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 4 of this series reflects upon lectures 14 thru 17 of John Paul II’s Catechesis of Human Love. Topics include the Theology of the Body in Response to Homosexual Marriage, The Nuptial Meaning of the Body, and The Human Body as a Gift.

14. Revelation and Discovery of the Nuptial Meaning of the Body
In his General Audience of 9 January 1980, the Holy Father explained the “nuptial meaning” of the body as first experienced by Adam and Eve. Man, both male and female, realizes his essence only in living with and for someone else. The possibility of this mutual self-gift is manifested in the bodies of male and female, which gives them their nuptial meaning.

15. The Man-Person Becomes a Gift in the Freedom of Love
In his General Audience of 16 January 1980, the Holy Father continued his series on the Theology of the Body, by examining the “nuptial meaning of the body.” Through self-mastery, by which the purely physical side of sex was restrained, the first man and woman were free to give themselves totally to each other, and thereby discovered their true selves.

16. Mystery of Man’s Original Innocence
In his General Audience of 30 January 1980, the Holy Father pursued his examination of the Theology of the Body by dwelling on the mystery of man’s original innocence, that purity of heart which enabled Adam and Eve to give themselves to each other in love, as the effect of grace.

17. Man and Woman: A Mutual Gift for Each Other
In his General Audience of 6 February 1980, the Holy Father reexamined the nuptial meaning of the body, in the mutual gift of self by our first parents, in the context of their original innocence.