Today’s short reflection is on the body!
When in Medjugorje I asked the super cool africain priest why the catholic church is so afraid to talk openly about the body! All the theology and books exist but they are not much good in the vatican gathering dust……and from what we hear about what goes on in the vatican, I’m not convinced that they are much read there either!!.
Anyway, the priest had a wonferful and humble response!
Instead of getting on his high horse that the church was perfect he humbly said that the church is not and that over the course of the centuries her understanding of the scriptures has evolved!
He explained that in the middle ages the church only focused on the soul being saved and paid no attention to the body! The body was considered almost evil!
As a result there was no talk of the beauty of the body but rather the evil pangs of the flesh trying to seduce you into hell!!
The body was to be feared and sexuality was feared even more.
As a friend of mine said recently when talking about sexuality in the church
“If you are talking about it then you are thinking about it….and if you are thinking about it then you are doing it….and if you are doing it….”
But this taboo in talking about the body and sexuality has literally paralysed the church!
One need only visit any catholic pilgrimage site all over the world to taste the misery!
If you sing and dance people will look at you funny and if you talk about sexuality many will run from you!
Some go to extremes, I know a lady in Ireland who is often put in the psych ward at lent because she won’t eat. Jesus did not intend this!
I heard of another young man who cut off his penis which was ‘causing him to sin’. He quoted the bible to the psychiatrists before ripping it off again!!
There would be more penises than dog poop on the streets if this was how the bible was to be interpreted!
But the point is the same, the lack of talking openly about the body in a healthy way has led to a terrible repression and shame!
And if we think about it, God took on a body in the person of Jesus and even when he was killed, He resurrected and loves His body so much that He will have it for all eternity!
And so the african priest encouraged me on my mission to come out of the middle ages and to bring the love and freedom of God to every’body’!
Have a great day! Laugh, danse and give thanks to God for the wonderful gift of your body!