miércoles, 6 de marzo de 2013

FORMACION MARZO







Importante.:
-A continuación tenéis en castellano el documento de formación de Marzo-2013 de CIOFS. y más abajo el documento original en ingles.

PRESIDENCIA DEL CONSEJO INTERNACIONAL OFS

PROYECTO DE FORMACIÓN PERMANENTE

DOSSIER MENSUAL

03 2013 - Año 4 - N ° 38


Teología del Cuerpo

por el beato Papa Juan Pablo II

Dossier elaborado por el Equipo de Formación Permanente CIOFS
Ewald Kreuzer, OFS, Coordinador
Lucy Almiranez, OFS
Mike y Jenny Harrington, OFS

Volver al principio - Nuestra Creación (TOB 1-23)

CRISTO APELACIONES AL PRINCIPIO
Al señalar a volver al "principio", Cristo no sólo re establece el plan original de Dios para el hombre y la mujer como la norma, que también proporciona la energía para que podamos vivirla. La buena noticia del Evangelio es que "Jesús vino a restaurar la creación a la pureza de sus orígenes". (CCC 2336)
Juan Pablo II nos lleva de vuelta antes de que existiera el pecado original como Jesús nos ha llevado de vuelta al "principio". De esta manera vemos que el verdadero significado de la vida humana y de la sexualidad humana, la intención original de Dios para la humanidad.
Además Jesús nos señala de nuevo a Génesis (la intención original de Dios) Él indica que algo ha cambiado. Jesús declara solemnemente que el matrimonio es indisoluble. Señala la importancia del matrimonio como una unión para toda la vida es algo inscrito en nuestra misma naturaleza como Dios lo creó.

"Algunos fariseos se acercaron a él para ponerlo a prueba y le preguntó:" ¿Es lícito al hombre repudiar a su mujer por cualquier motivo? " Y él les respondió: ¿No habéis leído que desde el principio el Creador creó al hombre, varón y hembra, y dijo: Por esto el hombre dejará a su padre ya su madre y se unirá a su mujer, y los dos serán una sola carne? Así es que ya no son dos, sino una sola carne. Por lo tanto, lo que Dios ha unido que no lo separe el hombre. "Ellos objetaron:" ¿Por qué entonces Moisés a fin de darle un certificado de divorcio y repudiarla? "Respondió Jesús:" Por la dureza de vuestro corazón Moisés os permitió repudiar a vuestras mujeres, pero al principio no fue así ". Mt 19:3-8
                                                                                            "Dios creó al hombre a imagen suya, a imagen de                                                                                                          Dios le creó, macho y hembra los creó. "(Gen 1:27)
La soledad original
"No es bueno que el hombre esté solo, voy a
hacerle una ayuda semejante a él ". (Gen 2:18)
El hombre está solo sin la mujer, así como
él es "solo" en el mundo visible como persona.
A diferencia de cualquier otra criatura, los seres humanos tienen
una relación especial con Dios. Un ser humano
no es algo, sino alguien, alguien,
Una persona que pueden determinar libremente su propio
acciones, y con la capacidad de amar a Dios
y otro.
En el principio el hombre podía sentir a Dios y
Su presencia. Dios y el hombre eran amigos,
estaban familiarizados con los demás. Hombre
se dio cuenta de que es diferente de la otra
criaturas y se le ha dado una responsabilidad.
 
"Y vio Dios todo lo que había hecho, y de hecho, era muy bueno" (Génesis 1:31)

Como una persona que tenemos razón y de voluntad libre (conciencia de sí mismo / autoconciencia y autodeterminación) y la capacidad de amar a Dios ya los demás. Juan Pablo II recuerda que Dios nos creó a su imagen, varón y mujer, nuestra sexualidad gratuito revela algo importante acerca de nosotros y acerca de Dios.
Nuestro cuerpo es la expresión visible de la persona, Juan Pablo dice: el cuerpo es el sacramento de la persona, "un signo visible de una realidad invisible". El cuerpo es el signo externo que revela la persona interior, (cuerpo y alma).

