TOB Tuesday: A Real Love Song

ChelseaLove, Lust, Marriage, Sex, Sexuality, Theology of the Body, TOB TuesdayLeave a Comment

Matt Maher sings his song “Set Me as a Seal” based on the Song of Songs (See lyrics.):

A few years ago, Pauline Books and Media released a revised version of the Theology of the Body text – a collection of 129 Wednesday audiences delivered by John Paul II on God’s plan for human love. The biggest difference in this version of the TOB is that it contains six undelivered talks never before translated in English including a deep reflection into the Song of Songs. For the most part this biblical Song is taken up with a more supernatural translation in mind. Greater emphasis is (rightly) put on how the book illuminates the spousal love between Gos and His chosen people, however, our Holy Father tells us that

The love of bridegroom and bride in the Song of Songs is a theme by itself, and in this lies the signularity and originality of that book…it is not possible to separate it from the reality of the primordial sacrament. (TOB 108:1, 3)

Solomon’s song takes marital love back to “the beginning” when the language of the body was spoken honestly, always for the good of the other and always expressing a love “as strong as death.” Says Christopher West:

Through the witness of the lovers’ duet in the Song of Songs, we come to understand that the body “speaks” a language of divine love, of holiness. Not only does it speak – the body sings. And it not only sings, but it sings the greatest of all songs – The Song of Songs.

Or, at least, it is meant to do so. Sin introduces a sour note to the song. The good news is that Christ comes into the world to restore the true Song in our hearts precisely by redeeming our bodies.

What sin had distorted, Christ redeemed and now helps us to realize through the grace of the Holy Spirit. So we can once again look upon our spouse, not merely as a lover and companion, but also as a brother or sister now in Christ, a common relationship that calls us away from lust and toward a love that seeks not its own.

Recommended: Christopher West’s book Heaven’s Song: Sexual Love as It Was Meant to Be – and his columns reflecting on the Song of Songs part I, part II, part III, part IV and conclusion.

Bonus video – Paul Gibson’s beautiful recording of a love lyric from Marcia Falks translation of “The Song of Songs”

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