Theology of the Body: wrapup

Theology of the Body: wrapup

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.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • I had the opportunity to attend this seminar today and thought it was great!  Christopher is a very dynamic speaker and I would love to attend a longer program.  It was also very encouraging to see a number of young people there (college age). His message is so important and he did a great job delivering it. Dom- I didn’t hear Isabella at
    all grin She was great!

  • It was a very moving and significant day.  West stated that he thought that we in Boston may well bring the blessings of the theology of the body to society at large.  You are right, Dom.  We need to take concrete steps to make it so.

  • I fully believe Weigal got it right when he said that the TOB is a “theological time-bomb”. Pope John Paul II gave theses teachings at his wed audiences and I think the world had NO idea what he was saying.

    We are only scratching the surface because we are so immersed in our Protestant based nation and feminist notions, we have barely begun to perceive what he was talking about

    The implications of this dynamic is profound and only uses marriage as it’s symbol to try to explain GOd’s extraordinary love for each one of us.

    It is the antidote to what is wrong with the world.  It is revolutionary and I pray it pervades our societies and transforms hearts.

  • Good for you for bringing your baby to the event.  It’s good for people to see the results of this teaching in concrete terms!  It’s important for Catholic events to be welcoming towards children, especially nursing babies or those too little to be left with someone.  It is amazing how the littlest ones seem to rise to occasion and behave quite well.

  • Sarah,

    I was very pleased to see that there were several babies there and small children as well as teens. There was one young woman there holding a baby. Dom and I thought she was very young to be a mom. I was right. I later talked to her father who said they were his oldest and youngest daughters (out of six daughters!). She was there with a boyfriend who I saw taking the baby out to the back once when she cried. What an amazing witness.

    There were also many beautiful religious sisters there. I just love seeing them. They are all so full of joy, their faces just glow with their love of Christ. Another amazing witness.

    There was a great feeling in the crowd, I can’t put it into words. But it felt like everyone was very close, connected.

    And Bella made so many friends. I’ve never seen so many people willing to surrender cell phones, keys, jewelry, etc. So many people wanting to play with her. I never felt like anyone looked at her as a nuisance or a distraction.

  • Dom and Melanie – I attended also and recognized Melanie and Isabella from your blog photos, but I did not see Dom – he must have been blogging away ! The few coos and gurgles of the little ones attending just added to the beauty of the message, the wonder of God’s tremendous gift of life.

    I must say I am encouraged by this new burst of evangelization happening in Boston. Like Christopher said, where sin abounds, grace abounds. I do believe we are on the cusp of some badly needed change here, thanks to Cardinal O’Malley and the JPII generation.

    Now if only it would trickle down to the parish level, where the contraceptive mentality is entrenched even in the marriage prep programs. I witnessed an NFP practicing couple with a lrage family publicly ostracized by a deacon’s wife for wanting to bring NFP to my parish’s marriage prep program. She claimed that contraceptive sex can be “life giving” to the marriage. I’m still scratching my head with that one.

  • Thank you for blogging the seminar—I followed a link from your wife’s blog over here.  I’m no longer in the Boston area, but still praying for the A of B and Cardinal O’Malley.  If big things happen there, it will have an impact across the country!