We tend to objectify the body, as though not identified with it, and so to wonder about its relevance to us, who presumably are “really” souls or spirits. The reality behind the language of “body” and “spirit” is that these terms simply indicate two aspects of the same one entity, the human person. True, I can speak of “my body” as though it were something separate from the “I” or “me” that possesses it…yet I, the possessor, in reality am somehow both, an embodied spirit or a spirited body, a body enlivened by a spirit, forming a single entity with spirit. I am not a spirit dragging around a corpse, or imprisoned in a body…. I am a total body-spirit person who lives and moves and has his being in and through the creative love of the Infinite Spirit. I draw life, nourishment, and growth—physical and spiritual—from that Spirit.
A Christian community is a healing community not because wounds are healed and pains are alleviated, but because wounds and pain become openings or occasions for a new vision. Mutual confession becomes a mutual deepening of hope, and sharing weakness becomes a reminder to one and all of the coming strength.
No, no, there is no going back.
Less and less you are
that possibility you were.
More and more you have become
those lives and deaths
that have belonged to you.
You have become a sort of grave
containing much that was
and is no more in time, beloved
then, now, and always.
And so you have become a sort of tree
standing over the grave.
Now more than ever you can be
generous toward each day
that comes, young, to disappear
forever, and yet remain
unaging in the mind.
Every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.
When things are valued too much, they lose their value because they nourish a never-satisfied craving for more. Conversely, when things are received as gifts from God and used obediently in service to God, they are enriched with gratitude. As sages have said, contentment lies not in obtaining things you want, but in giving thanks for what you have.
Any form of Christianity which is not incarnational, which does not celebrate “the Word made flesh,” which tries to separate us from our own bodies, the bodies of our communities, the body of this earth, is not the Christianity of … Jesus Christ. In Christ, the walls of hostility, the walls of division and fragmentation within us and among us are encountered, touched, healed.