I can’t resist sharing these tidbits from an audience I read last week in my endeavor to finish Theology of the Body (a series of Wednesday audiences at the beginning of JP2’s pontificate). I think I’ll be able to keep reading this for the rest of my life and not get it all…if you haven’t checked this out yet, do not stop, do not pass go, do not wait for the official okey-dokey! These teachings have clarified the meaning of my life for me, and they have freed me from my past in a way nothing else did, by clarifying so much. JP2 was a philosopher, remember, and so this snoring scholar feels right at home in his stuff…blundering around and flailing about in my attempt to find out why here is home and home is here. So…here goes my small attempt at sharing a little bit of one of the audiences.

General Audience of April 2, 1980
“Marriage in the Integral Vision of Man”
From Theology of the Body, by John Paul II

“Theology is that science whose subject is divinity. Through the fact that
the Word of God became flesh, the body entered theology through the main door.
The Incarnation and the redemption that springs from it became also the
definitive source of the sacramentality of marriage…”

I love the thought of God becoming flesh by traipsing right through the “main door.” C.S. Lewis portrays us humans so well from the devil’s perspective in The Screwtape Letters, as little vermin, the two-legged beasts, and other great insults. In the context of these things jumbling in my head together, I can’t help but smile. Pretty audacious of God to not just create us, but then become one of us! Pretty flipping awesome!

And then, in becoming one of us, he redeems the very thing that’s most important, the way in which we image him – our bodies and our union together in marriage. Marriage is, remember, a sacrament, which makes it one of the Top Seven (as I fondly recall from learning all this Catholic stuff a few years back). Wow.

“Those who seek the accomplishment of their own human and Christian
vocation in marriage are called, first of all, to make this theology of the
body, whose beginning we find in the first chapters of Genesis, the content of
their life and behavior. How indispensable is a thorough knowledge of the
meaning of the body, in its masculinity and femininity, along the way of this
vocation! A precise awareness of the nuptial meaning of the body, of its
generating meaning, is necessary. This is so since all that forms the content of
the life of married couples must constantly find its full and personal dimension
in life together, in behavior, in feelings! This is all the more so against the
background of a civilization which remains under the pressure of a materialistic
and utilitarian way of thinking and evaluating.”

We are called, ye of the married ilk, to make this theology of the body the content of our life and behavior. {pause while I sit down and take a swig} This is big stuff. Important stuff. I think if I had been paying attention when I got married, I probably would have said, NO WAY. (I’m a big wimp.) We have to know who we are, and knowing who we are involves knowing Who made us and what He intended. Our bodies have a nuptial meaning. Whoa! Huh? So…you mean…how I dress, how I act, how I am out there in public, that all reflects back on a {cough} nuptial meaning? Yep.

The devil’s doing a bang-up job with the materialistic and utilitarian mindsets. This takes our focus away from what our bodies are supposed to image, what they’re made in the image of. We are made in the image of God. Yippee!

I have heard people groan in response to this revelation. (So I’m glad I’m writing…) Could this be because of a picture of God as a boring old guy? Could this be an idea that God wouldn’t want to have {gasp} sex? Hey, sex is a beautiful thing. (I can’t believe I just wrote that. I need another drink, stronger this time.) Think about who MADE sex. Ah. Sex is all about God. The FIRST place God belongs is in your bedroom. What you’re doing in the bedroom (call me conservative, but we’ll just go with the traditional approach to this, OK, thanks) is a gift from God. It’s what you’re designed to do. Check it out. It’s a sacrament. Rock on!