That sounds kind of familiar. In my perusing of our readings I thumbed across Humanae Vitae and Pope John Paul II’s words on the human body. I read on to find myself experiencing a sort of deja vu. In the words of the pope himself “the body is the very oldest sacrament, instituted by God at the dawn of creation.” The body is apparently the “primordial sacrament.” What an incredible emphasis on a corporeal object. It was my understanding that Christian peoples looked to more abstract ideals like salvation or grace. How interesting that the Pope stresses the importance of Christians’ physical manifestations. The deja vu stems from hearing about this emphasis on the body from an earlier culture. Ancient Rome. I often forget about the influence ancient Rome and Hellenism had on current Catholicism.
Ancient Rome was hell bent on citizens with good health. Healthy athletes were admired, and most boys were pushed into some form of physical activity or another. not only does this attitude funnel into muscular Christianity, but Christianity’s focus on the physical body in general.
Oh indeed, Christians other than Catholics emphasized a pure and healthy body. Though they may try to disguise it with PSAs about the potential fatality of drugs and alcohol, but I believe what Christianity is doing echoes the views of the Holy Roman Empire.