Those who think Catholicism is for prudes haven’t read Blessed Pope John Paul II’s encyclical “The Theology of the Body”. Details down to the physical design of our bodies intentionally communicate our creator’s plan. In the spousal metaphor, one of gems of this writing, Christ desires a spousal union with each of us in eternity. Receiving the Eucharist consummates this union. The priest in persona Christ consecrates and gives this life-giving bread, akin to the man giving his bride his life-giving seed. In turn, we receive Christ in the Eucharist into our bodies, like the woman receives the man into her. The seed is nurtured in the woman, matures, and new life is formed.
Pretty dicey, huh!
For several weeks my daughter Gianna and I have been preparing for her big day, today is her 1st Communion. With each acquisition–the dress, shoes, jewelry, veil, hair consultation, and the pre-event mother-daughter manicure–I started to feel like the mother of the bride.
Well, actually I am the mother of the bride.
For today Gianna consummates her spousal relationship with Christ for the first time, the partner that will usher her into eternity. As the lights dim and 2nd graders processing with mature looks beyond their years in wedding white gowns and groomed suits, I am reminded it isn’t just a 1st Communion; it’s wedding day. It is a wedding for a marriage that will never end.
Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: To celebrate each reception of the Eucharist as if it was the first.