Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Human Person Is an Integral Union of Body and Soul

I really wanted to write about this subject for the ToB reflections, but there wasn't a question at the end of the I've decided to comment on it here, on the Full of Grace blog.

Body and Soul = you. Thank you God for making me a multi-dimensional/faceted (?) being.

This concept seems so compelling to me. Think about it - before we have a meal (nourishing the BODY), we say a prayer (nourishing the SOUL). During grace we aren't simply giving thanks for the food we are about to eat, we are looking both inward and outward, toward God.

My goal for this next year (starting right now) is to balance my time spent on BODY and SOUL. Maybe a trip to the gym and some time spent in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Maybe Mass and a quick jog around the neighborhood. Maybe a yoga practice (which I direct totally toward Jesus - feel free to ask me about that) followed by a rosary.

Hope everyone is having a beautiful summer!

Laura Y.

Celibacy and the TOB

Thursday, June 17

Though we talked about the vocation of celibacy yesterday, I was able to witness it in action today through my interactions with two people who are consecrated religious.

Sister Olga is originally from Iraq, but now she works at Boston University. She discerned a call to celibacy and to the religious life. Her witnese allowed me to see in action how celibacy is one way that we can live out the spousal meaning of our bodies. This woman radiates joy! She has a passionate, authentic love for everyone around her, and because of this love, she is truly a mother. And I'm not talking about some kind of second-rate motherhood. No! She is a real mother. Her witness truly blew me away. She has not given up her femininity or surrendered her sexuality. She is living the true meaning of her feminine sexuality through her celibate vocation. She is truly a gift.

Today, I had the pleasure of talking with Brother David, who belongs to the same order as Brother Rich and who also lives in DC. I sat next to him at lunch and we had a simple conversation, getting to know each other. During this conversation, I felt absolutely sure that I was having an encounter with authentic love. John Paul II talks about how in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve "knew each other with all the peace of the interior gaze." As Brother David looked at me, I felt the peace of the interior gaze. There was such a true disinterestedness in his love for me. It was awesome!

Praise God for our celibate brothers and sisters!

Quotes for meditation

Wednesday, June 16

Today we talked about Eschatological Man, which is a fancy way of saying that we talked about what it's going to be like to be a human person in heaven. In short, John Paul II tries to answer the question: What is our destiny? The material is so beautiful that I think it's appropriate to give you some quotes that I found to be particularly profound and allow you to meditate and reflect on them. Have fun!

"Right now, there are two bodies (one male and one female) in heaven, enraptured in the bliss of the Trinity. And they're waiting for us."
- Bill Donaghy

Divinization, which is God's plan for us, means "participation in the inner life of God himself." In this state "penetration and permeation of what is essentially human by what is essentially divine will reach its peak, so that the life of the human spirit will reach a fullness that was absolutely inaccessable to it before." Eschatological man will experience "God's self-communication in his very divinity, not only to the soul, but to the whole of his psychosomatic subjectivity" (TOB 67:3).
* psychosomatic subjectivity means body-soul personhood.

The beatific vision is a "concentration of knowledge... and love on God himself - a concentration that cannot be anything but full participation in God's inner life, that is, in trinitarian Reality itself" (TOB 68:4).

"Next to the Blessed Sacrament Itself, your neighbor is the holiest thing you can encounter with your senses."
- C. S. Lewis

More TOB!

Tuesday, June 15

"The words of Genesis 3:16 seem to suggest that [the appropriation typical of lust] happens more at the woman's expense and that in any case she feels it more than the man" (TOB 33:3).

I think we can all agree that as women, we feel the wounds of lust in a very particular way. Our culture tells us that we are only objects, and sometimes we buy into it, even though we know deep in our hearts that we are made for something more. Even worse, we sometimes start to think that there is something wrong with us if no man wants to use us. These are only a few lies, a few wounds, that I have struggled and continue to struggle with. But we need not fear to bring these wounds to the Lord. Christopher West says, "Grace flows through wounds." He wants to shower us with His healing grace! All we have to do is open the wounds to Him and let Him in. This process can be long and painful, but it is also healing and redemptive. Also, we can look to Mary, the Queen of the Universe. Her receptivity is not passive. On the contrary, it is always an active receptivity. A better translation of Mary's "yes" to the Angel Gabriel is, "I long for it to be done unto me according to your word." How beautiful!

