St. Gertrude the Great & the Divine Gaze

On November 16th, the Catholic Church celebrates the memorial of St. Gertrude the Great (1256-1302). In a General Audience on October 6, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of her as “one of the most famous mystics, the only German woman to be called ‘Great’, because of her cultural and evangelical stature: her life and her thought had a unique impact on Christian spirituality… She was in close communion with God both in contemplation and in…

Mind, Body, Spirit: A Fitness Model Encounters TOB

Growing up I was fascinated by the appearance of fitness models and always desired to look like one because they radiated strength, confidence, independence, and beauty.  I was determined to do whatever it took to alter the appearance of my body through diet and exercise at the young age of sixteen. After six years of competing in fitness model competitions it left me feeling worthless and empty.  Through dieting I became obsessed with my body and found my worth in how well I…

How a Dating Fast is Helping Me Live TOB

I’ve always considered myself independent, willing to embark on adventure. This has lead me to study for a semester in Rome, intern across the country at TOBI during college, and even become a missionary where I have the opportunity to speak to students across the country about Theology of the Body. There are many comforts that God has asked me to give up during this time that he’s called me to be His missionary, one…

Healing the Body (of Christ): TOB & Your Protestant Friends

October 31st, 2017 will be a big day in the Protestant world, especially my Lutheran world. It will mark 500 years since a young priest named Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses in Wittenberg, Germany, the event considered to be the start of the Protestant Reformation.  But its hard to call such an anniversary a “celebration.” True, reform was needed and certainly much good came of it, including the Council of Trent. But the splintering of western Christianity – these divisive wounds in the Body of Christ –…

Joyful and Celibate

I have started to describe my life in terms of “before TOB” and “after TOB” to friends and family since the Head and Heart Immersion Course last June.  “Before TOB,” I attended Mass on Sundays and was slightly active in my parish. “After TOB,” I am open to vocation as a celibate single person. At a retreat I attended last March, I heard fellow attendees say things that struck me deeply such as, “God wants to marry us,” and “We are all called to holiness.”  I…

5 Ways to Live Theology of the Body in Your Family

Pope Francis’s recent apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) has captured in a beautifully intimate way what the Theology of the Body should look like as a marital and familial spirituality. With true tenderness, the pope shows how it is in the intimate garden of the human family that the theology of our bodies first breaks into the soil of human history, allowing our personalities to grow, ascend, and blossom into the larger world. Marriage and the…

He Moves in Mysterious Ways

I am very drawn to Therese of Lisieux’s “Little Way”, which embraces cultivating love in the everyday moments of our lives.  In this way, we show our love for God and become saints.  Similarly, God uses apparent coincidence and the stuff of this world to show His love for us.  Please ponder with me the ways that God revealed and affected His love in me surrounding loss of children, Theology of the Body Institute retreats, and spiritual direction.  I pray this leads you to recognize your own unique love…

Homily for the Body and Blood of Christ – Year C

“This is my body, which is given up for you.”  How many of us even pay attention when we hear those words, week in and week out? Are we really conscious of what we are hearing proclaimed to us not just by the priest who utters those words but also by Christ himself? Or have we become so desensitized to the meaning of the spoken word that those words—words which evoke the power of life…

Testimony: Our Lady of Fatima & My Priesthood

I am grateful to share a few thoughts with you for this “testimonial” I am giving as I approach the 10th year of my ordination to the Sacred Priesthood of Jesus Christ this coming May 13, 2016-The Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. I feel guided by the Holy Spirit and obligated to Our Mother Mary to do this as an act of gratitude to Our Lady and my Father for using the Theology of the Body as an…

Homily for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity – Year C

Just as there is a difference from knowing a person is poor and homeless and knowing a homeless person in the sense of knowing who they are and having a relationship with them, so it is with God. The Church teaches us that one does not need to have the gift of faith to know that God exists. One can look at a beautiful actor or actress, a great athlete, or a beautiful sunset over…