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Gift of Life Conference Held in Calgary

THE COUPLES for Christ Canada Gift of Life Ministry, in partnership with the Life and Family Resource Centre of Diocese of Calgary, held a conference on Theology of the Body in 3D (Desire, Design & Destiny) at St. Bonaventure Parish. The church was full to capacity with an estimated 550 participants, majority of them young couples and some non-CFC. 


The Gift of Life Ministry headed by Vuoleen and Eden Ben and supervised by Lanny and Nancy Zacarias, were prime movers of the event, from ticket sales, to preparation and execution of the event. The Area Governance Team and some Chapter leaders were also present to extend a hand.


The presence and support of the Bishop of Calgary, His Excellency Bishop Frederick Henry was a blessing. As expected, main speaker Christopher West’s expertise on the Theology of the Body captured the audience and made them excited to know more. Jason Clarke, who set the mood with his short prayer and rendition of the song Sanctuary, likewise added to the spirit of the conference.


West’s topic in talk 1, entitled Desire, was about man’s burning desire for the true, the good, and the beautiful. People are born with an expectation to find satisfaction in life. That burning, yearning desire is always part of each individual. The Greek called this feeling, Eros. According to West, Eros should not be limited to romantic love or sexual desire but rather a yearning for Infinite Love and union; a yearning for something beyond.


“God’s mercy is available to us,” West added. “Like the saints who are mystics, we can take this opportunity to ask God for His mercy to guide and redirect our hunger… our yearning to the stars… to the infinite.”


“The goal in all of nature is life. Every living thing in creation is designed to reproduce,” West emphasized in Talk 2 on Design. He added that every plant, every tree, every blade of grass tells the story of the seed that found purchase in fertile soil.


“Indeed nature’s reproductive process is happening all around us all the time. If God is speaking to us through the natural world then it is clear that one of his favorite subjects is mating and fertility, coupling, and life-giving-ness,” he explained. He went on to stress that one has to be blind not to recognize this unending song of love and life everywhere.


West went on, “God created us as sexual beings (male and female) to tell the story of His own life giving love in the world, and to invite us to participate in that life giving love eternally.


This is the code written into the very design of our bodies, our deepest desires, and into the whole universe.”


Talk 3, which talked about Destiny had West stating the following fact from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme definitive happiness.” (CCC 1024)


He quoted Pope Paul VI: “Eternal life is not an unending succession of days on the calendar, but something more like the supreme moment of satisfaction in which totality embraces us and we embrace totality. It is like plunging into the ocean of infinite love… a plunging ever anew into the vastness of being, in which we are simply overwhelmed with joy, we must think along these lines if we want to understand what it is that our faith leads us to expect.” (Pope Paul VI, 12)


Dax Magsisi, National Gift of Life coordinator, exhorted the participants in his address: “Man is surrounded by the culture of death but there is no reason for us to fear. Fear can keep you a prisoner, but hope can set you free. God has shown us the way…Theology of the Body is our best antidote. Together let us keep that hope in us that eventually we will awaken that desire, embrace our design and eventually reach our destiny.” (Angie Magsisi)

Added on Friday, July 31, 2015



 

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