We're still talking here in community about last night's Theology of the Body session. About 16 people joined the 18 or so here through the Internet. Father Loya covered the first three or so of John Paul's talks, the very first ones that broached the idea of a "theology of the body." I think some of the Internet participants, especially the young men, were trying to fit what John Paul was saying into the classical models they were more familiar with. You could see them there, in the chat room text box, kind of grappling with the wrong things, concepts that are too abstract or romantic or just particular to one state in life rather than another to allow the Theology of the Body to have its real impact. Ultimately, it seems to me (as someone who has been profoundly influenced by the Theology of the Body!) that the core concepts of the male-female relationship as the image of God come down to "gift" and "receptivity." These are lived and expressed differently by men and by women, but unless both live these "virtues," the image of God risks compromise and even the distortion of violence.
We meet again May 14 at the same URL; if you'd like to join us, read John Paul's first 7 or so talks by then! (We're using the critical edition of the talks: Man and Woman He Created Them.)