Sunday, March 29, 2009

Courage and Chastity

Marina led the discussion in Chapter, today. We prepared by reading Timothy Radcliffe's What is the Point of Being a Christian?, chapters 4 & 5.

Chapter 4: "Do Not Be Afraid" was the one we spent most time on. My brothers liked to tell their stories of courage. It is hard to belong to a religious order in their environment. It takes courage. It takes courage to walk over to the outcasts of their society and risk being labeled as one of them: pedophiles, homosexuals, snitches, etc. Just being Catholic takes courage because some of the people stay away from Catholics (the faithful ones that attend Mass)just because the say our church is full of pedophiles. And there they are, the "great sinners" kneeling there before the altar. So does sitting next to them in the pew and praying with them, label one as one of them. Some think so. It does take courage to be a Catholic.

Chapter 5: "The Body Electric" is about chastity. Actually, it's about honesty. Radcliffe thinks they're related. What I think is beautiful is the analogy of the gift of one body to another, as the sacrament of the heart. Each one is saying to the other: "Here is my body for you." Is this not a profoundly eucharistic act?

Fr. Aquinas, my spiritual director would love that analogy. He sees sexuality throughout the scriptures. But then sensuality is his Achilles heel. St. Thomas Aquinas would agree. He would say that anyone who thinks that sex is repulsive is wrong -- morally wrong.

But you know......Fr. Aquinas and St. Thomas Aquinas are both males. Sex is equated with love to them. All too often, they have nothing to do with each other. Ask any victim of rape. Sex should be an expression of love. "Should be" are the operative verbs.

As Tony quipped today, "I love you. What's your name, again?"

Typical male.

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