Body Talking, Truer than Lust: Day 19
‘…the human body speaks a “language” of which it is not the author in the proper sense of the term. The author is man--male and female--who rereads the true sense of that “language,” thereby bringing to light again the spousal meaning of the body as integrally inscribed in the very structure of masculinity and femininity of the personal subject. Already through itself (per se), this rereading of the language of the body “in the truth” gives a prophetic character to the words of conjugal consent, through which a man and woman bring into being the visible sign of marriage as a sacrament of the Church.’ (TOB 105:5)
‘The fact that man (male and female) is the man of concupiscence does not utterly undermine his capacity to reread the language of the body in the truth. He is the “man of concupiscence,” but at the same time he is able to distinguish truth from falsity in the language of the body and can be the author of true (or false) meanings of that language.’ (TOB 107:5)
Building upon the marvelous intersection of marital love with consummation of Jesus and Church, St. John Paul II further defines the freedom of man and woman in Christ. Recall the ‘spousal meaning of the body’ evident in Eden. God made our bodies, intrinsically masculine or feminine, to be an integrated offering of love for this other. Put another way, God made our bodies to speak, without words, the language of love to our spouses.
Think about it. Marital consummation tells a greater truth, speaks a better word. ‘I chose you, I wooed you, and, forsaking all others, I seal that choice with a naked body offered to you alone, over and over again.’ Prophetic! We do it bodily, which foretells God’s intent to do it spiritually as He gathers a people for Himself, prepares us for love, and insists in the meantime that we have no other lovers but Him. Though we await that final consummation, conjugal love declares now the meaning of what will be our ultimate communion with Jesus.
That bodily language of love requires some things. Will we recognize in our spouses the one love which we shall not deny? Will we keep his or her bodily gift sacred? I cannot help but see Annette as the only woman I shall ever know. She alone housed my children! The same lovely temple, now fit for grandparenting…
I refuse any lover entry into the inner courts of our 40-years-together.
I hear St. John Paul II’s words about lust and the language of love as hopeful. Yes, I admit, I am not immune to bouts of lust, looking fleetingly at what and who can never be mine. Yet the beauty of the body’s redemption prevails, this side of heaven! These passing fancies do not drive me. Though tinged with lust, I am centered in love and its language, alive and well and aimed at one, not many. I may still lust, but Jesus frees me to be a man of love. Jesus will finish what He started in Annette and me, and in your marriage as well. We are life-signs, torches of redemption, that light the way for others to prepare for our soon-coming King.
‘Thank You, Jesus, that Your love frees us from lust’s dominion and frees us for faithfulness. Might we reclaim even more the body’s true language, its spousal meaning, from the debris of our wanderings? We who are entrusted with spousal love have a sacred call for which You fight. May we in turn fight for the integrity of our vows and the beauty of our beloved spouses. Thank you for our bodies that together sing heaven’s song.’
'Jesus, thank You for confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court, Your bright light in a dismal political season.'