Active Denial

What makes the living of this good news acutely painful is the fact that the mystery of the body is lived by two (or even more) fallible human beings. Moreover, the context of the contemporary world makes it difficult, if not almost impossible, to live this ideal. So what could be our Christian response to living out the mystery of human life according to the plan of God.

The two extremes to be avoided are that of “active denial” or “passive submission,” to use Paul Ricoeur’ terminology. The first group tends to enclose themselves and so to create an artificially secluded state of holiness, while the second group is so fascinated with the world that it lets the world dictate the terms to us. The first is the temptation to demonise the world, to run away from it in order to create a “community of elect” who will live out the true Christian message. Such groups, self-enclosed and most of the time, self-justifying, tends to become more self-conceited and end up usually as a threatening sect that does devastating harm to its own members, in the name of fulfilling God’s plan. The other extreme is to divinize the world and to be so fascinated by it that we adapt our values, vision and way of life to the current fashion that rules the world. Then there is no scope for the prophetic witness or counter strategy that the Christian tradition has always nurtured.

Extracts from:

Mystery of Human Life in the Plan of God: Reflections of Christian Living Based on The Theology of the Body