“The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden since time immemorial in God, and thus be a sign of it.” —Saint John Paul the Great, Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body
We are a group of passionate men dedicated to living out lives of purity with joy, dignity and service. We hope to communicate the distinct intrinsic dignity of the human person and the true, good, and beautiful meaning of chastity with a fervor for preaching, a devotion to the Body of Christ as present in the Holy Eucharist, and by modeling Saint John Paul the Great’s Theology of the Body. As the Catechism defines chastity, it is “the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being” (CCC 2337). This too brings us back to the Eucharist. As St. Phillip Neri said, “Chastity is not possible without the Eucharist.”
“When we cry, ‘Abba Father,’ it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.”(Romans 8:15-7) As heirs, we see our innate dignity as brothers and as princes of Christ the King. The misunderstandings in our culture regarding masculine dignity stem from the pervasive counterfeits of love that people encounter today, such as lust, selfishness, hurt and fear. Yet we stand as witnesses to Christ’s nuptial love for the Church and the world, recognizing that to love is to live with a spirit of joyful self-donation.
Self-Donation: “Man finds himself only by making himself a sincere gift to others.” (Gaudium et Spes 24)
The source and summit of our faith, the Eucharist, is constantly present to us. This inspires us to be constantly present to others. Self-donation is the heroic generosity that allows one to use every aspect of himself: his time, his treasure, and even his body to work for God and the good of others.
Dignity: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)
By virtue of being humans created by God, we have innate dignity. So too, every person has innate dignity, worth, and beauty. The princely dignity we possess gives us a responsibility to treat ourselves and others with the highest level of respect and love.
Joy:“A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.”—Blessed Theresa of Calcutta
Made in God ’s image and likeness, we share in the joy that comes from being the children of an all-loving Father. Self-donation is empty without joy. And true dignity is, in its very essence, joyful. St. Francis taught that perfect joy lies in accepting our sufferings out of love for Christ. In accepting our sufferings, we anticipate the resurrection. This further joy motivates and inspires us. For when we make a complete gift of ourselves, joy abounds.
Passionate Love: “And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” (Isaiah 62:5b)
This is the core of all of our charisms. The love God shows us and the love we subsequently show others defines us. “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4: 19) Ours is a passionate, sacrificial, chaste, and all-consuming love. If we love others, God’s love is brought to perfection in us. It is our joy to love others as they too make up the body of the bridegroom.
Saint John Paul the Great
Saint John Paul the Great gave 129 Wednesday audience addresses, now known as the ‘Theology of the Body’, in which he defines the dignity of the human person and reiterates the Catholic understanding of sexuality. Since it is the mission and the purpose of this household to carry on this vision to the world, starting with our campus, it is only appropriate that Saint John Paul the Great be among our primary intercessors.
St. Raphael the Archangel
In the book of Tobit, St. Raphael sees Tobias safely to his bride Sarah. By his instruction, Tobias and Sarah are able to bring virtue and self-donative love to their marriage, freeing it from evil. We pray that St. Raphael might intercede on our behalf so that we may also bring virtue to all our relationships.
St. Don Bosco
St. Don Bosco refused to ever take a hand to orphans in his care, claiming, “I won’t have my friends treated that way.” This is just one example of how Don Bosco attracted hundreds to Christ through his recognition that the body was to be used for love to do good, never out of anger to do harm. Through St. Don Bosco and others, we know that the Theology of the Body is not just a teaching on sexuality, but a lifestyle which must be incorporated into every aspect of our being, including child care, friendships, and work.
Mary, Mother of God
Mary, Mother of God holds a special place as exemplar of all our charisms. By her willingness to give her body to receive Christ, she showed beautiful self-donation. She reminds us of our dignity because God chose her, a human, to bear His only Son and be the immaculate Spouse of the Spirit. By His words on the cross, Christ has given us to her as princes under the Queen of Heaven. Mary showed joy in all its forms, from her Magnificat to the foot of the cross, accepting her Son’s suffering patiently and lovingly. Through her holy virginity and dedication to motherhood, she radiated passionate love. By Mary’s example, we see what it means to live out the Theology of the Body.