Last Sunday we had our fifth session of Theology of the Body, entitled “The Resurrection of the Body (Our Destiny)”. Here are some questions and answers that summarize the content of that session:
-Have you conceived of heaven as a place of liberation from the “prison” of the body? Where does that serious error come from?… Many people have had this false view of heaven. Plato basically taught that our destiny is the state of our soul alone. However, this attacks the very foundation of Christianity, which tells us that the integrated state is the perfect union of the soul with the body.
-What does human marriage point to in the eternal realm?… To the marriage of Christ and the Church, the eternal union of love between God and all who respond to his invitation.
-Christopher West posits that when we lose sight of our destiny (i.e., communion with God in heaven), we can make the sexual relationship (which is just an icon or “image” of the heavenly marriage to come) an idol that is worshiped. If this is true, how can this have an effect on marriage or even dating relationships?… There is a constant danger that we will look to a human being as our ultimate fulfillment. When we discover we are not fulfilled, we will look to someone else, then someone else, etc.
-What is the Beatific Vision?… Beatific means supremely happy. The “Beatific Vision” is that vision of God in eternity that will fill us with eternal bliss.
-How was the Beatific Vision foreshadowed right from the beginning in the union of man and woman?… The joy of man and woman’s “original unity” provides a dim foreshadowing, a small glimmer into the joy that awaits us in the Beatific Vision. Man and woman seeing each other “naked without shame” also provides a window into the loving look of God directed towards us and our eternal gaze upon him.
-What particular light does the Theology of the Body shed on the communion of saints?… The Theology of the Body helps us to understand that the communion of saints is the fulfillment of the deepest longing of the heart for union with others. Heaven will not only be a “one-on-one” relationship with God. We will also live in profound communion with everyone who responds to the wedding feast of the Lamb. “For man, this consummation will be the final realization of the unity of the human race, which God willed from creation.… Those who are united with Christ will form the community of the redeemed, ‘the holy city’ of God, ‘ the Bride, the wife of the Lamb’” (CCC n.1045).
-What does it mean to say that all the sexual confusion in the world today is the human desire for heaven “gone berserk”?… God gave us sexual desire “in the beginning” to lead us to the everlasting “marriage” of heaven. Sin has caused that original yearning for heaven to go “berserk”.
So there is a summary of the session.
On another note, I want to thank everybody who put work into making our musicians’ workshop last Saturday a success, especially those who set up and provided for the lunch and take down. Thank you also to those who helped prepare and clean up after the graduates’ reception after 10:30 Mass last weekend.
I thought the musicians’ workshop was a great success, accomplishing just what I had hoped: laying out for us a genuine, faithful explanation of the role of music in the liturgy according to Vatican II Council. For the workshop, we had before us some of the very books we would use, were we to adopt the new Pew Missal and Hymnal of Illuminare Publications. My next step is to have another meeting with all of our music people, in order to get feedback from them on the materials we used, and their ideas that have developed since the workshop. At some point I envision putting together a packet for everybody at Mass with samples from the Pew Missal and Hymnal, so that during a homily I could help everybody to become familiar with what I believe is the preferred option for us to take our music program to the next level. As I have written and stated before, I would like a way for us consistently to pray the proper antiphons in the Mass (entrance, offertory, communion). I would also like a trustworthy set of hymns that have noble melodies and sound theology. (As a side effect, I certainly would not mind saving just under $6000 year, were we no longer to have to purchase the throw-away missalettes.)
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,