I gave a talk yesterday to a wonderful group of Catholic women. My focus was a general overview of theology and how it was very applicable to our daily lives. In a nutshell it all hinges on truth. We act upon what we believe to be true – but we don’t always get truth correctly. Thus the need for divine revelation to help us out! Truth, once known and accepted, will affect the way we live. If one really believes and accepts the fact that his or her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, they won’t go out and use illegal drugs. So morality is dependant upon what is true. Sanctity is the result acting upon the true good. So the more we learn and the deeper our faith develops, the holier we will be!
Alright, I did notice something interesting in the follow-up questions related to other religions and atheism. Catholics acknowledge the importance of both the body and the soul. Pantheists, like Buddhists and Hindus, believe both the body and the soul are illusions. Atheists believe that that the body is real but the soul is an illusion. Spiritualists, like the Gnostics and New Agers, reject the body as evil but firmly believe in the importance of the soul. Protestants are (imagine this) hard to pin down! You find varying Protestants agreeing with each position!
Catholicism differs from Islam and Judaism (both of which do hold a high view of both the body and the soul) in that it has the doctrine of the Incarnation. God became a human being without ceasing to be God. No other religion has that one! Moreover, He became one of us so that we could share in His nature and be adopted into a family of God! Through the Incarnation, the Catholic Faith holds the highest view of man while also holding the only realistic view of the body and the soul.