THEOLOGY OF THE BODY – MARCH 12, 2010 – PATRICK REIDY FILLING IN FOR FR. LOYA
"THEOLOGY OF THE BODY FOR TEENS"
Pat teaches moral theology & TOB at Northridge Prep (all boys Catholic Opus Dei high school).
[Sr. Helena's dreck in brackets.]
How do good Catholic teens answer why it's wrong to have sex before marriage (before they learn TOB)? (Pat makes it real: "What do you tell your buddy at a party when he's ready to go upstairs with his girlfriend?") The students usually say: "It a mortal sin." (And after a little theology/philosophy: "It's INTRINSICALLY evil." They love that.) Then Pat says: do you really think that will stop your friend?
HERE'S A STUDENT'S ANSWER "AFTER" THEOLOGY OF THE BODY:
SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE? (ONE STUDENT'S "WHY NOT")
1. It's always using someone.
2. You're not giving a total gift and the language of the body (sex) says: "forever."
3. It's adultery in advance. (You are being unfaithful to your future wife/husband.)
4. It's re-gifting yourself.
5. We're supposed to be mirroring the "forever" love of the Trinity in our one flesh union, but in pre-marital sex we're sending a message of defiance to God. How does that feel?
It can be a lot of FUN with teens, actually, when you do apologetics with them and let them come up with their own ways of explaining TOB to their peers.
Youth need STRUCTURE. So even if you can digest JP2G's TOB, you need to break it down for teens into easily memorizable soundbites (that they can feel confident using with others).
We need to convince teens that the Catholic Church has something they are missing and need.
We don't challenge teens enough. We really lower the bar. They want the "ethos"—we need to show them the big picture (in a way their not-fully formed brains can handle).
MOVIE: "PATRIOT"—SCENE OF MEL GIBSON'S CHARACTER'S YOUNG SONGS SHOOTING BRITISH OFFICERS IN ORDER TO FREE THEIR OLDER BROTHER
What enabled those young boys to do what they did?
--training, instruction: REPETITIVE SLOGAN THEY COULD SAY TO THEMSELVES IN THE MIDST OF BATTLE:
"aim small, miss small"
--love for their brother
--confidence in their father
We're in a cultural war, a spiritual battle. "Steady…" You can do this…
E—EXPERTS: we have to consider ourselves experts and make ourselves experts in this area (TOB). When adults get into TOB, they realize their own woundedness, and that's good! We can grow, too! We have DA COACH: VJP2G
T—TREAT them as LEADERS. Let teens know that we believe in them and want them to advance and be even better than us! Isn't that what good parents, do? Let them know that their friends/peers need them. Teens need to hear adults say: "I believe in you."
H—HANDLE HOT BUTTON ISSUES. Go there. We are not shadowboxing. In "Patriot," Mel Gibson's kids knew what they were doing. HEAR THEM OUT. Young people have a lot to say.
O-- ORIENT THEM TO CHRIST AND THE CHURCH. They HAVE to see the relevance of the Christ and the Church. Where can they go for answers in this crazy, mixed-up world? God came to re-integrate the spiritual and physical.
S—SHOWTIME: Using movies for TOB: the world is NOT that far off in the sense that we are all desiring the same good things…. Show teens how they can find TOB in the pop culture! Let THEM be creative.
Men are called to be warriors, defenders, lovers (not players), priest-father. (4 archetypes: men are more simple)
4 Original Archetypes of Man:
(12 original mysteries of women: women are more complex)
- God's Masterpiece
- Model of the Human Race
- Garden Enclosed
- Fountain Sealed
- Master of her own mystery
- Genius (in her receptivity)
- Creator of Culture
- The First Evangelist
- Icon of the Church
- Icon of Heaven
- Daughter, Sister, Bride, Mother
- Sum total of all beauty
In short, the one who is loved.
Where you have a contraceptive mentality (more about women) you have a pornographic mentality (more about men).
PORN gives you a template to see all of the world:
D- Acts lie a DRUG
S- Stealth/ Sneaks up on you
T- creates a new TEMPLATE
R- Replaces Reality
Y- Stikes YOUTH
TOP 3 QUESTIONS TEENS ASK ABOUT SEX:
- How far is too far? (You start by telling them the question itself is wrong, but then you can get more explicit with them.) Teens are black and white, they really want to know, BUT we have to start leading them toward the ethos and not asking: "How close can I get to sin?"
