Day 52: Male and Female (369-373)
THIS IS REMARKABLE!!
Yesterday we talked about human beings being BODY AND SOUL
We have these two components
BODY AND SOUL
IN A UNITY
Today we learn that as human beings we are MALE AND FEMALE
There is this REMARKABLE REALITY
The Catechism unpacks so much of what St. John Paul II called “an adequate anthropology”
In order to understand WHO WE ARE as human beings, we need “an adequate anthropology”
Anthropology is the study of human beings
The Catechism talks about how male and female are EQUAL and also DIFFERENT
We are EQUAL and COMPLIMENTARY
The Church stands outside of the culture
The Church also stands IN the culture
We can go back to the very beginning and realize that the Church asserted and affirmed that men and women are EQUAL IN DIGNITY
There were people throughout history that disliked Christianity
They rejected Christianity because the Church asserted that male and female are equal in dignity
In our culture there are people who reject the Church because the Church continues to affirm that we are EQUAL
The Church also affirms that we are COMPLIMENTARY
The Church also affirms that we are DIFFERENT
The Church has this incredible paradox
There is so much in our Church that is a paradox
There is so much in our Faith that is a paradox
What is a PARADOX?
It is SEEMING CONTRADICTION that actually IS NOT A CONTRADICTION
That paradox when it comes to male and female is that human beings are equal
At the same time they are different
EQUAL AND COMPLIMENTARY!!
There is something SO SO INCREDIBLE about this
Let’s say a prayer as we dive into something that is, in some ways, counter cultural
In some ways it stands against the culture
In some ways it upholds the culture
What we believe as Catholic Christians has SHAPED this culture
We would not have the women’s suffrage movement, even though it took a long time
We wouldn’t have that without the doctrine we are learning about today
We wouldn’t have that without Christianity
We would not have this recognition that MEN AND WOMEN…
MALE AND FEMALE…
Are created EQUAL IN DIGNITY
And are CO-HEIRS to the Life of Grace
So let’s pray!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, you have made us male and female. You have made us co-heirs to your life. To your Divine Life. To the Grace that you offer to all human beings. We ask that you come and meet us with that Grace. We ask that you come meet us in our maleness. Come meet us in our femaleness. Come meet us in our humanity. Because you have made us different. And yet, at the same time, you have imprinted your Divine Image on every single one of us. And so we are equal. And yet, unique. And yet, complimentary. Lord, help us to appreciate and uphold our equality. Help us to appreciate and honor our complementarity. We ask this in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen”
OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS!!
THIS IS JUST INCREDIBLE!!
The EQUALITY of male and female
It is taken for granted by us as modern people
THAT WAS NOT ALWAYS THE CASE!!
It was not always just assumed that male and female are EQUAL
The Catechism says, and the Church believes, that man and woman are EQUAL IN DIGNITY
At the same time man and women are COMPLEMENTARY
This is the UNIQUE PARADOX of this whole thing
EQUALITY AND COMPLEMENTARITY IS SO VITALLY IMPORTANT FOR US TO HOLD IN TENSION!!
While men and women are EQUAL men and women ARE NOT THE SAME
At the same time, we are MADE FOR EACH OTHER
We are COMPLEMENTARY
Paragraph 372 says, “Man and woman were made ‘for each other’-not that God left them half-made and incomplete…”
A human being is COMPLETE
There are certain kinds of philosophies or romantic ideas that a person is walking around the world “looking for their other half”
That’s not accurate
YOU ARE NOT HALF
If you are single, you are not ALMOST A FULL PERSON
YOU ARE REALLY A FULL PERSON!!
You are not half-made and incomplete
The man in the Garden of Eden WAS NOT INCOMPLETE
He couldn’t live out his VOCATION which was to LOVE
That’s a very important thing we will talk about in the weeks to follow
He is COMPLETE
SO IS THE WOMAN!!
Paragraph 372 continues, “...he created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be ‘helpmate’ to the other, for they are equal as persons (‘bone of my bones…’) and complementary ads masculine and feminine. In marriage God unites them in such a way that, by forming ‘one flesh’ they can transmit human life.”
Now here is the mystery
Human beings, male or female, are not incomplete in and of themselves
This is true ONTOLOGICALLY
It is true in their PERSONHOOD
AT THE SAME TIME…
If you look at a human body, male or female, you will find that every biological system is COMPLETE
Your neurological system is complete and intact inside of your body
Your digestive system is whole and complete in your body
Your endocrine system is whole and complete in your body
Every one of your biological systems is whole and complete inside of your body
EXCEPT FOR ONE!!
That is the REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
In order to do what it is MEANT to do, it NEEDS ANOTHER BODY
It doesn’t need JUST ANY OTHER BODY
IT NEEDS A COMPLEMENTARY BODY!!
Think about how REMARKABLE this is
This is one of the reasons we have a sexual ethic
MALE AND FEMALE!!
Because that is literally, at the BIOLOGICAL LEVEL, what we are oriented towards
The male and female complementarity is NOT just that boys like girls and girls like boys
It is the male body is a COMPLEMENT to the female body
It is the female body is a COMPLEMENT to the male body
Remember we talked about how YOU ARE YOUR BODY and YOU ARE YOUR SOUL
This body and soul IN A UNITY
YOU CANNOT GET AWAY FROM THIS!!
The body REVEALS something to us
THIS IS REMARKABLE!!
While human beings are EQUAL IN DIGNITY…
WE ARE ALSO COMPLEMENTARY!!
