Colin Nykaza, a popular high school speaker affiliated with the Goretti Group, addressed Notre Dame undergraduates in his talk, “Made for Ecstasy: Drugs, Alcohol, Sex…God?”  Rodzinka, a club for promoting Catholic culture particularly the importance of the family, sponsored his talk, which took place during a homemade meal in the Knights of Columbus building.

“Young people are starving,” he said, “and when you’re starving, the half-eaten cheeseburger in the bottom of the dumpster looks pretty good.” Nykaza said that young people are starving for genuine love and affection, but typically find only unsatisfying sexual encounters, repressive rules, and distrust of their own hearts.

Nykaza seeks to offer a compelling answer to this hunger through John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. He claimed that the young generation has grown up with conflicting messages. There’s the repressive rules system, the “no big deal, do whatever” system, and the “really big deal, use a condom” system. But what people are really looking for is love, ecstasy, and power, which can only be ultimately fulfilled by God, and truly fulfilled here in genuine, life-giving relationships.

He said another conflicting message for youth is the fact that their parents were especially victim to the ever-present heresy, “Spirit – good. Body – bad.” But if all of creation reveals the glory of God, humanity, made in his image, does this most – not only with our spirits, but with our bodies, as God reveals himself physically in the incarnation and the sacraments. Every person individually reveals something about God that no one else in creation can reveal.

Ultimately, God is love, a Trinity of giving and responding. Although Christianity has always used sex and marriage as an analogy for God and the Church, our culture is uncomfortable with it because we have learned to look at sex through a prism of lust. Our job is to look at our language, actions, and reactions, and try to change this into a prism of love. Sex is like a sign, pointing to the eternal bliss, ecstasy, and union of Heaven.

Because we all innately know that we are made for ecstasy, for something more, even our popular musicians are what he describes as “twisted mystics.” Nykaza quoted several song lyrics and showed how they point to a sense of the infinite and eternal, and then explained how God can use music to speak to us.

Sex, Nykaza said, is a sign pointing to eternal bliss and union of Heaven. As people with one sex or the other, we point to Christ and the Church – men, as representatives of Christ, give love. Women, a sign of the Church respond to love, and their bodies receive, especially in their wombs. Sexuality is a special gift from God that gives us the power to love as He loves.  Similarly, Nykaza quoted John Paul II’s comment that the problem with pornography isn’t that it shows too much of a person – it is that it shows too little.

Rachel Talley, a junior chemical engineering major, will be heading Rodzinka next semester, and encourages everyone to come. The club will meet every other Thursday at 7:00 pm next semester in the Knights of Columbus Building. If you have any questions, contact her at