- Is oral sex sex? Is it wrong? (also "grinding"—dancing while rubbing body parts together, sometimes in a group) It's not sexual intercourse, [but it's mutual masturbation, it's sexual activity], so we as Americans like to compartmentalize. We live on the BELL CURVE. All of life is rhythm: agriculture, a novel /film(rising action, climax, denouement, etc.), the liturgical cycle. Sex is a "movement," a symphony, so you are doing "foreplay." You are pulling it out of its context, like going to the Tabernacle and just helping yourself to the Eucharist because you don't want to go to Mass. Don't we ask the same question about Mass? At what point am I technically late for Mass? (Pat doesn't tell them "it's sex," he just keeps talking about the context.)
- What about homosexuality?
VIRGINITY needs to be looked at through new eyes! It's sexual integrity. Integration of body and soul. What is sexual integrity? You have the capacity to give yourself totally to another (when the time comes). ["I adjure you, do not stir up love before its time." –Song of Songs 3:5 (the most erotic book of the Bible telling us to wait!)]
4 promises of marriage vows: total, faithful, fruitful, free
No longer a virgin? God can RE-CAPACITATE you to have the CAPACITY to make a total gift of yourself! ["See, I make all things new!" Revelation 21:5]
Teens are BOMBARDED with the SECULAR ethos constantly so we have to REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT, DRILL, DRILL, DRILL.
Married couples don't "LOSE" their virginity (sexual integrity), they share it with each other.
Q: What does Pat tell teens about masturbation? (Once you give the TOB ethos/principles, tens can apply it themselves! One teen answered: "It's half flesh union." Instead of the "one flesh" union.)
Teens love: LANGUAGE OF THE BODY, THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE ISN'T HATE IT'S USE, GIFT OF SELF, TABERNACLE (guys love the concept that a woman's body is a living tabernacle—no man is really ever worthy to consecrate the Host OR to approach a woman). A man even genuflects when he proposes!
Give them assignments: Girls, dress like tabernacles! Guys, when you see a woman think: "Tabernacle"! [Not "hot." Dave Den Braber, former free agent with the Dallas Cowboys, now a Catholic youth speaker tells guys to stop using that term because it's a porn term.]
There are very few "stories": boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy fights for girl, boy gets girl. It's like the Mass, the Jesus story.
SCENE FROM "GROUNDHOG DAY" WHERE BILL MURRAY'S CHARACTER IS TRYING TO SEDUCE THE GIRL HE LIKES. HE LEARNS ALL ABOUT HER SUPERFICIALLY AND SAYS THAT HE "KNOWS" HER. BUT SHE DOESN'T BUY IT.
Pat assigns his seniors to write "TOB personals"!! Our teens are capable of A LOT!!
HERE IS ONE OF THE PERSONALS FROM HIS STUDENTS:
"CATHOLIC, VIRGINAL MAN LOOKING FOR TOB-LOVING WOMAN! INTERESTED?
--LOOKING TO MEET GOD'S MASTERPIECE
--RESPECTFUL OF WOMAN'S DIGNITY—THE "ONE TO BE LOVED"
--HANDSOME AND PRO-FEMININE GENIUS
--DESIRING TO LOVE FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS"
[PAT NEEDS TO WRITE A BOOK!!!]
PAT'S TOB FOR TEENS BOOK LIST:
- GOD'S PLAN FOR YOU DAVID HADJUK (TEXT BOOK)
- PURE LOVE, PURE WOMANHOOD, PURE MANHOOD (SMALL BOOKS) BY JASON AND CRYSTALINA EVERT
- REAL LOVE BY MARYBETH BONACCI (LOTS OF Q AND A ABOUT NITTY GRITTYS)
- TOB FOR TEENS BY BRIAN BUTLER (TEXT BOOK)
- TOB FOR BEGINNERS BY CHRISTOPHER WEST (HEAVIER)
- BODY AND GIFT , PURITY OF HEAR, BY SAM TORODE
PAT'S TOB MOVIES:
- SPIDERMAN SERIES (MANY SUPERHEROES ARE CELIBATE!)
- BATMAN BEGINS (ALL ASPECTS OF MASCULINITY, FALLEN AND REDEEMED)
- I AM LEGEND
- GRAN TORINO (R)
- CINDERELLA MAN (LIKE ROCKY)
- GLADIATOR (R)
- BRAVEHEART (R)
- TRUMAN SHOW
- MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (GUYS STILL LIKE IT, EVEN THO' OLDER WESTERN)
- ROCKY #1 AND ROCKY BALBOA #6 (ROCKY CAN'T DO WHAT HE HAS TO DO WITHOUT HIS GIRL)
[SR. HELENA WOULD ADD: "A BRONX TALE" (R) ABOUT TRUE MANHOOD & FATHERHOOD)]