: 2 parts. A study of Christ's words on marriage and their implications for the redemption of the body,

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theology of the body

Theology of the Body

John Paul II

Developed in

129 General Audiences

a 4 year catechesis 2 parts
A 4 Year Catechesis: 2 parts
  • A study of Christ's words on marriage and their implications for the redemption of the body,
  • An analysis of the sacramentality of marriage as presented in Ephesians 5, with added insights from Humanae Vitae.
in the beginning genesis account
In the beginning…Genesis account
  • God created man and woman
  • To love one another
  • To bear children

1st homily given on Sept. 5, 1979

2 accounts of creation in genesis
2 accounts of creation in Genesis
  • Original solitude (indicating dignity and relationship to all other forms of life)
  • Like God -in need of relationships
  • Original innocence and fall (need for redemption)
  • Superior qualities of consciousness and abilities to make moral choices
meditation on adam s sleep
Meditation on “Adam’s sleep”
  • A new wonderful being created: woman
  • Complementarity ((Nov. 21, 1979)
  • Mutual perception: without shame in their nakedness, as good, and a mutual gift, part of the good gift of God's creation
  • Nuptial meaning of the body: a union and unity that is holy
the person as sacrament
The person as sacrament
  • Created in the image of God, man (Adam and Eve) entered the world as a primordial sacrament,
  • a sign to the visible world of the invisible mystery hidden in God, the mystery of truth and love, the mystery of divine life,
  • in which we all participate
adam knew eve his wife gn 4 1 2
"Adam knew Eve his wife" (Gn 4:1-2).
  • mutual "knowledge" between the first man and woman
  • full awareness of the mystery of creation
  • in human generation (children)
understanding marriage and procreation
Understanding marriage and procreation
  • as Christ answered the Pharisees on divorce, we get a vision of the human person, male and female, called to fidelity
  • in the Sermon on the Mount, called to generosity
  • adultery can be committed in the heart
  • adultery, a breach in the unity of husband and wife, even if only by an interior act ("adultery in the heart")
  • JPII cited the case of David and Bathsheba
  • three-fold lust: of the flesh, of the eyes, and the pride of life, by which God's original covenant was broken by humans
the results of the fall
The results of the Fall
  • The shame experienced by man and woman after the fall expressed a deeper shame, called "cosmic," reflecting a new disorder in nature, by which not only was the relationship between man and woman affected, but the relationship between body and spirit
signs of sin s affect
Signs of sin’s affect
  • They feel shame toward each other, their communion is weakened, and man will exercise dominion over woman
  • Their relationship was corrupted by lust, which includes the desire to possess the other, rather than receive him/her as a free gift.
purity of heart
Purity of Heart
  • necessary condition for charity and true freedom
  • St. Paul's teaching on purity, in 1 Thes. 4: we should control our bodies in holiness and honor
  • I Cor. 12. The human body is more than the sum of its biological characteristics. It is permeated by the "whole reality of the person and of his dignity.“
  • The virtue of temperance includes an element of respect for the body, as a temple of the Holy Spirit
dignity of the human body
Dignity of the human body
  • Reinforced by the notion of the resurrection of the body after death
  • Choosing celibacy/continence for the Kingdom does not denigrate marriage or the human body
  • Marriage and celibacy are differing vocations
ephesians chapter 5
Ephesians chapter 5
  • Marriage, as a sacrament, signifies the relationship between Christ and His Church, and before that, the spousal love between God and God’s chosen people.
  • This affirms the sacredness of the marital relationship and the human body.
language of the body
Language of the body
  • In its masculinity or femininity, the body is a personal gift to one’s spouse
  • Marriage is a sacrament instituted by the Creator at the beginning. It is the sign of God's original covenant, according to which man, both male and female, would be sanctified and adopted by God.
  • It strengthens the marital covenant.
humanizing love
Humanizing love
  • On the basis of a love which is both spiritual and sensual, the significance of the body is elevated to a great mystery.
  • Respect for life and responsible parenthood are central to the sacrament of marriage.
  • Prayer, penance & Eucharist are sources of spirituality for a married couple.
virtue of chastity
Virtue of chastity
  • Regulates manifestations of affection
  • Opens the couple to the gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • They are enabled to achieve a communion of persons.
humane vitae teaching
Humane Vitae teaching
  • The gift of piety
  • Respect for the work of God
  • The significance of the conjugal act, "its dignity and the consequent serious responsibility connected with it."

Last presentation given 11/28/1984

love and responsibility
Love and Responsibility
  • First written in 1960 by Fr. Karol Wojtyla (later named Pope John Paul II)
  • Translated into English in 1981, 324 pages
  • Love is demanding and generous; it is the opposite of using another human person.
“As a young priest I learned to love human love. This has been one of the fundamental themes of my priesthood—my ministry in the pulpit, in the confessional, and also in my writing.”