“…. As Manicheanism sees God as the creator of all that is good and Satan as the creator of all that is evil, Manicheanism sees a sort of partnership where Satan has charge over the world and the body while God rules a spiritual domain. Genesis instead tells us that God looked at EVERYTHING He had made and declared that it was GOOD! Before becoming pope, John Paul II prepared a masterful book, meant to lead the Church and the world to a true appreciation of marriage, family, and human sexuality. John Paul II saw monumental resistance to Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae, as attributable to a resurgence of Manicheanistic thinking. People were simply failing to see the inseparable connection between what we do with our bodies and our spirituality. Becoming pope before his book was published, John Paul II instead used his notes to address audiences at weekly catechetical sessions, across a span of five years. In 2007, Dr. Michael Waldstein published an updated and magnificent translation of these Theology of the Body addresses, under the title: “Man and Woman He Created Them.”
"Man and Woman, He Created Them"
In the earliest of his weekly catechetical sessions, Pope John Paul II deeply explores the opening chapters of Genesis and how Christ called humanity to return to this 'beginning,' regarding marriage. In spite of all the wonders God created up to that point, the first man was 'alone' until God made the first woman – man’s 'suitable partner.' Before the Fall, before original sin, this husband and wife were completely transparent gifts to each other – 'naked, yet they felt no shame.' God Himself called them to sexual intercourse and procreation! 'Be fertile and multiply'....” (Read more)
"....The opening pages of Genesis gave us a phenomenal look at God’s original plan for monogamous, lifelong spousal relationships – between one man and one woman – which would be His platform for continuing His work of creation. While spousal relationships changed for the worse after original sin, Christ calls us back to this “beginning”...." (Read more)
Our marriages must proclaim what Christ tells us about eternal life! 'At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven' (Matthew 22: 30). Pope John Paul II looks at what the resurrection reveals about marriage, as well as at foregoing marriage 'for the kingdom.' Marriage and procreation are incredible goods of monumental importance, intended to lead us to salvation. Though men and women will not be married and will not bear children in Heaven, we will be drawn even closer to each other, in God! With our present finite understandings, the awesomeness of this eludes our grasps....We are meant to see God face-to-face!...." (Read more)
"....Pope John Paul II offers a profound reflection on marriage as a sacrament. A sacrament is not a mere sign or symbol; it is an efficacious sign. It makes real what it signifies. As the ministers of the sacrament, are not husbands and wives intended to be spiritual directors – of sorts – to each other?...." (Read more)
"So much has been written about notions of 'body language.' Police investigators look for signals from the body, which betray deceit on a person’s lips. Even the most sexually promiscuous person cannot escape the reality that sexual intercourse speaks a 'language of the body.' Sexual intercourse proclaims committed love and openness to new life. Hence, 'one night stands' – even for so-called 'consenting adults' – involve lying with the body. Marriage does not mean a license to use the sexual functions willy nilly. Using the sexual functions, in manners which cannot be open to life, similarly involves lying with the body. As has been said, marriage is a sacrament – a 'visible and efficacious sign.' If our behavior reflects the body’s authentic language, we are 'in the truth.' Otherwise, we lie and are false prophets. Yet, rather than primarily accused and/or condemned, we are first called. In this section, John Paul II’s reflection on the language of the body looks closely at the Song of Songs and Tobit:...." (Read more)
"Christ responds to our verbal professions of love: 'If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you….Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him” (John 14: 15 – 17, 21). Through His Church, Christ has been abundantly clear in what He teaches about marriage, family, and human sexuality...." (Read more)