Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Homily on Homosexuality

"We have to become informed on this issue so that we can help others." - Father Hollowell

Please listen to this homily on homosexuality by a local priest in Indianapolis.  So many people don't know what the true Church teachings are about homosexuality... it's probably not what you'd expect. (Please show your support of Fr. Hollowell, by "liking" his video.  Many priests/pastors won't speak publicly on the topic.  He's under attack from atheists about this Homily.  Stand up against this evil against Fr. Hollowell and his mission to save souls.  Hover over the lower-left corner of the video, then click "Watch on YouTube" to "like".) 

True Christians love ALL people and are not bigots.  Sadly, many homosexuals have turned away from the Church and God because they think Christians are judgemental bigots, and they hate Christians for that.  God wants us to help save souls and show others His love.  Those who suffer from same-sex attraction and don't know Christ, will never come to Christ if we don't show them God's love.

If any homosexual reads this, I'm so sorry for you if you've experienced intolerance and ignorance from some so-called Christians.  Please don't lump us all into the same category, for those "Christians" I'm afraid are lost.  Please don't let that be the reason you turn away from God.

Even if you haven't experienced intolerance that way, I don't doubt that you've felt an uneasiness coming from some Christians at times, even if they truly have the best intentions.  Please don't think it's always intolerance, but rather they're truly concerned for your soul as a child of God, and yet they don't know what to say.  Christians may at times be very conflicted because our beliefs instill that homosexual ACTS are sinful and therefore they're very concerned about the salvation of your soul, and yet if we say anything... we risk being seen as bigots.  I ask that just as homosexuals thirst for tolerance, so do Christians from homosexuals.  True Christians are concerned for your soul and eternal life and just want the best for you... salvation and eternal life and happiness.  It's out of LOVE, not HATE, and my heart goes out to you if you've experienced the latter and I truly apologize on behalf of those people.  If/when you experience hate and intolerance from "Christians", please know that it's NOT the way of Christianity!

Other Christians reading this... please help spread the word that true Christians are not intolerant, and that we love ALL people.  Please consider sharing this graphic (just right-click, copy & paste):

and/or "share" it from my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OneCatholicMomsMission along with Fr. Hollowell's message too if you feel compelled.  Don't be afraid to reach out and help save a soul... don't you think it's what God would want us to do?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Gay Marriage

I didn't intend to write this blog post.  I wrote the following as a response to a blog post of a friend's, friend (read his post HERE) asking sincerely why those of us against gay marriage are against it.  He truly doesn't understand, and kindly asked for some explanations.  After writing it, I felt I really needed to share it on my blog.  So, I'm going out on a limb here, and risk losing more friendships (I've already lost my very best friend -her choice not mine- because of my pro-life views).   I'm actually sad that I feel I have to write this, because I'm sure it's going to turn people, most importantly some friends, against me, and I hate that... I LOVE my friends.  However, I can't be quiet and complacent any longer about these kinds of life issues.  God asks us to spread His love and the Gospel and that's what's in my heart.  It's from God's love, and out of my love for Him and others.

I'm a Catholic (and Catholics are Christian if someone doesn't know that).  I use to be a liberal Democrat (I vote with my conscious now, not according to any “party”), but that was before I started searching for answers to "Why am I here?  What is my purpose for living?"  Those questions, by the grace of God, lead me to my faith.  I think a lot of the issue of opinions on gay marriage have to do with whether you believe in Christ and the Gospel, NOT EVERYONE, but a lot.  If you don't believe in God, then you're probably not going to understand why we should not agree to same-sex marriage.  And if you do believe in God, then it's probably that you don't truly see or understand why we shouldn't always have the right to live by all of our OWN rules. 

