The entire underlying movement of the Theology of the Body is a call to look deeper into the heart and into the Scriptures for answers to moral dilemmas. The answers to life’s deepest questions are there if we are willing to suffer enough to journey deep within ourselves and the person of God. The first part of the Theology of the Body starts with Christ responding to a trap from the Pharisees.
Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss [her]?” He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.” (Mt. 19: 3-8 NAB USCCB.org)
Christ was asked about the morality of divorce. And the Pharisees were questioning his teaching compared to the Law of Moses. Instead of arguing with the Pharisees using their premises, i.e. the Law, Christ calls them to look deeper for the answer, deep in the Scriptures and deep in their hearts. Christ boldly claims that “from the beginning it was not so.” Divorce was not part of God’s original plan, and in fact divorce is a sort of illusion. Destroying the marriage bond is impossible. It is beyond our power. And this only becomes very clear by looking toward creation and the fall which predate the law. By doing this we avoid the clouding our vision due to the fall: concupiscent desires, the weakening of our will, and the darkening of the intellect.
The intent of John Paul is not only to make a good argument against divorce but also to direct our attention to humanity’s original state to answer all of our questions about human nature, God’s designs, and sexuality. This is the very purpose of his Catechesis… to provide an anthropology (the study of humanity) based on what can be discovered in the beginning.
When deciding what to do in everyday life look deeper than your experiences and desires to find your answers. We can easily deceive ourselves. Delve into the Scripture and prayer to discover God’s will for your life.
Director, Theology of the Body Advocates