Unidad Original
Esta vez sí que es hueso de mis huesos y carne de mi carne? Ella se llamará Mujer, porque fue tomada del hombre. (Gen 2:23)
El hombre y la mujer están llamados a vivir en una relación que refleja la vida íntima de la Trinidad, la imagen de Dios no sólo como individuos, sino también a través de la comunión santa del hombre y de la mujer y la bendición de la fertilidad.
Un hombre encuentra su perfección, su cumplimiento no en una vida solitaria, pero de una vida unificada con una mujer. Adán descubrió que no era sólo a solas con Dios, pero ahora que está solo con otro ser humano.
Dios nos creó para tener una relación con Él y con los demás seres humanos.
El hombre "no puede encontrarse plenamente sino en la entrega sincera de sí mismo" (GS 24

El cuerpo humano revela verdades profundas. El cuerpo masculino tiene una capacidad maravillosa y única para la unión con el cuerpo de la mujer, y la hembra con el macho. Es evidente que se hace para ir juntos. También se construyó en el deseo de una unión, una fascinación y atracción por el sexo opuesto. Este cuerpo de su complementariedad sexual revela que somos creados para la relación y la unión interpersonal.
"Por tanto, dejará el hombre a su padre ya su madre y se unirá a su mujer, y serán una sola carne" (Gn 2:24)

Llegar a ser "una sola carne" se refiere no sólo a la unión de dos cuerpos, pero es una "expresión sacramental que corresponde a la comunión de las personas» (TOB 31:2)
Esto no iba a ser una relación platónica, como Dios dice: "Sed fecundos y multiplicaos" (Génesis 1:28).

Volviendo al principio de lo que está escrito en cada persona, que cada uno está hecho para que alcance una comunión de personas. Nos dad de uno mismo a los otros en amor y recibir amor a cambio. Somos un regalo y nos da el don de sí mismo a otro en esta íntima unión de amor. Esto se relaciona con nuestro ser a imagen de Dios "hagamos al hombre .." (Gen 1:26).
El mismo Dios es una comunión de personas, una Trinidad en la que el Padre,
El Hijo y el Espíritu Santo se derrama en un intercambio eterno de
amor que se entrega.
El cuerpo humano es capaz de revelar a Dios. Dios no es ni hombre ni
femenino, que es Espíritu puro. El misterio invisible del amor trinitario es
reflejado, o se manifieste en nuestro cuerpo cuando nos formamos una comunión de
personas en la verdad y el amor.

Nosotros "podemos deducir que el hombre se convirtió en la imagen de Dios no sólo a través de su
propia humanidad, sino también a través de la comunión de las personas, que el hombre
y la mujer forman desde el principio. "En otras palabras el hombre" se convierte en
una imagen de Dios no tanto en el momento de la soledad como en el momento
de la comunión. ... Por todo esto desde el principio, la bendición de
fecundidad descendió "(TOB 9:3). Dios no podría haber conferido una mayor
propósito y dignidad en el amor sexual. La unión marital está destinado a ser un icono de la vida íntima de la Trinidad.
El hecho de que somos personas hechas a imagen de Dios nos da una dignidad inestimable.

El significado del cónyuge / nupcial del cuerpo es nuestro llamado a dar amor propio, que está escrito en nuestra encarnación como hombre y mujer. Al convertirse en un regalo para sí en una comunión de personas que aprendemos a amar y ser amado como ama Dios, y así cumplir con nuestro destino más alto. Llegamos a ser un reflejo de la propia vida y el amor de la Trinidad y se preparan para participar de esa vida para siempre. Esto es cierto para todas las personas, ya sean casadas, solteras, o una consagrada célibe, aunque se vive de diferentes maneras.

"Y los bendijo Dios y les dijo:" Sed fecundos y multiplicaos y henchid la tierra, sometedla y el imperio "(Gen 1:28).

Su unidad en "una sola carne" es un mundo aparte de la cópula de los animales. A diferencia de los animales, el hombre y la mujer tienen la capacidad de amar (libertad)                                                        

La desnudez original
"Ahora los dos estaban desnudos, el hombre y su mujer, pero no sentían vergüenza ante los demás". (Gen 2:25)
La primera pareja, antes de la caída vimos como Dios ve, expresaron su amor divino. Sus cuerpos eran ventanas transparentes a la persona interior, no se separa de la persona y se ve como un objeto. Había una profunda intimidad, la comunicación y el entendimiento natural entre el hombre y la mujer. Hubo una totalidad dentro de los seres humanos. Eran totalmente gratis.

