Hello all! My name is Gabriel Milano, and I am honored to be the newest addition to the TOBET family, working as a speaker and content creator. Monica Ashour asked me to give a brief snapshot of my life, so here you go!
For my entire life, I have fought hard to understand the nature of love from the inside out. Love is complex and beautifully ordered, quite the opposite of the world’s understanding of “free” love, void of any objective meaning.
I began my formal study of love and the Theology of the Body at Franciscan University of Steubenville. It wasn’t even in a class. I stumbled across the Theology of the Body by John Paul II, the summer before my senior year of college. I said to myself, “You know, I’ve heard this is a good book. I’ve got some time. Maybe I should read it.” So, rather flippantly, I picked it up.
I was hooked!
The Theology of the Body was like light to my soul. Everything began to make sense. This deep longing to love and be loved—this is what God made me for. And there was a structure to the human heart, including my own, meaning I couldn’t just do whatever I wanted. I needed to act in a certain way to conform to the structure of love. If I didn’t, my mind and my soul—and my body—would feel the effects of it.
And sometimes I acted against this and chose to do whatever I wanted. After all, love is free, right? Yes, love is free. But a musician is not freer, if he simply bangs on the piano, rather than practicing and observing the structure music. That’s not true freedom; that’s slavery to chaos.
But the one who learns the structure of love and understands how to create beauty with his body—that one is truly free. And the more we understand how our bodies are made to express love, the more truly free we will become. This is not relegated only to the sexual realm but in the whole of our lives.
I later continued my education of love by studying Theology in Marriage and Family at the John Paul II Institute in Washington, DC. This definitively transformed the way I view the world, now seeing love as a beautiful, magnificent whole. My understanding of the structure of love deepened even more so. The truth of love was forming in my mind as a grand painting, like the artwork of the Sistine Chapel, but with one difference: the painting still lacked color. In my mind, it was only a bare structure. Beautiful and magnificent, but still bare. I knew I my mind that God is love, but not in my experiences.
It wasn’t until I began speaking for The Culture Project International that I realized how these timeless truths of the Theology of the Body could be seen throughout my life and in my culture. It was as if the beautiful black and white painting began to take on vibrant color in all of my experiences. In every little interaction with my nieces, God revealed to me the nature of love and sacrifice. In watching Les Misérables, I saw that God dwells in our love for one another, when I heard sung “To love another person is to see the face of God.” And when I heard John Legend’s song All of Me, I began to see the magnificence of the language of the body. In short, I saw that love is stamped into our very being. The more I understood that structure of love the freer I became to discipline my body, my heart, and my soul to echo a symphony of love.
That is why I cannot enough express my eagerness in joining TOBET. I am excited to join you on this amazing journey of ours to see the structure and beauty of love which is expressed in and through the body.
Gabriel Milano has his Master’s degree in Theology in Marriage and Family at the John Paul II Institute and is a content creator and speaker for TOBET. He also writes fantasy novels for children and young adults, under the pen name G. M. Dantes.