Bernardo M. Villegas
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Rebalancing Strategy
published: Mar 31, 2017



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The Theology of the Body

           It is just a matter of time, most probably on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2014, when the Catholic Church will have another former Pope who will have affixed to his name, "the Great", like St. Leo the Great or St. Gregory the Great.  I am referring to John Paul II who upon canonization will be referred to as St. John Paul the Great.  He deserves that title for myriad of reasons.  In today's hedonistic age, however, a major reason for his greatness is his pioneering work on The Theology of the Body, his "working term" for the 129 talks which he gave at his Wednesday General Audiences between September 1979 and November 1984.  These talks were specifically directed to a lucid explanation of human love and sexuality in God's plan.

          He did not pull any punches in denouncing unchaste practices like adultery.  On April 25, 1980, he recaptured the full meaning of "You shall not commit adultery" when he said that adultery happens when a man unites as "one flesh" with a woman who is not his wife, and vice versa.  He then referred to "adultery in the heart," which happens when a man "looks at a woman lustfully," when he directs his desire toward a woman who is not his wife, to unite with her as if she were his wife.  He cited the case of King David whose initial sin of lust was expressed by the sense of sight when he looked from his tower at the naked body of Batsheba ((2S. 11:2).  John Paul II made it clear what Jesus Christ meant when He said that one already sins against chastity when he "looks at a woman lustfully."  He explained:  "While focusing on sight, Christ's words do not say clearly whether the woman is single or married.  Obviously, when a man looks at his own wife, he does not commit adultery, 'in the heart,' because he cannot commit adultery with his wife.  The conjugal act is lawful in their relationship and is in conformity with the moral law.  Christ, although referring equally to man and woman, deliberately speaks of a man 'looking lustfully' to give a concrete example of the meaning given by God in creating the human body.  His words help us arrive at a general truth about historical man."

          A great part of the new evangelization to which we are  called by Pope Francis in this Year of the Faith is to explain to men and women of today, whatever their faith, the rich content of the Theology of the Body.  John Paul II, in The Theology of the Body, was not addressing himself to only Roman Catholics.  He was addressing all men and women of good will who want to live chaste lives.  Fortunately, on September 7, 2013, we will have two famous personalities from the United States who are "chastity evangelizers" and are able to communicate very effectively, especially to the youth of today, about the doctrine of John Paul II on Theology of the Body.  Thanks to a youth organization called Catalyst, Jason and Crystalina Evert, a husband and wife team, will address thousands of young people about the beauty and holiness of love and sexuality.  Jason and Crystalina have talked to more than a million people all over the world, especially in their home country, about how to live the virtue of chastity in both the single and married states.  Jason is the best-selling author of a dozen books, including Theology of the Body for Teens and Pure Love and Pure Manhood.  He earned his master's degree in theology, as well as undergraduate degrees in counseling and theology, from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.   His wife Crystalina Evert, founder of Women Made New and the author of three books:  Pure Womanhood, How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul, and Theology of the Body for Teens.

          The event is entitled "Real Love Revolution 2013," made up of two sessions:  one in the morning from 9 a.m. to 12 pm and the other in the afternoon from 2 to 5:30 p.m.  Archbishop Socrates Villegas of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan will celebrate the Holy Mass at 2 p.m.  The speakers will also address the various issues in Philippine society today such as the RH Law, contraception, divorce, pre-marital sex and teenage pregnancy.  Both events will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) and open to parents, teachers, yuppies and teenagers who want to be part of the Real Love Revolution 2013 carried out by those who refuse to bring human sexuality to the level of the beast, just an instinct to achieve a "satisfying sex life," instead of as a sacred treasure to express an indissoluble marital love and to cooperate in the creative work of God in perpetuating the human race.  Those interested in being "rebels for chastity" may contact Patrick Lim at Tel. no. 215-1918 or cellphone 0917-521-7676.  They may also email catalyst@uap.asia or catalystorganizaion@gmail.com.   For comments, my email address is bernardo.villegas@uap.asia