Day 51: Unity of Soul and Body (362-368)
Only 314 days left!!
Is that right?
We are in the section about Man
There are four sections we talked about yesterday
Man is IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
Man is BODY AND SOUL BUT TRULY ONE
Man is MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM
MAN IN PARADISE aka God established man in His friendship
We are going to talk about the SOUL
Soul has a number of different uses throughout Scripture and in the life of the Church
Paragraph 363 says, “In Sacred Scripture the term ‘soul’ often refers to human life or the entire human person. But ‘soul’ also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him.”
Jesus says, “What does it profit a person if they gain the whole world and lose their soul?”
That part by which we are MOST ESPECIALLY in God’s image
IT IS INCREDIBLE!!
Paragraph 363 continues, “‘Soul’ signifies the spiritual principle in man.”
We are SPIRITUAL beings as well as CORPOREAL beings
Yes, we have bodies
We also have souls
We ARE bodies
We ARE souls
Paragraph 365 says, “The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the ‘form’ of the body: i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body…”
THAT IS REMARKABLE!!
We will hear from Gaudium et Spes today in Paragraph 364, “Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity.”
A human person is BODY AND SOUL TOGETHER
An imprecise way of saying it is, “You are your body” or “You are your soul”
The way Gaudium et Spes says it is, “You are MADE UP of body and soul”
A human person IS body and soul
Does that make sense?
This isn’t part of you and that’s part of you
This is an analogy and hopefully it’s a helpful analogy
A book is made up of paper and ink and words
Ok the paper and the ink are the thing you FEEL and the thing you SEE
What gets communicated and what makes it a book is the words that ink shapes on the paper
It’s something that is represented by the thing you hold in your hands
The part that is present that is MATERIAL communicates something that is IMMATERIAL
It communicates IDEAS
Is that a good example?
Maybe we should just stick with the human person being BOTH body and soul
Every spiritual soul is created IMMEDIATELY by God
The BODY is created by the human parents
The SOUL is created immediately by God
This means it is not mediated by human beings
The soul is NOT created by human parents
The soul is IMMORTAL and does not perish when it separates from the body
Human beings are body AND soul
So let’s pray and ask the Father to be with us and thank Him for the gift of our bodies and souls
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Heavenly Father, you have made us in your image and likeness. You have made us soul and body, not that you have a body God, but that we are in your image. We have intellect and a will. We can choose. We can love. And we give you thanks. Because not only can we choose and love. We choose and love in our bodies. We also can use our bodies against you. We can use our bodies. We can use our wills. We can use our intellect to reject you or to say no to you. We just ask you, Lord God, keep us entirely yours. Keep us, body and soul, united in love for you. And at that moment, Lord God, at the end of our lives where our body and soul are separated, hold our soul in your hand. Take our soul to you so that one day, in the Resurrection of the Body, we can be reunited with our bodies giving you glory for all Eternity. We make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen”
IT IS SO INCREDIBLE!!
WHAT A REMARKABLE THING!!
IT IS SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT!!
YOU ARE YOUR BODY!!
YOU ARE YOUR SOUL!!
We are made up of BODY AND SOUL
IT IS A UNITY!!
In other cultures and eons, hundreds and thousands of years ago when Christianity encountered other people and lands one of the things people thought was that you are your SOUL and the body is a TRAP
They think the body is the CAGE that holds the soul
The Church says the human person is a BODY AND SOUL UNITY
Tertullian once said, “The flesh is the hinge of salvation.”
Unless we understand the REALITY AND POWER AND IMPORTANCE of the body then there is no way we can possibly understand Christianity
How did God save us?
We are here in this world that is good but fallen
God simply could have declared over this world and us, “YOU ARE SAVED!”
Because by His very voice He created
So by His very voice He could redeem us
God ends up saving us by TAKING ON A BODY
AND ENTERING INTO THIS WORLD
LIVING IN HIS BODY
SUFFERING IN HIS BODY
LOVING IN HIS BODY
DYING, RISING, AND ASCENDING INTO HEAVEN IN HIS BODY
That is how He has affected salvation
That is how he COMMUNICATES salvation to us
In Baptism, water touches our body
In Anointing, oil touches our body
In the Eucharist, bread and wine become His very BODY, BLOOD, SOUL, AND DIVINITY
WE ARE FED WITH HIS BODY!!
We need to understand that a human person is BOTH BODY AND SOUL
That was not only radical back in the day
It has recently become radical again
People may claim that they are in the WRONG body
THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE!!
A person CANNOT BE IN THE WRONG BODY
A person can PERCEIVE incorrectly
GOD DID NOT PUT THEM IN THE WRONG BODY!!
That would be an ERROR that would go against a CENTRAL CORE OF OUR BELIEFS AS CATHOLIC CHRISTIANS
The body and soul are TRULY ONE
What you ARE is that body you have right now
What you ARE is that soul that is animating that body right now
IT IS REALLY REMARKABLE!!
Paragraph 362 highlights the Biblical origins of this and says, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life…”
So there is the CORPOREAL FORM from the dust
And there is the BREATH OF LIFE that gives man life
Paragraph 362 continues, “Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.”
God WANTS you to exist
God WANTS human beings to exist
God specifically wants YOU to exist
The realities around any given person’s conception might not be the best
IT IS GOOD THAT YOU EXIST!!
YOU DO NOT EXIST ON ACCIDENT!!
Even if you were conceived in a way that was in the midst of brokenness
EVEN THEN YOU WERE WILLED BY GOD!!
Not that God wanted the brokenness
God can bring GREAT GOOD out of the brokenness
“Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.” IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US!!
We often say, “God loves you!”
Or we tell people that God LOVES them
Sometimes in low and difficult moments people say, “Of course He does. God has to love everybody.”
God loves everybody
HE DOESN’T HAVE TO!!
Another way to say it is, “God loves everyone. But you didn’t HAVE to exist.”
Yes, God loves YOU
Maybe because His very nature is LOVE you can say in some sense that God HAS to love you
YOU DID NOT HAVE TO EXIST!!
YET YOU DO EXIST!!
BECAUSE GOD WILLS YOU TO EXIST!!
GOD WANTS YOU TO EXIST!!
GOD WANTS YOU TO EXIST SO THAT HE CAN LOVE YOU!!
THAT IS REMARKABLE!!
GOD WANTS TO SHARE HIS LIFE WITH YOU!!
THAT IS SO PROFOUND!!
Another profound thing is in Paragraph 365, “The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the ‘form’ of the body: i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.”
THIS IS SO SO IMPORTANT!!
There is a desire to reduce human beings to their bodies ALONE or to their souls ALONE
To say that man is just another animal in this world
Yes we are animals in the sense that we share bodies with animals
We are CORPOREAL like animals are
WE ARE DISTINCT!!
WE ALSO HAVE A SOUL!!
People would say, “The REAL you is the soul. The REAL you is what’s unseen. The body is just the trap or cage or the expression of what is unseen.”
IT GOES DEEPER THAN THAT!!
The human person is the UNITY OF SOUL AND BODY
The human person is a SINGLE NATURE
NOT A DOUBLE NATURE!!
Paragraph 367 says, “Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit: St. Paul for example prays that God may sanctify his people ‘wholly,’ with “spirit and soul and body”...”
What does that mean?
The Church teaches that this distinction between spirit and soul does not introduce a new duality to the soul
Like if part of your soul is soul and part of your soul is spirit
Paragraph 367 continues, “‘Spirit’ signifies that from creation man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratuitously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God.”
The reality of the SPIRIT is that we are made FOR GOD
We are made for MORE THAN WE HAVE
We are made for MORE THAN IS IN THIS MATERIAL WORLD
WE ARE MADE FOR THE LORD!!
That’s what St. Paul is referring to
That spirit refers to the fact that YOU are oriented for a supernatural end and that our soul can be FREELY raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God
WHICH IS REMARKABLE!!
Paragraph 368 says, “The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one’s being…”
On the side of the paragraphs are some numbers
Next to Paragraph 368 is Paragraph 2562 which refers to a different paragraph
Paragraph 2562 talk about THE HEART
Paragraph 2562 says, “Where does prayer come from? Whether prayer is expressed in words or gestures, it is the whole man who prays. But in naming the source of prayer, Scripture speaks sometimes of the soul or the spirit, but most often of the heart (more than a thousand times). According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays. If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain.”
Paragraph 2563 says, “The heart is the dwelling place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place ‘to which I withdraw.’ The heart is our hidden center…”
That is what we mean when we say the HEART is referred to as the SOUL
The DEPTHS of one’s being where the person decides either FOR or AGAINST God
In our SOUL and our HEART we decide either FOR or AGAINST God
So we ask God to help us to be HIS
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!
Scripture References & Reflections
- compiled by Andrew Adamany
Bible Translation - RSVCE
CCC 362 "The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual… Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God."
"then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."
CCC 363 "In Sacred Scripture the term "soul" often refers to human life or the entire human person."
"Soul"- original koine Greek- "psuche" - "human soul, life, breath of life"*
"For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life* for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?"
"Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life* for his friends."
"So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls*."
“But "soul" also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him, that by which he is most especially in God's image: "soul" signifies the spiritual principle in man."
"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go yonder and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour."
2 Maccabees 6:30
“When he was about to die under the blows, he groaned aloud and said: “It is clear to the Lord in his holy knowledge that, though I might have been saved from death, I am enduring terrible sufferings in my body under this beating, but in my soul I am glad to suffer these things because I fear him.”
CCC 364 "The human body shares in the dignity of "the image of God": it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit:"
1 Corinthians 6:19–20
“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; 20 you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
1 Corinthians 15:44–45
“It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.”
"Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day."
“For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
“Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”
1 Thessalonians 4:14–18
“For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words."
CCC 366 "The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God - it is not "produced" by the parents - and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection."
CCC 367 "Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit: St. Paul for instance prays that God may sanctify his people "wholly", with "spirit and soul and body" kept sound and blameless at the Lord's coming. The Church teaches that this distinction does not introduce a duality into the soul. "Spirit" signifies that from creation man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratuitously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God."
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24
“May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it."
CCC 368 "The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one's being, where the person decides for or against God."
“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
“and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”
“the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders; 4 but to this day the Lord has not given you a mind to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear.”
“And the Lord said:
“Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment of men learned by rote"
“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances."
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
“And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.”
“and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”