Theology of the Body: Man and Woman He Redeemed Them

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The Sermon on the Mount.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  Matt.5:27-28

The virtue of purity means that we come to an ever greater awareness of the gratuitous beauty of the human body, of masculinity and femininity. Purity is the glory of the human body before God. It is the glory of God in the human body –through which masculinity and femininity are manifested.

The redemption of the body is the foundation of everything John Paul II teaches in his Theology of the Body. It refers not only to the hope of resurrection at the end of time, but is a power at work in us now, able to do far more than we think or imagine. It is able to transform our experience of the body and sexuality.

The truth about man’s destiny “cannot be understood as a state of the soul alone, separated from the body, but must be understood as the definitively and perfectly integrated state of man brought about by a perfect union of soul with body.”

In the resurrection, we will fully participate in the divine nature as redeemed human persons. What God is by nature, we will become by sheer gift of grace.

Marriage exists as a sacramental sign, as an earthly participation in the foreshadowing of the “Marriage of the Lamb.”  In the resurrection the sacrament will give way to the divine reality.

Celibacy is not a rejection of sexuality, but a living out of the deepest meaning of sexuality — union with Christ and His Church. Only through the liberation from lust do the Christian vocations of celibacy and marriage make sense. Only through this liberation are we capable of living the Christian vocations as God intends.

About the Author
Sister Elizabeth Geraghty, CSJ, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1951; she has been involved in education from elementary school to high school. She served as principal of St. Clare Elementary School and taught chemistry in Holy Family High School, was Assistant Principal and Dean of Students in St. Anthony High School. Sister Elizabeth Geraghty, retired in June 2011 and now volunteers in the Diocesan Respect Life Office as coordinator of Project Rachel and at the Heart Assisted Living Facility.