Christopher West is one of the most recognized teacher of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
What is the Theology of the Body? Check out this explanation here.
In the meantime, here are some of what I refer to as “nuggets of wisdom” from his book “Theology of the Body for Beginners.”
(If you are interested in learning more about the Catholic teaching of marriage, the human body, sexuality, and love, I highly recommend picking up one of West’s books. They are life-changing.)
- God gave us sexual desire as the fuel of a rocket that is meant to launch us into the stars & beyond. But what would happen if the engines became inverted, pointing us back only upon ourselves & no longer toward the stars? It would be a massive blast of self destruction.
- This is the purpose of sexual union in the divine plan: To prefigure in some way the glory, ecstasy, and bliss that awaits us in heaven.
- When our desire to understand the body and sexuality is not met with the truth, we inevitably fall for the lies.
- The difference between marriage and celibacy must NEVER be understood as the difference between having a “legitimate” outlet for sexual lust on one hand and repression on the other. No, Christ calls Everyone, no matter his or her particular vocation, to experience redemption from the domination of lust. Both vocations, celibacy and marriage, flow from the same experience of the redemption of sexual desire.
- Celibacy and Marriage complement each other. Celibacy helps married couples realize that their love also is oriented toward “the kingdom.” Furthermore, by abstaining, celibates demonstrate the GREAT VALUE of sexual union.
- Celibacy for the kingdom is meant to be a fruitful, living out of the redemption of sexual desire, understood as the desire to make oneself a “sincere gift” for others.
- Purity does not reject the body, It is the glory of the human body before God. It lets us perceive the human body – ours and our neighbors – as a temple of the Holy Spirit, a manifestation of divine beauty.
- Spousal love is the love of total self-donation. The power to express love, preciselyt that love in which the human person becomes a gift, fulfills the very meaning of his being and existence. If you’re looking for the meaning of life, it is impressed right in your body, in human sexuality.
Fit In Your Faith Today: Take just one of these statements and reflect on it. (It helps to have the context surrounding it from the book itself, which is why it’s highly recommended you purchase one of his books.) But in the meantime, ask yourself some of these thought provoking questions:
Do you think of your body as a gift from God, as a holy temple? Do you treat it as such?
Do you think of yourself as holy?
What is your definition of holiness?
Do you believe that God calls us all to a vocation of holiness? (He does, by the way.) 😉
Do you look at marriage as a sacrament? Do you regard marriage as a holy union?
What do you think of people who are celibate?
What words come to mind when you hear that word?
If you have any confusion or questions about what the Catholic faith says about sexuality, purpose of marriage and life, lust, love, union, relationships, etc., I can guarantee this book explains A LOT. You cannot possibly NOT grow in your faith after researching and reading Theology of the Body.