On October 22nd, the Church celebrated the feast of Pope Saint John Paul the Great, one of the most beloved saints in history. Among his most important achievements is a series of talks called the Theology of the Body – an explanation of what our bodies reveal about us…and God.
· The Theology of the Body shows how sex, marriage, family reveal the ultimate meaning and purpose of life – union. Ultimately, this is union with God.
· Theology of the Body explores what God’s original vision for humanity was before Adam and Eve sinned. Then, the saint shows how a human being’s encounter with Jesus can restore what was lost by our first parents.
· The human being is an integration of a body and a soul. We are the only creature in the universe that has this distinction.
· The human body and human sexuality are very good things. They are not wrong, dirty, shameful or evil. They are good, glorious and holy.
o Shame becomes a part of our sexual identity when we misuse it in a sinful way. On the other hand, when we use our sexuality according to God’s plan for our lives we grow in virtue and holiness. We become more authentic and integrated human beings.
· Our bodies reveal that we are made to give ourselves away in love, in complete self-gift. We are happiest when we give and hold nothing back. We are saddened when, in our selfishness and fear, we withhold love and focus on pleasing ourselves.
“Brace yourself! If we take in what the Holy Father is saying in his Theology of the
Body, we will never view ourselves, view others, view the Church, the Sacraments,
grace, God, heaven, marriage, the celibate vocation...we will never view the world the
same way again.” – Christopher West
Check out Christopher West’s book Theology of the Body for Beginners to start learning more about Theology of the Body.