Love and Responsibility
Cover to the English first edition
|Original title||Miłość i Odpowiedzialność|
|Translator||H. T. Willetts|
|Cover artist||Roxanne Mei Lum|
|Subject||Love and Human Sexuality|
|Publisher||William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., London and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Inc., New York City|
Published in English
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback) & Audio book|
|LC Class||BT708 .J6313 1993|
Love and Responsibility is a book written by Karol Wojtyła before he became Pope John Paul II and was originally published in Polish in 1960 and in English in 1981. A new, completely updated and original translation was published in 2013.
The work consists of five chapters; "The Person and the Sexual Urge"; "The Person and Love"; "The Person and Chastity"; "Justice to the Creator"; and "Sexology and Ethics". It is described as 'a defence of the traditional Church teachings on marriage from a new philosophical standpoint'. In his introduction to the first edition, Fr. Wojtyla describes his reasons for writing the book as being "born principally of the need to put the norms of Catholic sexual morality on a firm basis, a basis as definitive as possible, relying on the most elementary and incontrovertible moral truths and the most fundamental values or goods". Fr. Wojtyła was originally inspired to write the book while being a professor at the Catholic University of Lublin, through the experiences he had in teaching young Catholics.
While at the university, Fr. Wojtyła gathered a group of about 20 young people, who began to call themselves ‘Rodzinka’, the "little family". They met for prayers, philosophical discussions, and helping the blind and sick. The group eventually grew to approximately 200 participants, and their activities expanded to include annual skiing and kayaking trips. The insight he gained from these meetings and discussions helped him develop the raw material for the text.
Fr. Wojtyła writes that marital sexual intercourse is the best image of God who is love, for he sees the human body as the only one capable of making the invisible — the spiritual and the divine — visible. He says that human beings were created by God for a purpose: to be persons who freely choose to love, to give themselves as persons who express their self-giving through their bodies. Thus, sexual intercourse between husband and wife is a symbol of their total mutual self-donation, and further fosters, strengthens and enriches it not just for the present but also for the future. For Fr. Wojtyła, "The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and divine."
|“||Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family – a domestic church.||”|
|— Karol Wojtyła |
- Wojtyła, Karol. Love and Responsibility: 1981
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- Translated by Grzegorz Ignatik, published by Pauline Books & Media, Boston, MA.
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