Theology of the Body, Chastity and the New Evangelization

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TOBA few more articles added to the Register’s Theology of the Body symposium.

Janet Smith on how the TOB’s teaching on chastity affects pastoral practice, and how do we teach and live chastity as a result:

It is important to remember that the theology of the body was not written to provide a program for teaching chastity. John Paul II wrote it to establish a biblically based anthropology adequate to defend the teaching of Humanae Vitae. That is, he tried to show how Scripture could provide us with an understanding of the human person that would help us understand why the Church condemns contraception. This led him to meditate deeply on the meaning of the human body as a means of revealing the truth about God and man.
John Paul II establishes that our bodies reveal that we are meant to make gifts of ourselves to others and receive others as gifts. John Paul II explains that Adam and Eve were able to be naked and without shame because they were without sin; they understood and lived the “spousal meaning” of the body. They respected each other as persons and were not capable of using each other. Sin brought disordered passions, fig leaves, and the ever ready possibility of sexual misuse.

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And Father Walter Schu talks about the relationship between theology of the body and evangelization and how the TOB is not just about sex:

As he gazes down from the window of the Father’s house at the exuberant fans of his theology of the body, John Paul II must be smiling. How could the Pope who once exhorted the Church to “put out into the deep” in quest of the New Evangelization not be pleased?

After all, nothing could be nearer the heart of the New Evangelization than the true meaning of sex, right? Or is that right? Or, just as crucially, is sex really what theology of the body is all about?

Not according to Michael Waldstein, translator of the definitive English version of the 129 Wednesday audiences containing John Paul II’s teaching on married love, celibacy and fruitfulness. In a 2010 summer course, Waldstein did not hesitate to affirm, “John Paul II’s concern in the theology of the body is the Gospel. It would be an error to get sidelined with what is always attractive to people: sexuality.”

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Stay tuned for more articles. I am loving this!

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