Theology of the Body (TOB)
Pope John Paul II left us a brilliant teaching that he called "The Theology of the Body". It could not have come at a better time in history. The Holy Father attempted to explain the mystery of human beings -- why God made us male and female in His image: ". . . let us make man in our image."(Genesis 1:26). God was revealing to us in the very beginning that He is family and that we were made to live in this family image. We were created to be in communion with others. Each precious person who ever lived or will live is created with a very special dignity.
Depending on the vocation to which we are are called depends on how this is lived out.
Since TOB often refers to human sexuality, many mistakenly think that this is only for married people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Theology of the Body is for every human being-- it helps to answer the deepest questions of our hearts.
"Each of us is a mystery reflecting the mystery of God!"
TOB and the Religious Life
What does TOB have to do with the Religious Life? A lot!
So many people wonder why a person called to a priesthood or religious vocation would want to be chaste.
The answer: because we are passionately in love with Jesus! If He calls a person to this vocation, He not only gives the grace for it, He also promises an intimate relationship with Himself. Don't let anyone tell you that it is not possible to make the choice of chastity as a priest or Sister. It is entirely possible by the grace of God and daily resolution.
St.Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34:"I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife--and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit."
There is not enough room here to explain the whole "Theology of the Body". Here are some good websites where you can learn more. Put your seat belts on -- it's a beautiful and exciting ride!
St. John Paul II explained:
"Celibacy is the fulfillment of the nuptial meaning of the body" because the ultimate meaning of the body is to make a gift of ourselves to God.And that is precisely what the celibate person is gladly doing.