What makes a human-being a “person”?


It’s crazy how Cristina and I are so excited in preparing for marriage (and even blogging about it!) and at the same time the topic seems to be so controversial and heated in New York City.

You know, there’s a reason why Cristina and I haven’t moved-in together yet, or what we are waiting to have sex until we are married. We see marriage as a SACRAMENT. As something different. Trust me, if we saw it the same way we see “living together”, we wouldn’t be getting married. Heck, if we saw marriage as the same thing as everything else in this world:  just a “tradition”, the “next step” in life or “what you do when you love someone”……..  WE WOULDN’T BE GETTING MARRIED AT ALL.

Recently, Cristina and I went to a debate SoHo about what marriage truly is, and what it CANNOT ever be. They debated the issue NOT based on emotion:

“Oh, if 2 people love each other, let them do what they want!”      or      “I don’t see what the problem is, there are so many straight-marriages that fail, why shouldn’t everyone else have the right!?”

These are things we hear on a daily basis, and while we disagree with them, we do agree that people have the right to question and debate it!

So the debate we went to was good, but a lot of the philosophy went way-over our heads….there were times that even the Columbia students looked at eachother like “…What is he talking about?!”

BUT, most the interesting thing that we took-away from the debate was the question that was raised – “What is the Human Person?”

What is a person? Sounds like a dumb question, doesn’t it? That’s what I thought. Until the professor explained himself a little more.

Professor George (at Princeton) basically said “What you believe about the Human Person decides which side you stand on when you look at the world and laws/morality/beliefs etc”.

Stop and think about that for a minute.

Keep thinking.

Remember, most people don’t ever stop to think about if they see the human person a certain way, BUT if you stop for just a minute and think about, you can see exactly what he was talking about.

Basically, you:

DEFINE a Human Person as being their: Thoughts, Emotions, Dreams, Beliefs, Experiences(Let’s call this our “Soul”) – and you see their body (male or female) as something they use during their life, but NOT necessarily who they are.

Example : “I am Andrew, I have a degree in Spanish, I live in NYC and I’m getting married in October. Oh, and I happen to have a male body!”


You DEFINE a Human Person as being a combination of : Thoughts, Emotions, Dreams, Beliefs, Experiences(Their “Soul”)  and seeing their body as INTEGRAL.  Body AND Soul.

Example : “I am Andrew and I am a man.”

Cristina and I were shocked when we really sat down and thought about it! It makes so much sense!

Without realizing it, the world tells us to identify ourselves (especially with the changing and shifting morals/values) by what we do, what we like, what we love and the experiences that we have had. Again, I don’t think that people stop to think or realize it, but our society has turned our bodies into something that we “USE” during our lifetime, mostly for pleasure.

As Catholics, we are taught that

“The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the “form” of the body: i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.”

So what the heck does that mean?!

It means that we are human beings – a unity of BODY and SOUL, so deep and so profound that our souls are even described as being in the same shape as our bodies! We cannot exist apart, for our bodies are WHO we are, just as our souls are WHO we are!

This is why when Cristina and I become one, the day of our wedding, I will say to her “I love YOU. I love you – body AND soul.”

When that is done outside of marriage, one is saying to the other “My body loves your body”. Sorry to say, but that’s really not love at all.

I know it sounds really simple…..but if you apply this to so many issues going on in our modern society (Abortion, Marriage, Euthanasia, etc) it really helps to understand where each side is coming from.

About Faith and Reason, from our hero:

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth – in a word, to know himself – so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.” – Pope John Paul II

It’s our duty as Christians to form ourselves in His Word, in the Teachings of Our Church AND in Reason.

As for me, Andrew…. a MAN, I’m gonna be praying and focusing on preparing to marry my WOMAN, Cristina!


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