Christopher West delivers powerful message of love and hope.
“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw….
The life-changing, compelling talks by world known speaker and author Christopher West to an approximate 1000 South Africans during the week of 7 September through to 13 September, have left those who heard him, reeling.
Christopher used Jesus’ words from John1:39 as a back-drop to St JPII’s message of not only looking at creation but SEEING what He created. In all he touched on, regarding nature, sexuality, marriage, celibacy, Christopher brought the audience back to delving deeper into what it means to be part of Creation, what it means to be human, how do we find happiness in this world and of course the big question: what does it mean to Love? Do we just LOOK at people (as objects) or do we SEE them? Do we see Christ in the other as created in the Image of God? How do we live out this call to love in and through our bodies as male and female? Where are we headed and how do we experience redemption of our brokenness and pain?
Bringing in his unique, humerous method of teaching and talking, Christopher also shared much from his own life experiences which gave flesh to much of what JPII’s TOB is addressing. Infusing most of his talks with live music by accompanying musician Mike Mangioni, provided stirring variation to the talks.
Christopher gave talks to clergy, seminarians and religious in Joburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, in which he shared JPII’s vision of how celibacy for the Kingdom, contrary to being regarded as a rejection of sexuality, is a redirection of eros towards the ‘marriage of the lamb”.
Bearing his own life-story of confusion and sexual brokenness, the 90 minute talk to couples (many singles through divorce or death of spouse also attended!) illustrated how marriage is not a vocation to be taken lightly. Earthly Marriage as a tiny glimmer of the foreshadowing of the Marriage of Christ (the Groom) to His bride (the church) gave many couples – those engaged to be married as well as those already married – a deeper understanding of the Sacramentality of marriage – How Christ is made present through the union of the two!
The weekend event was the highlight. Christopher gave it his all. He delivered 7 talks over the two days – each one with its own enthusiasm, humour and excellent content. There were testimonies during the week that ensued of people who, through the clear understanding of what it means to be human, what love really means, how to live out that love and so much more, experienced healing and a deeper relationship with Christ and their faith. Confessions followed the weekend event and this went on for a good two hours!
Seeds were planted when he addressed the Cape Town general public at St Michael’s Rondebosch where he spoke for 1and half hours to young and old alike. His final talk was to the 40 plus clergy he addressed at Holy Cross House in Modderdam Road.
Christopher could only scratch the surface of the surface of JPII’s TOB! His talks left more questions than answers! To facilitate follow up sessions, programs have been organised by TOBSA. Please go to our website tobsa.co.za for more information.
About Marie-Anne te Brake
Happily married to Christo since 1980, mother of 4, and has half a dozen grandchildren! Enthusiastic Catholic, Lay Counselor, Sexuality Educator, Theology of the Body enthusiast and Chairperson of Foundation for the Person and the Family