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Self-Giving, Self-Mastery

St John Paul II on Men, Women and Conjugal Chastity

Alan O'Sullivan OP

The dignity of the person has always been a key theme of Pope John Paul II. Perhaps less well known is his emphasis on self-mastery as intrinsic to such dignity. In the love of man and woman, such mastery paves the way to self-giving and provides a richer, deeper experience of the union of persons. It also gives a new sensitivity to the beauty of masculinity and femininity as sexuality is seen in its original holiness: that is, by sharing in the Creator’s vision of the body. In this book, the author traces this daring portrait of human love back to the early writings of Karol Wojtyła.

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Chapter 12: The Economy of Truth and Love


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The Economy of Truth and Love


In this chapter we examine “the economy of truth and love”.1 We shall do so with a view to St. Thomas Aquinas’ teaching on the same subject. This can enrich our sense of the “theology of the body”. How does the coming of the divine Persons influence man’s way of being and acting? What is the gift that he receives? How can this open him to the communion of persons?2

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