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What is Theology of the Body? Part 2

What is Theology of the Body? Part 2 (with Katrina Zeno)

Source: Catholic Answers via
Reprinted with permission.

Katrina Zeno is a renowned speaker on the theology of the body and the author of Discovering the Feminine Genius: Every Woman’s Journey.

In this episode Trent continues his discussion with Katrina Zeno, coordinator of the John Paul II Resource Center, about the Theology of the Body and how to implement its teachings in our own lives.

Welcome to the Council of Trent podcast, a production of Catholic Answers.

Trent: Hey everyone. Welcome to the Council of Trent podcast. I’m your host Catholic Answers apologists and speaker Trent Horn. I’m busy getting ready here, down at 2020 Gillespie, for a lot of great stuff related to the podcasts. I’m going to have an episode next week on Bishop Barron’s hopeful universalism. A lot of people have been asking me about that recently. What are my thoughts on that? We’re also preparing for the dialogue we’re going to record with Timothy Gordon on Catholic views related to the death penalty, feminism and my debrief on my debates/dialog with atheist John Loftus related to miracles. You’re not going to want to miss that. A lot of great content coming for you next week and my talk on the church fathers, the talk was called the Protestant Church Fathers in quotation marks to show how the church fathers are sometimes twisted out of context by Protestant apologists. Very soon we’ll have that released to our premium subscribers, at If you want access to that and other bonus material, consider becoming a patron at For as low as $5 a month, you get access to bonus content and you keep the podcast going. And now without further ado though, here is part two of my interview on what is Theology of the Body with Katrina Zeno, who I had the pleasure of working alongside at the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. Previously before Catholic Answers, I was the Respect Life coordinator within the Office of Marriage and Respect Life for the Diocese of Phoenix under Bishop Olmsted. I loved my time there. Katrina was one of my colleagues, if you’ve listened to part one, you see she has a wealth of information on Theology of the Body, so let’s dive right in to part two, right now.

Trent: Let’s go back to the structure in Theology of the Body. You said that the first part concerns a lot of reflections on the book of Genesis. Why don’t you walk us through… Obviously we don’t have 173 hours to get through the rest of them-

Katrina: 133 for each audience.

Trent: For each audience. Sure. But just-

Katrina: Just kind of a sketch-up.

Trent: Yeah, so-

Katrina: Sure, of the framework.

Trent: After we leave that, that reflection, how does the rest of this presentation from the Saint John Paul II, how is that laid out?

Katrina: Fortunately, it’s really easy to picture the framework in our mind. First of all, we’re all familiar, most of us are familiar, with the Bible. That is two half’s old Testament and new Testament. So to Theology, the Body has two halves. The first half John Paul II calls the words of Christ and the second half he calls the sacrament, meaning the sacrament of marriage. So if you just kind of think of it maybe as an open book, you know, with two pages on either side, so the words of Christ on the left side and the sacrament on the right side. And then if you just imagine the left side, just draw three columns in the left side. So John Paul two divides the first half into three different parts. And the first half are his reflections on who we are before original sin, that’s what we talked about. So Genesis one and two, what was God’s original plan? His original intention for creation. The second panel. So imagine the second column is our life after sin. So why is it that we don’t experience life the way God intended it to be and created it to be? And then the third panel, if we understand what life was like in the beginning and what our current historical experience is, well then the next question is where’s it all going? And so his third panel is what is our perfection for all eternity? In other words, it answers the question, why was I created? Because unless we know what we are created for, we can’t know how to live our lives here and now. So a lot of times we tend to draw our purpose only from things in this life. You know, my purpose is to be a good wife, my purpose is to be a wildly successful businessmen. You know, my purpose is to be an Olympic athlete. And John Paul too wants to expand our vision and to say those things have value, but we also need to understand what our ultimate destiny is and that reflects light then on who I am here now. So again, just think who I am before original sin, who I am after original sin and who I will be forever in heaven. So that’s the left hand side of the page. Should I go onto the right hand?

Trent: Sure, okay. So where we’ve been, where we are now because of sin and where we’re hopefully going if we get with the program and understand what God wants for us.

