072: Rediscovering the Power of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body

Picture of by Matthew Leonard
by Matthew Leonard

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Famous Catholic author, George Weigel, said Pope St. John Paul’s Theology of the Body is  a “theological time bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences sometime in the third millennium of the Church.”

That time has come.

In fact, we’re practically past time.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last few weeks, you’ve surely heard about the ever-increasing number of famous figures accused of sexual abuse and immorality. Hollywood moguls, US Senators and Congressmen, famous actors…the list goes on and on.

While I’m glad this has all come to light, realize it’s nothing new. This has all been going on since almost the beginning of time. But we seem to have reached a crisis point in modern culture.

People are starting to realize that something is wrong. Terribly wrong. And they want answers to questions they don’t even know how to formulate.

St. John Paul II saw it coming a mile away.

In fact, right from the beginning of his pontificate he provided the answers in a series of Wednesday audience lectures that became known as the Theology of the Body.

And while a lot of Catholics have heard of it, they’ve never really dug into it. And even if we’ve dug into it, many of us have forgotten the power of John Paul II’s incredible insights.

So I’m bringing it back.

In this episode, we’ll explore:

  • Why the Garden of Eden is the key to our sexuality and identity as human persons
  • How “male and female” is  a reflection of God Himself
  • How our situation is now different than Adam and Eve…in a positive sense!
  • Why human bodies matter…really matter
  • Why human beings can never be treated as a means to an end

There’s a lot in this episode to chew on, especially in light of recent events. And my scriptural guru buddy Curtis Mitch, will sink his razor sharp theological teeth into it all and unpack the biblical foundations for Theology of the Body from the writings of St. Paul.

God bless!



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5 Responses

  1. Thanks for another interesting episode!

    Do you think theology of the body helps understand the immaculate conception, and likewise the immaculate conception helps understand the theology of the body? Mary’s sinlessness, the “created immaculate conception”, made her a suitable spouse for the Holy Spirit, the “uncreated immaculate conception”. Holy and set apart for God, united with the Holy Spirit, and fruitful love bringing forth Jesus Christ. This is like an image of married love, Trinitarian love, and each person called to be a temple of the Holy Spirit. We can’t be as intimately united to the Holy Spirit yet because of sin, but its a prefiguring of how we will become, God willing. I might be completely wrong with that.

    I don’t expect a reply any time soon. Prayers for your family, especially the littlest Leonard and Mom.

    1. Ha! You’re right on track, Katherine! Yes, the mystical marriage of Mary and the Holy Spirit is, in a sense, the highest example of the married love we imitate on earth. And yes, Mary’s relationship with the Holy Spirit is different than the one we have with the Spirit. It’s analogous to the relationship between parents vs parent and child.

        1. Sorry, phone isn’t cooperating.
          Meant to say that’s an extremely helpful way of thinking about it. Thank you!

  2. wow! i am listening during lent ..still makes sense ..mortification of the body …tenperance ..I am.blown away ! theology of the body!

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