Theology of the Body

St. John Paul II always reminds us that every man is God‘s image Gen 1:27. Being God‘s image means more than having a soul of pure spirit. It means acting as God‘s acts, doing what God‘s does. God loves, first and foremost, so we are called to love as God loves Jn 13:34.

The theology of the body is St. John Paul II’s series of 129 General Audiences from 1979-1984. It begins with our creation in God‘s image and likeness, body and soul, and shows that love is inscribed in our very humanity, masculine and feminine with incomparable dignity. It shows that all the sexual sins are contrary to human dignity because they use human persons as things.

The theology of the family similarly begins with our creation as God‘s image, the image of the Holy Trinity. We are called to imitate the Holy Trinity in its internal love. The infinite eternal love between the Father and the Son brings the Holy Spirit into being. The human family is the image of the divine family of three persons. The love between husband and wife therefore reflects the love within the Holy Trinity.

Second Exodus recommends taking these wonderful insights one at a time. For some Catholics, reading one a day and then thinking about it for a while works well. Others may prefer one a week. Either way, may Rabbi Yeshua bless your journey.

For anyone who would prefer a basic introduction, Second Exodus suggests Christopher West’s Theology of the Body for Beginners: A Basic Introduction to Pope John Paul II’s Sexual Revolution, Revised Edition.

At the time Second Exodus set up this page, the Vatican had its own English translations up from audiences 1-23. For 24-129 the Vatican’s index shows no English translations. Second Exodus believes you’d rather have EWTN translations than read them on the Vatican site in Italian. If the Vatican posts additional English translations Second Exodus will replace the EWTN links with Vatican links. See footer below for details.

