08.01.12 ~ Man and Woman: A Mutual Gift for Each Other

Two years ago, I tried to read one transcript from JPII’s ToB each day. I managed for 16 days and then sort of fell out of it. I’m trying to reform the habit. Pray for this resolution, please.


To understand the innocence of the mutual experience of the body, we must try to clarify what the interior innocence in the exchange of the gift of the person consists of. This exchange constitutes the real source of the experience of innocence. <– I had to read that one a few times over out loud. So the innocence [purity] of the mutual act is defined/ensured by the respective innocence [purity] of the individuals involved.

Reciprocal acceptance <– I had to read that whole section several times over as well. ‘Interior innocence’ is very helpfully rephrased as ‘righteousness of intention.’

This is because in this mutual relationship, which Genesis 2:23-25 speaks of, the man and the woman become a gift for each other, through the whole truth and evidence of their own body in its masculinity and femininity. <– And this is what everyone who argues for gay ‘marriage’ is missing, that Real masculinity and femininity complement and complete each other [without implying that one is incomplete without the other], and for the purely secular, our physical bodies give testimony to this. There’s a line from Such Great Heights that always captured this perfectly for me: I have to speculate that God himself did make us into corresponding shapes like puzzle pieces…

It is a question, then, of an “acceptance” or “welcome” that expresses and sustains, in mutual nakedness, the meaning of the gift. Therefore, it deepens the mutual dignity of it. <– 1flesh.org has this great graphic that says “It’s better naked.” Emphasis on mutually and completely so, because anything less lowers the dignity of the act as well as the individual. The condom is a cowardly thing, a testimony to shame and lack of dignity.

Therefore, it deepens the mutual dignity of it. This dignity corresponds profoundly to the fact that the Creator willed (and continually wills) man, male and female, “for his own sake.” <– That second sentence was exactly what I was trying to get at with Benjamin when he wanted to discuss the death penalty.

The innocence “of the heart,” and consequently, the innocence of the experience, means a moral participation in the eternal and permanent act of God’s will. <– Ok, I’m going to have to ask the reader to sort of complete this thought on their own, because I’m not sure I have the words to go quite where I want to with it, but consider: Aside from having the ability to make visible the invisible through our physical selves, by our free will, we participate and, in a sense, make permanent, the will of God, yet that is not to say that we change His will or impose upon it in any way.

… in the context of Genesis 2:23-25, we can note that this extorting of the gift from the other human being (from the woman by the man and vice versa) and reducing him or her interiorly to a mere “object for me,” should mark the beginning of shame. <– Note the Holy Father’s use of the word, ‘should.’ This formation of conscience thing gives us a potential to go to hell inasmuch as it gives us the potential to make it to heaven. We all have as much potential to become serial killers as we do to become saints. And all serial killers have the potential to repent completely and all saints have the potential to turn Judas.

Rediscovers herself <– That whole section is absolutely incredible, especially the line about Eve gaining full possession of herself.

“From the beginning” the woman is entrusted to his eyes, to his consciousness, to his sensitivity, to his heart. On the other hand, he must, in a way, ensure the same process of the exchange of the gift, the mutual interpenetration of giving and receiving as a gift. <– Isn’t that beautiful, when lived?

  • extort – to wrest or wring from a person by violence, intimidation, or abuse of authority
  • limpid – clear, transparent, or pellucid, as water, crystal, or air, free from obscurity

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