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Posted - Oct 24 2008 :  3:22:45 PM  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
Some Selections from
Pope John Paul II's
Blessed Are the Pure of Heart
The simplicity and ``purity'' of the original experience, which facilitated an extraordinary fullness in the mutual communication of each other, disappear. Obviously, our first progenitors did not stop communicating with each other through the body and its movements, gestures and expressions; but the simple and direct communion with each other, connected with the original experience of reciprocal nakedness, disappeared. Almost unexpectedly, there appeared in their consciousness and insuperable threshold, which limited the original ``giving of oneself'' to the other, in full confidence in what constituted their own identity and, at the same time, their diversity, female on the one side, male on the other. The diversity, that is, the difference of the male sex and the female sex, was suddenly felt and understood as an element of mutual confrontation of persons. (June 4, 1980, no. 2)
The ending of the capacity of a full mutual communion, which is manifested as sexual shame, enables us to understand better the original value of the unifying meaning of the body. It is not possible, in fact to understand otherwise the respective closure to each other, or shame, unless in relation to the meaning that the body, in its feminity and masculinity, had for man previously, in the state of original innocence. That unifying meaning is understood not only with regard to the unity that man and woman, as spouses, were to constitute, becoming ``one flesh'' (Gn 2:24) through the conjugal act, but also in reference to the ``communion of persons'' itself, which had been the specific dimension of man and woman's existence in the mystery of creation. The body in its masculinity and femininity consituted the peculiar ``substratum'' of this personal communion. Sexual shame, with which Genesis 3:7 deals, bears witness to the loss of the original certainty that the human body, through its masculinity and femininity, is precisely that ``substratum'' of the communion of persons, that it expresses it ``simply,'' that it serves the purpose of realizing it (and thus also of completing the ``image of God'' in the visible world). (June 4, 1980, n. 3)

Lust in general--and the lust of the body in particular--attacks precisely this ``sincere giving'' [of oneself]. It deprives man, it could be said, of the dignity of giving, which is expressed by his body through femininity and masculinity, and in a way it ``depersonalizes'' man making him an object ``for the other.'' Instead of being ``together with the other''--a subject in unity, in fact, in the sacramental unity ``of the body''--man becomes an object for man: the female for the male and vice versa. (July 23, 1980, n. 4)

Concupiscience entails the loss of the interior freedom of the gift. The nuptial meaning of the human body is connected precisely with this freedom. Man can become a gift--that is, the man and the woman can exist in the relationship of mutual self-giving, if each of them controls himself. Concupiscience, which is manifested as a ``coercion sui generis of the body,'' limits interiorly and reduces self-control, and for that reason, makes impossible, in a certain sense, the interior freedom of giving. Together with that, also the beauty that the human body possesses in its male and female aspect, as an expression of the spirit, is obscured. There remains the body as an object of lust and therefore, as a ``field of appropriation'' of the other human being. Concupiscience, in itself, is not capable of promoting union as the communion of persons. By itself, it does not unite, but appropriates. The relationship of gift is changed into the relationship of appropriation. (John Paul II, general audience of July 23, 1980, no. 6, cf. audience of July 30, 1980)

Grace Mizzi
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Send Oh Lord Holy Apostles into your church“Christ has no body but yours, no hands butyours, no feet but yours.Yours are the eyes through which Christ’scompassion must look upon the world.Yours are the feet with which He is to go about
doing good.Yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.”St. Theresa of Avila
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