TOB Tuesday: Healing the Person

ChelseaAddiction, Pro Life4 Comments

Last week I talked about drug and alcohol addiction and a community that brings life to suffering addicts. Yesterday I discovered an excellent article from Kevin Whelan at Catholic Exchange on how this community demonstrates the healing message inherent is John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

The body, in fact, and only the body, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It has been created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden from eternity in God, and thus to be a sign of it. (TOB19:4)

Drug and alcohol addiction, says Whelan, is bodily and spiritual death and very clearly attacks the ‘visible reality’ of the ‘mystery of God.’ Though he does not mention it specifically in this TOB writings, JP II taught in Ecclesia in America that such abuse “leads to the degradation of the person created in the image of God.” It does this, notes Whelan, by separating the body from it’s will since the addict gradually becomes driven by his addiction, not his will. The separation of the body from the will is spiritual death just as the separation of the body from the soul is mortal death.

community.pngWhat does this have to do with the Comunita Cenacolo that I mentioned last week? “Just as addiction ravages the whole person,” Whelan says, the Cenacolo community life “provides for the complete person.” And through personal outreach, labor, singing, dancing, discussions, payer, the sacraments, sports and performances the Theology of the Body is demonstrated in the daily life of the community.

That is to say: through these physical actions of the body, God makes Himself know to the addicts. The Invisible is made Visible through the physical!

But it is specifically their radical poverty that the members of Cenacolo best demonstrate the Theology of the Body and the healing of the complete person:

In community, the members own nothing themselves (just ‘the body and it alone’). In their total reliance on God to provide for them, the are taken back to ‘The Beginning’ where all we had was work, prayer, community and the joy of God’s recklessly abundant love. Removed from money, cars, television, cell phones and other trappings of the material life they have time to look at themselves (body and soul) and learn that God is seemingly in ecstasy at their mere existence.

Read the whole article and help out this wonderful community if you can!

Previous post:
From Death to New Life
Christ Still Raising the Dead

4 Comments on “TOB Tuesday: Healing the Person”

  1. Great post, Chelsea. The relationship between soul and body is vital to properly understanding the human person. Here’s an excellent talk on the subject by Dr. Peter Colosi:

    God bless,

  2. Thanks for the wonderful articles on the Community, Chelsea! I’m so blessed to know you even if you are a Gator fan!

  3. Well thank you, Garrick. Or, rather, I thank God for bringing you into my life, not only because you are such a wonderful person but, as I said in my previous post, it really has been a blessing to discover the great work being done here to get people off drugs and help them find true peace and freedom that comes only from a life in Christ. I pray everyday for the healing of your brothers and sister and everyone in community! It is odd to think that if it wasn’t for my accident, EWTN and the wonders of online social communications we might never have met and this wonderful organization would have remained a distant memory to me. God works in wonderful and mysterious ways! And, hey, I may be a Gator, but I’ve been known to Roll with the Tide every now and then! 😉 God bless you!

  4. I really enjoyed reading the whole article, Chelsea. I love reading TOB articles. In TOB Pope John Paul II expressed such an awesome understanding of the beauty of the body and sexuality as God created it. The article about Comunita Cenacolo shows the abundance of God’s love and the abundance of life that He wills for all of His children, and how merciful He is in providing healing to those who are most broken.

    Thank you for sharing this gem, Chelsea. God bless you!

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