Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body

What the Theology of the Body is, what it teaches, and what it has to offer contemporary culture? Here are 7 Things You Need to Know About The Theology of the Body:

1. The Theology of the Body teaches that the body expresses the person. That means that our physical bodies reveal the invisible dimension of ourselves. Our virtues, our spiritual lives, our attitudes of love and charity, our struggles with sin—they’re all invisible. You can’t paint them blue. But they all get revealed through the body, through our eyes, through our posture, through our gestures.

2. The Theology of the Body affirms the goodness of sexuality. Now, there are lots of people who never think of God and sex in the same sentence, unless that sentence begins with the words ‘God doesn’t like...’

3. The Theology of the Body is fundamentally an anthropology, a five-year reflection based on Scripture on what it means to be a human person made in the image and likeness of God. In other words, the Theology of the Body answers the question ‘Who am I?’

4. The Theology of the Body is a defense of Humanae Vitae. That was John Paul’s intent from the beginning. He wanted to root out the dualistic understanding of the human person at the heart of the contraceptive culture and at the heart of the problems that have sprung from it, problems such as abortion and embryo-destructive stem cell research.

5. The Theology of the Body is rooted in Catholic tradition. The human body in its deepest nature was formed by God, it has a spousal meaning, and the meaning of marriage flows from the nature of man and woman, male and female, created in the image of God.

6. The Theology of the Body has to be lived. It doesn’t matter how much you know about it abstractly if it doesn’t connect with your life. But because we live in a world that is increasingly virtualized, it’s becoming hard to see how the Theology of the Body does connect with life, let alone how to live it. "You see, the Theology of the Body teaches that each of us is called to be a gift, a gift to one another and a gift to God. This giving and receiving requires real presence.

7. The Theology of the Body is the articulation of the Catholic sacramental worldview. It gives us the correct way of looking at life, of seeing the divine order of creation, then living according to that. How does it do that? By teaching that invisible realities are made visible through the physical world. Everything in the created order points to transcendent realities, to realities beyond itself. Everything points to God. Just as God reveals himself and the life of the Trinity through the human person, so too does he reveal himself through all his creation.

Source: http://www.staycatholic.com/7_things_about_theology_of_the_body.htm

See also: http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2TBIND.HTM

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