Among my other recent activities (that have been seriously cutting into my blogging time) is a series in a local parish on the Theology of the Body. We have been using a Christopher West DVD "Created and Redeemed" and accompanying workbook. Tonight was class 5 of the 8 week series.
The format is pretty simple - watch the video for an hour, discuss the questions in our small group at the table, and then listen to Father further explain the answers to the questions for about 40 minutes. Father Paul has only been a priest for 6 years - he had a conversion of life after a pilgrimage to a well-known Marian shrine, and I guess he could be called a "late vocation". (I prefer to call it a "God's Time" vocation). So he has real life experience, including a grown son.
Tonight things got really interesting during Father Paul's presentation of the topic - there were a couple of items that some of the group just didn't get. In particular, there was one item about how it is theologically impossible for women to be Priests (capitalized to differentiate the ordained priesthood from the 'priesthood of the faithful')given the meaning of priesthood and how the priest is an icon of (in personae) Christ. Funny thing, even in my most radical 'feminist' days, I had no trouble understanding the reasons why only men are ordained Priests.
The other hot topic item was the difference between NFP and contraception. This will be covered in more detail in lesson seven. I'm not quite sure that father gets that there is flak out there on this topic from both the contraceptors and the extreme providentialists - should be interesting as we continue.
Please keep the class in your prayers. One participant was overheard to say "I just don't get it. Maybe I'll just stop coming."
I know that this is a tough topic, but I think it is one of the more important gifts that JP2 left us. I am having a wonderful time just dipping my toetips into it.