Design, Order & Meaning: TOB Undergirds Tough Moral Truths
March 13, 2023
If the very meaning of our identity, is to become a saint by being a gift and receiving others as gifts, then God’s perfect plan for the human person to fulfill our purpose is always ordered toward our ultimate good; to one day join him in the eternal gift exchange in heaven, along with our brothers and sisters. The vastly intelligent design of the human person, body-and-soul, then must be meticulously planned, and in accordance with our created nature, for us to fulfill our vocation as self-gift.
Because the goodness of all creation is an overflow of God’s nature, which is complete, reciprocal, self-giving love, this vocation is inscribed in our nature as human persons: giving, receiving, and bearing new life.
This gift-giving and receiving is manifested through, with, and in the body. This “spousal meaning of the body,” as described by Pope St. John Paul II is the very design, and purpose behind God’s perfect plan of creating two ways to be a human person: male and female. We can see his order, the complementarity of male and female, throughout all of nature in bearing fruit. By no means is this spousal meaning limited to a physical manifestation of marital love. It is expressed uniquely both bodily and spiritually in familial, and fraternal love, as in brotherly love is different than sisterly, fatherly than motherly, etc.
When we make choices counter to God’s perfect plan, we cease to move towards our good. “Our good” is determined by God. When we live contrary to our own objective God-given nature, we cease to fulfill our very purpose. God has a perfect order, design, and meaning in ALL of creation from ants to birds to people and everything in between. When we order our lives towards God’s will for each of us, we find our lives anchored by authentic love, deep meaning, and abundant joy*.
Written by, Evie Estes,
Production Manager, Editor, Sales & Website Support for Ruah Woods Institute
*(Published originally in the Kindergarten REVEALED edition, Lesson 8 Teacher Resource Page to explain the Theology of the Body Theme of Order, Design, & Meaning to the educator by Evie Estes).
Painting credit: Vincent Van Gough, First Steps, After Millet (1890) Museum of Metropolitan Art