Liveblogging: Theology of the Body, Part IV

Liveblogging: Theology of the Body, Part IV

Talk 4: Sacrament of Marriage & the Language of Sexual Love

Ephesians 5:21,24-25

We are called to submit or be subject to one another, not just wife to husband.

After the fall, God says the fruit of the original sin is that the wife’s urges will be to her husband and he will dominate her. St. Paul is calling us back to the original meaning of marriage.

“So therefore that ‘reverence for Christ’ and ‘respect’ of which [St. Paul] speaks, is none other than a spiritually mature form of that mutual attraction: man’s attraction to femininity and woman’s attraction to masculinity.” (JP2)

Mary is the ark of the New Covenant and all woman are images of that ark of the new covenant. What happened to ancient Israelites who touched the ark without respect? They died. What happens to us who touch the ark of the new covenant without respect, who dominate and manipulate women? We die and sometimes we take the woman with us.

St. Paul is not justifying male domination.

As the Church submits to Christ, wives should submit to husbands. Does the Church submit to tyranny? Christ submitted himself to tyranny in the Passion to show otherwise.

Husbands love their wives like Christ loved the Church. Wives, allow your husbands to serve you.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • As a man, I think CW stayed on the safe territory to stress that a man’s submission to his wife is to lay down his life for her and die if necessary. This includes his “heroic moment” of rising each day to get to work, the dry martyrdom of putting the needs of the family before his own comforts, etc. All essential. But perhaps it’s better left to women to stress (to their sisters in Christ) that when push comes to shove, the wife needs to submit to the husband as spiritual head of the family. If (God forbid) wills collide, short of sin, the man should have his way. In the hierarchy of love, woman comes first (Mulieris Dignitatem) but in the hierarchy of the home, i.e. decision-making, the man has the last word. Hopefully it’s done in collaboration with his wife, but whatever the family charism, he’s the boss. We cannot sugar-coat this (right, Melanie?)

  • This ia a concept that I had to learn the hard way.  When I got married my husband was in charge of all the financial matters but I was in charge of all the family matters because after all I knew best how to raise a family (wrong.)  Being the gentleman that he is my husband stepped aside and let me do my thing.  His role in the family became Mr. Fun.  The more fun he provided the more I had to counter balance by ruling with an iron fist.  The more I ruled with an iron fist the more fun he provided.  It was a destructive cycle first and foremost because it is difficult to love properly when you rule with an iron fist.

    Thank God for the woman he placed in my life (sisters in Christ) who helped me to understand this.  We are still a work in progress but at least we are moving in the right direction.

  • Just one note—Love and Responsibility was written by Karol Wojtyla before he became pope, so it’s not *by* John Paul II *as pope*.