Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Theology of the Body, Week 4

This week was the big event! The TOB for Teens class is usually rather small: four teachers and a handful of teens: between two and five... young ladies. We have yet to be graced with the presence of a brave young man.

However, this week we took the show on the road and taught the lesson to a camp mess hall room filled with 99 confirmation candidates!

Several of them wanted to be there, several were forced to be there, and others would have run the marathon distance back to civilization if their video game habits hadn't condemned them to remaining seated. One was wearing a Hooters shirt.

No matter how they got there, they all heard my fellow TOB teachers and me talk about the hope and redemption found in Jesus.

Jason Evert came up with an analogy to show a young woman, who felt used and irrevocably unclean, that she was worth the redemption that Jesus offers.

This girl, as Evert explained, had just divulged her past choices and mistakes. She had let men use her and treat her as if she wasn't worth anything. The girl asked him how she was supposed to expect Jesus to offer forgiveness. He held up a $20 bill.

"Do you want this $20?"

"Uh, yes!"

(I don't own the rights) And yes, I know it's a Benjamin.
"What if I crumble it up like this? See, it's a $20 paper ball. Do you want it?"

"Uh, yes! It's worth $20."

"What if I throw it in the dirt and grind it into the ground with my shoe? Do you want it now?"

"Yes, of course I do! It's still worth $20. You just have to straighten it out and it's good as new."

Exactly. Not only will Jesus take you as you are, all crumbled and ground in dirt, but He will straighten and iron you out until you're better than your first day.

It's a pretty simple message: we've all made mistakes. We've burned little scars and cut little holes in our hearts with each sin, especially those of a sexual nature.

As we reviewed in past classes, our bodies and our souls help make up our humanity. A sexual sin involves an intimate part of what God planned for a marital union.

It's tough to heal from the hurt, from the guilt, and from the idea that we should treat our bodies like there's something for which we are waiting.

"Chastity is a difficult, long term matter; one must wait patiently for it to bear fruit..." -Venerable John Paul II
One is waiting for something, even if he or she has already had sex. Even if an unwed someone has had sex and continues to engage in it, there lies the potential future with their spouse and the meaningful, beautiful sexual bond they can share as a married couple.

Those who are virgins or who have made mistakes and are "recycled virgins" are also waiting for the spousal meaning of the body to come to fruition in its grandest scheme. They are preparing for it by practicing chastity while they heal.

I know I'd prefer to be prepared and as healed as possible when the waiting is over.


Liesl said...

I love Jason Evert! I wish I could see him live in person... I bet he is really dynamic!

vercfamily said...

I love the $20 bill analogy. Great work and giving of your time for the teens, Elizabeth!

Julie Robison said...

What a great analogy!

not a minx, a moron, or a parasite said...

How great! Love the analogy.

Elizabeth said...

I love that analogy too! I wish I could take credit for this, but it's the text book's author's example. Very effective.

Lianna said...

Good analogy! Also, great JP II quote! I hadn't read that one before.

Elizabeth said...

It is a superb quote, he was so wise!

Anonymous said...

I love your last line. It's so true.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that a friend of mine replied to your comment on my blog. Typically I'd reply back to her, but I had this very discussion with her before and it caused us to "break up" so to speak.
If it helps in anyway, she is a Reformed Baptist. I'm not sure if you know anything about that religion, but it might help in assisting you with a response...if you chose to respond. :)

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Vita! I may have taken it a little far in my response... I tend to do that. But yes, I am INTIMATELY familiar with Reformed Baptists and their opinion of Catholics. If the quote I used didn't have the word "Saint" in front of "Francis," I doubt she'd have the same problem with it.

Anonymous said...

I missed the Hooters shirt. Laura

Elizabeth said...

Hahaha, Laura. Sarah pointed him out to me. He looked older than 16, but I like to think a leader would pick a different shirt...

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