Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Heaven's Song

Well, it's taken me quite a while to get to the point where I could write my review on Heaven's Song by Christopher West. Although I love to read and usually finish books quickly, lately it seems I either don't have the time or am too tired to read more than a page before I fall asleep. So, if you read many of the same blogs I do, you've probably already read a few reviews on this book. Here's one more.

I was a little nervous when I first picked up Heaven's Song. Knowing that it was based on Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, I thought I was in for some tough reading. I was wrong. Each chapter in Heaven's Song starts with a small, real-life story and tells the end of that story (good or bad, it is real-life) at the end of the chapter. Also, each chapter ends with reflection questions that a person can use to apply the teachings to his own life. This was critical for me, because I was able to stop and really understand what I was reading.

I learned quite a bit from this book, not only about the ideal of marital union, but also about things that I didn't even know had affected my ideas regarding the body and sexual love. One such thing that comes to mind from this book is the idea of modesty. Before coming into the Church, I had never really thought about it before, but my own immodesty was pointed out to me a few times afterwards. I began to view the body as something that needed to be hidden, or covered up, because it was bad. But, really (as I'm sure many of you already knew) that's not why a person should dress modestly. To quote Mr. West (pg. 58):

Why do we feel the need to cover our bodies... in a fallen world? We cover our bodies in a fallen world not because they're "bad." The notion that our bodies are bad is a heresy! We cover our bodies in a fallen world because they are so good and we feel an instinctive need to protect the goodness of the body from the degradation of lust.

This may not come as any revelation to anyone else, but to me it filled in holes I was missing. There are so many other places from this book that filled other holes for me, that I couldn't begin to list them all.

Whether a person is new to Theology of the Body or not, there is something to be gleaned from Heaven's Song. It meets you where you are and helps you go even farther. I would even venture to say that a person could get different things from it after reading it a second or third time through. Especially if someone has holes that need filled or are looking for healing, this is a good place to start.

This review was written as part of The Catholic Company product reviewer program. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Heaven's Song.


Shea Crowley said...

Great inisights on Heaven's Song. Thanks. I agree that reading about the TOB can seem to be daunting. I am looking forward to the book because his others have been excellent.

Christopher West will be doing an interview on CatholicTV to discuss the book on October 14th. on SKy Angel or CatholicTV.com

Peace, Shea

Cmerie said...

Thanks for the info about the interview. I'm writing it on my calendar so I don't forget.

I'm sure you'll enjoy Heaven's Song. It has so much to offer!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I know this is a super old post, but I absolutely LOVE Heaven's Song and not enough people know about this book! Thank you for posting about it! :)