Well this was unexpected.
It’s not everyday you hear that your mentor is coming to a chapel near you to give a talk about God, Sex, and The Meaning of Life.
But this evening I found myself
driving speeding just a tad to hear Christopher West give a talk at Walsh University, just a little over an hour away from me.
Never mind the fact that I’ve read 3 of his books and attended TOB1 last summer. Never mind that I attended yet another course in August on Catholic Sexual Ethics and plan on attending TOB2 in June this year. Never mind that I am currently facilitating an Intro to TOB DVD series with over a dozen women from my parish. And never mind that I tend to introduce myself as “a crazy TOB gal” upon first meeting anyone with even an inkling of knowledge about our beautiful teaching. And did I mention that I’m pursuing the full certification so one day I can teach TOB?
Clearly, I am not ignorant to Theology of the Body.
So why would I skip out of work an hour early (sorry boss!) to drive an hour away to hear a talk on a subject I clearly know quite a bit about?
Because I can never get enough. And, as much as I think I know, there is ALWAYS more to learn.
I was thinking about this as I made the drive down there to North Canton tonight. I was grinning ear to ear, SO excited to get there and take it all in.
“Who in their right mind would be this ecstatic to hear a chastity talk?”
Probably because it’s SO MUCH MORE than a chastity talk.
And it hit me, sitting there in the pew tonight, listening to Christopher speak:
It takes your breath away.
And it hit me, on the way home, thinking and reflecting on all the changes that have occurred in me since last spring:
Theology of the Body healed me.
Why would I not be excited to hear about the very thing that cured me?
It never ceases to amaze me that I prayed for healing, I cried to God (sometimes out loud and in front of the Blesses Sacrament), to help me.
And it takes my breath away when I realize the work He did in me.
And it takes my breath away when I think, “If He has the power to convert a huge sinner like me, then there’s hope for every person out there.”
There’s not enough space (and you, dear reader, don’t have enough time) to read about how much TOB changed my life. I’ve written bits and pieces here and here if you’d like to read just a taste of it. (Or, simply search “Theology of the Body” within the blog to find the rest).
The fact that I changed my blog to it’s current name should give you a pretty good indication that this was more than “just another book” that I just happened to read last year.
TOB saved my life, and I don’t know how else to summarize it better than that.
I know that doesn’t really tell anyone anything specific, and that can be frustrating.
But I always remember that Catholicism is a proposal. And TOB is a proposal. And so I can’t force you to learn it, but I can INVITE you to learn it.
So I invite you, whoever you are, wherever you are at in your journey, to take a look at TOB.
It won’t be easy because, after all, this is all very heavy and intense and uncomfortable sometimes. But that’s why we have some great resources to help us in our time of need.
The first is Jesus. (Duh) He’s our first “emergency contact,” if you will.
But sometimes, you need to talk this stuff out with people who are wise and considered the experts.
Your local priest will also be a great resource and can definitely help you navigate your way into the TOB world.
But for those that prefer to remain somewhat anonymous or like reading more than speaking:
These websites are the go-to sources for every body. Every state in life. Every budget.
- The Cor Project is fantastic and well worth the $10/month investment to be a member. As a member you have access to his talks that you can download online and SHARE with your friends and family (Hello! Evangelizing for the modern world!) You will also get emails from him on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. They include short YouTube videos as well as quotes and blog posts.
I spoke to a few people tonight at the talk who didn’t want to join because they “already have so many emails coming in each day.”
As a daily email addict myself, I found a solution to this problem: Make the emails part of your daily prayer.
What I mean by that is if you don’t want to stop subscribing to other email lists like The Catholic Company or the USCCB or uCatholic or Matthew Kelly (I told you I was addicted), pick one to focus on in the morning. Even if you’re daily prayer is only 10 minutes, you can still find that time to be useful if you’re really reading and investing time to reflect on the message.
I’ve even watched his video’s during Adoration (headphones in of course) and THAT has proven to be very helpful.
- The TOB Institute provides all the courses/retreats to the general public so you can
become an addict like mefurther your own personal journey. I wouldn’t be doing a good job of spreading the message of TOB if I didn’t promote the courses. You don’t need to be a religion teacher or a parent or a priest to appreciate these courses. As you have heard it said repeatedly: Theology of the Body is for every body. Yes, that includes those of us who are single! This isn’t just for married folks, folks.
If you can only attend one in your entire life, you must make it to TOB1. Period. Nuf said. Just go.
My life, in the past year, has totally changed. I remarked to Christopher as he was signing that picture of St. Teresa of Avila, (drawn by his 15 year old son, by the way):
“You know YOU started this Christopher. You did this to me!! You made me into this crazy TOB chick!”
I think I said Thank You. But in case I didn’t:
Thank You! I’m forever grateful for my new life.