You will notice two new banners around campus stating: “We are a TOB campus.” St. Margaret of York is a Theology of the Body campus. This means that our teachings and behaviors in all our activities are centered on the example of Jesus Christ. When some people see the word “body” they immediately think this must be about sex, which is only part of the full teaching of the Theology of the Body brought to us from St. John Paul II. The truth is, it provides a complete and holistic view of what it means to be human and will be included as part of our curriculum this year.
Pope St. John Paul II’s teaching comes from a series of 129 general Wednesday audiences given over the course of several years when he was pope. I think the best thing that sums it up and that is useful for us at St. Margaret of York is what the saint called “the personalistic norm.” These are fancy words for saying all people are created in God’s image; therefore, I must treat everyone I meet with dignity and respect. There is no other option. Moreover, in the personalistic norm there is no room for bullying, which plagues many schools, name calling, or any kind of disrespect. Everything we do, we do with our bodies, hence the name: Theology of the Body. I heard it clearly illustrated once in this way: Look at your hand. What an amazing created gift from God almighty. Now you can use that hand to make a fist and hurt someone, or you can use that hand to serve. All we have to do is look to the Creator of the hand to know the answer of how is should be used.
The banner on the outside of the school building by the entrance to the mail hall and gymnasium states: “We are a TOB campus bearing the fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-Control and Chastity.” These come straight from St. Paul in the New Testament. Notice how this list is the exact opposite of the fruits our culture is trying to instill. Every Christian should know these by heart if this is the way we are called to live. Please join me in memorizing them.
A banner inside the gymnasium states: “Made to Love, by Love, for Love. We are a TOB campus, a community of persons where everybody is seen as a gift.” This year, our school and parish will be living this out. Imagine how changed our world will be when every school and parish does the same.
Written by, Fr. Jason Bedel of St Margaret of York Catholic School & Parish
in Loveland, OH (reprinted from parish bulletin Spring 2019 with permission)
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