Lots of people send me books to review and I promise to do what I can. Alas, with my new duties the ‘books to read and review’ pile is rather lofty. Marcel LeJeune is the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry and St Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M; University. Marcel sent me a copy of his book Set Free to Love–Lives Changed by the Theology of the Body and asked me to write a few words.
My problem with John Paul II’s theology of the body is that too often it is communicated in a theoretical and intellectual manner. Certainly its basis in JP2s philosophical basis of phenomenology can be daunting, and because the teaching is repetitious and complex it can sometimes miss the target. This book helps put it all together for a wide audience. Marcel takes a few pages at the beginning to give us the kernel of JP2s teaching, and the rest of the book consists of eleven short chapters from young people who’s lives have been transformed by careful and prayerful attention to the theology of the Body. We hear from a young priest and a young sister, a seminarian, a young married couple and various college aged students. We hear from a guy with same sex attraction, others with porn problems and those who have moved from a sordid and selfish sexual existence to one which is fully open to live and the self sacrifice of a truly Catholic marriage.
Marcel LeJeune has gathered together a punchy, relevant and clear book which should continue to change the lives of those it touches. It’s a great book for a college study group, high school students and all young people who want to live a life truly set free to love. Highly recommended. Available here.