"La desnudez revela el significado esponsal del cuerpo, que es el poder del cuerpo para expresar el amor: ese amor precisamente en el que la persona humana se convierte en don y - a través de este don - realiza el sentido mismo de su ser y existencia" (TOB 15:01 )

Desnudez original demuestra que "la santidad ha entrado en el mundo visible." La santidad es lo que permite al hombre expresarse profundamente con su propio cuerpo ... precisamente a través de la «entrega sincera de sí mismo». Es en su cuerpo de hombre o de mujer (que) el hombre siente que es un tema de la santidad. "(TOB 19:5)

Inocencia original y el pecado original - Cuando Cristo apela al "principio" se les pide que vaya más allá de la frontera entre el estado de inocencia original y el estado pecaminoso que comenzó con la caída original. Este límite está relacionado con el árbol del bien y del mal. Estas situaciones tienen su propia dimensión en el hombre en su ser más íntimo, el conocimiento, la conciencia, la conciencia, la elección y decisión, y todo esto en una relación con Dios, el Creador, el cual es el Dios de la alianza del Pacto más antigua del Creador con su criatura, es decir, con el hombre. El árbol de la ciencia del bien y del mal, como expresión y símbolo de la Alianza con Dios se interrumpió en el corazón del hombre, delimita dos situaciones diametralmente opuestas y los pone cara a cara, la de la inocencia original y el del pecado original.
Sin embargo, las palabras de Cristo, que apelan al "principio", nos permiten encontrar una continuidad esencial en el hombre y un vínculo entre estos dos diversos estados o dimensiones del ser humano.

Primera promesa de redención - A partir de las palabras que Cristo habla, "principio", tenemos el derecho de atribuir al mismo tiempo toda la elocuencia del misterio de la redención. Gen 3:15 (texto mesiánico). Somos testigos del momento en que el hombre, varón y mujer, después de haber roto la alianza original con su Creador, recibe la primera promesa de redención en las palabras del llamado Protoevangelio en Génesis 3:15. (Primer anuncio del Evangelio)
  El hombre participa no sólo en la historia de la pecaminosidad humana, participa en la historia de la salvación. Es
  por tanto, no simplemente excluidos de la inocencia original, debido a su pecado, pero también al mismo tiempo abierto a la
  misterio de la redención realizada en Cristo y por Cristo.
  Pablo en la Carta a los Romanos expresa esta perspectiva de la redención, cuando escribe: "nosotros mismos, que
  tenemos las primicias del Espíritu, gemimos interiormente, mientras aguardamos la redención de nuestro cuerpo "(Romanos 8:23)

El conocimiento y la procreación - El propósito de la vida es amar como Dios ama, y esto es lo que nuestro cuerpo como un hombre o una mujer están destinados. A través de la masculinidad y la feminidad, el plan inconfundible de Dios se revela, que el hombre y la mujer están destinados a ser un potencialmente fructífera "regalo" el uno al otro, no sólo eso, sino que su don recíproco conduce a un tercero. Como Juan Pablo II lo expresa el "conocimiento" conduce a la generación.
"Adán conoció a su esposa y ella concibió." (Gen 4,1)
La paternidad y la maternidad "corona" y completamente revelar el misterio de la sexualidad. "Sed fecundos y multiplicaos" es un llamado a amar a imagen de Dios y por lo tanto "cumplir con el sentido mismo de nuestro ser y la existencia."
Sea cual sea nuestra vocación particular, todos estamos llamados a participar en el amor de Dios y de compartirlo con los demás.

El principio fundamental de la Teología del Cuerpo es que el cuerpo es una "señal" del misterio eterno de Dios. Es el misterio de la vida trinitaria y amor - de la comunión eterna de Dios como Espíritu Padre, Hijo y Espíritu Santo.
. "Dios está siendo muy es amor al enviar a su Hijo único y el Espíritu de amor en la plenitud del tiempo, Dios ha revelado su secreto más íntimo: Dios mismo es un intercambio eterno de amor: Padre, Hijo y Espíritu Santo, y destinado ha nos a participar en ese intercambio "(CIC 221)

"La Iglesia no puede ser entendida ... a menos que tenga en cuenta la 'gran misterio' ... expresada en [unión] el 'una sola carne' del matrimonio y de la familia" (LF 19)

Preguntas para la reflexión:
1. ¿Cuál es la imagen de Dios, y somos capaces de vernos a nosotros mismos como hechos a imagen de Dios?
2. ¿Qué te parece nuestra sociedad cree y enseña sobre el significado de nuestro cuerpo?
3. ¿Cuáles son algunas maneras en que su cuerpo puede ser una expresión de su entrega a Dios ya los demás?
4. ¿Qué se entiende por sacramentalidad del cuerpo?