Quotes for reflection:

"Get into the habit of saying 'Speak, Lord,' and life becomes a romance."
- Oswald Chambers

"Have you seen with the eyes of your soul the way Jesus looks at you with love? Never lose the daily interaction with Jesus the Living Person, not the idea."
- Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Theology of the Body reflections

Monday, June 14

Man "finds himself from the first moment of his existence before God in search of his own being... in search of his own 'identity'" (TOB 5:5).

1. The words "before God" really struck me in this quote. They made me think about something that Thomas Merton wrote in his book Seeds of Contemplation. I'm paraphrasing here: He says that God is closer to us than we are to ourselves and that our identity is so wrapped up in God that we cannot find ourselves apart from Him. It is astounding to me how necessary God is in the process of discovery who we are! But as Gaudium et Spes tells us, "Christ fully reveals man to himself and makes his supreme calling clear." How often do we (intentionally or unintentionally) try to divorce ourselves and our identities from God.
Food for prayer: Go before the Lord and ask, "Who am I?"

2. Our wonderful teacher, Bill Donaghy, pointed out that both the animals and human beings were created on the sixth day according to the first creation story in Genesis. But God only invites man, male and female, into the seventh day, the Sabbath. To choose not to enter the Sabbath (a life in the Sabbath) is to choose to fall short of our human nature and to liken ourselves to the beasts. Dr. Peter Kreeft writes, "Our nature is a task to achieve, not a fact to receive." We are the only creatures on earth who have to choose to attain our nature. A dog is a dog. It has no choice. But humans can choose to be sub-human by acting in ways that fall short of our human nature. How often do we justify a wrongful act by claiming, "Well, it's just human nature." No! That is a lie from the pit of Hell!! Human nature is to receive and give authentic, self-giving love. And God has stamped this call right in our bodies by creating us male and female and calling us to become one flesh. Now we live in a fallen world and we must deal with concupiscence every day; so to some extent, we all fall short of our human nature. But we are also redeemed by Christ! This means that with God's grace (and only with God's grace), we can reclaim this nature for ourselves. This is why John Paul II said, "Become what you are."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Theology of the Body reflections

Hey girls,

Unfortunately my laptop did not fit in the bag I brought to the Theology of the Body course/retreat. But no worries! I wrote some daily reflections in my journal to share with all of you. I'm going to post each day's reflections as a separate post so that it's not one, long, overwhelming post. I hope you enjoy these insights and that they will bear fruit in your lives. Here we go:

Sunday, June 13

"Through the fact that the Word of God became flesh, the body entered theology... through the main door" (TOB 23:4).

1. The body must be theological simply because the Second Person of the Trinity, God, united Himself to a body by uniting Himself to human nature.

2. The Word of God became flesh through Mary's openness to God, through her receptivity. In a certain sense, the Word receives His flesh from her flesh. Mary's role in the Incarnation is indispensible! She is the main door through which the body enters theology. She is the main door through which we can enter the Theology of the Body, through which we can come to live and experience the truths contained in the Theology of the Body in our own lives. Mary is the key. Stay close to her and follow her example of receptivity and vulnerability before the Lord. It is her openness and vulnerability that enables her to be gratia plena, full of grace. We, too, are called to be full of grace; so like Mary, are called to radical openness and vulnerability before God. Letting God into those parts of our hearts that we're most afraid of, most ashamed of, most attached to, those places that are most in need of healing, can be really scary. But as John Paul II said countless times during his papacy, "Do not be afraid!" Trust in God's love and mercy. And we can always ask Mary to teach us to be open.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bound for Cali!

Hey girls!

Michele - I will definitely be praying for you three while you learn sooo much Theology of the Body! That is SUPER exciting and awesome!

I'd also like to ask everyone to pray for me as I leave Hershey and head to California! I'm a little nervous about the long drive (even though my sister is coming with me)...and of course I'm a little anxious about what my life will be like on the West Coast!

I love you all sooooooo much and will keep you updated on my life in Los Angeles!

Mimi xoxoxoxoxoxoxo :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Theology of the Body

Hello ladies!

Emilie, Elisabeth, and I will be traveling to PA to begin our 5 day course/retreat at the Theology of the Body Institute. Please pray for us! Also, I will be blogging about my experiences there. Hopefully I will be able to post every day, but if that doesn't work out, I will definitely have something here by next Saturday. I hope summer vacation is going well for everyone!

Love you all,