Theology of the Body

 

JP2close.jpgThe Theology of the Body (ToB) saved my life. Arguably, it’s Saint John Paul the Great’s magnum opus, his legacy to the Church. Because of ToB, my faith and love for Jesus Christ and all things Catholic-Christian exploded. After at least a decade of nauseous, blind lust, it helped me see how much more beautiful God made things to be. ToB showed me the divine elegance in human sexuality, how much I was depriving myself by choosing lust instead of true love.

From there, I started giving the Church the benefit of the doubt–the benefit of every doubt. I saw that if she was correct about the harms and evils behind lust, behind contraception, behind divorce, pornography, abortion, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, behind masturbation, fornication, adultery, prostitution, etc., then chances are she is also correct about the next question I have about faith and morals.

And her answer for everything can be summed up as: “If choosing and doing such and such is for selfish reasons that neglect or hurt others, then do not choose to do it.”

In other words: “Love others as I (the Lord) have loved you.” –John 15:12

That’s right, love others as Jesus loved, not as we love ourselves, because sometimes (most of the time) our love for ourselves can get pretty selfish and twisted, but Christ’s love is always selfless, always agapic.

With that said, let me share now a little collection of goodies I’ve found over the years of learning and sharing ToB with others. There’s a ton, so take your time and look around. I hope you find this helpful, and feel free to share your own goodies in the comments!


—–Jason and Crystalina Evert are powerhouses when it comes to breaking ToB into smaller pieces for us unfamiliar with it. “Romance without Regret” is the Evert couple’s original and introductory talk about finding and protecting real love in life:

—–Here, Jason Evert talks about a most debated area: that of our siblings with same-sex attraction (SSA), “Homosexuality and the Catholic Church“:

—–Jason Evert shares ways to live chastely, which protects and grows love and prevents lust: “How to Save Your Marriage Before Meeting Your Spouse“:

—–Matt Fradd has been busy exposing the evil and terrible side-effects of pornography, both making it and viewing it. Let him share with you why: “Pornography: 10 Myths Exposed“:

—–Dr. Janet Smith is world-renowned for her talks on contraception, specifically the birth-control pill. Here, listen to her dismantle what the pill does to a woman and her body, and why anyone would want better for women:

audreyassadprofile—–Audrey Assad here shares her own experience struggling with porn-addiction and recovery. Please listen here to her personal witness.

—–Porn is such a disease that here are more resources to help fight it off: Fight the New Drug, Porn Kills Love, Porn Harms. And Terry Crews, yes the actor, talks frankly  about how porn ravaged his life here.

—–If you’re ready for more substantial information, check Sister Jane’s video series here, with optional quizzes at the end: The Rich Gift of Love

—–For some light and introductory reading suggestions: Dr. Mary Healy’s Men and Women are from Eden, Evert’s Theology of His/Her Body, Evert’s How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul, Evert’s If You Really Loved Me, Christopher West’s Theology of the Body for Beginners,

—–And for intense and in-depth philosophical and theological reads: John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility and his Men and Women He Created Them: A Theology of the Body,

—–If you prefer listening, here are excellent podcasts from Father John Riccardo of the Archdiocese of Detroit. I really cannot highly recommend these enough. Besides the books, these are where I learned most from.

—–Here is a powerful testimonial film interviewing actual Christians who struggle with their homosexuality, but struggle in a way that brings them to a new life that they never knew was possible. Powerful and truly courageous. And also available with subtitles in various languages! Desire of the Everlasting Hills

—–And a shorter, yet just as informative version of the film above, discussing the Catholic Church’s understanding of Christ’s love and compassion for those with same-sex attraction: The Third Way:

—–For quick explanation about what the Church understands about the transgender situation, please consider Fr. Mike Schmitz’s video:

—–Lastly, some visual aids by Bill Donaghy, which he calls Theography. These are useful for sharing ToB with others, and just to see how ideas connect in one place. Some of my favorites:


—–BONUS: And if you’re really ready for the heavyweight material, check how St. Thomas Aquinas and ToB meld: