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Body and Soul

“It is an error that assumes that God once did something quite specific that He might finally do something completely general. At its root is a notion that material things are contrary to, even exclusive of, spiritual things. “If it’s physical – it must be inferior and carnal.” It’s a modern form of Gnosticism.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

"Christianity recognizes that we are truly physical as well as spiritual beings. Therefore our salvation requires us to have a proper attitude and treatment of the body in life and death…it is through the body that the soul is redeemed. For example, in baptism, it is the body that is washed so that the soul may be purified. The body is fed at the Eucharist so that the soul may be illuminated. The body is anointed that the soul may be consecrated." (Father Spyridon Baily)

“This present body is only a seed (1 Corinthians 15:38) of the body to come. The “spiritual” body is not a pale shadow of the material world we now know; the opposite is true. The resurrection body is the fulfillment of what God intends for our present body. It is the material fulfilled, not dematerialized.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:35-54)

“Our bodies will one day be reunited with our souls and we will be whole persons again but in some gloriously transfigured, spiritualized way. This is not only our destiny as human beings but it was our very origin. It is only because of sin that we have come to think of ‘reality’ in terms of our bodies dying and being buried and our souls going on to the next life and hopefully ending up in Heaven." (Father Thomas Loya)

" be alive in the body is to express one’s soul." (Lisa Coutras)

“…body, mind, and soul are actually one entity. Together they form a human being, made in the image and likeness of Our Creator.” (Marianne Sailus) “

God formed Adam's body out of dust from the ground. The breath of life is the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life (the Creed). God breathed the breath of life into man's body, and he became a living soul. Therefore, Adam was a living soul because he possessed a body, a soul, and the grace of the Holy Spirit.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Genesis 2:7)

“Our mind is the pilot of our bodies and souls. It’s designed to be inspired and moved by God’s Spirit, which directs us naturally and freely toward God.” (Kevin Scherer)

“Our bodies were designed to push, pull, rotate, extend, and flex; our souls were designed to orient, commune, worship, obey, sacrifice, and witness. With time, these repetitive movements lead to normal spiritual development and maturity. When there’s an injury to the human body that disables movement, most people elect to undergo all the necessary procedures, including surgery, hospitalization, and extensive physical therapy, to regain their personal freedoms. The Church exists to provide this same healing and rehabilitation for our disabled souls.” (Kevin Scherer)

“We, human beings, were and are created as body and soul. We become fully human through the grace of the Holy Spirit. By the will of the Father, Christ the Son, sends us the Holy Spirit (John 20:22, Acts 2:1-13) so that we may receive grace and become Christ-like over the course of our lifetime. The tragedy of today’s society is that many engage in what they think are spiritual activities (e.g., new age religious practices, spiritual but not religious practices) but they have nothing to do with acquiring the Holy Spirit. They are simply exercises that feel good for the soul but are not formational because the lack the Spirit.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“Sensual (Gr. psychikoi) means operating by the powers of the human soul alone without the indwelling power of the Spirit, that which makes one “spiritual.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Jude 1:19)

“God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it.” (C. S. Lewis)

“Christianity is not a disembodied faith but an incarnational one. God came to us in the form of a man, Jesus Christ, and redeems us body and soul. The way we treat our bodies (and indeed all of Creation) says something about the way we regard the One Who gave it to us and Whose presence fills all things. That’s the Gospel." (Rod Dreher)

“Unlike the religion of Gnosticism—which teaches the separation of soul and body, with the physical world seen as evil and something to be overcome—historic Christianity teaches the unity of body and soul, with the physical world being transformed and made new in Christ.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“The most powerful rituals involve the body…They make use of all the senses to impress the sacred story upon the individuals gathered. For example, when worshippers kneel or prostrate themselves at a certain point in a ritual, they learn in their very muscles the awe-filled meaning of that sacred moment—and it helps them remember.” (Paul Connerton, Rod Dreher)

“We are material beings. We are not souls that have bodies, or bodies that have souls. The soul is the “life” of the body, but is not, strictly speaking, a thing in itself. Most moderns mistake the soul for consciousness, and they imagine that at death their consciousness migrates somewhere else (to heaven, etc). And, we do not care very much about what then happens to the body, so long as our precious consciousness abides. This, I might add, is the mythology of Star Trek, where in at least several episodes, Spock’s consciousness is deposited in various other places. It is not, however, true Christianity.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Our bodies are our temples…We desecrate our bodies when we fill our minds with hateful thoughts, and our mouths with hateful speech. We neglect our bodies when we fill them with bad food and when we are inactive and indifferent to others. We honor our bodies when we maintain good hygiene, good diet, when we exercise, and when we love and serve others. Then our temples are in pristine condition.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Our bodies were meant for healthy food, exercise, and rest. Today’s frenetic pace creates costly consequences for us all. A similar reality is at work in our spiritual lives. A well-rounded balance of spiritual food is necessary if we are to have healthy and happy souls. While it is truly tragic that you and I destroy our physical bodies with junk food, our destructive neglect of our spiritual food has eternal consequences.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“...a church that neglects to involve the body in worship is going to find it increasingly difficult to get bodies into services on Sunday morning as America moves further into post-Christianity.” (Rod Dreher)

“Christianity does not share in the modern American body-obsession. We have a tendency to go go to extremes – obsessing about our bodies or neglecting them…Christ said, “Do not fear them that can only kill the body. Fear him that can destroy both body and soul in hell” (Matt. 10:28)…The true Christian approach to the body is based on the wise principle of moderation…the proper care of our bodies is a divine responsibility given to us by God…They are temples —dwelling places of the Holy Spirit!...If God dwells in them, they must deserve our care and respect, and neglect of them can only be called sin.” (Fr. Paul O'Callaghan, Sacramental Living Blog)

“Let us not neglect our hearts. As good stewards of our physical bodies, it is important to attend to the precious organ of the heart. But it is also essential that we affirm the orientation of our inner being. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:20). Renewal of the heart directs our lives toward God and heaven. In Him we will find what is true and eternal, and in Him our hearts will rejoice and live forever.” (Archbishop Demetrios of America)

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