Katrina: Well even if we don’t get with the program, we still have an eternal destiny.

Trent: Oh yeah, you’re going to go-

Katrina: That’s all right.

Trent: You’re going to go somewhere.

Katrina: That’s right. So, you know, the reality is, is again, this time, this historical life is not the end of the story.

Trent: Right.

Katrina: The intersection between our free will and God’s offer of his gift of self to us is what determines and influences where we will spend eternity. So that’s the first half. And-

Trent: Then the other half.

Katrina: And the second half we can divide into, so let’s just make it five panels for simplicity’s sake, in the sense of three in the first and two in the second. So the second half. So just draw on the right hand page, draw a line down the middle. And so this would be the panel number four is what he called sacramentality of marriage, because now we’re talking about marriage as a sacrament. And so he wants to reflect on two things. Marriage, how it’s a created image of God’s love for us and then marriage, how it actually brings us into contact with God. So for instance… Well this is what sacraments are. So for instance, a sunset, a sunset is a created image of God. When I see it, I can be struck by its beauty and its grandeur and it can remind me of God and inspire me to want to know God more. But in and of itself, it doesn’t bring me directly into contact with God. However, when we receive the Eucharist, that is a direct communication of God to himself. And so we experience God in a more profound and direct way. So John Paul II is reflecting on marriage in those two different dimensions, the dimension of sign, in terms of how it’s a reminder, but then also how it actually serves to work out our redemption. In other words, how spousal love. so the love between a husband and wife, is not only spousal but it’s also redemptive. It’s meant to be the way we encounter Trinitarian love and the way we encounter Christ’s great act of love on the cross, that brings about the redemption of the Body. And that builds on something he develops earlier, the redemption of the Body.

Trent: Okay, so like when we look at marriage for example, two different ways… Even for people who are not married, you can look at a marriage and see, looking at it from the outside, these signs, things that point towards God. But you’re saying that there’s an even deeper reality when you enter into marriage as a sacrament. Help us understand a little bit more what it means that there’s this redemptive love in marriage.

Katrina: This is actually pretty profound. And I think it’s an area of Theology of the Body that at first kind of makes people a little uncomfortable because John Paul II speaks about how Christ… So remember for us as Christians, Christ is the center of the universe and of history, who we understand ourselves as persons comes from Christ’s revelation about himself, but ultimately about the father and the Holy spirit. So what’s an incredible blessing about being a Christian is we can go to Christ, into his life, to reveal who we are and then that leads us into the life of the Trinity. And so we have all kinds of ways of penetrating even more deeply the question, who am I? So if we look at Christ’s love for us, John Paul II says that Christ’s love for us is not only redemptive but spousal. Now for most people that’s a new idea because most of us are accustomed to thinking of Christ’s love for us, we’re very comfortable with the idea of redemptive love. That Christ saves us from our sins. You know that we adore your Christ and we bless you because by your Holy cross you redeem the world. That somehow it restores us to relationship with God, the father. That’s all very familiar language. That’s fabulous. John Paul II, I always like to say, and there’s more, right? Because in the Trinity there’s father and the son and there’s more, there’s the Holy Spirit. There’s the uncreated order, there’s the supernatural, and there’s more, there’s the created order, there’s the natural. There is husband and wife and their love and there’s more, there’s the possibility of fruitfulness between them. So as Catholics, we live by the and there’s more, all the time. And so in Theology of the Body, we see John Paul II talking about how Christ’s love absolutely brings about forgiveness of sins and it is in order to unite us to himself. We have to ask ourselves, what’s the character of that union? Again, a lot of times we think of the character that union purely in spiritual terms, that we think about our redemption as being spiritual. But John Paul II is going to say, and our union with him is spousal. Why does he say that? Well, again, let’s ask, what is spousal love? Spousal love is a union between two persons that is total. It’s a total gift of self in which the two become one even while remaining two. So it’s a union in distinction. This is the way Christ unites us to himself. First of all, in baptism. So the catechism says that baptism is a nuptial bath. That’s a pretty striking statement for most people. We don’t… Again, what do we, we identify baptism with?

Trent: We just think of babies getting wet and grandparents taking pictures of it, basically.

Katrina: It’s true. And when I ask people, you know theologically, they say, well, washes away-

Trent: Original sin, sure.

Katrina: Original sin and the Holy spirit comes to dwell. Absolutely true. But what’s the effect of that? The effect of the Holy Spirit coming to dwell in us means that we are actually inserted into the Body of Christ. So we are united to Christ. That’s not just a moral union, meaning, okay, I desire this, it’s not just an action that I make come about. To use a fancy word, it’s an ontological union, that means it’s a union of my being. I’m actually united to Christ. What do we say the church is? The church is the Body of Christ, right?

Trent: The Body of Christ, of course.

Katrina: So I’m united to the Body of Christ in baptism. What kind of union is that? Do I disappear into Christ? Is it a fusion? Does Christ swallow me up so that no longer Katrina Zeno exists? No, it’s actually a union in which each person flourishes and becomes even more of who he or she was created to be. So through my union with Christ in baptism that inserts me or unites me to the Body of Christ in a way that now the Holy Spirit is the principle of union between Christ and myself. And the spirit of Christ, which is the Holy Spirit, dwells in me to give me a new power and a new identity. This is why we say if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Or why in the gospel of John, Jesus says, “You have to be born of water and the Holy spirit.” Again, those are not just kind of nice ideas, it’s describing an actual reality that I become a new person because I’m now united to Christ. That’s spousal imagery. Where do we see the fullness of that? Is in the Eucharist. If we really, really believe that the Eucharist is the Body of Christ under its sacramental presence, and this morning I went to mass, I received the Body of Christ into my Body. I didn’t just take it in my hand and put it in my pocket. All right, I received it into my Body. Well, you know what? In that moment then we have two that are one. Are they two or are they one?

Trent: Well they’re both.

Katrina: They’re both. Exactly. So we have a two in a one flesh union, because remember John chapter 6, “Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” So it’s the flesh of Christ. So I and every Catholic becomes one flesh, one Body with Christ in the Eucharist. I don’t know about you, but that sounds an awful lot like marriage.

Trent: And I think this is so important because how… When we look at this through Theology of the Body, it really helps redeem what our culture has done to marriage and sexuality. That I think you said people bristle at the idea of, oh, talking about a nuptial union and they make the mistake that some people made in the past of thinking that sexuality is something bad we’re tolerating among human beings. But once we’re with God, that stuff all goes away. And I mean, and Jesus said people are not married or given in marriage in heaven. So you know, physical sexual union may not be in the next life but-

Katrina: It’s not in the next life-

Trent: It’s not.

Katrina: Not that it may not be, it’s not.

Trent: Right, that it will not be there, but something deeper, that’s the real core of what that is will be there.

Katrina: Absolutely. Again, we have to go back to the Trinity. So I find that often when I have these questions that are really difficult, that really stretch the mind, I go back to, okay, how do father, son and Holy Spirit relate to each other? This is why this is always our referent who is God? We already said God is a perfect union, but that doesn’t mean that they collapse into one another, in other words, that you know the father absorbs the son and the Holy Spirit is absorbed. No. Again, in the Trinity we have perfect union and perfect distinction. So we have to ask ourselves what kind of a union is that? Okay, so this is going to be… Again, sometimes new information for people the first time they hear it, but I think this is the best word to describe it. The kind of union that father, son and Holy Spirit have is a virginal union. So this really stretches our understanding of virginity. We tend to think of virginity as something that we lose, right? So if I asked you Trent, what’s a virgin? The classic answer is?

Trent: It’s someone who hasn’t had sexual union yet-

Katrina: Exactly.

Trent: Someone hasn’t lost their virginity to someone else.

Katrina: Exactly. Exactly, so I always like to say, Okay, let’s think about that definition for a moment. If my son, when he was younger came to me and said, “Mom, what’s a dog?” And I say, oh, Michael, a dogs not a cat. Or if he says, “Mom, what’s a rose?” And I say a rose is not a wheelbarrow. You might be rather puzzled and concerned about my mothering because I’m only saying what it isn’t. If we say a virgin is someone who hasn’t had sex, then all we’ve said is what it isn’t. But we need to be able to turn that around and say what is a virgin? And so here’s the way I like to define what a virgin is. In other words, we’re talking about a capacity, a quality in a personal quality. So I’d like to say a virgin is someone who is totally available for union, or someone who has the capacity for total union. So when you hear virgin think capacity for total union. So when I say that in God, the union between father, son and Holy spirit is virginal. What I’m saying is that because God is perfect, he doesn’t have a capacity for union, he is union and that union is what we call virginity. Because a virgin is someone who is totally available for union, whose ability to enter into union is perfect. So we can take that now and think about our union with the Eucharist. Our union with the Eucharist is a virginal union. It is a total union, there’s a total capacity on Christ’s part, a total offer on Christ part. And because we receiving him into our bodies, in a way, there’s a total capacity on our part to be united with him so that the two are one flesh. It’s a virginal union. Okay, can you hang with me? Can we push this one more?

Trent: A little bit more than I want to get through the other panels to make sure we cover that, so-

Katrina: Sure, sure. That’s great. So let’s now look at the one flesh union between husband and wife. So often, as you said, we say, I lost my virginity. Let me ask you a question, Trent. Okay. So you’re on the air. Do you ever want to lose your virginity? Meaning do you ever want to lose your capacity for total union?

Trent: I would say something that’s so important like that… Yeah, I might lose my keys somewhere, but I don’t want to lose that. I always want to be able to, yeah, to give myself to another. Sure.

Katrina: Exactly. So actually what we can say is you actually even want to do the opposite. You want to increase your virginity because if you increase your virginity, what you’re saying is you’re increasing your capacity for total union. So think about sin as that, and I’m going to give you a word that I made up. Sin is that capacity that devirginizes us, sin is that capacity that interferes with our capacity for total union. That’s a total gift of self that’s life giving, love giving, fruitful. So again, if we think about the one flesh union between a husband and wife, it’s really the opposite of what our culture thinks. That when a husband and wife enter into the one flesh union, that should be really the most virginal event of their lives because it’s the event in which their capacity for union is most available and most activated.

Trent: So this is interesting. So sexual union then between husband and wife on their wedding night doesn’t take away virginity, it increases it. So sin though does take away that. And so if you think about sexual sin, then when people engage in sexual union outside of the marital context or unchastely within it, that is what actually does take away our virginity.

Katrina: It’s compromising. Exactly. It’s compromising our virginity. I mean this is… I know for people who are listening to this, they might want to listen to this section two, three, four times because I’ve seen it in people’s eyes when I first broach this topic. You know, it’s the deer in the headlights. It’s very difficult to absorb because again, think of language. We’ve been so trained to think that a virgin is someone who hasn’t had sex and therefore when you have sex, you lose your virginity, instead of thinking of virginity as a capacity for total union. And therefore in the right context, the way God designed it, in the beautiful gift of love between a husband and wife, I’m actually activating my virginity. So the best analogy is a muscle in my leg. If I activate the muscle in my leg, do you say I lose the muscle?

Trent: No, it gets stronger.

Katrina: That’s exactly it. So think of virginity, this is not the best analogy, but like a muscle that the more you activate the capacity for total union, the more you grow in it. And this is what we call spousal love.

Trent: And if you use it for something you didn’t intend than you damages it. Such as when you lift up a heavy box with just your lower back muscles, you’re going to pull a muscle. They weren’t made for that kind of lifting. Just as with our sexuality when it’s used for not total self-giving, such as when things like the hookup culture we believe in or even in the using the act of contraception maybe where the husband and wife are not fully giving to one another, then we see the problem that arises.

Katrina: That’s right. So using that, you can understand now why the act of contraception is so harmful between a husband and wife because it harms love. It harms their virginity, it harms their virginal gift of self to each other. Or put in another way, it harms their total gift of self to each other. And so what it does is contraception not only harms love, it harms the person because it trains the person to give only a partial gift of self. And so let’s tie this to this panel we are talking about and then that’ll take us directly to the last panel.

Trent: Wonderful.

