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Heaven's Song: Sexual Love as It Was Meant to Be Paperback – September 30, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Ascension Press (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934217468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934217467
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Leticia Velasquez on September 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Prepare yourself to be profoundly moved. It's nearly impossible to read Christopher West's new book, "Heaven's Song" without a radical regeneration of your view of marriage, and it's relationship with the Church. It's no accident that George Weigel called Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body a "ticking theological time bomb that, when it goes off, will ignite the New Springtime of Evangelization". This is the book with the secret to renewing the Church by revealing the secrets of the most beautiful love poem in the world, the "Song of Songs" which tell us what Our Lord intended for marriage to be; a foretaste of `heaven's song'.

Heaven's Song is based upon recently-discovered writings on the Theology of the Body, the lectures given by the late Pope John Paul II in his Wednesday audiences. These lectures were considered `too sensitive' for delivery in such a public forum, out of respect for young ears. This book is for those of us who want to understand why Christ used marital imagery in describing His relationship to the Church, and why His first public miracle was the turning of water into wine at the Wedding of Cana. Marriage is a central theme of Catholic theology, and once this is properly understood by theologians and laymen alike, a new wave of evangelization will be initiated. This most-timely explanation of the "Good News" has the irresistible attraction of the tender invitation of Jesus to the Samaritan woman at the well, to leave her life of sexual sin and drink of living water. This is the language which will be able to reach the sin-saturated, disillusioned youth who have been searching for love and are about to give up on finding it.
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Format: Paperback
This book is based on the "hidden" Theology of the Body talks given by JPII. They are called hidden because they were just recently discovered. Apparently JPII had written them down but never gave them because he felt that the material was a bit too mature for potentially young ears.

What West has done yet again is to take those hidden talks and break them down for us in easy to understand language. The talks center around the Song of Songs from the bible as well as the book of Tobit. West shows how John Paul II had applied the spousal imagery of these books to Jesus, the Church, and us. The talks put erotic love in its proper place which is SO much higher than we could ever understand. It's a good, short read for somewhat more mature audiences, but of course it contains nothing explicit. It's a challenging way to think about our relationship with God, especially given the culture's understanding of sex.
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This is the first book by this author that I have read. I'm a married, Christian female. I found it one of the most beautiful things I've ever read on the subject of sexual love. There were times it brought tears to my eyes as I thought about how much we all want to be loved and how badly most of us go about it. It was encouraging, earthy, joyful, and thoroughly faithful to Christian beliefs and practice. Highly recommended for adult readers.
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I don't know if I'm alone, but I suspect that I'm not, in confessing that my religious education in the '70s and '80s was criminally deficient, not just in regards to the obvious issues that plague us, but most things. It was not a good time for catechesis in America, and perhaps not in the world. But even before that, I don't know how much was really studied or passed on about sex and our sexual natures from a Catholic perspective, and for that reason, this book is a Godsend. Not only that, but for those of us who--in part due to the utter lack in catechesis--have acquired deep emotional scars from past experiences with sex, the way the subject is presented here is healing. It's like nearly every page I say, "Ah ha!" And I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, and I'm so grateful for Christopher West going so deeply in to the writing of JPII (soon to be canonized a saint) to put his work out there for those of us who were not blessed enough to be aware of it when he was still living.
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West specifically relies on the Song of Songs and Tobit as does JPII in his TOB audiences that were not publicized. I wouldn't say that it's too explicit... I say it's a very safe and necessary read. The one thing that West emphasizes which I greatly appreciate is that the road to redemption/redemption itself hurts... the suffering is inevitable and necessary, and redemptive. All of us struggle in this life with sin, but it is a matter of picking up our crosses and following him. This specifically addresses the sexual realm of our lives, and being conscious of our distorted desires will help show us the way to the renewal of our hearts and loving as we are called to. What is key is following Christ and living according to the Spirit. Only by doing so will be experience sex at it's greatest, always remembering that we're geared to Communion, experiencing it in the sign to experience it fully in the next life.
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This book is wonderful! The only thing I would change is to have more about contraception, otherwise it's an excellent introduction to the teachings presented in Theology of the Body by Blessed John Paul II.
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