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beautiful insight by fr. thomas loya

January 19, 2009

Last week, I read an amazing article by Fr. Thomas Loya about The Theology of the Body. Here is an excerpt (emphasis added):

“Catholic is very simply this: the Invisible made visible through the physical. Catholic is not a “religion.” It is so much more. “Catholic” is the truth about being human. Actually, because we are human we are naturally “Catholic.” If we have a human body we are “Catholic.” Catholic is simply about an Invisible, Indescribable God who becomes visible and describable (as many people just celebrated with Christmas) through the very physical matter that God Himself created. This means that matter “matters.” The physical order reveals God. In fact we can “touch” the Invisible, Transcendent God precisely through the physical order of creation. This means that created matter reveals God, it speaks about God. This is why Catholicism uses, but does not “worship,” created matter; oil, water, smoke, wine, bread, images, sound, music, tastes, smells, etc. as vital parts of its spiritual ethos. But this is simply being honestly human. We humans by nature need signs and symbols to put us in touch with invisible realities. We need candles on a birthday cake, a flag, a banner, a bumper sticker, a medal, a photo, a roadside shrine. Why do you think tattoos are so popular today? The language of signs and symbols that participate in the very thing that they “sign-ify” is “Catholic”. Catholic is anything but “a bunch of rules and guilt.””

Read the whole article here.

I love being challenged to find God in the every day that surrounds me.  The physical order in harmony with the divine order makes the task less difficult.  The revelation of invisible realities through physical means leaves me in awe and wonder.  What a glorious God that He would provide tangible signs so I can grasp a fraction of His grandeur.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2009 11:46 am

    As a non-Catholic who was once a monk in a Catholic-based monastic community, I would modify Fr. Loya’s statement just a bit. I’d say, “CHRISTIAN is anything but a ‘bunch of rules and guilt.'” The Catholic expression of Christianity does not have the market on making rules and regulations for people to follow so they may feel “holy.” My own Pentecostal tradition has a large booth in that marketplace, too!

    • January 19, 2009 4:37 pm

      If you read the whole article, Fr. Loya was addressing a book called “Being Catholic Now” by Kerry Kennedy. He was responding to comments regarding “Catholic guilt” that were brought up in the book, which is why he referred specifically to Catholicism.
      Thanks for sharing another perspective.

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