The human heart is made for love. As women we dream of the one who will love us as the one. We want to be special to someone. We want to be loved, and held, and cared for, even as we care for others and courageously make a difference in the world. The human person—male and female—is made for love. How do we know this? Because we were made by Love and in the image of God-Love. This is the very meaning of our existence. We are called to live in the image in which we’re made. We’re invited to live as God lives and to love as God loves. Here are some key reflections on the meaning of our lives.
Some key aspects of the body’s theology:
1) The silence or repressive approach of the Church toward sexual ethics in the past has given way to a language of love that corresponds to the greatest desires we have in our hearts as women and men. We begin by trying to figure out how far we can go before committing a sin. We grow into the freedom of discovering that love is really about a union that mirrors the majesty, holiness, and graciousness of the union God offers us with himself.
2) In the Bible, the imagery most often used to speak about God’s eternal plan for the humanity he created is marriage. God wants to live with us that unbreakable bond and seal of love that is evoked in the marriage vows. God desires union with us. To make this visible to us he impressed an image of it in our very bodies as male and female, and called us to be one flesh. That’s why we speak of the “language of the body.” The human body speaks about God, the meaning of our life, and our longing to love and be loved. We are created in the image of God through our call to communion, not just as individuals.
3) The union of the sexes—imaged in the very physicalness of our bodies—is a created version, one could say, of God’s uncreated and eternal exchange of love within the Trinity and God’s gift of love to us. We are invited to participate in that eternal communion. That gift of love, then, God longs that we return, so that we might be part of that mutual dance of love that exists in the Trinity where each lives for the other and in the other and by the other. This is the very meaning of our existence. The sexual union of man and woman is a sign of who we are and the divine call we have to intimacy.
4) The innocence we have as children, which is eventually marred by sin and often wounded by the sin of others committed against us, is redeemed in Christ who teaches us how to love by loving us completely. We cannot live without love. The greatest love is to give our lives for another. Jesus gave his life for us. He has loved each of us, just as we are, wounded and wounding, so that in the experience of being loved we might learn how to receive and then to give love. Regardless of what our past has been, it can all be healed in the face of a love like this. This is the love we all long for, and it has been given to us. It is there for the taking.