Referencias: "Hombre y Mujer los creó" - Juan Pablo II, Carta a las Familias - Juan Pablo II, Guadium et Spes





----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VERSIÓN ORIGINAL EN INGLES


PRESIDENCY OF THE OFS INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL

ONGOING FORMATION PROJECT

MONTHLY DOSSIER
MARCH 2013 – YEAR 4 – No.38


THEOLOGY OF THE BODY

by Blessed Pope John Paul II

Dossier prepared by the CIOFS Ongoing Formation Team
Ewald Kreuzer, OFS, Coordinator
Lucy Almiranez, OFS
Mike and Jenny Harrington, OFS

Back to the Beginning - Our Creation (TOB 1-23)

CHRIST APPEALS TO THE BEGINNING
By pointing us back to" the beginning", Christ not only re establishes God's original plan for man and woman as the norm, he also provides the power for us to live it. The good news of the Gospel is that "Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its origins." (CCC 2336)
John Paul II takes us back before Original Sin existed as Jesus has taken us back to the "Beginning". In this way we see the real meaning of human life and human sexuality, God's original intention for humanity.
Besides Jesus pointing us back to Genesis (God's original intention) He indicates that something has changed. Jesus solemnly declares that marriage is indissoluble. He indicates the significance of marriage as a lifelong union is something inscribed in our very nature as God created it.

'Some Pharisees came to him to test him and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?" And he answered them, have you not read that from the beginning the Creator created them male and female and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and unite with his wife, and the two will be one flesh? So it is that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined let man not separate." They objected, "Why then did Moses order to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus answered, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so." Mt 19:3-8
'God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created him.' (Gen 1:27)
Original Solitude
"It is not good that man should be alone, I will
make him a helper fit for him". (Gen 2:18)
Man is alone without woman, as well as
he is "alone" in the visible world as a person .
Unlike any other creature, human beings have
a special relationship to God. A human being
is not something but someone, somebody,
a PERSON who can freely determine his own
actions, and with the capacity to love God
and another.
In the beginning man could sense God and
His presence. God and man were friends,
they were familiar with each other. Man
realised that he is different from the other
creatures and has been given a responsibility.
"God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good" (Gen 1:31)

As a person we have reason and free will (self awareness / self consciousness and self determination) and the capacity to love God and one another. John Paul II points out that God created us in His image as MALE and FEMALE, our complimentary sexuality reveals something significant about us and about God.
Our body is the visible expression of the person, John Paul says, the body is the sacrament of the person, "a visible sign of an invisible reality". The body is the outward sign that reveals the inner person, (body and soul.)

Original Unity
This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh? She is to be called Woman, because she was taken from Man. (Gen 2:23)
Man and woman are called to live in a relationship that mirrors the inner life of the Trinity, imaging God not only as individuals, but also through the holy communion of man and woman and the blessing of fertility.
A Man finds his perfection, his fulfilment not in a solitary life, but in a unified life with a woman. Adam found that he was not only alone with God but now he is alone with another human being.
God created us to be in relationship with Him and with other human beings.
Man "cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself" (GS 24

The human body reveals profound truths. The male body has a marvellous and unique capacity for union with the female body, and the female with the male. It is evident that they were made to go together. There is also built in desire for such a union, a fascination and attraction with the opposite sex. This body with its sexual complementarity reveals that we are created for relationship and interpersonal union.
"Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh" (Gen 2:24)

Becoming "one flesh" refers not only to the joining of two bodies but is a 'sacramental expression which corresponds to the communion of persons' (TOB 31:2)
This was not meant to be a platonic relationship, as God says: "be fruitful and multiply" .(Gen 1:28)

Going back to the beginning to what is inscribed in every person, that each is made for and capable of a communion of persons. We freely give self to another in love and receive love in return. We are a gift and we give the gift of self to another in this intimate union of love. This relates to our being in the image of God "let us make man.." (Gen 1:26.)
God himself is a communion of persons, a Trinity in which the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit pour themselves out in an eternal exchange of
self-giving love.
The human body is capable of revealing God. God is neither male nor
female, he is pure Spirit. The invisible mystery of Trinitarian love is
imaged, or made visible in our bodies when we form a communion of
persons in truth and love.

