Evangelical Charity Engagement Family Ministry Discipleship Formation Worship Podcast
Episode 17: Christopher West

“The Gospel is not a call to crush the desires of our hearts…we are invited by Jesus to the super abundant fulfillment of those desires” In this episode of Encounter Grow Witness, Fr. Steve Pullis and Beth Spizarny welcome world-renowned speaker and author Christopher West. Our guest shares about the power of the Theology of the Body as the key to understanding ourselves, our vocations, our world, and the heart of God. He gives insights into how to live a life of intimate communication with God while serving in ministry, and how John Paul II’s writings can unlock how we view our own bodies.

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Show notes:

(00:04) Fr. Steve welcomes fellow co-host Beth Spizarny and the episode’s guest, Christopher West who will be hosting an event here in the Archdiocese of Detroit at St. Joseph in Lake Orion on Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00PM. The event is called Made for More: Visions of the Promised Land. The focus of the event will be to “get in touch with the deepest desires” of our hearts. Christopher shares that “the Gospel is not a call to crush the desires of our hearts…we are invited by Jesus to the super abundant fulfillment of those desires.” Christopher explains that our desires are not too strong, but too weak.

(9:10) “You will be given hope.” Christopher West explains the vision of his upcoming event in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He says that the Theology of the Body is the “answer to the crisis of our times. We don’t know what it means to be male and female any more…our job at this event is to break it (the Theology of the Body) open so that it resonates with the human heart.” He explains that the Theology of the Body is not simply for marriage preps and those in ‘sex-ed’ but for every human heart because this rich teaching explains to us what it means to be human.

(13:55) Beth asks Christopher West about his prayer life and how he stays connected to God in his ministry. He tells us that his spiritual director helps him keep his priorities ordered: focus on intimacy with God, living his vocation as a husband and father, and then his ministry of serving others. He felt initially in his ministry he had his goals upside down and that this advice has saved his vocation and his ministry-- but most of all his soul. “Authentic Christian prayer is messy, because our hearts are messy.” Fr. Steve reminds us that prayer isn’t on “my terms’ because God has his own plans for our time spent with him. Beth mentions how the book “The Soul of the Apostolate” has helped her.

(26:27) God is Beauty is Christopher West’s new book which is a commentary on St. John Paul II’s retreat for artists. “All of us are called to make of our lives a work of art.” The hosts and guests share how they’ve been touched by the invitation to view ourselves as masterpieces that radiate our Creator. Christopher invites us to have great joy and faith in God’s goodness. Thanks for listening.