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Theology of the Body. Education in Love and Human Sexuality. Office of Family Life Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. A Problem, Diagnosis and a Solution:. What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose on earth? Is this what we are made for:

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theology of the body

Theology of the Body

Education in Love and Human Sexuality

Office of Family Life

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend


A Problem, Diagnosis and a Solution:

What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose on earth?

Is this what we are made for:

Relativism: the belief that there is no ultimate, objective source of meaning or truth

Individualism: an outlook on life in which the individual is the ultimate source of his life’s meanings; freedom means doing as one pleases; self-reliance and independence

Hedonism: pursuit of bodily, sensual desires and goods; maximization of pleasure

Materialism/Consumerism: pursuit of material goods as source of meaning; continual acquisition of goods or services in increasing amounts

This kind of life might be pleasing for a while…but think of our culture;

Rich young man; St. Augustine; St. Francis; Dorothy Day;

#1 Injury-related death? (2010)

christ fully reveals man to himself gs 22
Christ fully reveals man to himself… (GS, 22)

No we shall not be saved by a formula, but by a Person, and that assurance which he gives us: I am with you!...It is not therefore a matter of inventing a new program. The program already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and the living Tradition, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its center in Christ Himself, who is to be known, loved, and imitated, so that in him we may live the life of the Trinity and with him transform history until its fulfillment in the heavenly Jerusalem.” (NMI, 29)

do you want to be mediocre
Do you want to be mediocre?

“(Holiness) implies the conviction that, since Baptism is true entry into the holiness of God through the incorporation into Christ and the indwelling of His Spirit, it would be a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and shallow religiosity…The time has come to re-propose wholeheartedly to everyone this high standard of ordinary Christian living: the whole life of the Christian community and of Christian families must lead in this direction.” (NMI 31)

holiness is participation in god
Holiness is: Participation in God
  • Lumen Gentium 39, 42:
  • Therefore in the Church, everyone whether belonging to the hierarchy, or being cared for by it, is called to holiness, according to the saying of the Apostle: "For this is the will of God, your sanctification".(215) However, this holiness of the Church is unceasingly manifested, and must be manifested, in the fruits of grace which the Spirit produces in the faithful; it is expressed in many ways in individuals, who in their walk of life, tend toward the perfection of charity, thus causing the edification of others; in a very special way this (holiness) appears in the practice of the counsels, customarily called "evangelical."  (LG 39)
holiness is love given and received
Holiness is: LOVE given and received
  • Everybody feels the longing to love and to be loved. Yet, how difficult it is to love, and how many mistakes and failures have to be reckoned with in love! There are those who even come to doubt that love is possible. But if emotional delusions or lack of affection can cause us to think that love is utopian, an impossible dream, should we then become resigned? No! (Benedict XVI)
  • -Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it. This, as has already been said, is why Christ the Redeemer "fully reveals man to himself". If we may use the expression, this is the human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption. In this dimension man finds again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to his humanity. In the mystery of the Redemption man becomes newly "expressed" and, in a way, is newly created. He is newly created! (RH 10)
so what is love
So…what IS Love?
  • What do you think?
who is god
Who is GOD?

God is LOVE; a communion of Persons, bound together as Lover, Beloved, Love in eternal exchange of love

There is only one source, and that is God. Saint John makes this clear when he declares that “God is love” (1 Jn 4: 8,16).  He was not simply saying that God loves us, but that the very being of God is love. Here we find ourselves before the most dazzling revelation of the source of love, the mystery of the Trinity: in God, one and triune, there is an everlasting exchange of love between the persons of the Father and the Son, and this love is not an energy or a sentiment, but it is a person; it is the Holy Spirit.

Contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity leads us into this mystery of eternal Love, which is fundamental for us. The first pages of the Bible say, in fact, that "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him"; that is, "male and female he created them" (Gn 1: 27). For the very reason that God is love and man is his image we understand the person's profound identity, his vocation to love. Human beings are made for love; their lives are completely fulfilled only if they are lived in love (Benedict XVI)

kinds of love
“Kinds of Love”
  • CS Lewis
  • Karol Wojtyła

My dear young friends, I want to invite you to “dare to love”. Do not desire anything less for your life than a love that is strong and beautiful and that is capable of making the whole of your existence a joyful undertaking of giving yourselves as a gift to God and your brothers and sisters, in imitation of the One who vanquished hatred and death forever through love (cfRev 5:13). Love is the only force capable of changing the heart of the human person and of all humanity, (Benedict XVI)

  • God is LOVE, a communion of persons
  • We’re made in His image to Love: which involves our whole being, body, soul, intellect, will, emotions, etc.
  • We are called to image God’s love in a communion of persons
  • There are different kinds of love
  • Our lives are senseless without knowing, experiencing, giving, receiving, love
  • Highest form: self-giving, reciprocal love
  • So, how do we do this? Know thyself…
the three stages of humanity femininity and masculinity
The Three “Stages” of HumanityFemininity and Masculinity
  • “When we speak of original human experiences, we have in mind not so much their distance in time, as rather their foundational significance. The important thing, therefore, is not that these experiences belong to man’s prehistory, but that they are always at the root of every human experience.” (11.1)
  • Read Gen. 2:7-9; 15-25
original solitude like adam we are created to love god before and above all else
Original Solitude: Like Adam, we are created to love God before and above all else
  • “The created man finds himself from the first moment of his existence before God in search of his own being, as it were; one could say, in search of his own definition; today on would say, in search of his own identity.” (TOB, 5.5)
  • Man undergoes a “test” before God and himself: “Through this ‘test’ man gains the consciousness of his own superiority, that is, that he cannot be put on a par with any other species of living beings on the earth.” (TOB, 5.4)
  • This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. (GS 24)
  • “The structure of this body is such that it permits him to be the author of genuine human activity. In this activity, the body expresses the person.” (7.2)