TOB Tuesday: The Spousal Meaning of the Body and God’s Will for Man

ChelseaLove, Marriage, Theology of the Body, TOB TuesdayLeave a Comment

The body has a “spousal” meaning because the human person…is a creature that God willed for his own sake and that, at the same time, cannot fully find himself except through the gift of self [Gaudium et Spes 24:3] ~John Paul II — General Audience 1/16/80 (TOB 15:5)

By our nakedness we can clearly see that man and woman were not merely made for themselves individually, but are oriented towards the other and endowed with the power to express love. And not just any kind of love, but

precisely that love in which the human person becomes a gift and – through this gift – fulfills the very meaning of his being and existence. (TOB 15:1)

Fr. Angelo BartulicaThis total gift of self, which is what makes us the image and likeness of the Triune God of our creation, is quite obviously fulfilled in the marriage vocation and the “one flesh” union of the spouses, But our Holy Father tells us that the vocation to celibacy for the sake of the kingdom is also a response to this call to spousal love:

While Christ reveals to man and woman another vocation, above the vocation to marriage, namely, renouncing marriage in view of the kingdom of heaven, he highlights the same truth about the human person with this vocation. If a man or a woman is capable of making a gift of self for the kingdom of heaven, this shows in turn (and perhaps even more) that the freedom of the gift exists in the human body. This means that the body possesses a full “spousal” meaning. (TOB 15:5)

As this is the Year for Priests, let us pray for all our priests and give thanks and praise to God for all the men who have generously made themselves a gift for the sake of the kingdom in the service of Christ and the Church!

“How do They Know? They’re Celibates!”
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