GUEST POST: Inside Out and the Ache


[EDITOR’S NOTE: This guest post was written by John Paul West, 17, Christopher’s oldest son.]

Good stories have always helped me get in touch with the ache in my heart – that burning, yearning, empty feeling we all have inside which is meant to point us to the infinite. Knowing that Pixar has a gift for creating beautiful art, I was anticipating Inside Out for months. But I wasn’t anticipating just how insightful this movie would be. Not only had Pixar created a film that put me in touch with the ache, they had created a film that was actually about the ache … and what to do with it. (Warning: spoilers follow.)

Inside Out is the story of an 11-year old girl named Riley. Five personified emotions ­– Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness – live inside Riley’s head and direct her life from the console in “Headquarters”. When an emotion touches the console it lights up in its own specific color (red for Anger, blue for Sadness, etc.) and they can control what Riley does.

Collection of My Recent Posts on Marriage, Family and Gender

Because I’ve been taking a short break for some long-overdue summer leisure, I’m doing something a little different for today’s post.

I’ve collected the links to my recent posts on marriage, family and gender issues into one spot here for your reading convenience and also to share.

Don’t forget to add your comments to the conversations going on at the Facebook and Twitter feeds linked at the ends of these blog posts!

Recent posts:

  1. Remain Calm: The Victory of Marriage Comes Through Its Crucifixion (June 30, 2015)
  1. People Use the Term “Discrimination” Indiscriminately (July 2, 2015)
  1. Apples, Oranges and Marriage (July 7, 2015)
  1. Civilization and the Sexual Urge (July 9, 2015)

69.  My Parents’ 50th Anniversary (July 14, 2015)

Other related posts:

  1. What Does Heterogenital Mean? (June 23, 2015)
  1. From Rene Descartes to “Caitlyn” Jenner (June 11, 2015)
  1. Bono, Ireland and the Eclipse of the Sexual Difference, Part II (June 4, 2015)
  1. Bono, Ireland and the Eclipse of the Sexual Difference, Part I (June 2, 2015)
  1. 20th Anniversary of Braveheart: A Study of the Father-Son Relationship and the Identities Carved Therefrom (May 26, 2015)
  1. Mother’s Day: The Celebration Behind the Celebration (May 7, 2015)
  1. Authentic Love and Ejaculation (March 3, 2015)
  1. 10 Gems from Pope Francis’s Recent Message on the Family (Feb. 17, 2015)

If you found these posts helpful and want to dig deeper, we also have a treasure chest of ongoing TOB formation at your fingertips if you become a Cor Member. Not only do members get access to a wealth of timely resources, but you get a license to share them, too. I am also excited about several new offerings being prepared for release to Cor Members in the coming months. Join our mailing list to stay updated.


70. Summer Leisure and the Art of Human “Being”


Leisure. To be honest, I find it difficult to enter into it. I find it hard just to be because, well, there’s so much to do. But we are not human doings. We’re human beings. Or, at least, we’re supposed to be.

And that means leisure – in the true sense of the word – is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.

So, like many of you, I’m sure, I’m taking some time off this month to learn the art of human being and chill from human doing. I’m taking some time off to learn the art of leisure.

69. My Parents’ 50th Anniversary

Mom & Dad west 50th CROP

Last month my parents celebrated 50 years of marriage. I don’t think they’d mind if I shared an edited version of a letter I wrote them in honor of their half-century together.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Awe. That’s the first word that comes to mind as I think about your 50 years together. I’m in awe at how the mystery of God is manifested and unfolds in the life of a man and a woman who fall in love and decide to commit their whole lives to each other. I’m in awe at how that spreads backward in time from the two of you to your parents and their parents … the whole way back to the beginning of time, and how it will spread forward in time (and already is) shaping and determining the future of countless lives that would never have existed if you hadn’t married each other.

68. Civilization and the Sexual Urge


What happens to a society when it fails to understand what marriage is? Songs often pop into my head when I’m trying to make a point, and right now I’m hearing R.E.M. singing “It’s the end of the world as we know it …” Redefine marriage and you redefine civilization at its root.

What is the root of civilization? St. John Paul II put it this way: “[The] shared life of men and women … makes up the pure and simple guiding thread of existence. Human life is by its nature ‘co-educational’ and its dignity as well as its balance depend at every moment of history and in every place of geographical longitude and latitude on ‘who’ she shall be for him and he for her” (TOB 43:7).