The body isn't an instrument of pleasure, but the locus of our call to love, says pope on 6th Commandment
Pope Francis concluded his reflections on the 6th Commandment during the general audience of October 31, mentioning how Christ’s teaching on matrimony was perhaps the most revolutionary teaching of its time.
He also spoke of how the commandment against adultery is about spousal love, but how this applies to every Christian vocation and is ultimately a commandment about human maturity.
Here are some excerpts from the audience:
Christ’s faithful love is the light for living the beauty of human emotions. Indeed, our emotional dimension is a call to love, which is made manifest in beauty, acceptance and mercy. This is very important. How does love manifest itself? In faithfulness, in acceptance and in mercy. [T]his passage from the Letter of Saint Paul is revolutionary! To think, with the anthropology of that time, it says that a husband must love his wife like Christ loves the Church: but this is a revolution! Perhaps, in that time, it was the most revolutionary thing that had been said on marriage. This commandment is for all, it is a paternal Word of God addressed to every man and woman. Let us remember that the path of human maturation is indeed the journey of love itself, which goes from receiving care to the capacity for offering care, from receiving life to the capacity for giving life. Becoming adult men and women means arriving at living the spousal and parental attitude … So, who is the adulterer, the lustful, the unfaithful? An immature person, who keeps his own life for himself and interprets situations on the basis of his own wellbeing and his own satisfaction.
When we arrive at the point of decentering ourselves, then every act is spousal: We work, we speak, we decide, we meet others with a welcoming and oblative attitude. Every Christian vocation in this sense, is spousal. The human creature, in its indivisible unity of spirit and body, and in its male-female polarity, is very good and is destined to love and to be loved. The human body is not an instrument of pleasure, but the locus of our call to love, and in authentic love there is no space for lust and for its superficiality. Men and women deserve more than this! Therefore, the commandment Do not commit adultery, although negative in form, guides us to our original calling, that is, to the full and faithful spousal love that Jesus Christ revealed and gave to us (cf. Rom 12: 1).
See the Holy Father’s series on The Commandments here: