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Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  152 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
The bestselling author, speaker, and teacher of John Paul II's Theology of the Body explores the yearning we all have for God and each other.

Fill These Hearts is a book about desire. Not trivial wants or superficial cravings, but the most vital powers of body and soul, sexuality and spirituality, that haunt us and compel us on our search for something. Weaving life-alterin
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Image (first published November 13th 2012)
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Jun 09, 2013 Nefficus rated it really liked it
West has given us another eminently readable window into the core of the Christian message and the gift of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body: that God, who is love, wants and longs for intimate communion with us - a communion that will ultimately be fulfilled in the ecstasy of heaven. West does a great job of contrasting two other world views - the "fast food diet" of materialists, and the "starvation diet" of the stoics (who are often mistakenly believed to be teaching orthodox ...more
Pat Gohn
Feb 19, 2013 Pat Gohn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: High school age and up
I've read most of what Christopher West has written, and while this book does not add anything new to what I've heard him teach about the main ideas and themes surrounding the Theology of Body, I'm very impressed by the synthesis and delivery of this volume. Every chapter makes succinct points, uses careful analogy, and offers thoughtful and straight talk from a man who is totally immersed and personally transformed by this subject matter. While I've heard this message before, from a craft ...more
Ana Rodriguez
Mar 21, 2013 Ana Rodriguez rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing was a very religious book more than any thing. Christopher West explains his thoughts on the deepest longings of the human soul the yearnings we feel in our bodies and longings we have.
Christopher West explains questions of love and sexuality from a Catholics point of view.
Many theories on the biblical meaning of love.
This novel is a great tool for a teen in understanding of human sexuality.
Writer speaks of filling that need sexually and bod
Nov 16, 2013 Ryan rated it really liked it
Great book on a tough subject that people generally don't discuss. The book really clears up some things and cuts through society's take that sex is fine with anyone, anytime. Sometimes a bit repetitive but mostly just for effect. Would recommend to anyone curious about the subject.
Stephen Case
Dec 10, 2015 Stephen Case rated it liked it
What do a bunch of celibate men have to tell the world about marriage, love, and sex? Apparently quite a bit if those celibates are men like Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Christopher West’s slender text, Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing is an attempt to unpack the Catholic Church’s richly developed and under-appreciated theology of the body, though his desire to make this theology accessible to the widest audience possible at times makes it feel an exposition writ in ...more
Mar 11, 2013 Stuart rated it really liked it
I must admit that this is my first time reading not only the author, but also the subject, so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from Fill These Hearts. The first thing I noticed, though, was the precise organization of this book. Broken into three parts, "Desire, Design, and Destiny," Mr. West displayed a clear thought pattern of where he wanted to take you in this book. I appreciated the alliterative sections as it made the message of this book easier to remember. What exactly is our ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Jean rated it it was amazing

I have read nearly all of Christopher West’s books, and, in my opinion, Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing is his best book to date. In Fill These Hearts, West has done a masterful job in weaving together lessons from classical and contemporary art, literature, music, movies, and the Christian mystical tradition to explain the deep yearnings within our bodies and spirits as revealing the cry of our hearts for God.

West believes that most people view the Christian life as a lif
Apr 09, 2014 George rated it it was ok
Shelves: christianity
First of all, this is only a new book of sorts. Essentially reiterating previous writings, it is the first being published after the voluntary hiatus from public view. As such, Christopher West repeats his disdain for what he describes as stoic Christianity (although I assume he means Catholicism, he applies the broader term to incorporate Protestantism as well - maybe intentionally?) in relation to sexual morality. First of all however he neglects the Christian/Catholic tradition - the Greek ...more
J.T. Therrien
May 15, 2014 J.T. Therrien rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite Christopher West/Theology of the Body (TOB) texts. In Fill These Hearts the complex theological doctrine of the TOB is simplified and rendered readily accessible. The theme of the book is how the ideas of the Theology of the Body pervade our popular culture, including lyrics in popular pop songs. West begins each chapter by quoting from such pop groups as U2 and Steve Winwood (among many others) and then discusses in a very informal way central points in the TOB ...more
May 31, 2013 Marianne rated it liked it
this is the kind of book that only a certain type of person in a certain moment in their life will read . . .

christopher west is not the most brilliant writer, but he does have the gift of conveying profound christian concepts in very simple, navigable ways. this can prove to be a gem of a talent when attempting to share the Gospel with the wavering Christian. or, in my case, the Christian who needs a little bit of a wake-me-up.

however, i'm not sure i could simply hand this to a lukewarm Christi
Feb 06, 2013 Yvonne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-5-books, faith
I wish every teenager, every newly engaged, every married couple and every single person would read this book. No words can describe how this book affected me. It was easily understood, without going to the dictionary to look up words. How can one tell another person how Christopher West was able to help me realize that living a life of passion, a life in the zone and being a rascal(in a good sense) is how we are meant to live. How many wrong turns would have been avoided in my own life had I ...more
Luke Daghir
Jun 05, 2016 Luke Daghir rated it it was amazing
Christopher West is an extraordinary author discussing desire, and our longing to be one with Christ. This book opened my heart to the immense truths of growing up, sexual desires, and my own longing for Christ.

I recommend this book to all younger individuals. This book leads to an expansion of heart; not just to love more, but also to be loved more.

My favorite aspect of this book was the focus on desire. Our longing for that which is true, good, and beautiful. Also, West's explanation of sin
Jun 23, 2013 Gerald rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this, especially religious seekers. This book explains how Catholicism (Universal Church) is where it's at.

This is the best book that West has written that I have read.

Uses popular music and movies to show points effectively which is a good addition from his other writings/talks that I have read/heard. You can't go wrong by using The Shawshank Redemption to show a point.

Dr. West's time off from the public scene seems to have done him well. (I didn't see any problems with his
Sarah Romero
Aug 15, 2013 Sarah Romero rated it it was amazing
Upon completing this book, here is the text I sent to the cousin who introduced me to and let me borrow it to read:
"My parents once asked me, 'Why do you ALWAYS have to be in a relationship?' This book answers that. I now know what I was chasing."

If more people were brought to an awareness of the source of their desire, taught to embrace it, and correctly direct it, I think we would all be clamoring for that eternal, infinite, blissful wedding feast in Heaven where our true desire is finally sa
Jessica Tiettmeyer
Aug 18, 2015 Jessica Tiettmeyer rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing. It's a really good read for young adults who are struggling with sex in secular culture. It was recommended to me by a priest and I was not disappointed in the slightest. In fact, this book is being passed around my friend group and everyone has really seemed to enjoy it. For anyone who longs for some theological explanation of healthy sexuality, this book is for you!
Apr 17, 2013 Matt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: catholic, christian
This book is beautifully written, and gives me a new perspective on life and on my faith. I see the themes of this book everywhere now - in the Liturgy of the Hours, in the readings at Mass, in books and songs. Christopher West is right on!
Rosalyn Rapsinski
Jul 01, 2013 Rosalyn Rapsinski rated it really liked it
I found it to be a good overview of TOB in layman's terms. The use of songs/movies helped with the overall understanding of what was being explained. I've had classes with Christopher West, and nothing can top that experience -- so 4 stars.
Apr 08, 2013 Lauren rated it it was amazing
SO GOOD. Read it. I've read all of Christopher West's books, and this is his most mature, well-developed, beautiful, and true book. It is simultaneously simple and deep. Read it; it does not disappoint.
Apr 10, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: catholic-authors
"And this, it seems, helps explain why great sinners are often the ones who become great saints...As Saint Augustine is often cited as saying: 'He who loses himself in his passion is last lost than he who loses his passion.'"
May 01, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: catholic, lsg
Through use of modern songs and images, Christopher West explains the Church's teachings on sexuality in a less formally theological way.

Fresh and new - and didn't quote himself a million times. CW, I'm not mad at ya.
Mar 28, 2013 Umberto rated it did not like it
Filled with religeous presumptions, and sloppy analogies. I enjoyed the refrences to art and other works of literature.
Jed Park
Jun 19, 2013 Jed Park rated it really liked it
Excellent critique of the Catholic teaching on our yearning for God vs the world's lies. I hope to read this again soon.
Resilient Noel
May 25, 2016 Resilient Noel rated it it was amazing
Exceptional book :)
Thank you Holy Spirit:)

This book is something we can always run to, if we find our desires twisted, this book will definitely help untwist it.
Jeff rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2013
Kathryn rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2016
Emma Smith
Emma Smith rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2015
Bill Bradford
Bill Bradford rated it really liked it
Mar 08, 2015
Hails rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2014
Blair rated it really liked it
May 27, 2016
Rachel Spetrino
Rachel Spetrino rated it it was amazing
Feb 18, 2015
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Christopher West is a research fellow and faculty member of the Theology of the Body Institute. He is also one of the most sought after speakers in the Church today, having delivered more than 1000 public lectures on 4 continents, in more than a dozen countries, and in over 200 American cities. His books – Good News About Sex & Marriage, Theology of the Body Explained, and Theology of the Body ...more
More about Christopher West...

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“We don’t only want to be loved at “our best”; we want—in fact, we need—to be loved at our worst. We need to be loved in our nakedness: warts, blemishes, and all.” 0 likes
“A newspaper is better than a magazine. A seashore is a better place than the street. At first it is better to run than to walk. You may have to try several times. It takes some skill, but it is easy to learn. Even young children can enjoy it. Birds seldom get too close. Rain, however, soaks in very fast. One needs lots of room. If there are no complications it can be very peaceful. A rock will serve as an anchor. If things break loose from it, however, you will not get a second chance.” 0 likes
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