Friday 27th February: Be the sign of contradiction!

So here we are in to our Lenten journey of mortification. It’s good for us amidst the culture of plenty all around us to practice some form of self-denial and penance, however small, to be a small sign of contradiction to the ‘throwaway culture’ of which Pope Francis so often speaks. Of course The Sign of Contradiction is the Cross of Christ and Jesus Himself writ large on Calvary. But that sign is all around us and even wired in to the very language of our body.

Ever since the Fall, we know that our human nature ‘is wounded but not permanently damaged’ as Pope St John Paul II put is in his theology of the body. We all know only too well that suffering is never far from us and our loved ones and fellow human beings in some way or other. It’s just the way life is but it’s also just the way the body is too. I’m not just talking about how our physicality is prone to illness and ailment etc. but indeed how our very physiology reflects the Sign of Contradiction in a deeply hidden but very real physiological way. It’s what I call a sort of ‘bio-mysticism.’ Take for example the reality of Laminins. Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes Laminins are what hold us together.. LITERALLY. They are cell adhesion molecules. They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell. Without them, we would literally fall apart. Look up laminin in any scientific/medical piece of literature, this is what you will see…

Want to find out more about theology of the body and how it relates to you and family life?  Come along to the annual Theology of the Body lecture at Vaughan House, 46 Francis St, London, SW1P 1QN on the 20th March 2015 at 6:45pm, entitled ‘Facing Difficulties in Christian Family Life: Insights from Theology of the Body.’   It will be given by Dr. Peter Kahn of Liverpool University and will include a Q&A session. To register, contact

– Edmund Adamus
Director, Office of Marriage and Family Life – Diocese of Westminster


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