Some skeptics may believe that the only thing God has to say about sex is “Don’t do it!” West, a popular author (At the Heart of the Gospel), speaker, and faculty member at the Theology of the Body Institute, attempts to dispel this perception and introduce a more nuanced and holistic approach to Catholic teaching about sexuality. With a solid foundation in natural law theory and Pope John Paul II’s “theology of the body,” the author attempts to navigate a middle way between a discouraging fear of human sexuality and an overindulgence in carnal desires, which he believes to be all too common in contemporary culture. West encourages all people to be mystics and attempt to encounter the glorious mystery of God in daily life. This will enable everyone to discern what is true, beautiful, and good so that people of faith do not waste time and energy pursuing desires that lead to dead ends. The traditional Catholic worldview that the author presents, unfortunately, will not resonate with everyone. The most valuable take-home message for all is that we should consider where our desires might lead us before acting upon them. (Jan. 8)
The bestselling author, speaker, and teacher of John Paul II's Theology of the Body explores the yearning we all have for God and each other.
Fill These Hearts is a book about desire. Not trivial wants or superficial cravings, but the most vital powers of body and soul, sexuality and spirituality, that haunt us and compel us on our search for something. Weaving life-altering lessons together from classical and contemporary art, pop music, movies, and the Christian mystical tradition, popular theologian Christopher West explores the ancient but largely forgotten idea that the restless, erotic yearnings we feel in both our bodies and our spirits reveal the cry of our hearts for God. Along the way, West blows the lid off the idea of Christianity as a repressive, anti-sex religion by demonstrating that Christ came to stretch and inflame our desire for love and union to the point of infinity.
"Well done! Christopher West has done a masterful job of confronting the inherent dualism lurking in much of modern Western theology, exposing the deepest longings of the human soul as an authentic yearning for union with God.”
–Wm. Paul Young, author of The Shack and Cross Roads
"Fill These Hearts is a cultural balm. Christopher West writes with great love, of great love, drawing readers into His Sacred Heart."
–Kathryn Jean Lopez, nationally syndicated columnist and editor-at-large, National Review
"Christopher West has a great gift for theological exploration. In this book he weaves lessons from classical and contemporary art, pop music, movies and the Christian mystical tradition to explore the ancient idea that the yearnings we feel in our bodies and spirits reveal the cry of our hearts for God."
–Nicky Gumbel, vicar and bestselling author of Questions of Life
"Drawing deeply from the well of the Theology of the Body, Christopher West explains that the Faith is not simply about following a code of conduct but about Beauty. The beauty of the human body, the beauty of our culture and the beauty of the whole cosmos are all a reflection of this same Beauty. This is the mystery that needs to be proclaimed joyfully for all to hear for it holds the key to joy in this life and the next, for each of us. Above all, West writes with this joy."
–David Clayton, Artist in Residence and Fellow at Thomas More College
"Christopher West is a gifted and effective evangelist with a passion for tackling one of the greatest obstacles to belief today: the heresy that Christianity is a joyless, rule-bound religion. Not so, argues West, in this timely, powerful book. Drawing upon Scripture, the saints and the glimmers of truth in pop culture, West reminds us that Christianity is essentially a love story, and Christian sexual ethics exist to help us fulfill, not repress, our deepest desires. For anyone who has ever doubted that Christ’s call to purity of heart is good news, Fill These Hearts will prove a surprising and consoling read, one with the potential to change your life as well as your mind."
–Colleen Carroll Campbell, author of My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir
"In Fill These Hearts, Christopher West explains the nature of desire, freedom, and love, including erotic love. He does so as a believing Catholic, yes. But if you come to this book with the typical prejudices aimed at what Catholics believe about these things, you are likely to be shaken to your very core. Be warned: this book is unlike any other you’ve ever read. It holds up the spirit of our age – as expressed in modern, presumed “secular” idioms like rock ‘n’ roll and popular movies – and places it under the searchlight of the most fundamental understandings of human nature. What emerges is a book that is as knowing about the modern world as it is about the teachings of Christ and the mystic-saints who have followed him throughout the ages. In fact, West brings these phenomena together in a way that has never been done before, and does so without a false note on either score."
–John Waters, columnist, The Irish Times and author of Lapsed Agnostic
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.94(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.92(d)|
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Excerpted from "Fill These Hearts"
Copyright © 2013 Christopher West.
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