Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body is the utlimate life hack for young people, said Sr. Helena Burns.

TOB is the ultimate life hack

By  Steven Travale, Youth Speak News
  • January 8, 2016

Clarity, joy, relief, purpose, fire, blown minds, singing hearts. According to Sr. Helena Burns these are just some of the things that participants will be guaranteed to leave with after taking her Theology of the Body course.

The six-week course, beginning Jan. 9, is open to anyone who wants to go deeper into St. John Paul II’s integrated vision of the human person. These classes are the most comprehensive ones that Burns has ever given on The Theology of the Body.

“I get more invitations to speak on Theology of the Body than I can handle, so the idea is to set others on a path where they could potentially also give talks,” said Burns.

The course will examine topics such as evolution and creation, sexting, hooking up, gender, bioethics and much more.

One of the ways young people can learn to embrace the Catholic faith is to read and interpret the signs and messages that the media constantly give. In doing so, Burns explains, young Catholics become aware of the powerful connotations the media and our culture put out.

Often these messages glorify hedonism, physical beauty and sex. However, God has a lot to teach us on these things. Burns said Theology of the Body teachings are directed at countries that once lived a vibrant Christian faith, but are now falling away. “How can people today understand, embrace and live the faith?” is the big question she asks participants.

“John Paul II’s Theology of the Body answers today’s hottest questions and is the ultimate life hack,” said Burns. “What God says is better than what the culture is saying because it’s real and you can actually have what you want and be fulfilled and it doesn’t disappoint.”

A big part of the New Evangelization, this dynamic approach to the Catholic faith was the inspiration and genius of St. John Paul II. During his papacy, John Paul II realized that people were leaving Catholicism in droves and the Church’s habit of “starting with the spiritual to get to the physical” was not working. In a time where people, particularly young adults, only believe in scientific truth, the Pope realized he had to take a new approach. Theology of the Body was the answer. He took what was visible and concrete — physical facts — and built it toward the spiritual aspect.

“The great thing about starting with the physical is that it’s verifiable. Science is on God’s side,” said Burns. “Science simply discovers the incredible way God created things and how they function best, true to themselves.”

Burns’ course will be examining the “why” and the “how” of the Church’s stance on all the hot button topics. She, too, knows that millennials in particular are leaving the faith precisely because they do not know the “why” and “how.”

She said it is important Catholics understand why God’s way is the way to true love, true sex, health and happiness. In turn, they will be disciples of Jesus and sowers of the Good News.

Through the course, Burns said participants will be equipped with knowledge that will allow them to share with others the New Evangelization. The event poster boldly asks: “You know WHAT Jesus and the Church teach. Do you know WHY?” Theology of the Body apologetics will form an important part of the sessions.

The sessions cost $40. It runs for six Saturdays, Jan. 9 to Feb. 13, at Pauline Books and Media store at 3022 Dufferin St. To find out more, contact Burns at srhelenaburns@ gmail.com or visit her blog, tinyurl.com/TOB2016.

(Travale, 17, is a Grade 12 student at Sacred Heart High School in Walkerton, Ont.)

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Some implications of the TOB for the sacramental economy and integral ecology remain to be explored. My I share these meditations on man and woman, humanity and nature:


Luis Gutierrez
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