We "can deduce that man became the image of God not only through his
own humanity but also through the communion of persons, which man
and woman form from the very beginning." In other words man "becomes
an image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment
of communion. ... On all this right from the beginning, the blessing of
fruitfulness descended" (TOB 9:3). God could not have bestowed a greater
purpose and dignity on sexual love. The marital union is meant to be an icon of the inner life of the Trinity.
The fact that we are persons made in the image of God gives us an inestimable dignity.

The Spousal / Nuptial meaning of the Body is our call to self giving love, which is written into our very embodiment as male and female. By becoming a gift to one another in a communion of persons we learn to love and be loved as God loves, and so fulfil our highest destiny. We become a reflection of the very life and love of the Trinity and prepare to share in that life forever. This is true for every human person, whether married, single, or a consecrated celibate, though it is lived in different ways.

"God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, and rule'" (Gen 1:28).

Their unity in "one flesh" is worlds apart from the copulation of animals. Unlike the animals, man and woman have the capacity to love (freedom)

Original Nakedness
"now both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but they felt no shame before each other". (Gen 2:25)
The first couple, before the fall saw each other as God sees, they expressed divine love. Their bodies were transparent windows to the inner person, they were not separated from the person and seen as an object. There was a depth of intimacy, communication and natural understanding between the man and woman. There was a wholeness within the human persons. They were totally free.

"Nakedness reveals the spousal meaning of the body which is the body's power to express love: precisely that love in which the human person becomes a gift and - through this gift - fulfils the very meaning of his being and existence" (TOB 15:1)

Original nakedness demonstrates that "holiness has entered the visible world." Holiness is what permits man to express himself deeply with his own body... precisely through the 'sincere gift of self.' It is in his body as man or woman (that) man feels he is a subject of holiness." (TOB 19:5)

Original innocence and original sin - When Christ appeals to the "beginning" he asks them to go beyond the boundary between the state of original innocence and the state of sinfulness that began with the original fall. This boundary is linked with the tree of good and evil. These situations have their own dimension in man in his innermost being, knowledge, consciousness, conscience, choice and decision and all of this in a relationship with God, the Creator, who is God of the Covenant of the most ancient Covenant of the Creator with his creature, that is, with man. The tree of knowledge of good and evil, as an expression and symbol of the Covenant with God broken in man's heart, marks out two diametrically opposed situations and sets them against each other; that of original innocence and that of original sin.
Yet, Christ's words, which appeal to the "beginning," allow us to find an essential continuity in man and a link between these two different states or dimensions of the human being.

First promise of redemption - From the words that Christ speaks, " beginning", we have the right to attribute at the same time the whole eloquence of the mystery of redemption. Gen 3:15 (Messianic text) . We witness the moment in which man, male and female, after having broken the original covenant with his Creator, receives the first promise of redemption in the words of the so-called Proto-evangelium in Genesis 3:15. (First announcement of Gospel)
Man participates not only in the history of human sinfulness, he participates in the history of salvation. He is
thus not merely shut out from original innocence due to his sinfulness, but also at the same time open to the
mystery of the redemption realized in Christ and through Christ.
Paul in Letter to the Romans expresses this perspective of redemption, when he writes, "We ourselves, who
have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for the redemption of our bodies" (Rom 8:23)

Knowledge and Procreation - The purpose of life is to love as God loves, and this is what our body as a man or a woman are meant for. Through masculinity and femininity, the unmistakable plan of God is revealed, that man and woman are meant to be a potentially fruitful "gift" to one another, not only that, but their mutual gift leads to a third. As John Paul II expresses it "knowledge" leads to generation.
"Adam knew his wife and she conceived." (Gen 4.1)
Fatherhood and motherhood "crown" and completely reveal the mystery of sexuality. "Be fruitful and multiply" is a call to love in God's image and thus "fulfil the very meaning of our being and existence. "
Whatever our particular vocation, we are all called to participate in God's love and to share it with others.

The main principle of Theology of the Body is that the body is a "sign" of God's eternal mystery. It is the mystery of Trinitarian life and Love - of God's eternal Communion as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
"God's very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret: God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange" (CCC 221)

"The Church cannot therefore be understood... unless we keep in mind the 'great mystery'... expressed in the 'one flesh' [union] of marriage and the family" (LF 19)

Questions for reflection:
1. What is your image of God, and are we able to see ourselves as made in the image of God?
2. What do you think our society believes and teaches us about the meaning of our bodies?
3. What are some ways that your body can be an expression of your gift of self to God and to others?
4. What is meant by sacramentality of the body?

