Theology of the Body

Archive for the ‘Personal Testimony’ Category

Sr. Miriam James Heidland recalls her experience learning about the Theology of the Body at the TOB Institute this September:

The Head and Heart Immersion Course completely blew me away and rocked me to my very foundation. After spending the week immersed in Christopher’s genuine and passionate presentation of John Paul II’s transformational teaching, I am CONVINCED that theology of the body will heal the world. This is because theology of the body reminds us that Christ, the Bridegroom, is the ultimate answer to all the brokenness we face in this world. Christ is the answer to healing hearts, restoring dignity and setting all of humanity free to truly love because Christ is God who is love! The course helped me fall in love with Jesus all over again. I am so excited that “there is always more” with our Lord. I have never felt more strengthened in my own vocation as a Bride of Christ and my call to love.

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A Marine First Lieutenant reflects on his experience at a Theology of the Body Institute Head to Heart Immersion Course:

marineMy name is Matthew, and I am a 25-year-old Catholic man serving in the United States Marine Corps. Since I first heard the late Pope John Paul II’s teaching on the Theology of the Body as a junior in college, I have been praying continually for the grace to live my manhood as Christ originally intended. In January, 2009, I had the opportunity to spend a week in prayer and study on this magnificent truth in the Head and Heart Immersion Course. By the power of the Holy Spirit it was a life-changing experience, and hands-down the best week of my life.

The Head and Heart Immersion Course did many things to deepen my relationship with God. First off, it deeply affirmed a priestly calling I had been discerning since midway through my last deployment. The thought of a religious vocation was both exciting and terrifying to me. In the midst of a steady relationship coupled with a lifelong desire to marry and raise a family, the thought of a celibate vocation, to say the least, had its immediate drawbacks. With sincere prayer and the enlightening lessons throughout the course, Christ softened my heart to receive whatever vocation he called me to. I pray that when my service commitment concludes, my calling to priesthood will be as intense and peaceful as it is right now.

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A testimony by Elizabeth D. who attended the TOB1 Head & Heart Immersion Course in March 2009:

I discovered Theology of the Body a little over a year ago when I was preparing to give a talk on chastity for the Life Teen program at my church. I had already been searching for answers to questions I had about my past and why I made all the painful choices I did. Theology of the Body was a revolutionary discovery for me. As I began to dig deeper, it not only aided me in teaching the Theology of the Body to the youth, but also revealed my calling. Kneeling in prayer after giving my first talk on TOB, I praised God and thanked Him for speaking through me. That night, He reminded me of my own desire He had placed in my heart many years before when I was only sixteen. My dream had been to teach young people the true purpose of relationships. However, I let that dream go because I thought it was impossible: I was uncomfortable with public speaking and did not believe I could be the leader God was trying to make me. Now God told me, “It’s time.”

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The next Immersion Course is this September 27 – October 2, 2009 with 8 spaces available – last I heard. Click here to register online.

TOB4uA couple discusses their journey from contraception to NFP to contraception and back to NFP again:

JEN: Our priest mentioned contraception during every examination of conscience. I thought, “But we have five children! We’ve been open to life and are physically, emotionally and financially at our limit. How bold of the Church to impose this teaching on everyone regardless of circumstance! Surely Father will agree we’re an exception.” I set up a meeting with him.

This meeting marked the beginning of a slow, sometimes painful, but glorious journey toward understanding God’s plan for sex. Father gave me God, Sex and the Meaning of Life, a CD by Christopher West. Tears filled my eyes as what I heard rang true in my heart. God’s design links sex and babies, yet we’d thought nothing of severing that link. Sexual intercourse is both life-giving and love-giving, and only by safeguarding both essential aspects will “true mutual love” in its fullest sense be preserved (Humanae Vitae, #12). I shared this with Frank, and he agreed to take an NFP class with me.

FRANK: I was skeptical of NFP and feared that Jen might now have the backing of the Church for not having sex. But I was willing to try nearly anything to alleviate the tension and frustration.

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Mark H., Founder of the King’s Men, attended Theology of the Body 1 Head to Heart Immersion Course in June 2004. In this testimony for the TOB Institute, Mark talks about what he learned from the Immersion Course and how it has helped in his ministry:

Armed with the profound knowledge of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, I and some other men have made it our full-time mission to build up the men of the Church to be true leaders, protectors and providers. We have taken on the multi-billion dollar pornography industry by articulating the dignity of the human person. This is the mission of the men’s lay apostolate, The King’s Men.

The fire which set ablaze The King’s Men began in the summer of 2004 with my journey towards the discovery of the Theology of the Body. It is a fairly typical story for most lay Catholics living in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that can be summed up in just two words: Christopher West. Christopher spoke at a Theology on Tap early that summer to what I believe was a record crowd. I had previously heard Christopher deliver some engaging and insightful talks on TOB from a cassette series. Since I was working full-time for the pro-life and chastity organization Generation Life attending the talk on theology of the body was important for my personal and professional development. While standing in line to meet Christopher West, I made the acquaintance of Tony Luna. Our conversation, fueled by the Holy Spirit and our own personal reactions to the talk, enabled me to discuss my own masculinity in a way that I had yet to experience in 29 years as a man. Tony and I had a mutual friend in Damian Wargo and together the three of us decided to explore how we as men could best live out the truths of our Catholic manhood through the lens of the Theology of the Body. Little did I know that God was going to use this evening to forever change the course of my life.

The Head & Heart Immersion course further opened my eyes to the profound understanding that Pope John Paul II had into the human condition.

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Find out more about Mark’s ministry at The next available Head to Heart Immersion Course for 2009 is September 27 – October 2 – Registration Deadline July 27. Find out how to register online.

Cory Larkin, a sophomore at William & Mary College (VA), shares his thoughts on Theology of the Body after studying at the TOB Institute’s Heat to Heart and Love and Responsibility Immersion Courses:

There is a great scene at the beginning of the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The wizard, Gandalf, catches a hobbit, Samwise Gamgee, eavesdropping on his conversation with Frodo about the great ring of power. Although Samwise could not fully understand the significance of what he was hearing, he was interested because he knew enough to realize that this was something big. Really big.

Hearing Christopher West speak in the summer of 2007, I felt just like Samwise. If asked to recount what I had heard, I would have tripped over my words in confusion as Sam did. However, there was no doubt in my mind that I had stumbled upon the greatest articulation of the truth of modern man and the Catholic faith. Blown away by Christopher’s conviction, sincerity, and enthusiasm complemented by “rock your world” theology, I was thirsting to learn more. My journey had begun. Eighteen months later, there continues to be no end in sight.

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This year’s Love and Responsibility Course is June 14-19, 2009 – Early registration ends March 31 with regular registration ending April 13. The next Head and Heart Immersion Course is June 28 – July 3, 2009 – registration ends April 27. Find out more details and registration information at the TOB Institute website.