1. The Unity and Dissolubility of Marriage Sept 5, 1979

2. Analysis of the Biblical Account of Creation Sept 12, 1979

3. The Second Account of Creation: The Subjective Definition of Man Sept 19, 1979

4. The Boundary Between Original Innocence and Redemption Sept 26, 1979

5. Meaning of Man’s Original Solitude Oct 10, 1979

6. Man’s Awareness of Being a Person Oct 24, 1979

7. The Alternative between Death and Immortality Enters the Definition of Man Oct 31, 1979

8. Original Unity of Man and Woman Nov 7, 1979

9. By the Communion of Persons Man Becomes the Image of God Nov 14, 1979

10. In the First Chapters of Genesis, Marriage Is One and Indissoluble Nov 21, 1979

11. The Meaning of Original Human Experiences Dec 12, 1979

12. The Fullness of Interpersonal Communication Dec 19, 1979

13. Creation as a Fundamental and Original Gift Jan 2, 1980

14. The Nuptial Meaning of the Body Jan 9, 1980

15. The Human Person Becomes a Gift in the Freedom of Love Jan 16, 1980

16. The Mystery of Man’s Original Innocence Jan 30, 1980

17. Man and Woman: A Gift for Each Other Feb 6, 1980

18. Original Innocence and Man’s Historical State Feb 13, 1980

19. Man Enters the World as a Subject of Truth and Love Feb 20, 1980

20. Analysis of Knowledge and of Procreation Mar 5, 1980

21. The Mystery of Woman Is Revealed in Motherhood Mar 12, 1980

22. The Knowledge-Generation Cycle and the Perspective of Death March 26, 1980

23. Marriage in the Integral Vision of Man Apr 2, 1980

24. Christ Appeals to Man’s Heart Apr 16, 1980 (EWTN)

25. The Ethical and Anthropological Content of the Commandment: “You Shall Not Commit Adultery” Apr 23, 1980 (EWTN)

26. Lust Is the Fruit of the Breach of the Covenant with God Apr 30, 1980 (EWTN)

27. Real Significance of Original Nakedness May 14, 1980 (EWTN)

28. A Fundamental Disquiet in All Human Existence May 28, 1980 (EWTN)

29. Relationship of Lust to Communion of Persons June 4, 1980 (EWTN)

30.  Dominion over the Other in the Interpersonal Relation June 18, 1980 (EWTN)

31. Lust Limits Nuptial Meaning of the Body June 25, 1980 (EWTN)

32.  The Heart a Battlefield Between Love and Lust July 23,1980 (EWTN)

33. Opposition in the Human Heart between the Spirit and the Body July 30, 1980 (EWTN)

34. Sermon on the Mount to the Men of Our Day Aug 6, 1980 (EWTN)

35. Content of the Commandment: You Shall Not Commit Adultery Aug 13, 1980 (EWTN)

36. Adultery According to the Law and as Spoken by the Prophets Aug 20, 1980 (EWTN)

37. Adultery: A Breakdown of the Personal Covenant Aug 27, 1980 (EWTN)

38. Meaning of Adultery Transferred from the Body to the Heart Sep 3, 1980 (EWTN)

39. Concupiscence as a Separation From Matrimonial Significance of the Body Sep 10, 1980 (EWTN)

40. Mutual Attraction Differs from Lust Sep 17, 1980 (EWTN)

41. Depersonalizing Effect of Concupiscence Sept 24, 1980 (EWTN)

42. Establishing the Ethical Sense Oct 1, 1980 (EWTN)

43. Interpreting the Concept of Concupiscence Oct 8, 1980 (EWTN)

44. Gospel Values and Duties of the Human Heart Oct 15, 1980 (EWTN)

45. Realization of the Value of the Body According to the Plan of the Creator Oct 22, 1980 (EWTN)

46. Power of Redeeming Completes Power of Creating Oct 29, 1980 (EWTN)

47. Eros and Ethos Meet and Bear Fruit in the Human Heart Nov 5, 1980 (EWTN)

48. Spontaneity: The Mature Result of Conscience Nov 12, 1980 (EWTN)

49. Christ Calls Us to Rediscover the Living Forms of the New Man Dec 3, 1980 (EWTN)

50. Purity of Heart Dec 10, 1980 (EWTN)

51. Justification in Christ Dec 17, 1980 (EWTN)

52. Opposition Between the Flesh and the Spirit Jan 7, 1981 (EWTN)

53. Life in the Spirit Based on True Freedom Jan 14, 1981 (EWTN)

54. St. Paul’s Teaching on the Sanctity and Respect for the Human Body Jan 28, 1981 (EWTN)

55. St. Paul’s Description of the Body and Teaching on Purity Feb 4, 1981 (EWTN)

56. The Virtue of Purity is the Expression and Fruit of Life According to the Spirit Feb 11, 1981 (EWTN)

57. The Pauline Doctrine of Purity as Life According to the Spirit Mar 18, 1981 (EWTN)

58. Positive Function of Purity of Heart Apr 1, 1981 (EWTN)

59. Pronouncements of Magisterium Apply Christ’s Words Today Apr 8, 1981 (EWTN)

60. The Human Body, Subject of Works of Art Apr 15, 1981 (EWTN)

61. Reflections on the Ethos of the Human Body in Works of Artistic CultureApr 22, 1981 (EWTN)

62. Art Must Not Violate the Right to Privacy Apr 29, 1981 (EWTN)

63. Ethical Responsibilities in Art May 6, 1981 (EWTN)

64. Marriage and Celibacy in the Light of the Resurrection of the Body Nov 11, 1981 (EWTN)

65. The Living God Continually Renews the Very Reality of Life Nov 18, 1981 (EWTN)

66. The Resurrection of Theological Anthropology Dec 2, 1981 (EWTN)

67. The Resurrection Perfects the Person Dec 9, 1981 (EWTN)

68. Christ’s Words on the Resurrection Complete the Revelation of the Body Dec 16, 1981 (EWTN)

69. New Threshold of Complete Truth About Man Jan 13, 1982 (EWTN)

