Item description for Heaven's Song: Sexual Love as It Was Meant to Be by Christopher West & Robert J. Carlson...
Overview Journey with Christopher West into the "hidden" talks of John Paul II's Theology of the Body-only recently discovered in the archives in Rome-and find out why the Pope himself deemed them "too delicate" to be delivered in St. Peter's Square. What is it about music? Consider what happens when you chance upon your favorite song on the radio. What emotions does it stir? What season of your life does it zoom you back to? Now, imagine if you can hear the greatest song ever written. To what heavenly places would it lift you? The Bible actually claims to contain the song of all songs: the boldly erotic Song of Songs. Here, as countless saints attest, we discover that sexual love provides the mystical key enabling us to enter into everlasting union with God. Heaven's Song takes you there. With profound insight, Christopher West guides you through the "unabridged" version of John Paul II's talks on the erotic poetry of the Song of Songs and the great spiritual contest surrounding the marriage of Tobias and Sarah. If you are already familiar with the Theology of the Body, you will delight in this new material. If not, this book serves as a superb introduction to John Paul's revolutionary teaching and is certain to whet your appetite for more. In this book, intended for married, single and celibate alike, you will discover: What makes the Song of Songs the "authentic soundtrack" of Christianity What's at the root of the sexual chaos in our culture and how to find peace in the midst of it Why there is a violent spiritual attack on marriages today and how to be victorious over it How to live an integrated sexual life as a path to union with God The "secret" of Mary (according to St. Louis de Montfort) in living an embodied spirituality Real-life stories of men and women who have found hope and healing in John Paul II's teaching Practical advice, prayers, and reflection questions to help you become the man or woman God created you to be
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CHRISTOPHER WEST is an adjunct professor of the Institute of Priestly Formation in Omaha, Nebraska, and a visiting professor of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Melbourne, Australia. His books, extensive lecturing and numerous tapes have sparked an international groundswell of interest in John Paul II's theology of the body. He and his wife, Wendy, have three children.
Christopher West currently resides in the state of Pennsylvania.
Reviews - What do customers think about Heaven's Song: Sexual Love as It Was Meant to Be?
Find out the real exciting reason for sex Feb 23, 2009
Christopher West has done it again. If you have never read Theology of the Body because it is tough reading, please read all of Christopher West's books. This is a book that shows that Catholics have never been prudish about sex and John Paul II finally let us know the truth. SEX IS GOOD AND HOLY! Imagine that........
Sexual love as it was, indeed, meant to be Nov 25, 2008
This book is based on the "hidden" Theology of the Body talks given by JPII. They are called hidden because they were just recently discovered. Apparently JPII had written them down but never gave them because he felt that the material was a bit too mature for potentially young ears.
What West has done yet again is to take those hidden talks and break them down for us in easy to understand language. The talks center around the Song of Songs from the bible as well as the book of Tobit. West shows how John Paul II had applied the spousal imagery of these books to Jesus, the Church, and us. The talks put erotic love in its proper place which is SO much higher than we could ever understand. It's a good, short read for somewhat more mature audiences, but of course it contains nothing explicit. It's a challenging way to think about our relationship with God, especially given the culture's understanding of sex.
And the Earth Moved Sep 17, 2008
Prepare yourself to be profoundly moved. It's nearly impossible to read Christopher West's new book, "Heaven's Song" without a radical regeneration of your view of marriage, and it's relationship with the Church. It's no accident that George Weigel called Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body a "ticking theological time bomb that, when it goes off, will ignite the New Springtime of Evangelization". This is the book with the secret to renewing the Church by revealing the secrets of the most beautiful love poem in the world, the "Song of Songs" which tell us what Our Lord intended for marriage to be; a foretaste of `heaven's song'.
Heaven's Song is based upon recently-discovered writings on the Theology of the Body, the lectures given by the late Pope John Paul II in his Wednesday audiences. These lectures were considered `too sensitive' for delivery in such a public forum, out of respect for young ears. This book is for those of us who want to understand why Christ used marital imagery in describing His relationship to the Church, and why His first public miracle was the turning of water into wine at the Wedding of Cana. Marriage is a central theme of Catholic theology, and once this is properly understood by theologians and laymen alike, a new wave of evangelization will be initiated. This most-timely explanation of the "Good News" has the irresistible attraction of the tender invitation of Jesus to the Samaritan woman at the well, to leave her life of sexual sin and drink of living water. This is the language which will be able to reach the sin-saturated, disillusioned youth who have been searching for love and are about to give up on finding it.
West asserts that society is obsessed with sex, not because they are on the wrong track but precisely because they are onto something; the marital embrace can be a taste of unearthly bliss. But they are going about it all wrong, and they need the timeless wisdom of the Catholic Church, which, now, more powerfully than ever, through the Theology of the Body can set a twisted society straight. According to West, society's sexual obsession with sex is like a man who has the key to a door wherein lies a treasure, however he remains fascinated with the key, and never uses it to turn the lock to discover the treasure. This treasure is available in its richest form to Catholics as they unite their marriages through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, with the cross of Christ. This gift of the fullness of marriage is Christ's gift to His Bride the Church, and this new explanation of this concept may well be the greatest legacy of Pope John Paul II.
The beautiful imagery from the "Song of Songs" long used in meditation by mystics like St Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Louis de Monfort, were interpreted by Pope John Paul, and West unites these insights in comprehensible and often poetic language. Some passages of Heaven's Song just beg to be read aloud, and prayerfully shared between spouses as a meditation. You can almost hear the heavenly music playing within the poetic language. I read parts of the book in front of the Blessed Sacrament, while preparing for Holy Mass and it re-awakened my appreciation for Christ's self-donation in the Blessed Sacrament, as well as the gift of my marriage.
Nearly all marriages fall far short of the Lord's plan for marriage to be the mutual sincere gift of spouses to one another, a reflection of Christ's complete gift of Himself on the cross. The emotions I felt as I read Heaven's Song were partly remorse at how far we fall short of this ideal, and partly joy at the splendor which a married couple can achieve, through the grace of the sacrament, to bring marital love closer to perfect, self-sacrificing love of Our Lord. Heaven's Song brought my own nuptial Mass to mind where we read the prayer of the wedding night of Tobit and Sarah, a central piece of this book. The importance of seeing the sacrifice necessary to obtain the joys of marital bliss, offered to God in prayer, united with the Holy Sacrifice, is explained in a powerfully-convincing fashion.
Christopher West has been presenting Theology of the Body in seminars and on TV for some time now, and has "heard it all". Each chapter begins and ends with a story of a couple whose marriage is in trouble, and he uses TOB to diagnose where they went wrong. The origins of many marital problems can be resolved by a careful reading and discussion of this book. This makes this book a natural for marriage preparation courses, and marriage renewal retreats. I hope it is also taught in universities and seminaries so that future leaders in the Church can reach the next generation of Catholics with the revolutionary message of this book: "I remember thinking, as I read [Theology of the Body] for the first time, that somehow I had chanced upon the long-lost treasure that every person longed for, the path to the banquet of love that truly satisfies the hungers of the human heart."
This review was written as part of The Catholic Company product reviewer program. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Heaven's Song.