Love and relationships in the 21st century can be, well, complicated. Digital courtship, online presence and perceptions about sexual experience have a huge bearing on how we date, how a love relationship begins and how that relationship is nurtured.
The producers at MAX Studios, in collaboration with Rejoice Counseling, piloted a show about romance, relationships and religion – Agape & Eros.
C.S. Lewis teaches us that agape means charitable and unconditional love, and eros means being in love. The Agape & Eros show focuses on love and relationships while taking a look at how Catholic Christians live out relational love in our culture.
University of St. Thomas alumna Kayla Garza ’19, is the current Echo Apprentice with Notre Dame University, and knows the ups and downs of online dating in today’s culture.
“My experiences with online dating as a Catholic put me in a position that challenges my faith,” she said. “I have formed connections with people I have met, but more likely than not, they do not practice a faith and think that my faith is just a hobby rather than a way of life.”
She is presented with the choice encountered by most single Catholics who are dating – draw close to your faith or keep a connection with someone you’re interested in.
“It doesn’t seem like a hard choice (the answer being faith), but when you are looking for a relationship, that’s what you hope to get out of online dating,” Garza said. “Options seem limited, and it always comes down to me realizing more who I hope God has planned for me.”
In Agape & Eros, host Bridget Richardson, MAFC ’17, explores how we engage in relationships in the 21st century just like everyone. We online date, we stress about weddings and marriage, and we struggle to discern what path we’re actually called to.
“The Church needs to recognize what her people are encountering in the secular world to better minister to them,” Garza said.
The first episode was “How We First Met,” where married individuals shared the unique ways they met their spouses. The February episode featured Garza describing an unfortunate blind date experience.
Agape & Eros strives to tell a truly 21st century love story with the purity and beauty of God’s love for the world.
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