Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
“Whoever said our bodies are strictly ours?” (see Part 1)
I am a dependent creature. We all are. God is sustaining us—thinking of us—holding us together in every moment. He is the Creator, I am creature. In this dependency rests the reality that “I am not my own.”
I am created for another—for others—for Him. I do not live for myself or die for myself, but all is for Christ (Romans 14:7-8). That is the call of a Christian.
I am called to embrace the reality of dependency (see Col 1:16-17). To live in freedom is to be totally dependent on Christ.
As a body-soul creature, I am meant to live totally for Christ in my body and soul. St. Paul so boldly proclaims: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:17-20)
I am not my own. My body is not simply mine but created for the sake of glorifying God (see Romans 12:1). The sufferings and ailments of the body in this present life remind us that we are not made for this world. And not only that but we are destined for resurrection in Christ—BODY and soul. Our whole person is promised the resurrection. If our bodies were just an ailment or burden, God would not have promised that we will regain our bodies at the end of time (check out more of that in the Catechism of the Catholic Church).
Let us care for our bodies with the intention of offering it as a gift back to the Creator—something that reveals His glory. How? By taking care of ourselves—eating good food (food that tastes, smells, and feels good—eating regularly), clothing ourselves in a dignified way, exercise (as to discover the
radical ways our limbs and muscles can move), and resting. But how much easier that might be when we steward our bodies as something that is not totally ours.
The Christian’s body is foremost the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit which is how we have the capacity to offer ourselves back to the Creator through surrender and worship.
We are created for perfect unity with God. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body: Man and Woman He Created Them dives into the reality that we are called to give of ourselves through love—a gift of self that is only possible through freedom (which means an openness to healing and grace, while desiring to grow in virtue).
We are wounded beings which means we fail and struggle to remember that we are ultimately created for union with God. C.S. Lewis offers caution in his work, The Screwtape Letters, “The joke is that the word ‘Mine’ in its fully possessive sense cannot be uttered by a human being about
anything…they will find out in the end, never fear, to whom their time, their souls, and their bodies really belong—certainly not to them.” The sooner we learn dependency on Christ, the sooner we encounter the depths of freedom offered to us.
Christ testified in His body that death does not have the final say. The words uttered in the Consecration, “This is my body given for you” (Luke 22:19) offer a reminder of the redemption of the body. Christ gave of His own body so we might realize our true dignity and goodness of the body. He desired that we know the beauty of receiving and know how to give of ourselves in
surrender, service, and worship.
You might wonder, “How can I discern how to care for my body?” I find that it is sometimes easier to care for something that is not ours. Instead of asking: “Should I… [insert: eat this thing, go running, sleep in, etc.]?” Ask: “Lord what does your body need?” This takes the pressure off and
immediately invites the Lord into this space of questioning or potential judgment (sometimes potential self-condemnation). We take on a receptive disposition of grace as we seek His will.
The Holy Spirit reorients our minds to what is good necessary, even in the most ordinary events. So, ask Him how He needs His Body taken care of—after all—we are dwelling places of His Spirit and make up the Mystical Body of Christ. The pressure is no longer on you. Scrupulosity, laziness, and
disordered thinking cannot invade when we surrender control back to the Creator who gave us freedom.