Friday, May 08, 2009

Time Bomb

Did you hear the bomb go off last night? The "theological time bomb" of the Theology of the Body, that is. (George Weigel's expression, not mine!) ABC's "Nightline" program did a segment on Christopher West (kudos to our own Sr. Helena for tipping the ABC researcher off on this great story idea). You can catch the clip on the ABC site. Be sure to read the comments: most of them are from people whose lives have been transformed (and in many cases healed) by the Theology of the Body as articulated by Pope John Paul and popularized by Christopher West. The comments alone are impressive, inspiring reading, because they reflect a depth of understanding and of experience on the part of so many ordinary people who are living the extraordinary grace of the Theology of the Body. Think about it! Given the cultural presumptions that have formed the basis of so many people's life choices, West should be laughed off the planet. Look at what he is trying to sell: "Throw away your contraceptives!" "Don't live together without marriage!" "Hetero only!" These are not exactly the messages that people today would seem likely to embrace, much less live by. But "those who have ears to hear" discover how life-giving the message really is; way more beautiful than they ever imagined.

I thought it was interesting also how some of the commenters who do not yet "get" TOB reflected an ancient heresy called Manicheeism. This is something that St. Augustine was into before his famous conversion. According to the Manichee worldview, "matter" (the body) doesn't matter. So you can do what you want with your body; only your soul is immortal. But the Theology of the Body takes us as we are--body/soul in one person--and as we will be after the final resurrection, when the unnatural split between body and soul that is death will finally be fully healed.

Interested in TOB? Our online study group blog lists some key titles, including many of Christopher West's.

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