By the faith of my body is an expression initially from Arthurian tales. It is said often in Thomas Malory’s cannon on the knights of the Round Table, Le Morte D’Arthur. By the faith of my body is an oath of wholesomeness. It means bringing your entirety — body, soul, heart and mind — to an endeavor for Godly purpose. Often a knight would say it before embarking on a quest…or to confirm a truth.
“Wholesomeness” was such a powerful word for my generation. It was used to describe someone of virtue. The “girl next door” was always a “wholesome” girl. The Bible mentions it in the context of waters being fit to drink. “This is what the Lord says, ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’ And the water has remained wholesome to this day…” (2 Kings 2:22)
In researching the phrase , by the faith of my body , more deeply, and ( it is used quite infrequently) , I found it was also embedded in the works of Victor Hugo and The Hunchback of Notre Dame and in William Shakespeare’s The Lamentable Tragedy of Locraine.
We live in such a fragmented world. Our essence is being pulled in so many directions. It often seems that the four components of man — heart, mind, soul, and body — (which in postmodernism , the soul is already in question) is being torn apart . Today, it appears few men have their “act together”. Our bodies seem disconnected from the rest of us as in a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde paradigm. Modern man “is playing the field” or “exercising his muscle” as it relates to women. “Sport f–ing” was a term used by my generation.
The modern Olympian spectacle is this weekend: the Superbowl. I learned that possibly the highest level of human sex trafficking occurs on Superbowl weekend. Girls, really young girls, are flown in from around the country to the hosting city for the event. One recent “Superbowl Special” featured 2 girls (14 and 18) for the rock bottom one-time price of $300 bucks. Its tragic when these girls have no choice and grown men have no restraint over their bodies when they “party”.
In the wake of hearing this, I put together a minute video of three athletes with whom I have been impressed with this past year. They all seem to live “By the faith of my body” and are unashamed of it : Jeremy Lin, Tim Tebow, and Bubba Watson. You can click here to view it. These guys are heroes in three of the most popular American sport disciplines: basketball, football and golf.
I thought this was a great weekend to rise above the darkness and celebrate , yes, dare I say it…. the wholesomeness of a few good men from a new generation.