‘You’: New Project Helps Teens Learn God’s Plan for Love

Ascension Press DVD series offers timeless wisdom from St. John Paul II, as explained by popular youth speakers.

(photo: Courtesy of Ascension Press )

How can we get teenagers to care about the important things like chastity and love — especially love?

Is there a key to reaching them on the deepest level so that they will guard their hearts and souls and live out God’s plan for love?

The beauty of divine truth might just grab their attention if they understood that it is the very key to their happiness.

YOU: Life, Love and Theology of the Body does that, and does it exceptionally well. It is a 10-week DVD series with a cast of some of the most popular speakers for young people. They talk about what it means to be a man or woman, they confess some very personal mistakes (honestly yet tastefully), and impart what it means to protect the beauty and dignity of the human person.

The series is grounded in St. John Paul II’s talks on theology of the body and his book Love and Responsibility. It opens with Ennie Hickman, president of Adore Ministries, asking, “Why do we care so much what people think about us? Why do we work so hard to fit in?” He explains that, regardless of what others think, we were created good in the eyes of God, and we cannot lose his love — no matter what we wear or what we do.

Brian Butler, co-founder of Dumb Ox Ministries, talks about pursuing love and admits he once cared more about the body than the person. “God made us for love,” he said. “Pope John Paul II said that man cannot live without love; his life is senseless without it.”

“It was God who gave us the desires that lead to relationships,” Butler stated. If we are going to build good relationships based on love, Butler said, we need discernment to make good choices and to pursue the good of another person.

Jason and Crystalina Evert, founders of the Chastity Project, speak about their own past and invite kids to join them in a beautiful future. Jason explained that John Paul II was called the “Eternal Teenager” because he loved to hike with groups of young people. They often asked him questions about such things as love and relationships. “Of those 60 teens that used to hike with him, none of them ever got a divorce,” Jason said. “If we discover what he was telling them, it’s obvious why.”

“God is obsessed with the human heart,” according to Jason, “because whoever wins the heart wins everything. … Purity isn’t being numb to God’s creation of masculinity and femininity, but lust will cover up the absence of love.”

He explains that St. John Paul taught that chastity is the sure way to happiness.

Crystalina shared her experience in high school of confusing love with using people. She explained that when she met her husband, Jason, the difference was like night and day: “Our purity was our superglue.” The type of love they had was safe and genuine, Crystalina said. “I knew he wanted what was best for me. He was taking me closer to God, not away from God.”

Rapper-priest Father Josh Johnson talks about building virtues to overcome vices and warns people to pay attention to media choices, such as music. “Listening to sexually inappropriate music: It’s going to get us to think about lust rather than Baby Jesus,” he said. “We were created to abide with Jesus Christ in our hearts. Music can communicate truth, but it can also communicate lies through relativism.”

Homosexuality, marriage, natural family planning, the priesthood and consecrated life are all discussed in this program to help form teenagers in Catholic truth.

As Father Johnson explains, “Truth and freedom either go hand and hand together or they perish in misery.  Sin cannot satisfy us in the depths of our hearts. … We were created for virtue and freedom from our vices. … God gives us the strength, and all things are possible through his grace.”


Patti Armstrong writes from North Dakota.