In the fall of 2002, I was pregnant with my first child and a fairly new parish employee. I was tapped to drive a couple of teenagers to a neighboring town to hear Jason Evert speak. The talk was designed for teens, and though I cringe to call it a chastity talk (that just sounds so…boring, and the evening was more exciting than any of the concerts I’ve attended), that’s what it was.

Maybe Evert stole my heart when he mentioned that his wife would be there, except that she had just given birth to their first child.

More likely, though, it was Evert’s reference to John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and his enthusiastic endorsement of Christopher West. I followed his advice and purchased a CD downstairs.

Father Pat would tell you he hasn’t heard the end of it since then. My husband would tell you it’s a bit of an obsession of mine.

I would tell you that these three men–Jason Evert, Christopher West, and John Paul II–changed my life by changing my heart. They showed me the beauty of God’s design for our bodies and they made me dig into my Bible, Church teaching, and the world around me with a new appreciation.

Before I knew it, I was leading a book study on Good News About Sex and Marriage and listening to Naked without Shame. It wasn’t long before my Adoration time had me immersed in the text of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and cross-referencing it with Christopher West’s companion, Theology of the Body Explained. I read the text a second time and then there was an updated version of TOB (which I have not, sadly, yet read).

All of that brings me to the latest book by Christopher West, At the Heart of the Gospel: Reclaiming the Body for the New Evangelization, which I read as part of the Patheos Book Club.

–>Read the rest of my review and comments over at the Patheos Book Club blog.

Want to win a copy? It’s part of my big February book giveaway, so be sure to enter!