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Posts Tagged ‘creation’

“PLEASURE”?

As I’ve been trying to overcome my “need” for the pleasure of addiction, I found the following description of pleasure from C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters on point:

[This is a fictional elder demon writing to a younger, less experienced demon]

“Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s [God’s] ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is [God’s] invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever-increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula…. To get the man’s soul and give NOTHING in return–that is what really gladdens [Satan’s] heart.”

That definitely sounds like addiction to me: “an ever-increasing craving for an ever-diminishing pleasure.” Selling my soul and getting nothing in return.

It is good to remember, however, that pleasure is not the problem. God created pleasure for our enjoyment. It is seeking pleasure in the wrong ways–from drugs, acts, and things as opposed to affection, love, and people–that is the problem.

We were made for pleasure.

Addiction robs us of this gift.

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There is no good trying to be more spiritual than God. God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it.

– C.S. Lewis

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Although we have left our original innocence irretrievably behind, the love God gave to man in the mystery of creation and in the grace of original innocence he gave irrevocably. In the fullness of time, Christ will bear witness to this irreversible love of the Father. His mission will be to proclaim that the grace of the mystery of creation was not lost forever, but becomes for anyone open to receiving it, the grace of the mystery of redemption.

+ Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained

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Seeing themselves with God’s own vision, they know they are good, very good (see Gen 1:31). With this lived awareness of the meaning of their bodies, both man and woman enter the world as subjects of truth and love. This means that, prior to sin, the first man and woman freely chose to act with their bodies only in truth and love.

+ Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained

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WHY ARE THE LAWS OF NATURE MATHEMATICAL?

Few scientists stop to wonder why the fundamental laws of the universe are mathematical; they just take it for granted. Yet the fact that “mathematics works” when applied to the physical world–and works so stunningly well–demands explanation, for it is not clear we have any absolute right to expect that the world should be well described by mathematics.

—Paul Davies, The Mind of God, 150 (Simon & Schuster 1992).

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The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

+ Genesis 2:18

Original solitude is based on the words of Genesis: “It is not good for man to be alone.” This solitude means not only that man is “alone” without woman (and woman without man), but that man is “alone” in the visible world as a person. Adam discovers in naming the animals that he alone is aware of himself and is able to determine his own actions.

In his solitude man discovers that he is a “partner of the Absolute” and a “subject of the covenant” with God. Solitude determines that man stands alone in the visible world as a creature made in God’s image.

+Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained

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Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

+ Genesis 2:23-24

Man and woman, uniting with each other (in the conjugal act) so closely as to become ‘one flesh’ rediscover, so to speak, every time and in a special way, the mystery of creation. They return in that way to that union in humanity (‘bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh’) which allows them to recognize each other and, like the first time, to call each other by name.

* * *

The fact that they become ‘one flesh’ is a powerful bond established by the Creator, through which they discover their own humanity, both in its original unity, and in the duality of a mysterious mutual attraction.

+ Pope John Paul II

In Christ it is possible for husbands and wives progressively to conquer lust and thus relive in a real sense that “virginal” experience of unity. In a certain sense this is the goal of Christian marriage – for husbands and wives to recover their “virginal value,” not by foregoing sexual union, but by allowing it to be taken up and “recreated” in Christ’s redeeming sacrifice.

+ Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained

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