Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Emily Stimpson "walked into a Catholic bookstore" one day in 2001. Of all the books on offer, including titles that directly spoke to the eating disorder that was controlling her life, it was John Paul II's "Theology of the Body" that ended up changing her life.
"It had the word “body” in it, and I wanted a theology of the body. I wanted to know what this Church of mine had to say about the flesh I despised."
She read the book clear through, discovering an unexpected vision of what it means to "be" (not just "have") a body--and also a new appreciation of creation itself, all of it (even food; maybe especially food).
I wish I had known about this new Theology of the Body book earlier! It is still new, but it is the kind of thing I'd want to shout from the rooftops. Because the Theology of the Body, while it has the most obvious (and perhaps universal) applications in the realm of sexuality, is not about sex, but about the mystery of the human person as the image of God. And sometimes the Theology of the Body has to start with "the" body; the body God created to express your own unique and unrepeatable essence.