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Posts Tagged ‘theology of the body’


The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time—death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at his call.

+ Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2/4/1906 – 4/9/1945)

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We must always keep in mind that all Satan can do to attract us is plagiarize the joys God created for us in this world to foreshadow the joys of heaven. All the authentic pleasures of the world are in some ways sacramental, whereas all the counterfeit pleasures of this world are in some way sacrilegious. This is where the battle is fought: between sacraments and their counterfeits, between icons and idols, between signs and anti-signs. One foreshadows an eternity of fulfillment and communion, the other an eternity of emptiness and alienation.

+ Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained, 355.

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`For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church.

+ Ephesians 5:31-32

[T]here’s an important element of truth in our society’s idolatrous obsession with sex. Behind every false god we discover our desire for the true God gone awry. The sexual confusion so prevalent in our world and in our own hearts is simply the human desire for heaven gone berserk. Untwist the distortions and we discover the astounding glory of sex in the divine plan. “For this reason … the two become one flesh.” For what reason? To reveal, proclaim, and anticipate the eternal union of Christ and the Church.

+ Christopher West, Theology of the Body for Beginners, 57.

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For those who desire purity, the sexual body is not the evil with which we must contend. Far from being evil or even tainted, the body, and sexual union itself, contain a value and dignity that we can barely fathom. But we must fathom this value and dignity if we are to live according to the true ethos of Christ’s words.

+ Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained

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We must always keep in mind that all Satan can do to attract us is plagiarize the joys God created for us in this world to foreshadow the joys of heaven. All the authentic pleasures of the world are in some ways sacramental, whereas all the counterfeit pleasures of this world are in some way sacrilegious. This is where the battle is fought: between sacraments and their counterfeits, between icons and idols, between signs and anti-signs. One foreshadows an eternity of fulfillment and communion, the other an eternity of emptiness and alienation.

+ Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained, 355.

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The heart longs for “something more” than life can offer under sin’s influence. To tap into that desire for “something more” is to tap into that “echo” deep within our hearts of God’s original plan for us. Despite formidable foes that seek to snuff it out, that yearning cannot and will not be repressed. It is a yearning to live in the grace of our eternal election in Christ. It is a yearning to live in the eternal embrace of the Marriage of the Lamb. Nothing else can satisfy. Nothing else can fulfill. And all else is destined to pass away.

+ Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained, 354-355.

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Lord, I thank you for the gift of my sexual desires. I surrender this lustful desire to you and I ask you please, by the power of your death and resurrection, to “untwist” in me what sin has twisted so that I might experience sexual desire as you intend—as the desire to love in your image.

Lord, help me to discern the movements of my heart. Help me to distinguish between the great riches of sexuality as you created it to be and the distortions of lust. I grant you permission, Lord, to slay my lusts. Take them. Crucify them so that I might come to experience the resurrection of sexual desire as you intend. Grant me a pure heart.

Come, Holy Spirit, come! Convert our hearts from lust to love. Impregnate our sexual desires with divine passion so that, loving as God loves on earth, we might one day rejoice in the consummation of the “marriage of the Lamb” in heaven.

Let it be, Lord, according to your will. Mary, woman of glory and star of the new evangelization, pray for us. Amen.

+ Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained

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