Katrina: So I went off on this description of virginity because I was talking about redemption. So in marriage, what John Paul II is saying is that Christ’s love for us is spousal because it is a total gift of himself to us that is life giving, love giving, fruitful. And as a result it communicates to us the very life of God. And it brings us into the union of father, son, and Holy Spirit in the Trinity. Likewise in marriage, because you have a total gift of self in marriage, that’s not the only way, but it’s a very distinct way in which God’s life can be communicated to each other through this total gift of self. Because of I’m baptized in Christ and my spouse is baptized in Christ, then when we give ourselves to each other in one flesh union, we are given Christ to each other. In a way it’s as if we’re offering Eucharist to each other to be in a virginal, fruitful, spousal, one flesh union. Okay. And then that can take us into the very last panel, which are John Paul II’s reflections on Humanae Vitae.

Trent: And I think this makes a lot of sense to me, when you look at all of the talks, how the reflections on probably one of the most controversial elements related to human sexuality and Catholic teaching would be the issue of contraception. And when you start to talk about contraception with people who disagree, you probably see the walls come up, the red lights, the danger light saying, “Oh, I don’t like that teaching.” So this kind of makes sense as to why this topic is more towards the end of the talks because we have to build this foundation to really get it.

Katrina: It’s absolutely critical. You make an outstanding point, which is that it would have been very easy for John Paul II to start with the church’s teaching on Humanae Vitae. But again, what would he have done? He would have started right with the moral teaching and people would have felt free to dismiss it just as they have dismissed often Humanae Vitae. Because we live in a culture now that feels very free to disagree morally with the church. Because we live in a culture that says, “Well, that’s your belief and that’s fine for you. But you know, I believe something different.” And even those of us within the Catholic church, there’s often a sense of I feel very free to disagree with the church. One of the things that John Paul II says that he wants to accomplish, or one of his tasks, in Theology of the Body is he wants to develop what he calls an adequate anthropology. And I’ve kind of avoided using that word because I didn’t want to throw around all these more technical terms. But by that, again, anthropology simply means who is the human person and adequate doesn’t mean the way we use adequate in the sense that, “Oh, you know it was an adequate meal.”

Trent: It’s okay.

Katrina: Yeah, it’ll do. No, no, it means the fullness. So for him it means a full anthropology. In other words, a full vision of who the human person is. And in order to do that, where did he have to start? With his reflections on the Trinity, in Genesis, who is man made in the image and likeness of a Trinitarian God and then follow it through. What happens as a result of sin that harms us and harms our gift of self. And then how is that redeemed in Christ including the redemption of the Body, which includes even the redemption of my desires. This is what purity of heart means, when John Paul II talks about purity of heart. Again, we hear purity of heart or we hear redemption and we think upright moral behavior, and John Paul II is saying it goes beyond that. It goes to the very core of your being, the very transformation of your desires. That’s what redemption is for us and then who we will be forever in heaven… Which by the way John Paul II says we will be perfected as virgins, which is where I developed this whole understanding of virginity.

Trent: Because we’ll be perfectly able to give and receive love.

Katrina: We will be totally available for union in heaven. So if we’re perfected in heaven, it means our capacity for total union is perfected. So that’s what started all my reflections on virginity because I had to answer the question, what does it mean? We will be perfected.

Trent: See, I love how this is. So we can say is the Catholic view… In the Muslim world, it might say, “Oh, if you’re a martyr, you’ll get your 72 virgins in heaven.” Completely different view of what those virgins are for but-

Katrina: A completely different definition of virgin.

Trent: We’ll all be virgins in heaven, but in the true sense.

Katrina: That’s right.

Trent: The wonderful sense of what that is.

Katrina: That’s right and the true sense that my capacity for total union has now been perfected, how? John Paul II says in that panel on heaven, by our union with Trinitarian love and that makes sense because of God in a way we can say is perfected virginity. He is perfect union and we’re united with that perfect union, then that’s communicated to us and we’re able to be in perfect union with all, which is the communion of saints. But again, we have to go back to the created image of the one flesh union. In that perfect union, husband and wife don’t get absorbed into one another. They don’t disappear into one another. It’s perfect union and perfect distinction. The Trinity is perfect union and perfect distinction. The communion of saints will be perfect, virginal union in perfect distinction that is fruitful. And in that sense it’s spousal.

Trent: Well, I think we’re coming close to the end of our time together, but I think that this… A lot of people listening to this are probably, and I’m hoping will want to go even deeper into Theology of the Body to understand it. First before I get to references for current works that can help people, what do you think were some of the influences on John Paul II as he gave these talks? So some people might want to go back even to those, when they want to understand it deeper. So what do you think really moved him his as he wrote this?

Katrina: He is drawing from many different streams. There really isn’t anything that’s a strong precedent in his own writings except for his philosophical work on love, which is entitled Love and Responsibility. In my opinion, that’s almost more difficult than Theology of the Body because it’s philosophical reflections. So one way to think of the distinction between those two works is Love and Responsibility is his philosophical reflections on love, whereas Theology of the Body are his theological reflections on love. He’s drawing from all across the tradition, the Catholic tradition and even the Judeo Christian tradition. I’m going to answer that question perhaps in a way you might not have anticipated. But really what he is after is since the time of Descartes, way back in, I think, it’s the 16th century, who introduced a split between the mind and the Body. So most of us may not know the name Descartes, but we’ve heard, “I think therefore I am.” And Descartes is the one who introduced this into western thought. And what it means is who I am is really my mind, my thoughts, and my Body is just an object.

Trent: So like in the movie Ghost with Patrick Swayze, who he really is, is that aethereal mental form that can jump in and out of bodies. That’s who he really is, but his Body, that’s not as important. But you’re saying that for John Paul II, Descartes is just wrong on that. We’re not just these minds.

Katrina: That’s correct. We’re not just spirit. I mean, unless it, how many of us think of ourselves just as a soul, we even talk about we have to pray for the souls. We have to sacrifice for souls. You know, when my soul is in heaven. And we forget that our ultimate perfection is the perfect union of Body and soul. We are not spiritual persons, those are angels. We’re embodied persons that have a rational soul and a spirit that’s capable of relating to God. And so even in our own mental thinking, we often identify ourselves with the spiritual part of us, with our soul, and we think the Body is irrelevant or at least just kind of a hotel that we rent for however long we’re here and then we get rid of it. And the truth is is just what you said, Descartes was dead wrong and it has infiltrated and affected our western civilization now for 400 years. So I would say what John Paul II is really doing is recovering the Christian understanding of the relationship between Body, soul, and spirit. That we are this unified creation and that the spirit can only express itself through a Body. So this idea that my soul can exist apart from my Body, it’s untrue. That’s artificial. This is why… So just think of our experience of death. It’s wrenching when we see just a corpse, because we understand that’s no longer the person because the person is a Body, soul unity. And so we understand kind of at a deep level, this truth, but we tend to then just reduce ourselves just to that spiritual dimension.

Trent: And so the person is incomplete when their soul has left their Body. And that’s why obviously when we say in the creed, how important that resurrection of the Body is, that we’re not complete until we get him back.

Katrina: In a way, we really would not have Christianity without the resurrection of the Body. And think about when Saint Paul was preaching at Athens in Acts, they loved what he had to say until he got to the resurrection of the Body. And then-

Trent: It’s a strange notion.

Katrina: Yeah.

Trent: You want to tell us about this resurrection.

Katrina: Yeah and then then they just walked away.

Trent: Yeah.

Katrina: This is why Christ’s resurrected Body is so important and it’s his same Body and it ascended into heaven. So we know it seated at the right hand of the father. And here’s the great thing is by baptism we’re already united to the Body of Christ. So I think, again, there’s a way in which we can say when we die, our soul doesn’t just kind of exist in this ethereal, disembodied manner, by baptism we’re already united to the Body of Christ. So while we await, that’s a time thing, but while we await the resurrection of our bodies, it’s possible that we could say that our soul is already participating, already united to Christ’s glorified Body. So you see even in that state, we’re still not disembodied. We’re still participating in Christ’s Body and therefore we’re still a person. We’re still in an embodied state. I mean, again that’s pretty abstract but it’s a question I get a lot. Well what about the souls that have died, are they just hanging out as souls? Possibly not. They’re united to Christ’s Body and therefore still experiencing their Body. So I like to tell people, get used to your Body because it’ll be with you for all eternity. Which is again why chastity is so important-

Trent: It’s the temple of the Holy Spirit. So, keep it up.

