Theology of the Body (the Catechesis of Human Love) is the topic of a series of 129 lectures given by Pope John Paul II during his Wednesday audiences in the Pope Paul VI Hall between September 1979 and November 1984. It was the first major teaching of his pontificate.

Since the 1980’s a lot has been said and written about the Theology of the Body. But not having read or heard any of it, I thought it would be interesting to offer a fresh perspective on John Paul II talks nearly thirty years after their conclusion. My goal is to dig deep into the purity and original intent of what our Blessed Pope meant with his Catechesis of Human Love.

Part 1 of this series reflects upon lectures 1, 2, 3 and 4 of John Paul II’s Catechesis of Human Love. Topics include What is the Theology of the Body, From the Beginning, and The Biblical Accounts of Creation.

1. Of the Unity and Indissolubility of Marriage
On 5 September 1979, in the first of his General Audiences on the Theology of the Body, the Holy Father expounded the words of Christ, “In the beginning the Creator made them male and female.”

2. Biblical Account of Creation Analysed
In his General Audience of 12 September 1979, the Holy Father compared two accounts of man’s creation from Genesis, establishing basic principles for his study of the Theology of the Body.

3. The Second Account of Creation: The Subjective Definition of Man
In his General Audience of 19 September 1979, the Holy Father examined the account of man’s creation in the second chapter of Genesis, observing its profundity in revealing the subjective side of creation in the image of God.

4. Boundary Between Original Innocence and Redemption
In his General Audience on 26 September 1979, the Holy Father considered a continuity between man’s state of original innocence and the state of original sin, which left him open to the grace of redemption.