Thursday, May 13, 2010

TOB as the new Good News

This is a reflection prepared by our community in answer to a congregational question; does it match your understanding of the Theology of the Body?

What is the Gospel? It is the unexpected, unanticipated, unimagined revelation of God's saving nearness, surpassing all we could have dreamed of (our minds and expectations having been trained and fixed firmly within the limits of the surrounding culture). This new and surprising revelation convinces by its beauty and raises up new and enthusiastic witnesses who are amazed that they could find such real fulfillment in what, all their life, they had looked on as a stumbling block or absurdity.

What message do we have in our hands that distills the Gospel in a way that has this impact for people today? The Theology of the Body! It is a new reading of the whole Bible, addressed to people's experience of life and their hopes for love and meaning. It is the Good News of the depth of divine revelation and holiness present to us; it hints at what Christian life and family life itself can be: the “sincere gift of self.” It is a profoundly theological and Christian vision of the human person (intelligence, will, heart, relationships...) that simultaneously and paradoxically demonstrates the centrality of the doctrine of the Trinity. Like the Gospel itself, the Theology of the Body can be presented even to children, but is deep enough never to be exhausted. It is accessible to everyone because it does not rely on philosophical or theological background: it starts from common human experience, lived in the body. People who discover it are blown away by its breadth and meaning, and become convincing apostles of its message. Their lives are transformed.

Because it is so counter-cultural and available from no other voice than the Catholic Church's, the Theology of the Body is a message that really needs to be shouted from the rooftops. It is a universal message with a universal audience, a condensed presentation of the Gospel that corresponds to the signs of the times and the needs of society.


Shana said...

Amen! Why I love the fsp's.

Sr. Margaret Kerry, fsp said...

Sr Anne, this is what I brought up at the mission team meeting - being surprised by the gospel - thanks