The Spiritual Life: The Offering of the Body

Authored by Anonymous Author in Issue #4.3 of The Catechetical Review

In Saint Paul's exhortation to the Romans, we read: "offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age . . . ." (Rom 12:1-2). To some, this may sound contradictory: "offer you bodies as . . . your spiritual worship." To those who think that the material and the spiritual are not only separate but completely separated categories, Saint Paul's exhortation makes no sense.

There are philosophies that presume the material and the spiritual (if there even is a spiritual reality) are completely separate. And there are religions that propose the material (if there even is a material reality) and the spiritual are completely separate categories. But Christianity is not one of those, neither philosophically nor religiously. Christianity believes in the Incarnation: that God, who is spirit (Jn 4:24), united himself to a material body:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt
among us, full of grace and truth . . . . [Jn 1:1, 14. emphasis added]
In the Person of Jesus Christ above all, the spiritual and the material are united. And each human person, made in the image and likeness of God, is also a union of the spiritual and the material.

And so, if we "offer [our] bodies as a living sacrifice . . . to God", we indeed are worshipping spiritually. To do this, we must "not conform [our]selves to this age", Saint Paul goes on to exhort. That was true in his day, and it is true in ours.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Adult Faith Formation and Culture Change
By Dr. James Pauley
Free This year marks the twentieth anniversary of one of the most important publications the U.S. Bishops have ever written: Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us . The ideals and principles expressed in this document are deeply convicting and can be summed up with these stirring words: “adult faith formation is essential to who we are and what we do as... Read more
From the Shepherds: Catechesis in the Light of the Papal Magisterium of Pope Francis Evangelii gaudium - An Access to the Church’s Mission
By Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst
Free Looking back on the past and on the development of the church since the Second Vatican Council, there are two well-known and profound documents, which have brought the biblical call for evangelization into our pastoral consciousness: Evangelii nuntiandi in 1974 and Evangelii gaudium in 2013. Both apostolic letters have reflected on the manner in... Read more
Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us: A Reflection on Discipleship
By Peter J. Murphy
Do you feel the Holy Spirit working? Do you sense that deeper calling, that desire for renewal, that burning within your heart? Yes, it is the same burning that the disciples on the road to Emmaus felt as their Lord and Savior journeyed with them. Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us was written twenty years ago as a prophetic and challenging... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now