>Theology of the Body Congress: Keynote!

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The Anthropology of the Theology of the Body
Reverend J. Brian Bransfield
Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis
USCCB
“The future of humanity passes by way of the family” – Pope John Paul II
Pope JP II said in 1999: Society has fallen in love with death
What does it mean to be a human being? Who are you? Identity? What we answer:
  • Nationality
  • Occupation
  • I am my grades, my debt, my credit score: A number
Years of breaking down the family:
  • Agrarian and Mercantile: had the family together, and father teaching son
  • Industrial Revolution took the father away from the family and into the factories: ACQUIRE THINGS
  • Sexual Revolution – Freud; Margaret Sanger; the Pill; rise in Promiscuity, Adultery, Pornography; satisfying my own personal, erotic need; from SELF-GIFT, now we are SELF-TAKING: ACQUIRE PLEASURE
  • Technological Revolution: Notion: I have to have instant access to anything and everything I want; don’t need to wait for anything: ACQUIRE PLEASURE NOW
Pope JP II:
  • To receive Vatican II and prepare for the 3rd Millenium
  • 1979 – 1984
    • Wednesday Audiences on the Theology of the Body
    • Who is the human person?
Genesis: Answers WHO and WHY about the human person. Science cannot answer WHO we are.
1 Person, 3 Powers: Memory, Intellect, Will
RELATIONAL, not just RATIONAL
I know and I love: And I realize these as I relate to others, those outside myself: Original Solitude
There’s something about the creative choices of God: Why God created a woman out of man’s rib (why not another man? Why not from mud again?)
We were created by love for love: Gift of self. I am not meant to ACQUIRE PLEASURE QUICKLY, I am meant to GIVE. GIVE BEAUTY SLOWLY. = The real meaning of self!
  • Lies, Fear of the devil breaks us from this. And then we hide
  • Lucifer: Idea of “Freedom FROM…” not “Freedom FOR…”
  • Abortion is the devil’s temper tantrum against the incarnation
If we sin and do not confess
  • Voice of conscience is silenced
  • We become restless
  • We don’t consider the bigger picture / Long range impact of actions
  • Senses start ruling us / consumed by our appetites
  • We become worn out
  • Exhausted
>> We are called out of that to see the real meaning of self!
  • Luke 1:26 (7 steps of grace)
    • married
    • within family structure
    • truth
    • do not be afraid
    • choice of action: Mary’s fiat / all of history waited for the YES of a woman: all of Heaven dwells in her womb
    • humility
    • act of charity
>> Power of grace and virtue: in the Cross
  • Jesus gives, breathes forth the Church even as he is on the Cross. HE GIVES! That is the Theology of the Body
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