Today’s Sunday Pope Quote comes from Bl. John Paul II, in honor of his beatification anniversary earlier this week (May 1). The quote comes from a series of scholarly essays given by John Paul II before he was Pope, so under his baptismal name Karol Wojtyla. Here are present many “seeds” of his later teaching on the theology of the body.
“The category of gift (the disinterested gift of self) takes on special meaning in the marriage covenant. The spouses ‘mutually give themselves to an accept each other’ in a manner proper to the marriage covenant, a manner that presupposes their difference in body and sex and, at the same time, their union in and through this difference. This is a relationship that can be analyzed and interpreted in a variety of ways; the category of gift, however, has a key meaning here. Without it, there would be no way to properly understand and interpret either the marriage relationship as a whole or the acts of conjugal intercourse that are part of this relationship and have a strict causal connection to the emergence of the family.”
. . .
Seeing marriage through the lens of gift “is not an idealistic picture, but a realistic one. The Gospel in a special way demands such realism of us in our appraisal of the marital bond. Man and woman were created as they were (according to the Book of Genesis), different in body and sex, so that through this difference they would be able to make a gift to one another of the specific richness of their respective humanity.”
– Karol Wojtyla (Bl. Pope John Paul II), “The Family as a Community of Persons,” in Person and Community: Selected Essays, trans. Theresa Sandok, OSM (New York: Peter Lang, 1993), p. 324, 325, emphasis original