220. Do You Know That You Are Indispensable, Irreplaceable and Unrepeatable?

If Not, You’re Missing Out on the Meaning of Your Existence!


There is no other you. Have you ever let that truth sink in? You reveal a beam of God’s glory that no one else who ever lived or ever will live reveals. You are indispensable to God’s plan for the universe. You cannot be replaced. You cannot be repeated.

A renewed sense of awe regarding the uniqueness of each human person was my takeaway from the privilege I had last week of sitting in on Dr. Pete Colosi’s class on the philosophy of Saint John Paul II. It’s one of eight courses that the Theology of the Body Institute offers as part of its certification program.

Here’s how I wrote about these universal truths in my book Fill These Hearts:

Don’t we long to be loved as we are, for who we really are, and not just for that which may “please” someone else? Don’t we know deep in our hearts that we are never meant to be compared to another, measured by another, or replaced by someone else? Don’t we long deep in our hearts to be loved in such a way that we are honored and recognized as indispensable, irreplaceable, and unrepeatable? And doesn’t it pain our hearts grievously when others treat us merely as objects that can be disposed of and replaced, when others toy with us?

These universal “truths of the heart” were portrayed with remarkable and surprising insight in, of all films, Toy Story 3. Little Andy from the previous films isn’t so little anymore. In fact, he’s headed off to college and he hasn’t played with his toys for years. When the toys steal Andy’s cell phone to get their old friend just to open the toy chest so they can be seen, you can feel their yearning for love. Andy lifts Rex the dinosaur (voiced again by the “in-con-scchhievable” Wallace Shawn) in order to retrieve his phone and, once the coast is clear, Rex exclaims with unbridled elation: “He touched me! He touched me!” There it is – the cry of the heart to be loved, to be touched … God bless him! Rex was starved for affection (listen to me, I think these characters are real people … well, because in a sense they are: they’re images of us). I knew then this movie had more to offer than mere entertainment.

New to the series is Lotso the bear, the self-appointed tyrant leader of all the toys at Sunnyside Daycare. In the course of the movie, we learn the tragic backstory. Lotso had Daisy’s most beloved toy. But then she lost him, and her parents got her another bear just like him. When Lotso found out he had been replaced, he “snapped,” becoming a “monster inside.”

Part of Lotso’s revenge for having been cast off and replaced is that – if he can’t be loved, he won’t let anybody else be loved either; if he’s replaceable, then everybody else is too. At one point Lotso confronts Andy’s favorite toy, Woody: “You think you’re special, Cowboy? You’re a piece of plastic. You were made to be thrown away.” And then when the Ken doll is afraid he’s going to lose Barbie, Lotso says: “She’s a Barbie doll, Ken. There’s a hundred million just like her!” Ken insists: “Not to me there’s not” – and Barbie sighs knowing that Ken loves her; knowing that Ken sees her as unrepeatable, irreplaceable.

In the story, these toys aren’t toys at all. They feel what we feel; they desire what we desire: love. That’s why they’re so relatable. The whole theme of Toy Story 3 is that being replaced and “thrown away” is the opposite of love. We all know that in our hearts, but sometimes we’re acting out our own “revenge” on others for past hurts, like Lotso. When Lotso seems to be having his way and Woody and his pals are doomed for the incinerator, salvation arrives “from above.” In the end, Lotso pays the price for his madness, while love triumphs in the lives of the other toys. Deep stuff for a “kid’s movie.”

Question: How might an appreciation for the uniqueness of each person change the way you go about your day today? Share your answer on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Toy Story 3/Pixar/Disney.

For such a time as this have we been given Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. By taking us beyond the alternatives of prudish repression and damaging indulgence, the Theology of the Body opens the path to the redemption of sexuality and the real healing of our wounds. Learn more by watching my short film, The Cry of the HeartWatch the trailer below.

Watch the Short Film

219. How to Overcome Cynicism in Our Dark Times with the Virtue of Hope

I host an exclusive live Facebook chat with members of The Cor Project each month (learn more here). I was surprised by the level of interest in the following question someone posted about cynicism:

I have several friends who are quite cynical in nature and, therefore, skeptical of the Theology of the Body. I’ve heard (and tend to believe) that a cynic is deep down a dreamer/romantic who is wounded. How do you deal with folks who are cynical in general?