WE CANNOT BRING FORTH LIFE WITHOUT THE OTHER!!
Male on its own doesn’t make any sense when it comes to reproduction
Female on its own doesn’t make any sense when it comes to reproduction
THIS IS REMARKABLE!!
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!
PRAISE GOD FOR THIS!!
We keep saying God’s image and likeness in male and female
Paragraph 370 says, “In no way is God in man’s image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit…”
So when we say God is FATHER He has revealed Himself as FATHER
That is very important for us to understand
GOD IS NOT MALE
GOD IS NOT A MAN
GOD IS NOT A WOMAN
GOD IS PURE SPIRIT
There are ways in which we can speak of God
Paragraph 370 continues, “But the respective ‘perfections’ of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a father and husband.”
We know these words are LIMITED
Paragraph 373 says, “In God’s plan man and woman have the vocation of ‘subduing’ the earth as stewards of God.”
We will talk about this when it comes to our responsibility to care for the earth later on
God’s sovereignty is that He loves EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS
Is that He loves EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS
Therefore if we are going to be STEWARDS of what God LOVES then we need to have HEARTS LIKE HIS
We are not OWNERS
We are STEWARDS
Our approach to Creation and to each other is the same as God’s
Paragraph 373 continues, “‘God calls man and woman, made in the image of the Creator ‘who loves everything that exists,’ to share in his providence toward other creatures; hence their responsibility for the world God has entrusted to them.”
That is the reality
God has entrusted this world to us
If you are listening to this and you are married, God has entrusted THAT PERSON TO YOU
We are talking today about the difference between male and female
IT IS BEAUTIFUL!!
IT IS POWERFUL!!
IT IS INCREDIBLE!!
If you are married, then God has ENTRUSTED THAT PERSON TO YOU
How are you caring for that person?
How are you loving them well today?
How are you loving them like God loves them today?
If you have been blessed with children, God has ENTRUSTED THEM TO YOU
We are not owners of our children
We are stewards of our children
God has ENTRUSTED THOSE CHILDREN TO YOU
How have you loved them the way that God loves them?
If you do not have a spouse or children, there are people in your life
Maybe they are siblings, parents, elderly parents, nieces and nephews, next door neighbors etc.
As stewards of this incredible world that God has made, He has ENTRUSTED OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR TO US
He has ENTRUSTED OUR PARENTS TO US
How are we loving them the way that God loves them?
It is something worth praying about today
Paragraph 373 says, “God calls man and woman, made in the image of the Creator ‘who loves everything that exists,’ to share in his providence toward other creatures…”
INCLUDING OUR NEIGHBORS!!
So here we are
“God, help us to love the people that you love. Help us to love the people in our lives. Help us to love the people who get ignored and get overlooked and get passed by.”
One of the ways we can love them is by PRAYING FOR THEM
One of the ways we can love each other is by PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER
For 51 days Fr. Mike has been praying FOR YOU!!
Fr. Mike has forgotten to mention to please pray FOR EACH OTHER (Don’t worry, Fr. Mike!! I haven’t forgotten and I remind everyone to pray for each other in these notes!! 😄)
We need prayers
Not just Fr. Mike for YOU
Not just YOURS for Fr. Mike
WE NEED TO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
WE ARE NOT ALONE HERE
YOU ARE NOT ALONE HERE
So please pray for each other!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!
Scripture References & Reflections
- compiled by Andrew Adamany
Bible Translation - RSVCE
CCC 369 "Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. "Being man" or "being woman" is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.240 Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity "in the image of God". In their "being-man" and "being-woman", they reflect the Creator's wisdom and goodness.”
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
“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.”
“So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; 22 and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”
CCC 370 "In no way is God in man's image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes. But the respective "perfections" of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a father and husband.”
“But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
my Lord has forgotten me.”
15 “Can a woman forget her sucking child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
“As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
“Let my prayer be counted as incense before thee,
and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice!
3 Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord,
keep watch over the door of my lips!”
“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 The more I called them,
the more they went from me;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals,
and burning incense to idols.
3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
I took them up in my arms;
but they did not know that I healed them.
4 I led them with cords of compassion,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one,
who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.”
CCC 371 "God created man and woman together and willed each for the other. The Word of God gives us to understand this through various features of the sacred text. "It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him." None of the animals can be man's partner. The woman God "fashions" from the man's rib and brings to him elicits on the man's part a cry of wonder, an exclamation of love and communion: "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." Man discovers woman as another "I", sharing the same humanity.”
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; 22 and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
CCC 372 "Man and woman were made "for each other" - not that God left them half-made and incomplete: he created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be "helpmate" to the other, for they are equal as persons ("bone of my bones. . .") and complementary as masculine and feminine. In marriage God unites them in such a way that, by forming "one flesh", they can transmit human life: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." By transmitting human life to their descendants, man and woman as spouses and parents cooperate in a unique way in the Creator's work.”
“Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.
CCC 373 "In God's plan man and woman have the vocation of "subduing" the earth as stewards of God. This sovereignty is not to be an arbitrary and destructive domination. God calls man and woman, made in the image of the Creator "who loves everything that exists", to share in his providence toward other creatures; hence their responsibility for the world God has entrusted to them.”
“And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
Wisdom of Solomon 11:24
“For thou lovest all things that exist,
and hast loathing for none of the things which thou hast made,
for thou wouldst not have made anything if thou hadst hated it.”