QUEZON City, Feb. 26, 2014—What is life for? What will make one happy? Apparently, the answer is found in the first book of the Bible where God gave Adam Eve as a companion, which, according to a priest, shows that people are not designed to be happy alone.
“This is why [the expression], ‘You complete me’, is not a cliché, it’s a theological truth. The completeness of man, purposely the Lord intended it that way, can only be found in the woman, not in himself anymore,” said Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, at a recent recollection he gave the Buklod ng Pag-ibig community.
Not ‘forever alone’, but ‘forever together’
According to him, it is striking that Genesis 2:21-22 specifically mentions how God takes one of Adam’s ribs and “closes up the place with flesh”.
“Isn’t it common sense that the Lord would have closed up the wound? Why was that detail needed?” he asked and later on explained how theologians, particularly Blessed John Paul II, interpreted it as the finality of man’s destiny as a relational being.
“The completeness of the man, he can no longer find in himself from then on. He must look for it in another person, the woman,” Fr. Castro, who is also the founder of the Confraternity of Mary Mediatrix of All-Grace, added.
The passage, however, is not to be understood as an implicit argument for allowing members of the clergy to get married, he explained, as priests and consecrated men and women are never “alone” either.
“It is not marriage that we are talking about, it is being alone. In the case of priests, we are not alone. We have a family, the Church is our family,” explained Fr. Castro, adding also that nuns are the spouses of Christ. This is why they wear a ring on their fingers to symbolize their vows, much like married women.
The equality of men and women
One difference, he explained, is how married people have the responsibility to procreate.
Taking his cue from Bl. John Paul II, Fr. Castro also said, using the rib to form Eve also has a special “anthropological meaning.”
“According to the Theology of the Body, that’s precisely the point of the Lord [in getting Adam’s rib to form Eve] because that’s where equality is. If [the man and the woman] are of the same height, their ribs will be at the same level. That’s the purpose,” he explained.
Eve was not taken from Adam’s heel, so she could be dominated; nor was she taken from his head, so she could rule over him, Fr. Castro added, but from the rib to signify equality. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]