Repent and believe in the gospel
March 9, 2021
Remembering Ken
March 9, 2021

Theology of the Body – still applicable today

After numerous good wishes were hoped for and many prayers were said, our country’s heart broke; Andrea was violently lost just on the heels of the stomach-turning way Ashanti was found.

“Enough is enough”, “We want justice, right now” were the sentiments as women and men of Trinidad and Tobago displayed just how fed up we are of the sin-sickness that exists in our society.

In his Ash Wednesday homily, Fr Don Chambers clearly read the Lenten ‘prescription’ ‘Dr God’ gave us for our sin-sickness—prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

What do women want? “Respect” said a group of young women. What do men want? The same “respect”. How can we achieve this?

Prior to prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we must realise that the understanding of who we are as humans is essential to men and women respecting the dignity of each other.

When we examine The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan, we see that we are not made to use each other like objects, but to love one another (Pope St John Paul II). Many have cast off this scriptural reflection as theological ramblings that have nothing to do with “real” human beings.

How wrong they are! Pope John Paul II studied human relationships as intensely as he learned from theology. The legacy of his teaching about human love in the Divine Plan, commonly known as the Theology of the Body, is especially applicable in today’s society.

In our “original experiences” prior to our original sin, we experienced solitude, unity, and nakedness. “It is not good that man should be alone” (Gen 2:18) references the first and most important relationship we should have, which is with God who made us unique to all the other animals.

As we have been taught from our Catechism, we are made to know, love, and serve God. Without this fundamental understanding, we do whatever we want! And when we do that, we do not end up in Heaven with God.

In our original unity, “We are made for relationship and it is important that we work towards better relationships… God made us to share life with each other, to be a communion of persons as a people of God,” said Fr Matthew Ragbir in a recent homily.

He continued that God made a “helpmate” for man who is not “less than or better than…a shared humanity.” Adam exclaimed “this at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!” How happy he was to be given the gift from God: “woman” just for him!

Fr Matthew called the complementarity of man and woman as “the beauty in difference…made one for the other.” We are called to “communion, friendship, unity…to (mutually) give and receive the gift that (we) are to one another…we are made for love therefore.”

We can only find ourselves through a sincere gift of ourselves, said Pope John Paul II. It is important for the married “to uphold the beauty of the complementarity of the man and the woman.”

In our original nakedness, we felt no shame, this was “a way of seeing each other the way God intended—with the dignity of the person, the dignity of the body.”

It is not the way of using each other which is lust. It is not the way of self-gratification, manipulation, and control. It is a way of self-donation, respect, true love, wanting the best for the other, of seeing a person not as a thing—as in local parlance, ‘look a nice ting’ which is demeaning.

“There is something more original than original sin and that is the original plan of God and that in Christ we have a promise of restoring us to that original plan.”

Jesus showed us that “no greater love has anyone than to lay down their life.” In using the Billings Ovulation Method, which is quite simple, it does call for that kind of self-donative, respectful love we are all called to.

This Lent why not call BOMA-TT to learn more.

St Joseph, pray for us.

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