Dancers are made to dance. Singers are made to sing. Teachers are made to teach. When we do what we’re made to do and pour ourselves into it with all our hearts, we come alive. I certainly feel that way about teaching the Theology of the Body.
Never would I have thought when I was growing up that I would become a teacher, let alone a teacher of Catholic theology. My plans were to pursue a career in music. But when my world was rocked by the discovery of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body in 1993, I traded in my drumsticks and guitar for a life as a student and a teacher of this great Pope’s theological vision. I say student and teacher because being a good teacher demands that one be a life-long student. I’m always learning and I’m often teaching.
I’ve had the honor and privilege of offering lectures and seminars around the world. They provide wonderful opportunities to introduce people to the themes of John Paul II’s teaching, but there is no joy as a teacher like the joy I experience in offering my week-long “head and heart immersion courses” through the Theology of the Body Institute.
[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.
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!
- Remain Calm: The Victory of Marriage Comes Through Its Crucifixion (June 30, 2015)
- People Use the Term “Discrimination” Indiscriminately (July 2, 2015)
- Apples, Oranges and Marriage (July 7, 2015)
- Civilization and the Sexual Urge (July 9, 2015)
69. My Parents’ 50th Anniversary (July 14, 2015)
Other related posts:
- What Does Heterogenital Mean? (June 23, 2015)
- From Rene Descartes to “Caitlyn” Jenner (June 11, 2015)
- Bono, Ireland and the Eclipse of the Sexual Difference, Part II (June 4, 2015)
- Bono, Ireland and the Eclipse of the Sexual Difference, Part I (June 2, 2015)
- 20th Anniversary of Braveheart: A Study of the Father-Son Relationship and the Identities Carved Therefrom (May 26, 2015)
- Mother’s Day: The Celebration Behind the Celebration (May 7, 2015)
- Authentic Love and Ejaculation (March 3, 2015)
- 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.
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.
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.