Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Review of Heaven's Song

Well, I'm finally getting around to an earlier promise here and here to review Heaven's Song, by Christopher West.

There have been few books I've read recently that have proved to be so captivating as this one. Heaven's Song explores John Paul II's Theology of the Body in light of two recently discovered sermons on the topic not previously published in English.

The book is in two basic parts, the first linking Mary with the beloved in Song of Songs and showing how the poetic and erotic language of that book is essential to understanding the passion with which God loves us and wants to be united with us. That unity came through Mary.

The second part of the book centers on the marriage preparation of Tobias and Sara in the book of Tobit and shows how, step by step, our suffering, united to the suffering of Christ on the cross, enables us to love in the marital bond in the fullness of Christ. Our humility towards our own sinfulness and our complete gift of self to one another give us the power in Jesus to live a love stern as death.

This treatment refines and makes more complete this understanding of human love, human sexuality, and God's eternal plan, but I would recommend that those unfamiliar with JPII's Theology of the Body not start with this book. TOB for Beginners or TOB Explained will provide a more foundational context for Heaven's Song.

We as Catholics need to understand better and live better God's plan for human sexuality. God created this gift for freedom, but mankind always tries to pervert this gift, which leads to self-slavery.

Heaven's Song is a must-read for those preparing for marriage, as well as married couples who wish to grow deeper in their love for God and for one another, and who wish to better know what a great sex life is supposed to be.


rachelsaxx said...

What a beautiful review! I'm really excited to read this.

Just since you obviously are aware of Christopher West's work, I thought you might like to see this really rational analysis that Dr. Janet Smith just came out with about the whole recent controversy that has been surrounding his work.

Mike in CT said...

Thanks for the link! I will check it out. I've been finding time to read other blogs, but not enough time to do much commentary myself. It's killing me, 'cause there's so just so much going on right now to talk about!

Work and family are really cutting into my bloglife. :^)

You can also read Bill Donaghy's defense of Chris West at

Thanks for checking out my blog!