Friday, August 19, 2011

Love vs. Dualism

This is an excerpt of how George Weigel explains Father Karol Wojtyla's  philosophy and theology of responsible love:

"In freely giving myself sexually to another as an expression of love, I am being myself in a most radical way, for I am making myself a gift to another in a way that is a profound expression of who I am." (Weigel, George. Witness to Hope, 142)

I was struck by this passage, and I wonder if this holds true for every chaste relationship, including those in which the partners remain celibate?

Every day, I strive to dedicate everything I am, have, and do, completely to God, including my sexuality. It is all God's initiative, though.

God not only invites me to give myself freely to Him in the totality of my being (which is itself His gift to me), but He also gives me the grace to do so. In this give and take between the Lord and my soul, I really do discover who I am, at the core of my being.

I once thought that, as someone who hopes to be a nun, sexual ethics and the Theology of the Body would not be important to me.

Now, I am just beginning to realize that I just might have been wrong about this!

In fact, I have been fighting dualistic tendencies of thinking all my life (holy father, Saint Dominic, pray for me!), and here is an answer to them:

I believe that I am a body-mind-soul unity, made for the praise of God's glory in the totality of my being. I cannot just choose to cast off my body, abuse it, or ignore it (as if it would ever let me anyway) without losing my humanity and betraying a huge part of God's will for my life.

In fact, all this talk of me and my body, my body as an 'it' is just feeding into the dualistic mentality. I am so bad at using language!

I am my body, and my body is me. But, unlike the materialists, I believe in the existence of an immortal soul as well. A few  years ago, on a Philosophy exam in college, I did a little bit of speculation as to what the soul is/does:

"As a Catholic, I believe that the soul does exist, and that it is the source of my fundamental identity. It is the part of me that shall never die, even though the body and my brain will one day decay. (Remember o man that you are dust and unto dust you shall return!)...The soul is that which unites the body and the mind, thereby making me a single entity...I am my soul, my soul is me. We cannot be separated or distinguished from one another." (from my practice notes, which I saved) 

At any rate, this book...
(Source) now on my reading list (though it is doubtful that I will get to it anytime soon, as I still have 800+ pages to go in Witness to Hope! and other books in line ahead of it).

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, an amateur theologian
(and even worse philosopher!)
struggling to grasp the truth of my existence
in light of Your Love and Your Truth!

My Jesus, I love You.
My Jesus, I trust in You.
My Jesus, I give myself entirely to You!

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