Last month, hundreds came from across the Archdiocese of Melbourne and beyond to experience Made for More—an evening of art, animation, live music, humour and powerful talks by world-renowned Theology of the Body expert and speaker Dr Christopher West and singer-guitarist Mike Mangione.

Over two nights, on 24 and 25 January, people of all ages, including a number of young families and young people, gathered at St Francis of Assisi Parish in Mill Park, and at St Mary’s Parish, Dandenong, for the Melbourne leg of the Made for More tour, which followed successful events in Sydney and Auckland.

Dr West and Mangione, both from the Theology of the Body Institute, delivered an engaging and thought-provoking message about the ways that God reveals who he is, and what it means for a person to be created in God’s image.

Beginning by highlighting the difference between being looked at as a mere ‘body’ and being truly seen—body and soul—as a human person created in God’s image, Dr West explained that each of us is ‘somebody’: ‘You are seen, you are known and you are profoundly loved.’

In a modern culture that often looks but does not see, he said, St John Paul II’s Theology of the Body was ‘nothing but an invitation straight from the heart of Christ’ to become someone who can change another person’s life by truly seeing the other. Dr West encouraged his audience to view and treat other people as indispensable, irreplaceable and unrepeatable.

Discussing prayer, he affirmed the late Pope Benedict XVI’s call for people to become a ‘living prayer’, which means living a life that ‘longs for God’. Relationships, marriage, sacraments, sexual difference, and our ultimate destiny and union with God were some of the important themes explored throughout the two-and-a-half-hour session.

Audience members felt uplifted and challenged by the messages of love, hope and wonder that were presented, with one attendee, Jennifer, remarking that Dr West ‘went into a different depth than what you would usually get from a Theology of the Body talk. He gave this perspective that usually isn’t found when people talk about sexuality … It was quite eye-opening, and entertaining as well.’

A stall at the event also invited young people to consider joining the Archdiocese of Melbourne’s pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, which will take place in August this year and is a life-changing opportunity for young people to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ.

As one attendee, Maree, observed at the end of the evening, Made for More had helped her to come to a more meaningful understanding of the body, showing her that, ultimately, ‘the human body orients us towards God.’