Welcome to Theology Thursdays
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
Happy Thursday Ladies!
Yup, that's right! We have another new series coming your way! Welcome to Theology of the Body Thursdays (TOB Thursdays for short)! Every third Thursday of the month we will be diving into a small snippet of this incredible teaching given to us through St. John Paul 2!
Now, this isn't something new that the church decided to come up with. This has been given to us from the beginning and is set fundamentally in the scriptures. St. JP2 enlightens our understanding of why we were created, what our purpose is, the beauty of what it means to be human, the beauty of our sexuality and ultimately what is God's plan! St. JP2 is truly a POWERHOUSE...and let's be real, he is pretty much the THE MAN...when it comes to TOB. Many might think, "what would a celibate pope know about sexuality and the body? what does God even have to do with my body?" These questions and more are what this series is about!
Today I want to briefly introduce a very important key concept: human person = body AND soul. Many of us have grown up with this idea of the spirit/soul is good but the body is bad. This, unfortunately, has become one of the biggest heresies in the Catholic Church for centuries. It really took a huge impact during the time of Rene Descartes (a philosopher) who coined the well known phrase, "I think therefore I am." There became a huge split where people started to believe that the soul was your true self, and the body was just a temporary casing, if you will, that you have during this life and then dies and you never see it again. Anything to do with the body, and more importantly desires, became bad and "dirty".
BUT FROM THE BEGINNING THIS WAS NOT SO! God created us not just soul...but BODY AND SOUL. St. JP2 explains, "The human body can never be reduced to mere matter. It is a SPIRITUALIZED BODY, just as man’s spirit is so closely united to the body that he can be described as an embodied spirit” (“Letter to the Families, #19). The body and spirit are so intimately connected, and they cannot be separated. There is only one moment when they will become separated, and that is at death. But what is interesting is how St. Thomas Aquinas describes what we become during that separation. He calls us “incomplete persons at death.” Why would we be incomplete if the body and soul are just two separate things? It’s because they are not! For us to be complete we need both!
We, as human beings, are a very unique creation. We are both spiritual and physical matter. With this incredible abandonment towards the body, St. JP2 really focused on bringing extra emphasis on the meaning and goodness of the body.
I want to leave you with one thought to ponder on today: The body reveals the soul, and the soul is expressed through the body.
Tune in next month as we unpack this even more and will dive into understanding the sacramental nature of the body!
St. John Paul the Great, pray for us!
Love and Prayers,