Episode 153

Love Matures | ACW153


December 6th, 2021

37 mins 23 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Do you have any encouragement for bringing Theology of the Body to the Anglican Church? How should I respond, as a teacher, to one of my highschool girls who thinks she is a boy? What is the Catholic view on arranged marriages?

Ask Christopher West is a weekly podcast in which Theology of the Body Institute President Christopher West and his beloved wife Wendy share their humor and wisdom, answering questions about marriage, relationships, life, and the Catholic faith, all in light of John Paul II’s beautiful teachings on the Theology of the Body.

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Patron Question:
Hello Christopher and Wendy! First I would like to say thank you and bless you for your wisdom and vulnerable honesty that you share on the podcast. I pray for you both and for the Institute for continued blessing and for protection from the enemy who would want to trip up your good work.
I like to listen to episodes of ACW on a bike ride out in the country side here in the north of England or on nice long walk with the dog. I want you to know that the way you articulate Theology of the Body is such a blessing to me. It’s getting into my bones. It’s also getting into my PhD thesis. My research on mystagogy in the early church and listening to you guys express again and again how God wants to unite with us and how deeply that’s written into the order of our bodies is truly helping me to understand the Church Fathers and to write what I need to say in my own work.
I’m an anglican and I’m married to a wonderful, faithful man who has recently bee ordained in the Church of England. We both are drawn towards Theology of the Body and feel like it articulates the precious truth about our humanity, sex and gender, and our calling to union with God. I think the Anglican Church is in desperate need of this theology and across the western world, our denomination is, in my opinion, floundering catastrophically in our understanding of sexuality and gender. Though we’ve both felt drawn towards the Catholic tradition and also the Orthodox tradition, throughout our walk with the Lord my husband has felt called to the Anglican Church and to the priesthood in it. And, I’m called to be his wife. Do you have any words of encouragement or exhortation for us who want to be faithful and forthright and bring the healing truth of God in a context that often feels like a house on fire?

Question 2:
Hello Christopher and Wendy. I thank you for these podcasts. I don’t know why I was always interested in the way the Church sees sexuality. As a teenager, I always wanted to explain to my friends why it was important to wait until marriage for sexual relationships but I didn’t have any arguments or knowledge. Now, I understand a lot of things and I see that the most important is the love and mercy God has for us. I don’t know if I can help others, but in the mean time, I’ve discovered this is helping me a lot. But here’s my question: I’m a high school teacher. I have a 17-year-old student. Her name is Anna, but she says she wants to become a man. In the school, she wants to be “called like a boy” and she is really serious about it. She says her family doesn’t agree with this idea. She feels they don’t understand her. I think I’m the only teacher that doesn’t want to call and treat her like a boy. Some teachers think we don’t have to say “she feels like a boy.” They think she actually is a boy in a girl’s body; she is a he, and all this gender ideology. They really think they’re helping her. I think she suffers and she feels hurt and she doesn’t really know what she wants. I don’t know how to help her or how to talk to her without her feeling rejected. I like what you always say, “become what you are,” but in today’s world, this may mean an other thing. What would you do in this situation?

Qestion 3:
What is the Catholic view on arranged marriages, assuming free will and consent of both parties? This has been the norm for marriages throughout history, including in the Bible itself, and still common in many eastern cultures. And one could argue that marriages focused on "romantic love" is a modern phenomena.

Does the implicit transactional aspect of such an arrangement make it sinful? Does it make the union less a gift of self, since the couple may not have grown in love yet? Or is romantic love not necessary for a holy marriage, and it's precisely therefore it becomes a true gift of self?

Surely, since it's been the norm through history, the Catholic church must have blessed such unions?

Submit your question at AskChristopherWest.com.

Resources mentioned this week:

View our COURSE SCHEDULE to register for a course, ONLINE or IN-PERSON!

Good News About Sex & Marriage by Christopher West

When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by Ryan T. Anderson

Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigail Shrier

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Christopher and Wendy hope their advice is helpful to you, but they are not licensed counseling professionals. If you are dealing with serious issues, please consult our list of trusted professionals.

Featuring music by Mike Mangione.