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Dignity, Truth and John Paul II: Introducing Eternity Project

Author: Esther Corrigan

Picture: PxHere

Dignity, Truth and John Paul II: Introducing Eternity Project

Esther Corrigan introduces Eternity Project-a new initiative, inspired by John Paul II's Theology of the Body, which seeks to create a culture in which the dignity of every person is upheld.

From physical diagnoses triggering constant anxiety that control is being lost, to the trauma and pain of both infertility and abortion, to pressure to present as physically strong whilst feeling incomparably weak internally. As a therapist, I encountered numerous examples of psychological impact with physical roots – proving to me the intrinsic connection between body and soul which is central to John Paul II’s understanding of what it means to be human.

Shortly after his election as Pope in 1978, John Paul II utilised his weekly audiences in St Peter’s Square to gift to us his Theology of the Body.

Following the Second Vatican Council and the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, his words were courageous, revolutionary, and prophetic for the Church.

As a teenager suffering from anorexia, I was determined to make my body so small it would be invisible, in the hope that I would then be able to escape the turmoil inside. On the other hand, newly recovered and heading off to university, I turned to sport for self-validation: training against the men’s team in an effort to prove myself every bit as tough. 

I’ve experienced both the rejection and idolisation of the body, and found both as empty as each other when it comes to resulting happiness. 

A Third Way Of Living

‘So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.’ ~Genesis 1:27

Theology of the Body offers a ‘third way’ of living: an integration of body and soul in surrendering to God, our loving Father.

This authentic surrendering has to stem from a deep knowledge of our identity as His sons and daughters, made in His image and likeness, and so to fully understand this John Paul takes us back to the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis. 

It is here that we are able to encounter the Father’s original vision and purpose for creating us. John Paul proposes that an ‘echo’ of this existence remains in every heart, and if we can simply engage with that echo our life on earth begins to make sense.

I firmly believe that this teaching has the power to change not only individual lives but the whole Body of Christ, and it’s for this reason that theologian George Weigel calls it a ‘theological time bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences sometime in the third millennium of the Church.'

The Spirit Is On The Move

The Spirit is on the move right here in the UK, planting the seeds of Theology of the Body in hearts and minds, with more and more people discovering a deep desire to know and share its transformative gift. This is our beginning of those dramatic consequences. 

If this is the first time you’ve heard of Theology of the Body; if you’ve vaguely come across it, but without delving deeper; even if you’re familiar with it but want to hear it preached again with fresh ears: you are warmly invited to join brothers and sisters in Christ across the UK as they share their thoughts and experiences – written and spoken via both blogs and podcasts – and reflect on what this message holds for you as a beloved child of a good Father. 

Find out more at www.eternityproject.co.uk 

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