Theology of the Body. It seems to be one of those subjects that people struggle with. There is a want to understand, but as materialistic and sexualized as our culture is, it's a hard topic to grasp.
Since most people are only familiar with the Theology of the Body as it pertains to sexual relations and marital intimacy, it is perfectly understandable. Just addressing sexual relations makes TOB feel like a list of do's and don't's for the bedroom. But there is so much more to it than that.
That's where Emily Stimpson's new book These Beautiful Bones comes in. In this book, Simpson begins with the story of the Bone Church in Rome. A bunch of Capuchin monks made a church entirely out of bones. Macabre? Perhaps, but inexplicably beautiful. Because in a way, it reflects the beauty of how God has made the body Holy.
These Beautiful Bones is a collection of essays about 7 different aspects of the human body and its functions in light of JPII's Theology of the Body talks. She covers work, parenthood, manners, dress, eating, prayer, and our modern culture of distraction. Each essay discusses the topic as it relates to the theology of the body. They are quite in depth as to the number of facets she goes into. In addition, they are quite enjoyable to read and make what is a very complicated subject easy to grasp.
As an example, in the chapter on work, she shares about manual labor and depression, relating it to the bible. Then she goes into the biblical design of work, even in the garden of eden, how it has been messed up in the fallen world, modern work, and how mechanization didn’t help man’s view of work. She concludes with a discussion of how work SHOULD be and how we can live God’s design for work, to the betterment of ourselves.
I recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn about the WHOLE Theology of the Body. I would also recommend it to busy women and mothers who desire to live a fully Catholic life, but aren't sure how to start. Or even how it's possible. The essays are segmented for easy reading during the small bits of time that even most busy moms and women can find. I would run to your nearest Catholic bookstore & grab a copy. It’s that good.
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Copyright 2013 Jen Steed
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