Integration of the human person LiveFamily! focus

| April 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

In order to see marriage correctly, one needs to see “Catholicly,” Father Thomas Loya of the Tabor Life Institute told an audience April 11 at the 2015 LiveFamily! Expo.

A Catholic worldview understands that creation and liturgy make visible the invisible love of God, and that reality extends to marriage, he said in a keynote titled “Marriage — The Next Generation.”

“God united himself with his own creation in intimate love,” he said.

Using humor and colorful anecdotes, Father Loya, a Byzantine Catholic priest who ministers in suburban Chicago, spoke to about 75 people, mostly married couples, at St. Raphael in Crystal on the second of a two-day conference on families sponsored by the Cana Family Institute, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the Diocese of St. Cloud.

In a Saturday morning presentation, Father Loya said that God’s triune nature is the key to unlocking a Catholic worldview, because it reveals God as a relationship between persons.

He said understanding God and man’s relationship to him is at the crux of combatting societal currents eroding the meaning of sex and marriage, and the meaning of being male and female. He emphasized that being Catholic is not about following a set of teachings, but falling in love with God and recognizing that his moral parameters provide for a person’s flourishing.

He pointed to the first chapter of Genesis: “God created man in his image, in his divine image he created him, male and female he created them.”

“Right there is the only honest thing ever said about the human person,” Father Loya said. “Everything else is a lie.”

He added: “We lie all the time. We add something else to that. ‘God created man in his image, in his divine image he created him, and sometimes we screw up, and we sin, because we’re only human, you have to understand.’ Does your Bible say that? Mine doesn’t. So why do we define our humanness that way? . . . The truth about humans is that we image God.”

Humans are made to be a “union and communion” of persons, he said. “We are made for relationship. We are made to love, spousally; to love as God loves. . . . That desire is what makes us most like God.”

Being created male and female also defines a person, he said. “It’s not arbitrary,” he said. “It’s not a choice.”

Father Loya is a member of the Tabor Life Institute, which focuses on formation and education on the theology of the body, St. John Paul II’s writings on the human person.

The conference began April 10 with Mass celebrated by Bishop Andrew Cozzens and a keynote presentation from Curtis Martin, founder and president of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, a national outreach to college campuses.

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