Sunday, March 20, 2011

Theology of the Body, Week 6

(I don't own the rights)
What is this guy saying?

He isn't saying anything at all. His body is telling you something without words. Because our bodies can "say" things, then they can tell the truth or they can lie.

This week's class was meant to be split up: girls in one room, boys in the other. Just like the third grade cafeteria at lunch time and the sixth grade cotillion ballroom, this was one of those topics with cooties.

For example, teenage boys are unacquainted with the idea of a "frienemy" and when we mentioned this concept to the girls, they all nodded, smiled and giggled a little. They know what a frienemy is and they know their tactics: at all costs, appear to be a friend, while still gossiping, disliking, or otherwise hurting the victim "friend."

This was one of the most on-the-ground topics that the teens could use in daily life, especially in a world that is growing apart from accepting or expecting consequences.

One example the teens heard was that of a criminal. A criminal caught red-handed cannot throw up his arms and say, "Hey, officer, I didn't do it. My body did it." We are not separate from our bodies, we send messages through them every moment of everyday.

Because you can't get more naked than naked with another person, the act of intercourse is your body saying, "I give you all that I have and all that I am." Your body can lie in this case if you allow it to say someone who you are not giving all that you are.
Revisit this post about JP2's play

We didn't discuss it very much, to my disappointment, but the use of artificial contraception is a huge lie we can tell with our bodies (perfect timing for the Bright Maidens topic this week). You're asking your body to lie for you when you make it say, "I give you all that I have and all that I am, but let me put on a condom, first."

We withhold our fertility when we use artificial contraception, meaning we're not giving everything we have. We withhold our commitment when we make love to someone who isn't our spouse.

We lie to ourselves and hurt our own idea of intimacy when we masturbate. Pornography lies to us and we lie to ourselves when we have "intimate moments with a laptop," as Jason Evert says. We lie with our body when we lie with a different person every week.

The goal of this week's lesson is to introduce these teens to the idea of preparing for their future spouse by thinking about this now. If they can commit to loving he or she to whom they will eventually give themselves, they are contributing to the health and strength of their marriage.

In other words: don't be your own "frienemy."

“Man is precisely a person because he is master of himself and has self-control. Indeed, insofar as he is master of himself he can give himself to the other. This dimension – the dimension of the liberty of the gift – becomes essential and decisive for that language of the body, in which man and woman reciprocally express themselves in the conjugal union.” John Paul II (TOB, Aug. 22, 1984).


Liesl said...

1. I love this post.
2. I love that you teach TOB to teens... so important!! Seems like you're doing a pretty good job too!
3. I just got back from spring break and am trying to catch up on all my blogs while still studying for the hugest exam of my life on wednesday... so I will totally come back and comment to catch up later this week!

Elizabeth said...

Sorry, ladies. I didn't like that Disqus format, so I lost your comments :(

Katy said...

So beautiful!

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