To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances;
to seek Him, the greatest adventure;
to find Him, the greatest human achievement.

Saint Augustine

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The universe of the other

Pope Benedict recently gave an address to the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. It is absolutely beautiful! So I am excerpting a part of it here, hoping it will get you to read the whole thing. Though I must say it is hard to not just quote all of it! ;)

The body speaks to us of an origin that we did not confer on ourselves. “You knit me together in my mother’s womb,” the Psalmist of the Lord says (Psalm 139:13). We can say that the body, in revealing the Origin to us, bears in itself a filial meaning, because it reminds us of our generation, that derives, through our parents who transmitted life to us, from God the Creator. Only when he recognizes the originary love that gave him life, can man accept himself, can he reconcile himself with nature and the world. Following that of Adam is the creation of Eve. The flesh, received from God, is called to render possible the union of love between man and woman and to transmit life. The bodies of Adam and Eve, before the Fall, appear in perfect harmony. There is a language in them that they did not create, an eros rooted in their nature, that invites them mutually to receive themselves from the Creator, to be able thus to give themselves.

So, we understand that in love man is “re-created.” “Incipit vita nova,” Dante said (“Vita Nuova I, 1) -- “the new life begins” -- the life of the new union of the two in one flesh. The true appeal of sexuality is born from the greatness of this horizon that discloses integral beauty, the universe of the other person and the “we” that is born in the union, the promise of the communion that is hidden there, the new fruitfulness, the path that love opens to God, font of love. The union of one flesh is thus made a union for life so that man and woman also become one spirit. In this way a path is opened in which the body teaches us the value of time, of the slow maturation in love. In this light the virtue of chastity receives a new meaning. It is not a “no” to pleasures and to the joy of life, but the great “yes” to love as profound communication between persons, that requires time and respect, as a journey together toward fullness and as love that becomes able to generate life and generously welcome the new life that is born.

This is just a small taste of the richness of what our Papa Benedetto has said. So go on already and read the whole thing! You won't be disappointed. It is truly a profound and thought-provoking reflection on the goodness and beauty with which our bodies -- with which we ourselves-- have been made, and the meaning it then gives to being human. Deo gratias! There is much to chew on here. I'd love to hear which parts particularly struck you, so feel free to comment! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment