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Fill These Hearts: A Geeky Review

Christopher West’s “Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing” is, in essence, a book about desire. No, it’s not about the empty, selfish desire that’s advertised by much of our media today. It is about the most desperate desires that are found in the hearts of people around the world….and how they should be oriented in order to fulfill our need to feel joy, pleasure, and all other wonderful feelings that are meant to be but a taste of things to come. As West points out, we tend to follow one of two extremes when it comes to desire. We either follow the “starvation diet” or the “fast food diet. We tend to either deny desire altogether or gorge ourselves on it.” Both of these approaches have their pros, but they also have quite a few cons. As West brilliantly points out, both approaches are wrong and doomed to fail in one way or another. Even so, we normally don’t even consider the possibility of another, more fulfilling option that has been tried and tested by many mystics before us...an option that allows us to truly experience desire as it should be experienced.

As a Catholic who has read Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body,” I thought that I had read all I needed to read regarding sex and desire as they are meant to be experienced. I was wrong. “Fill These Hearts” contained the same message as “Theology of the Body,” but in a more down-to-earth manner. Essentially, this book is about orienting our desires in a manner that allows us to unite ourselves with God. Using pop culture references, his own experiences, and quite a few great quotes by saints and sinners alike, Christopher West explores the subject of desire in a way that just about anyone can relate to.

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who, like me, is on the path to marriage. I would also recommend it to anyone who is still in the dating scene or considering a serious relationship. It will certainly help you avoid many of the mistakes that my fiancé and I made over the years. Many of these mistakes are almost ingrained in us from the beginning due to skewed messages of love that we are fed by everything from seemingly innocent Disney movies to the smuttiest of magazine covers. We are, in a sense, almost set up to fail in a world where divorce rates are so high and where so many of us are stuck in relationships that are failing to make us truly happy. The book contains some pretty powerful messages and will certainly inspire you to orient your desires in a way that will not only enrich your life and improve your relationships, but also draw you closer to God.

The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I was offered a copy of Christopher West’s “Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing” for review.

Pax Vobiscum

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