Lately, I feel like a tiny rowboat out on a choppy sea. Wave after wave is coming at me. If you’ve been watching the headlines, you know what I’m talking about. I find myself constantly thinking, “Now I’ve seen everything; it can’t get any worse than this!” And then it does.
As long as I’m broadside to the waves, I’m going to get clobbered. But if I could get my boat turned directly into the oncoming waves, I might stand a chance of surviving!
Here’s the theory from a sailing textbook. You’ve got to sail perpendicular to the waves.
If you head right into the wave, it looks like this:
But here’s what happens if you don’t.
The wave overcomes you and you capsize. You’re dead in the water.
You get it, right? If we sail parallel to the massive mistakes and lies of our culture, we are going to be overwhelmed, and capsize. Our only hope is to turn into the waves, no matter how scary that looks. That means confronting head-on the very things the culture of death wants us to accept.
We’re in deep, treacherous seas right now. We need a plan for our salvation.
Well, we have one, don’t we? It’s called the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Trouble is, many can’t hear it anymore. For one reason or another, there’s a deafness to the traditional proclamation of the good news. Don’t we need to find a way to tell the truth in a way that people can understand?
St. John Paul II thought so. He brought ancient truths of the Faith to light, using a language we moderns could hear: our own experience.
That is why any presentation of the theology of the body tends to get feedback like:
- “This has changed my life!”
- “Why haven’t I heard this before?”
- “How can I get this information to everyone I care about?”
- “This is going to change the world!”
We know the theology of the body is immensely powerful. It’s the fresh wind we need in order to turn into the waves.
But we have to get it into a manageable form. We have to be able to tell people about it… in sound bytes, because we won’t have their attention for very long before the next wave buries us.
For the next few posts, I’m going to review the basic tenets of the theology of the body, with the goal of finding ways to “pass it on.” My ultimate goal is to craft an “elevator pitch”… a short explanation of the theology of the body that would leave the listener eager to learn more. The next time anyone asks us, “What exactly IS the theology of the body?” we’ll be ready!