Word made flesh, life of the world, in your incarnation you embraced our poverty: by your Spirit may we share in your riches. Amen.
I have a beat up copy of Plato’s The Phaedrus that I studied in an Advanced Composition and Rhetoric class in college. It’s on my shelf with a few other books from my undergrad days. I remember my professor teaching us that for Plato the purpose of good writing was to set the soul free, to let it soar upwards toward the heavens and put off the weight of this earthly body. The body, says Plato, is like a prison for the soul, like an oyster stuck in a clunky shell. The shell of ours needs to be cast aside so we can truly become who we were meant to be.
What Plato really brings to the front is the dualistic nature of our bodies and souls, informing us that our bodies are bad and our souls are good. The great theologian Augustine buys in to this dualism quite readily with his concept of original sin that has dominated Western theology ever since. The body with its limitations is no good.