I really enjoyed the Theology of the Body conference with Christopher West that I attended this weekend in Rolla, MO. I actually attended this exact same conference in KC earlier this year, but it never gets old. If you have not yet discovered the incredible teaching of JPII on the truth and meaning of sexuality, do yourself a favor check it out today. It’s not just a teaching for married couples, nor is it limited to dealing just with the act of sexual intercourse. It is about understanding who we are as human beings – why we are made male and female and what is our ultimate destiny. This Theology of the Body is “essential…for the [understanding] of man in general: for the…self-understanding of his being in the world” (TOB 102:5)
But what about the sexual act itself and why is it important that it be practiced in the appropriate context (i.e. within a marriage between a man and woman)? In short, it is because sexual union shapes our history:
Every single person is the end result of thousands upon thousands of sexual unions. That’s heavy stuff! And yet society would have us believe that sex is little more than a recreational activity with a meaning and a purpose no deeper than a moment of physical pleasure. Though sex seems to be everywhere and penetrating every aspect of our culture, the problem with modern society is not that it over-values sex, but precisely that it does not value sex enough. Our job is to reclaim the sacredness, the holiness of human sexuality.
We cannot build a true culture of life if we do not “accept and experience sexuality and love and the whole of life according to their true meaning and their close inter-connection” (Evangelium Vitae, 93). It is hard to have respect for human life while violating the very act which creates that life. This is what shapes our culture. The sexual union builds families, which build neighborhoods, which build communities, which build cities, states, nations and the world:
I will be sharing some more video as I get them uploaded. In the meantime please take advantage of the many TOB resources that are available – for yourself, for friends, family. This is excellent material for parents to discuss with their children – see TOB For Teens. Don’t leave this stuff up to the schools – even the Catholic schools!
More information on the Theology of the Body:
ChristopherWest.com – West even has a free download available for non Catholics
Theology of the Body at Catholic Exchange
An excellent introduction article: What is Theology of the Body and Why is it Changing So Many Lives?
A must-have book: Good News About Sex and Marriage
TOB material from Ascension Press
Resources for study groups:
The Gift: Your Call to Greatness – a one hour TOB flyover
An Introduction to the Theology of the Body – an 8 part, 4 hour study
Freedom To Love – a 5 part study for young adults and college students
Good News About Sex and Marriage – a 5 part Marriage enrichment program