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One Flesh Union - Christ and the Church

De Maria's picture

What is the One Flesh Union concerning Christ and the Church?

I have posted a version of this question in the Biblical Studies because I believe it is a beautiful question to ponder. And another version in the interdenominational Discussions to see how we view this mystery as expressed in the Sacrament of Matrimony differently.

But I have really been waiting patiently and anxiously for quite a long time to post this particular question on this forum because in another discussion here, the Catholic view of the One Flesh Union between Christ and the Church was called blasphemous. Specifically this teaching from the Catechism.

795 Christ and his Church thus together make up the "whole Christ" (Christus totus). The Church is one with Christ. The saints are acutely aware of this unity:

Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does "head and members" mean? Christ and the Church.

Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself.

Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person.

A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: "About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter."

Our understanding of the One Flesh Union between Christ and the Church is based upon this verse.
Ephesians 5:
30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Now, it seems to me that our understanding lines up pretty well with Scripture.

And so, I posted this particular thread to see how your views contrast with the Catholic view of this greatest and most wonderful of mysteries.


De Maria

De Maria's picture

re: Words and their meanings..

When we talk about adultery these days, we're very clear about what it means. It doesn't look like it was at all clear to the Hebrews.

That's exactly the point. Jesus said it this way:
Matthew 19:8
He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

God never agreed with divorce. Yet, He permitted Moses to issue a bill of divorce because of the hardness of man's heart.

Therefore, since these are very closely related topics, the same logic applies to having multiple wives.

Even, it seems to me, that the women of that culture and time, saw no evil in polygamy. Therefore, God permitted this evil to persist in the midst of His People until such a time as His Christ would remove it.

So why would God give a seventh commandment that no one understood the gist of?

I don't know. But if we compare this to the existence of divorce and slavery in the very same culture, we see that the fact is that God did permit evil to exist within the culture of His people. As for slavery, it continued even after the advent of Jesus. Only recently being outrightly designated a MORTAL sin by the Catholic Church.

And when He further extended the rules, then punishment was only reserved for cases where men had sexual relations with another man's wife or a woman pledged to another man. (Deuteronomy 22:22-24).

In case of an unpledged virgin, he was supposed to pay a fine, and marry her for life.(Deut22:28,29). It doesn't say what happened if such man was already married to someone else. I presume he still married this woman he had defiled as well..

Women are to be stoned to death for adultery or for not being able to prove their virginity on marriage. But there's no punishment prescribed for the man who marries multiple women or keeps concubines or whatever..

Fines and sacrifices prescribed for so many things, but not a single one for men violating the 7th commandment, only for the women. It's strange to say the least.

That is true. But Dan had a good point when he referred to progressive revelation. Even today, as I was explaining to someone else, the Church does not say She understands the whole truth, but the "fullness" of it. Meaning that the Holy Spirit continues to lead and guide Her to "all" truth.

Anyway, I guess it's beyond the scope of this thread, plus I'm presenting the sole woman's perspective here..so there might be a difference in perception :).

Unfortunately. That is quite true. Men have much to learn from women when it comes to loving relationships. I believe that is why God put women here and called them "helpers". Because it is by their example that men will be saved.

This issue has troubled me for a long time - ofcourse my righteousness cannot exceed God's, so there must be a good explaination somewhere for God's silence...Just don't find the available ones very convincing.

I know the feeling. But keep asking. God will provide the answer. Whether you like the answer when He gives it, is another question all together. Perhaps you should pray for that as well.


De Maria