Write In Between

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Writer's Wednesday -- Christopher West

Here's a taste of the "theology of the body" course I went to and a great quote from Christopher West...

If original sin leads us to doubt the benevolent love of the Father and to close our hearts to the free gift of his life, [our late Pope] John Paul tells us that "faith, in its deepest essence, is the openness of the human heart to the gift: to god's self-communication in the Holy Spirit." This life is poured out for us is Christ's self-gift to his Bride on the cross. In essence, Christ's self-gift says to us: "You don't believe in the Father's love? Let me make it real for you; let me incarnate it for you so that you can taste and see. You don't believe that God wants to give you life? I will bleed myself dry so that my life's blood can vivify you. You thought God was a tyrant, a slave-driver? You thought he would whip your back and mail me to a tree; I will let you lord it over me to show you that the Father has no desire to lord it over you. I have not come to condemn you, but to save you. I have not come to enslave you, but to set you free. Turn from your disbelief. Believe and receive the gift of eternal life I offer you."

This is Christ's "marriage proposal." He entrusts himself as a gift to our freedom. Faith, then, is the human heart's openness to the gift of divine live. It is man's freely given "yes" to heaven's marriage proposal. Understood in this way, faith is the only path to reconciling the "great divorce" and to that holiness which gradually heals man's internal split. John Paul tells us that "holiness is measured according to the 'great mystery' in which the Bride responds with the gift of love to the gift of the Bridegroom. Holiness, in other words, is Love loved. Each time a human heart receives and reciprocates God's love, the reconciliation of divinity and humanity, body and soul, man and woman takes root. Bringing about this reconciliation is the meaning and purpose of the Incarnation and Redemption.

-----Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained.

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