Drawing from John Paul II’s Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology Of The Body (pp. 246-50).
Shame means hiding, withdrawal from visibility, withdrawal from communion (Genesis 3:7).
God created us with bodies so we can share ourselves with one another – with touch, with speech, with mutual regard. Shame means loss of confidence in the ability of the body to serve as the instrument of personal communion.
Shame reduces sex from a personal communion to mere sensation. Because of shame, people engage in sex without self-giving, they “give” and withhold themselves simultaneously.
Shame creates schizophrenic humans, splitting us between bodily “appearance” and reality. It destroys the sacramentality of the body. It makes it difficult for us to identify ourselves with our bodies.
Shame shatters mutual trust, between God and man, between man and man.
The state of concupiscence is not merely a state of unruly desire, but, because it arises from shame, a reduction of humanity. Since we are made for communion, our withdrawal in shame is a withdrawal from human fullness.
Conversely, the covering and cancellation of shame in justification restores human fullness. Because justification stand before God and one another without shame, it is the source and foundation for the renewal of human life. Justification brings us out of hiding; justification renews our bodies as vehicles of communion; justification regains sex as personal union; justification repairs the divided self; justification is the basis for the renewal of mutual trust.
Shame produces a disordered society; justification is the basis of social and political renewal. Proclamation of justification by faith is a social gospel.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 5:19 am
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