We’re home from the seminar and Isabella is being put to bed. She was very good today, better than even we had hoped. She was pretty quiet and self-contained, as much as a toddling 1-year-old can be.
Christopher West and a number of other folks said they felt like this was something special today. This wasn’t just another speaker brought in to talk and then move on. This is the start of a broad-based movement in the Archdiocese of Boston, not least because so many different ministries had a hand in bringing West here, not just archdiocesan ministries, but independent apostolates too.
Plus there were many priests and several bishops at the special day for priests yesterday, including Cardinal O’Malley who was said to have been greatly moved by what he heard and desirous to hear more of it and spread.
So much of what’s wrong in our society, but especially in Boston, is a result of a flawed understanding of our nature as embodied spiritual persons, a misunderstanding that stems not just from the Sixties and the sexual revolution, but whose roots are much deeper, going back to the repression of Jansenism and Puritanism and Victorianism. It’s no coincidence the place where the Scandal exploded worst is also the place where same-sex marriage is being pushed and abortion is so entrenched and a contraceptive mentality prevails and sexual libertinism is peddled enthusiastically to our youth. These are not unrelated.
We will begin to recover from the effects of that when we begin the process of the redemption of the body that Pope John Paul talked about in the theology of the body and Pope Benedict is continuing in his encyclical Deus Caritas and his new book on Jesus.
West said, on the spur of the moment, that he is making a commitment to the Archdiocese of Boston to be available for whatever we need him to do because he really feels like the Holy Spirit wants to the use the archdiocese as a beacon of light for the Church and the whole world, to bring this theology out into the world.
I hope the archdiocese takes him up on it. We need to counter the poison being peddled out there with antidote that brings a real cure.
I look forward to seeing some concrete steps being taken in the near future. Perhaps a major conference on theology of the body. Maybe widespread theology of the body study groups in parishes. Maybe monthly talks throughout the archdiocese to spread the message. I hope so. I pray that it is so.