We all long for love. We all long for the joy of love. There is no greater sign of love than marriage. There is no greater school of love than the family. This is God’s original and enduring plan for us to know and grow in love and joy!
Families are the fundamental “cell” of society, and marriage is its nucleus. Our marriages and families need more help than ever to live their irreplaceable role in the formation of joyful, loving human beings on earth and in heaven.
The welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church. Pope Francis The Joy of Love #31
In marriage, the joy of love needs to be cultivated. When the search for pleasure becomes obsessive, it holds us in thrall and keeps us from experiencing other satisfactions. Joy, on the other hand, increases our pleasure and helps us find fulfillment in any number of things, even at those times of life when physical pleasure has ebbed. Saint Thomas Aquinas said that the word “joy” refers to an expansion of the heart. Marital joy can be experienced even amid sorrow; it involves accepting that marriage is an inevitable mixture of enjoyment and struggles, tensions and repose, pain and relief, satisfactions and longings, annoyances and pleasures, but always on the path of friendship, which inspires married couples to care for one another: “they help and serve each other”. The Joy of Love #126
The joy to be alive is the ultimate reason for everything. Everything. Joy is the prized fruit of love – confirming and affirming true love from its many counterfeits. Love is the mutual sharing of life, in freedom, for the good of the other. The freedom of this “gift of self” for another determines the depth of love, and the fullness of joy. Joy is beautiful!
The search for joy explains every human act – good, bad, and ugly. The need for joy explains every human desire – good, bad, and ugly. The fulfillment of joy is the heart of the entire Salvation Story of Jesus Christ – Creation, Fall, Incarnation and Redemption. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)
The fullest and richest vision of the truth and meaning of marriage and the family flows from the joy to be made male and female with the capacity to know and grow in holiness through love.
What is joytob?
“The family: This is the place where the Theology of the Body and the Theology of Love are interwoven.”Pope Benedict XVI, May 13, 2011
joytob is the new teaching ministry of Damon Owens dedicated to proclaiming the joy of being made in the image and likeness of God, male and female. Drawing on over twenty years of lectures, motivational speaking, writing, and TV/radio presentations, Damon joyfully acclaims the goodness, truth, and beauty of human sexuality and its deepest meaning fulfilled by men and women who freely choose motherhood and fatherhood through marriage or celibacy for the sake of Heaven.
Using St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and seminal documents on marriage and the family including Family in the Modern World (Familiaris Consortio), Letter to Families, Love is our Mission: The Family Fully Alive, and Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), we proclaim the joy of marriage and family, encouraging and educating with the best of theology, Sacred Scripture, philosophy, biology, and psychology. Engaging people wherever they are in their faith journey, joytob leads with the joy, wonder and awe of God’s amazing gifts of love, grace, and mercy offered to us.
joytob is formed to uniquely assist in that mission to transform the world with education, encouragement and evangelization through various media and technologies. Passionate yet propositional, the ministry reflects the naturalness and ease of Damon’s Catholic faith with his sense of urgency to tend to the wounded in our culture with the medicine of the Gospel.
joytob addresses the most important issues, concerns and crises in our hearts with the rich wisdom of the Catholic Faith, in particular, the truth of the human person synthesized in Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. With passion, wit, humor, and courage, Damon leads this search for goodness, beauty, and truth wherever they lead.
joytob answers the call of the New Evangelization for new ardor, methods, and zeal to make Jesus Christ known to the world through speaking events, articles, books, blogs, online channels, and audio and video productions. Firmly rooted both in the culture and in the Catholic faith, joytob not only bridges the cultural divide, but promotes authentic dialogue grounded by the Gospel values of mercy, compassion, goodness, beauty, and truth. Jesus Christ continues to invite his people to receive the fullness of God’s love and joy, and His Church continually renews her mission to be the place of that encounter today.
Primary means of developing the new platform will be nationwide talks (Men’s Conferences, Women’s Conferences, Diocesan Conferences, parishes, marriage and family apostolates, etc.), CD’s, online videos, social media commentary, radio and television appearances, and outreach to Church leadership and apostolates offering consulting on implementing Amoris Laetitia in marriage ministry.
Why Theology of the Body (TOB)?
“Theology of the Body” or TOB is how Pope St. John Paul II described a series of 129 short weekly talks he gave from September 1979 to November 1984. These talks on human love in God’s divine plan were drawn from a manuscript he had completed just before his election to the papacy. Rather than publish his reflections, he modified them to deliver to the weekly visitors to St. Peter’s Square for the traditional Wednesday Angelus Prayer and Addresses. The TOB is a biblical reflection on the meaning of human embodiment as male and female in the beginning of Creation, now in history, and forever in Heaven.
The TOB invites us to ponder the mystery that connects us (and all of Creation) with our Creator from the body to the union of man and woman, the union of Christ and the Church, upward into the very inner life of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Through the TOB, St. John Paul II asks and answers three fundamental human questions: “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”, and “How do I live a life of true joy?”
Damon Owens, an international speaker and evangelist for over 20 years, is the founder and executive director of joytob. Following four-years as the first executive director of the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia, he served as Chairman of the 2016 International Theology of the Body Congress. In 2002 after 16 years in the technology sector, he sold out of his firm and founded Joy-Filled Marriage New Jersey, and New Jersey Natural Family Planning Association, non-profit organizations dedicated to building a marriage culture through training, seminars, and conferences. Damon and his wife Melanie taught Natural Family Planning (NFP) for 14 years, and served as NFP Coordinators for the Archdiocese of Newark (NJ).
A Certified Speaker for the Theology of the Body Institute, National Trainer for Ascension Press, and presenter at the 2015 World Meeting of Families, Damon keeps a full international speaking schedule at conferences, marriage seminars, universities, high schools, seminaries, and parishes on the good news of marriage, sexuality, Theology of the Body, Theology of the Family, adoption, and NFP.
Damon currently lives outside Philadelphia with his wife Melanie and their eight children.
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