References, 'Man and Woman He Created them' - John Paul II, 'Letter to the Families - John Paul II, Guadium et Spes





THEOLOGY OF THE BODY

by Blessed Pope John Paul II

Dossier prepared by the CIOFS Ongoing Formation Team
Ewald Kreuzer, OFS, Coordinator
Lucy Almiranez, OFS
Mike and Jenny Harrington, OFS

Back to the Beginning - Our Creation (TOB 1-23)

CHRIST APPEALS TO THE BEGINNING
By pointing us back to" the beginning", Christ not only re establishes God's original plan for man and woman as the norm, he also provides the power for us to live it. The good news of the Gospel is that "Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its origins." (CCC 2336)
John Paul II takes us back before Original Sin existed as Jesus has taken us back to the "Beginning". In this way we see the real meaning of human life and human sexuality, God's original intention for humanity.
Besides Jesus pointing us back to Genesis (God's original intention) He indicates that something has changed. Jesus solemnly declares that marriage is indissoluble. He indicates the significance of marriage as a lifelong union is something inscribed in our very nature as God created it.

'Some Pharisees came to him to test him and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?" And he answered them, have you not read that from the beginning the Creator created them male and female and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and unite with his wife, and the two will be one flesh? So it is that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined let man not separate." They objected, "Why then did Moses order to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus answered, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so." Mt 19:3-8

'God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he ceated him, male and female he created him.' (Gen 1:27)
Original Solitude
"It is not good that man should be alone, I will
make him a helper fit for him". (Gen 2:18)
Man is alone without woman, as well as
he is "alone" in the visible world as a person .
Unlike any other creature, human beings have
a special relationship to God. A human being
is not something but someone, somebody,
a PERSON who can freely determine his own
actions, and with the capacity to love God
and another.
In the beginning man could sense God and
His presence. God and man were friends,
they were familiar with each other. Man
realised that he is different from the other
creatures and has been given a responsibility.
"God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good" (Gen 1:31).

As a person we have reason and free will (self awareness / self consciousness and self determination) and the capacity to love God and one another. John Paul II points out that God created us in His image as MALE and FEMALE, our complimentary sexuality reveals something significant about us and about God.
Our body is the visible expression of the person, John Paul says, the body is the sacrament of the person, "a visible sign of an invisible reality". The body is the outward sign that reveals the inner person, (body and soul.)

Original Unity
This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh? She is to be called Woman, because she was taken from Man. (Gen 2:23)
Man and woman are called to live in a relationship that mirrors the inner life of the Trinity, imaging God not only as individuals, but also through the holy communion of man and woman and the blessing of fertility.
A Man finds his perfection, his fulfilment not in a solitary life, but in a unified life with a woman. Adam found that he was not only alone with God but now he is alone with another human being.
God created us to be in relationship with Him and with other human beings.
Man "cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself" (GS 24

The human body reveals profound truths. The male body has a marvellous and unique capacity for union with the female body, and the female with the male. It is evident that they were made to go together. There is also built in desire for such a union, a fascination and attraction with the opposite sex. This body with its sexual complementarity reveals that we are created for relationship and interpersonal union.
"Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh" (Gen 2:24)

Becoming "one flesh" refers not only to the joining of two bodies but is a 'sacramental expression which corresponds to the communion of persons' (TOB 31:2)
This was not meant to be a platonic relationship, as God says: "be fruitful and multiply" .(Gen 1:28)

Going back to the beginning to what is inscribed in every person, that each is made for and capable of a communion of persons. We freely give self to another in love and receive love in return. We are a gift and we give the gift of self to another in this intimate union of love. This relates to our being in the image of God "let us make man.." (Gen 1:26.)
God himself is a communion of persons, a Trinity in which the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit pour themselves out in an eternal exchange of
self-giving love.
The human body is capable of revealing God. God is neither male nor
female, he is pure Spirit. The invisible mystery of Trinitarian love is
imaged, or made visible in our bodies when we form a communion of
persons in truth and love.

We "can deduce that man became the image of God not only through his
own humanity but also through the communion of persons, which man
and woman form from the very beginning." In other words man "becomes
an image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment
of communion. ... On all this right from the beginning, the blessing of
fruitfulness descended" (TOB 9:3). God could not have bestowed a greater
purpose and dignity on sexual love. The marital union is meant to be an icon of the inner life of the Trinity.
The fact that we are persons made in the image of God gives us an inestimable dignity.