Katrina: And it’s how we express our person in a way that honors this total gift of self that we’re called to that is meant to be life-giving.

Trent: So that’s a little bit of what we’ve looked at, some influences, what are some current works for those who want to go deeper into this topic? And you said confronting the text right away, that can be very difficult. What do you recommend people consult if they want to learn about this subject and what path do you recommend?

Katrina: About Theology of the Body itself?

Trent: Yes, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Katrina: Well, obviously I would recommend reading On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, but also John Paul II even simpler than that is his Letter to Families, profound. And also his apostolic exhortation on the Christian family in the modern world, the title, we often call it is Christyfidelis Laici. Again, weaves lots and lots of Theology of the Body in it, believe it or not, the catechism is saturated with Theology of the Body. Once you understand the language of Body and soul, of total self-giving, self-giving that’s fruitful, of unity and distinction. And you read the catechism. So I would encourage people, go back and reread the first part of the catechism and let the Theology of the Body language jump off the page at you, in terms of be attentive to how is it describing a Trinitarian God? How is it describing the relationships among the persons of the Trinity? How does it describe love? How does it describe Christ’s gift of self to us? How does it describe the Eucharist? How does it described? So the components of Theology of the Body, even though it’s not stamped in the footnote. Okay. Theology of the Body. So those would be immediate sources that are doctrinal sources. There are now many, many more works on Theology of the Body. I myself have two, the easiest one that I’ve written is entitled Discovering the Feminine Genius: Every Woman’s Journey. And I’d like to say it’s like hors d’oeuvres of Theology of the Body. So it takes my story and so that’s why it’s easier to read. And I take pieces of Theology of the Body and I weave it into my story so as to help people understand this vision of the human person. And I always like to say, even though it’s directed mainly toward the identity of a woman, it’s fabulous for every man to read because in my experience, most men are in relationship with women. Either a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, you know, coworker. So it helps them understand the identity of women. And also there’s a chapter entitled, What About the Men? So I specifically address that. And then I have a second book entitled The Body Reveals God, in which I actually walk through these panels that we’ve described and we hardly got to the last panel on Humanae Vitae because that’s a whole probably CD in and of itself.

Trent: Oh sure.

Katrina: So wit will walk people through, expose them to the language of John Paul II and has a lot of quotes from the Wednesday audiences themselves. So it gets them kind of over the hump of reading the language and getting familiar with his vocabulary. After that there are really a number of different writings by people. Dr Mary Healy has a book entitled Men and Women Are From Eden. The most well known speaker writer in the United States is Christopher West, he has a book entitled Theology of the Body for Beginners and then other books after that that he’s written that particularly bring out the dimension of chastity in marriage. And I think that’s important to realize. He has a particular call and his particular call is to help people realize that even our sexuality as it is expressed concretely in the act of love between a husband and wife, in sexual union, that is meant to also be redeemed so that it is also a reflection of Trinitarian love.

Trent: And how can people come to know your work? Maybe bring you out as a speaker on this subject, see more of your writings. Where can people go to learn more about the work you’re doing with Theology of the Body?

Katrina: That’s very kind of you to ask. So at the moment, my website is, so it’s However, I’m in the midst of revamping my website, and so eventually it will be under just

Trent: Okay.

Katrina: So hopefully by the time this is being produced, it will be That gives information on my speaking. Also, I have a number of videos already posted on YouTube, which is the best place for people to really become familiar with a speaker. So if they want to know my style and just different topics that I speak on, because I actually speak on a whole range of topics and audience that has to do with Theology of the Body. Basically, everything from about fourth grade all the way up to senior citizens. Because as we’ve been seeing, it’s about who the human person is. It’s not just about chastity, although that’s an important dimension, but it’s about how do I understand my self is a gift of self?

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Header image: Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci – via