Exploring the relationship between passion, intimacy and Christ

By Josh Low

Exploring the beauty of the Church’s teaching on sexuality and human flourishing was behind a recent four-day retreat in Hobart organised by the Office of Life, Marriage and Family.

Titled “Passion, Intimacy and Christ”, the retreat was held from 24 to 27 August, led by Simon Carrington of Fire Up Ministries.

Office of Life, Marriage and Family Director, Dr Rachel Bradley, said the aim of the retreat was to delve into the teachings of Pope St John Paul II on the Theology of the Body.

“I especially hoped that older persons, whether married or single would come along to hear this topic,” she said.

“Simon discussed what it means to be male or female, and about the parallels between Christ’s total self-giving on the cross that we revisit during every Mass and the total self-giving of the spouses in the sexual act, and about why contraception contradicts the body language of total self-gift in marriage.”

The four day retreat was led by Fire Up Ministries’ Simon Carrington. Photo: Josh Low

Launceston parishioner, Hui Ying Ng, who travelled down to Hobart to attend the retreat, described it as ‘packed but helpful’.

“It was a systematic way of learning Theology of the Body, with some of the nuances explained, which may not be evident from reading alone,” she said.

“His testimony was also very powerful and reminded me of how the Lord truly takes away our guilt and shame.

“I felt the real-life examples in an Australian context were one of the things that stood out since most Theology of the Body resources I have come across are from the United States.”

Dr Bradley believes society needs to urgently hear the Catholic vision of the body and sexuality.

“In contrast to the confusing, prevailing message that we can be whatever we want to be and that we need to follow wherever our passions lead us to find happiness, we need to know that we are created in a specific way to love and be loved, that the body is good and reveals God to us, that our rightly ordered sexual desires are good and holy and can help us to grow in holiness and happiness,” she said.

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