Here’s how I responded:

COR THOUGHTS 213: Fertility and the Battle Between Good and Evil


This week’s readings continue the same themes as last week: seed, soil, and groaning. Speaking in spousal categories, “seed” refers to the Bridegroom, “soil” to the Bride. When seed and soil meet, new life springs forth, and that entails “groaning.” Why? Right from the first pages of Genesis, we discover that fertility places us in a raging battle between good and evil. The enemy’s hatred (“enmity”) is aimed at “the woman” and her ability to bear offspring. Genesis reports a conflict between “seeds”: the woman’s (Mary is “the woman” and Jesus is her “seed”) and the enemy’s (see Gen 3:15). “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man…. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil.” We win this battle by remaining always open (like Mary) to the “good seed” and not being deceived by the bad. But how can we know the difference? We are so weak and the enemy so cunning! “The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings … according to God’s will.” Lord, your will be done in us!

Help Me Bring the Theology of the Body to South Africa!

In my travels around the world sharing Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, I am witnessing the growth of a genuine international movement. But with new forms of sexual chaos and gender confusion spreading like wildfire, the need to continue sharing the healing balm of the Theology of the Body is more urgent than ever.

The Cor Project has been invited by Church leaders in South Africa to bring Saint John Paul II’s liberating teachings to multiple cities in their country in early September! We’ll visit parishes, schools and seminaries in and around Johannesburg and Cape Town.

We have accepted the invitation, however their funds are extremely limited, and they have asked us to make up the difference. We have stepped out in faith that the Lord will provide for our needs through those who understand the importance of our mission. We have started a GoFundMe campaign with hopes of reaching our goal by Aug. 15, the Feast of the Assumption. 

I am also excited to announce that we can reach our goal twice as fast, as a Cor supporter has offered a match on the first $7,000 raised! 

Cor Project presentations are an inspired blend of live music, art and dynamic teaching that tap the deepest desires of the human heart revealing their ultimate purpose and goal. My team and I will introduce attendees to the healing balm of Saint John Paul II’s Theology of Body, making it relevant for every-body, regardless of his or her state in life. We’re scheduled to give seven presentations to audiences ranging from youth and young adults to laity, priests, religious, and seminarians.

The Cor Project’s mission is to spread the Theology of the Body across the globe, so this is an opportunity we don’t want to pass up. There are other similar opportunities we have had to decline due to financial limitations, so any donations beyond this goal will allow us to revisit those invitations. 

In return for helping us cover expenses to make this weeklong journey, I am offering some awesome rewards, including study series kits, the opportunity to have a one-on-one Skype session with me, a house concert by Mike Mangione and even the opportunity for me to present this life-changing teaching at your house for family and friends! 

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has already donated! Please spread the word about this campaign, and thank you for sharing in our mission to learn, live and share the Theology of the Body.

Click here to donate and bring the TOB to South Africa!

For such a time as this have we been given Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. By taking us beyond the alternatives of prudish repression and damaging indulgence, the Theology of the Body opens the path to the redemption of sexuality and the real healing of our wounds. Learn more by watching my short film, The Cry of the HeartWatch the trailer below.

Watch the Short Film

COR THOUGHTS 212: All of Creation Is Nuptial!


This Sunday’s readings beautifully demonstrate how spousal theology helps Scripture “pop.” Keep in mind that “land”/“earth” and “creation” in Scripture symbolize the “Bride” (Israel / Church). “Your land shall be espoused,” says Isaiah (62:4).  Now let’s look at these passages from Sunday’s readings: “Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down … making [the earth] fertile … so shall my word be”; The Lord has “prepared the land: drenching its furrows … blessing its yield”; “We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains … we also groan within ourselves as we wait for … the redemption of our bodies”; “Some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit…” Oh! Do you see the spousal mystery? Creation is “giving birth” (groaning in labor pains) because the Creator-Bridegroom has given his “immortal seed” (see 1 Pt 1:23) to his creation-bride. And all is fulfilled in Mary! She’s the good soil that received heaven’s seed, heaven’s rain, heaven’s Word. Mary is the apex of all created fertility! Every seed that falls in the ground and blossoms into life points to the Annunciation. Mary, teach us how to be good soil that remains ever open to God’s seed!