18th General Audience, February 13, 1980
Man’s existence continually renews itself through procreation -- self-reproduction. This is the creative perspective rooted in man’s humanity and the consciousness of the spousal meaning of the body.
Before becoming husband and wife, man and woman come forth from the mystery of creation first as brother and sister in the same humanity (Gen. 4:1). When man and woman cease being reciprocally a disinterested gift, as they were in the mystery of creation, they recognise that they are naked (Gen. 3:7)
Original innocence manifests, and at the same time constitutes, the perfect ethos of the gift.= giving of one self=ethos=disinterested.
19th General Audience, February 10, 1980.
1. Subjectivity of man -- created in the likeness and image of God.
2. The woman is not just an object, although both are present to each other in the objectivity of being. The fact that they did not feel shame means they did not objectify each other.
Foundation of the Primordial Sacrament -- the Body as Sign
3. The spousal meaning of the body pervaded the mystery of original innocence.
4. Primordial sacrament was constituted: the sign that efficaciously transmits in the visible world the invisible mystery hidden in God from eternity. Mystery of Truth and Love, mystery of divine life, in which man participates. Body makes visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine.
5. With the consciousness of the meaning of his own body, man as male and female enters into the world, as a subject of truth and love.
“Knowledge” and Procreation (Gen. 4:1) -- between poverty of expression and depth of meaning.
20th General Audience, March 5, 1980
The conjugal union, based on the text of Genesis, is defined as “knowledge.” Adam knew his wife -- not intellectual knowledge but a concrete experience, from this experience, moral judgement, of good and evil. Knowledge of the woman by the man suggests or underlines the man’s activity. In this case biblical knowledge is the deepest essence of the reality of shared married life.
21st General Audience, March 12, 1980
Fatherhood and Motherhood reflects the Human Meaning of “Knowledge.” In Gen. 4:1 the one who knows is the man, and the one who is known is the woman. The mystery of femininity manifests and reveals itself in the its full depth through motherhood, “who conceived and gave birth.” Man’s masculinity is also revealed, generative and paternal. Procreation brings generates a third, human, the man and the woman know each other reciprocally in this third, the third originated by both. The intimate knowledge becomes the revelation of the new man where both man and woman recognise each other, their humanity, their living image. The Bible honours and praises, “the womb that bore you and the breasts from which you sucked milk” (Lk. 11:27). The words honour motherhood and femininity, the expression of creative love. Words used for the Mother of Jesus, Mary, the second Eve.
The body of the woman becomes the place of conception of a new human being. The first parents transmit to all human parents -- even after sin, together with the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and on the threshold, as it were, all historical experiences --the fundamental truth about the first of man in the image of God (p. 213). Image of God reproduced each time, who constituted humanity of first man.
Radical differences between the state of original innocence and the state of man’s hereditary sinfulness, that “image of God” constitutes a basis of continuity and unity.
22nd General Audience, March 26, 1980
Biblical knowledge can also be understood as possession. Biblical equivalent of “eros” Two languages biblical and Platonic. At first there was no possession of the man by the woman or vice versa as an object. Due to the sin contracted as a result of original sin, man and woman reconstruct the meaning of the reciprocal disinterested gift.
Knowledge-generation rooted deeply in the human body, subjected after sin, to the law of suffering and death. I will multiply your pangs in child-bearing; in pain you will bring forth children (Gn 3:16). The first man gives his wife the name Eve because she was the mother of all the living Gn. 3:20. This is after hearing the words, you will return to the earth for out of it you were taken; dust you are, and to dust you shall return (Gn. 3:19).
Horizon of death extends over the whole perspective of human life on earth. In man’s history, life struggles always with the prospect of death, and always overcomes it. In spite the prospect of death, man continues to place knowledge of the beginning of generation, he participates in the first vision of God himself: God, the Creator, saw everything and indeed it was good.
23rd General Audience, April 2, 1980
Raises contemporary problems and issues concerning marriage and the family, addressed by Paul VI. Among the answers that Christ would give to the people of our times, fundamental would still be the one he gave to the Pharisees, would appeal first of all to the beginning. Encyclical Human Vitae was published where the integral vision of man --must be built from the “beginning.” Partial truths, practical suggestions for human behaviour, so that in the contemporary age man becomes more an object of certain technologies than the responsible subject of his own action. The text of Genesis constitutes the beginning of the theology of the body. The Incarnation, and the redemption that flows form it, has become the definitive source of the sacramentality of marriage. We must take into consideration Christ’s statements on the Sermon on the Mount on the possibilities of the human heart with respect to the concupiscence of the body.
Fr. David Bellusci, O.P.
List of Titles
Lesson 1: What is meant by "Beginning"?