I posted this in another forum, but it sank like a stone so I thought I’d try here and see what the Catholic Answers gange has to say.
Last week I read Christopher West’s Theology of the Body for Beginners and this week I started his Theology of the Body Explained. I love love love these books and I’ll be looking to reading the Pope’s actual writings on the topic when I’m done with West In fact, I’m attending a local study group tonight about the Theology of the Body that is studying West’s “TOTB Explained” boo and I’m very excited about it.
But both books really have me curious if there is anything out there for those of us who expect to remain single for life. West is predominantly focused on the marital relationship or preparing for the marital relationship. While he does talk about lifetime chastity it is mostly in the context of consecrated life and he says very little about the single life as a vocation.
Also, I think his emphasis is really useful as support for young people who intend to remain chaste until marriage, I find it less useful as a nearly 40 year old divorced woman with extensive sexual experience who is looking for support on leading a newly chaste life after years and years of an unchaste one.
I find these books deeply life-changing, but I’d love to find some resources that spend as much time talking about single life (from the perspective of staying that way) as it does about marriage. I’m looking for books, websites, your own thoughts etc. – that supports and helps me and guides me with my decision and takes into account the fact that some people called to being single are sexually experienced. Most of what I’ve come across is about preserving chastity rather than restoring it. Those of us who are already sexually experienced have entirely different challenges, in my opinion, than those who are not in our attempt to live chastely. At least that is the way I see it.
To be a bit more explicit, what I would really like is to see some work that explores the healing aspects of the Theology of the Body for those of us who have already sexually damaged ourselves through promiscuity, pornography, prostitution and the like. I see enormous untapped potential for healing and reconciliation as a result of the Theology of the Body and I’m just looking for something out there that recognizes the possibilities of it without devoting 10 times as many pages to marriage or the prospect of marriage as it does to celibacy.
So any thoughts you might have or resources you’d like to share would be most welcome.