The Spousal / Nuptial meaning of the Body is our call to self giving love, which is written into our very embodiment as male and female. By becoming a gift to one another in a communion of persons we learn to love and be loved as God loves, and so fulfil our highest destiny. We become a reflection of the very life and love of the Trinity and prepare to share in that life forever. This is true for every human person, whether married, single, or a consecrated celibate, though it is lived in different ways.

"God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, and rule'" (Gen 1:28). Their unity in "one flesh" is worlds apart from the copulation of animals. Unlike the animals, man and woman have the capacity to love (freedom)

Original Nakedness
"now both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but they felt no shame before each other". (Gen 2:25)
The first couple, before the fall saw each other as God sees, they expressed divine love. Their bodies were transparent windows to the inner person, they were not separated from the person and seen as an object. There was a depth of intimacy, communication and natural understanding between the man and woman. There was a wholeness within the human persons. They were totally free.

"Nakedness reveals the spousal meaning of the body which is the body's power to express love: precisely that love in which the human person becomes a gift and - through this gift - fulfils the very meaning of his being and existence" (TOB 15:1)

Original nakedness demonstrates that "holiness has entered the visible world." Holiness is what permits man to express himself deeply with his own body... precisely through the 'sincere gift of self.' It is in his body as man or woman (that) man feels he is a subject of holiness." (TOB 19:5)

Original innocence and original sin - When Christ appeals to the "beginning" he asks them to go beyond the boundary between the state of original innocence and the state of sinfulness that began with the original fall. This boundary is linked with the tree of good and evil. These situations have their own dimension in man in his innermost being, knowledge, consciousness, conscience, choice and decision and all of this in a relationship with God, the Creator, who is God of the Covenant of the most ancient Covenant of the Creator with his creature, that is, with man. The tree of knowledge of good and evil, as an expression and symbol of the Covenant with God broken in man's heart, marks out two diametrically opposed situations and sets them against each other; that of original innocence and that of original sin.
Yet, Christ's words, which appeal to the "beginning," allow us to find an essential continuity in man and a link between these two different states or dimensions of the human being.

First promise of redemption - From the words that Christ speaks, " beginning", we have the right to attribute at the same time the whole eloquence of the mystery of redemption. Gen 3:15 (Messianic text) . We witness the moment in which man, male and female, after having broken the original covenant with his Creator, receives the first promise of redemption in the words of the so-called Proto-evangelium in Genesis 3:15. (First announcement of Gospel)
Man participates not only in the history of human sinfulness, he participates in the history of salvation. He is
thus not merely shut out from original innocence due to his sinfulness, but also at the same time open to the
mystery of the redemption realized in Christ and through Christ.
Paul in Letter to the Romans expresses this perspective of redemption, when he writes, "We ourselves, who
have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for the redemption of our bodies" (Rom 8:23)

Knowledge and Procreation - The purpose of life is to love as God loves, and this is what our body as a man or a woman are meant for. Through masculinity and femininity, the unmistakable plan of God is revealed, that man and woman are meant to be a potentially fruitful "gift" to one another, not only that, but their mutual gift leads to a third. As John Paul II expresses it "knowledge" leads to generation.
"Adam knew his wife and she conceived." (Gen 4.1)
Fatherhood and motherhood "crown" and completely reveal the mystery of sexuality. "Be fruitful and multiply" is a call to love in God's image and thus "fulfil the very meaning of our being and existence. "
Whatever our particular vocation, we are all called to participate in God's love and to share it with others.

The main principle of Theology of the Body is that the body is a "sign" of God's eternal mystery. It is the mystery of Trinitarian life and Love - of God's eternal Communion as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
"God's very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret: God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange" (CCC 221)

"The Church cannot therefore be understood... unless we keep in mind the 'great mystery'... expressed in the 'one flesh' [union] of marriage and the family" (LF 19)


Questions for reflection:

1. What is your image of God, and are we able to see ourselves as made in the image of God?
2. What do you think our society believes and teaches us about the meaning of our bodies?
3. What are some ways that your body can be an expression of your gift of self to God and to others?
4. What is meant by sacramentality of the body?


References, 'Man and Woman He Created them' - John Paul II, 'Letter to the Families - John Paul II, Guadium et Spes