70. Doctrine of the Resurrection According to St. Paul Jan 27, 1982 (EWTN)

71. The Risen Body Will Be Incorruptible, Glorious, Dynamic and Spiritual Feb 3, 1982 (EWTN)

72. Body’s Spiritualization Will Be Source of Its Power and Incorruptibility Feb 10, 1982 (EWTN)

73. Virginity or Celibacy for the Sake of the Kingdom Mar 10, 1982 (EWTN)

74. The Vocation to Continence in This Earthly Life Mar 17, 1982 (EWTN)

75. Continence for the Sake of the Kingdom Meant to Have Spiritual Fulfillment Mar 24, 1982 (EWTN)

76. The Effective and Privileged Way of Continence Mar 31, 1982 (EWTN)

77. Superiority of Continence Does Not Devalue Marriage Apr 7, 1982 (EWTN)

78. Marriage and Continence Complement Each Other Apr 14, 1982 (EWTN)

79. The Value of Continence is Found in Love Apr 21, 1982 (EWTN)

80. Celibacy is a Particular Response to the Love of the Divine Spouse Apr 28, 1982 (EWTN)

81. Celibacy for the Kingdom Affirms Marriage May 5, 1982 (EWTN)

82. Voluntary Continence Derives From a Counsel, Not From a Command June 23, 1982 (EWTN)

83. The Unmarried Person is Anxious to Please the Lord June 30, 1982 (EWTN)

84. Everyone Has His Own Gift from God, Suited to His Vocation July 7, 1982 (EWTN)

85. The Kingdom of God, Not the World, is Man’s Destiny July 14, 1982 (EWTN)

86. Mystery of the Body’s Redemption Basis of Teaching on Marriage and Voluntary Continence July 21, 1982 (EWTN)

87. Marital Love Reflects God’s Love for His People July 28, 1982 (EWTN)

88. The Call to Be Imitators of God and to Walk in Love Aug 4, 1982 (EWTN)

89. Reverence for Christ the Basis of Relationship Between Spouses Aug 11, 1982 (EWTN)

90. A Deeper Understanding of the Church and Marriage Aug 18, 1982 (EWTN)

91. St. Paul’s Analogy of the Union of Head and Body Aug 25, 1982 (EWTN)

92. Sacredness of the Human Body and Marriage Sept 1, 1982 (EWTN)

93. Christ’s Redemptive Love Has Spousal Nature Sept 8, 1982 (EWTN)

94. Moral Aspects of the Christian’s Vocation Sept 15, 1982 (EWTN)

95. Relationship of Christ to the Church Connected With the Tradition of the Prophets Sept 22, 1982 (EWTN)

96. Analogy of Spousal Love Indicates the Radical Character of Grace Sept 29, 1982 (EWTN)

97. Marriage is the Central Point of the Sacrament of Creation Oct 6, 1982 (EWTN)

98. Loss of Original Sacrament Restored with Redemption in Marriage-Sacrament Oct 13, 1982 (EWTN)

99. Marriage an Integral Part of New Sacramental Economy Oct 20, 1982 (EWTN)

100. Indissolubility of Sacrament of Marriage in Mystery of the Redemption of the Body Oct 27, 1982 (EWTN)

101. Christ Opened Marriage to the Saving Action of God Nov 24, 1982 (EWTN)

102. Marriage Sacrament an Effective Sign of God’s Saving Power Dec 1, 1982 (EWTN)

103. The Redemptive and Spousal Dimensions of Love Dec 15, 1982 (EWTN)

104. Language of the Body, the Substratum and Content of the Sacramental Sign of Spousal Communion Jan 5, 1983 (EWTN)

105. The Language of the Body in the Structure of Marriage Jan 12, 1983 (EWTN)

106. The Sacramental Covenant in the Dimension of Sign Jan 19, 1983 (EWTN)

107. Language of the Body Strengthens the Marriage Covenant Jan 26, 1983 (EWTN)

108. Man Called to Overcome Concupiscence Feb 9, 1983 (EWTN)

109. Return to the Subject of Human Love in the Divine Plan May 23, 1984 (EWTN)

110. Truth and Freedom the Foundation of True Love May 30, 1984 (EWTN)

111.  Love is Ever Seeking and Never Satisfied June 6, 1984 (EWTN)

112. Love is Victorious in the Struggle Between Good and Evil June 27, 1984 (EWTN)

113. The Language of the Body: Actions and Duties Forming the Spirituality of Marriage July 4, 1984 (EWTN)

114. Morality of Marriage Act Determined by Nature of the Act and of the Subjects July 11, 1984 (EWTN)

115. The Norm of Humanae Vitae Arises From Natural Law and the Revealed Order July 18, 1984 (EWTN)

116. Importance of Harmonizing Human Love with Respect for Life July 25, 1984 (EWTN)

117. Responsible Parenthood Aug 1, 1984 (EWTN)

118. Faithfulness to the Divine Plan in the Transmission of Life Aug 8, 1984 (EWTN)

119. Church’s Position on Transmission of Life Aug 22, 1984 (EWTN)

120. A Discipline That Ennobles Human Love Aug 28, 1984 (EWTN)

121. Responsible Parenthood Linked to Moral Maturity Sept 5, 1984 (EWTN)

122. Prayer, Penance and the Eucharist: Principal Sources of Spirituality for Married Couples Oct 3, 1984 (EWTN)

123. The Power of Love is Given to Man and Woman’s a Share in God’s LoveOct 10, 1984 (EWTN)

124. Continence Protects the Dignity of the Conjugal Act Oct 24, 1984 (EWTN)

125. Continence Frees One from Inner Tension Oct 31, 1984 (EWTN)

126. Continence Deepens Personal Communion Nov 7, 1984 (EWTN)

127. Christian Spirituality of Marriage by Living According to the Spirit Nov 14, 1984 (EWTN)

128. Respect for the Work of God Nov 21, 1984 (EWTN)

129. Conclusion to the Series: Redemption of the Body and Sacramentality of Marriage Nov 28, 1984 (EWTN)

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