I don't expect many reading this will understand what I write or these viewpoints.  It's because I'm deeply convicted by my faith.  I need to explain the following first before getting into the topic of gay marriage, so please bear with me.  I believe in God, our Father, as the Creator of heaven and earth and all living things.  I believe that He gave us free will to do what we want, but asked that we abide by certain rules in order to maintain a natural balance and goodness in the world - to abide by the nature of how He created us to be.  I believe that because of His gift of free will, that humans make mistakes but God STILL LOVES US.  I believe that our souls can have eternal life, and it's God's desire for us to live our eternal life in Heaven with Him.  That's a gift, and shouldn't be just expected.  So, in exchange, God wants us to live our lives according to His will, which has our BEST interest at hand.  Because of free will, and the mistakes we make, God felt that we needed to be saved from ourselves, to be forgiven so that we can be pure and still join Him in eternal happiness in Heaven.  Therefore, He sent His son, Jesus, to come and teach us more about God's love and to die for our sins so that we may have eternal life.  I never truly appreciated that until I had my own children.  I can't imagine sacrificing my own child.  Can you imagine how much that pained Him?!  And for Jesus to suffer the way his did?!  For us sinners.  (A must see, Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ", please see that movie if you haven't.)  They love us SO much and desire so immensely for us to be in Heaven with them forever one day, that they gave us the ultimate sacrifice!  When I contemplate the magnitude of all that, I'm in awe that this is all because God loves us so much.  All He asks is that we love Him in return and live according to His will, which is nothing bad for us, is all about goodness and purity and love.  I respect that so much and therefore I want to do His will, I WANT to follow His rules. Part of His will for us includes helping others to know God and love Him too.  I can't put into words the feelings in my heart of my love for God, nor can I put into words the feelings of immense love I feel from Him towards me.  It's something that's truly unexplainable, it has to be experienced. It's what total fulfillment and TRUE love feels like.  I think it has to be experienced to truly appreciate.  When you experience it, you want everyone you know to experience it too (at least I do anyway).

I'm sure I'll be grilled for this post, but I truly feel in my heart that God wants some of these things to be heard and talked about by more people, so I'm trying to do His will here.

1)  Christians are to love ALL people.
2)  Catholicism is not against people with same-sex attraction, but rather against same-sex SEXUAL ACTS.  It's the acts that are sinful.  The church loves and accepts all people, including homosexuals, but we’re taught that sexual relations are meant for the union of a married man and woman to bond with each other, and to procreate if you want children.  If we're a heterosexual married couple NOT wanting to bond or procreate, then we must be chaste.  It’s the BEST thing for us.  The same principles apply to premarital sex and masturbation.  (I'd like to reference an earlier post of mine about why Catholicism teaches against contraception. We believe that even in married life, we are called to be chaste and control ourselves at certain times, and in respect for our spouse and human dignity. Click HERE to see why. It might give more perspective to this topic as well.)
3)  God does not teach us this to be mean or controlling.  Instead, it’s because he knows what’s BEST for us.  Just like a parent knows what's best for a child.  The same can be said about laws. They’re made for our safety, and our well-being, right?  The same can be said for God’s laws too. I don’t see how anyone could read the 10 Commandments and not see that those commandments are meant for our BEST interest. 

Referencing a comment on the blogger's post which says: "In theory and in a perfect world, a well-adjusted and happy home containing a mother and father appears to me likely to give more balance and perspective than any other pairing".  It sounds like you agree that it’s BEST for children to be raised by a married man and woman, so I’m sure you can understand that I mean by "what is BEST", or what is ideal.
4)  Even if you don’t believe in God, or Christ, or don't subscribe to a “religion”, to me it just makes since according to NATURAL law.  It's perfect nature that men and women join together for the purpose of creating other human beings.  When you mess with Mother Nature, or karma, or Mother Earth, or the universe, things don’t work "as well".  Now, things do go wrong in nature, but that doesn’t always mean it’s a death sentence.  Much good can still come from things that seem to be horrible crosses to bear.  I don’t see how not being allowed to get married would subject a person to a live of unhappiness, or how it would hinder someone’s love for another person.  I came from a really messed-up broken home and NEVER wanted to get married or have children (until I met my husband, and that changed everything!).  I loved my husband dearly, but if it weren’t for the fact that I wanted to have kids, I would have never gotten married.   What’s the point really?  He’s an amazingly faithful man, devoted to me, and getting married doesn’t change that.  For me, it’s about family, and what’s the BEST environment to raise a family.
5)  The worldview of sex is out of control!  I feel a lot of all this has to do with where our society is regarding sex in general.  Our society is hyper- sexualized.  It seems like everything is about sex.  Why is that?  Look at commercialism, materialism, and Hollywood. Sex is seen as no big deal anymore.  Listen to the mainstream music created these days, look at the clothes designers create, look at the TV shows and movies released.  Catholicism views sex in a way that upholds the DIGNITY of ALL humans, and regards procreation as a highly respected act because it’s meant to create another human being!  Creating a person, bringing a soul into this world is a HUGE deal!  Thus, the act that produces that should be highly respected.  Anyone who has children surely knows what a beautiful, amazing thing new life is, and what a miracle it is.  We don’t trivialize sex as something just for one’s OWN pleasure.  Much of our society doesn’t accept that because sex is so devalued now, and generations are being taught that life is all about fulfilling our own pleasures.  

Hyper-sexualization hurts SO many people, in so many ways.  People are thinking it's ok to treat our bodies and the bodies of others, in any way they want.  This stirs actions that hurt people because of sexual desires, ie, pedophilia, rape, incest, premarital sex, sodomy, fornication, pornography, sexual addictions, zoophilia (yes, there are people out there doing that!) lust, selfishness, using of people for our own gratification, and so on.  Sexual desires are so strong because they're meant to bring people together to procreate - that's nature.  Sexual desires can be stirred up by impure things that are not in our BEST interest.  When those desires get stirred up, it's not always for good.  Some people will do anything to satisfy those desires, because we're taught by our society that it's ok.  Now, I'm NOT saying that homosexuals or gay marriage will cause all these things.  I'm saying that it has a strong propensity to contribute to the confusion of our world's view about sex, which can be very damaging over the long-run because how societal views about sex will continue to evolve.  Think of how it's deteriorated over the past several decades (look at the increase in statics of abortion, teen pregnancies and kids having sex, unwanted babies, unwed parents, STD's, sexual addictions, infidelity, disregard for the respect of human dignity with pornography, strip clubs, adult book stores, etc).  Don't you think if certain rules or laws aren't in place, that it will continue to spiral downward?  I'm sorry to say, but I do.  I hate this for my homosexual friends, and my heart goes out to them.  Again, I want to be clear that I'm NOT saying that homosexuality causes all these sexual evils in the world!  My point is that without certain rules or laws, confusion of sex and marriage and our purpose according to nature and God, will continue to evolve into more skewed views over generations. 

I believe homosexuals are born the way they are (I don't know that for a fact, it's just my opinion).  Things do go wrong in nature sometimes.  I don't know why that is but it doesn't always have to be viewed as a bad thing.  One can make good of it.  (I can share stories of wonderful chaste, homosexuals living according to God's will who have very rewarding lives with lots of loved ones around them.)  It's our society that's telling people that in order to be happy and to live a satisfying life, one must get to enjoy sexual acts anytime and any way we want, one must be allowed to get legally married, one must have children, one must have money, one must be physically beautiful according to certain standards, etc.  Do these things bring true happiness? 
What I don’t understand is why do people think they have to be legally married to be happy or to love someone in a live-long relationship?  To me, it seems like some people in favor of gay marriage just want to make a point.  They want to prove something.  Why does a legal marriage “prove” anything, unless it’s for the sake of having children?  It seems to me that homosexuals in love want to get married to either, 1) prove something to the world, or 2) to be able to “have” children, but again, what is BEST for children?  For if it were to just prove your love to your partner, why is a piece of paper needed? 
Gay marriage goes against what is BEST for humans and our society.  I don’t understand how so many very intelligent people who believe gay marriage should be legal, aren’t more forward thinking than they are.  To me, legalizing gay marriage will over years lead to so much more confusion about sex and the true nature of human beings.  It will add to the triteness of how sex is viewed in general by our society because it will desensitize our culture more and more to what is sexually inappropriate according to how we were created - God's purpose for sex.  If we become a society that doesn’t come to see that some decisions are BETTER than others, and that rules and laws are in place to protect our well-being and we lead other generations to think the same way, then our society has the potential, over time, towards anarchy.  I’m sure many of you don’t see the big picture, but God does.   For me, it’s about respecting what God intended for marriage and for the male and female bodies, and about preserving family and what’s BEST for a family and children.
I agree with everything you say about even straight marriages can be screwed up, and that messes up society too (a point made in the man's blog - link is above).  My points are based on what is BEST for us.  Just like speed limits are enforced because it’s BEST for us.  There are laws against stealing because it’s BEST for our society.  And so on, and so on.  Does it suck for homosexuals?  YES!  And I'm so, so sorry.  I really feel for them, I do!
Does my heart go out to homosexuals?  YES!!!!  My heart breaks for them!  It sucks that they have to live through all this, BUT one’s sexual attraction preference should not complete a person’s identity.  Every person is SO MUCH MORE than their sexual preference.  Every person is SO MUCH MORE than just who they are married to, and we’re all worth SO MUCH MORE than sex.
A word about the mumble jumble marriage graphic you displayed under #1 in your post… I don’t even understand that.  I’m no Bible scholar myself, and maybe I’m stupid, but if you’re not one who has studied the Bible, then you shouldn’t post things that claim to say what the Bible says… no disrespect… just sayin’.  The Bible is literature - because any written word is considered literature.  The books of the Bible are categorized into eight different types and written from the following perspectives, which in turn affect how scripture should be interpreted: Law, History, Wisdom, Poetry, Gospel, Epistles, Prophecy, and Apocalyptic Literature.  (How the books are classified into these categories can be learned by Googling if you're interested.) Therefore, all interpretations of scripture should be considered from the perspective and context from which it’s written, and unless one knows that, we can’t claim to know what the Bible is saying.  I would guess that graphic was made by someone who picked those lines out of the Bible to make THEIR OWN POINT.
This subject really goes FAR, FAR deeper than just sex, attraction, love, or a piece of paper.  It’s about souls, and what people believe about our souls, or if they even believe humans have souls at all.  Therefore this topic can’t be completely discussed from this post.  I highly recommend listening to a copy of the following CD: http://www.lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/title/from-love-by-love-for-love
It’s an incredible testimony that you won't regret listening to.  It's NOT a lecture;  it's spoken from LOVE.  The CD is about 30 minutes and so worth it!  (If you attend St. Barnabas Parish in Indianapolis, you can pick up a copy in the Narthex.)  Here’s a description:Father Michael Schmitz, chaplain of the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota in Duluth, tackles some of the most difficult topics in the Church today. With compassion, clarity, and energetic humor, Fr. Schmitz shows us that the Church's teachings on contraception and same-sex attractions are rooted in the yearnings for authentic love that is shared by all people, who are made in the image and likeness of God.”

I have friends who are gay, and friends who have family members who are gay.  This is a tough subject to stand firm about.  I love those friends and it’s my love for them that concerns me about their souls, and the souls of my Christian friends who are for gay-marriage.  I don’t understand how any Christian can be for gay-marriage unless they haven’t heard what it is that God really wants for us, out of LOVE.  My fear is that those Christian friends are concerned about being liked, or concerned about losing their friendships.  Are those reasons worth the eternal life of someone’s soul?
I feel the same way about my friends and family who are pro-abortion, who are having pre-marital sex, who have addictions, who don’t believe in God, or who think life is about living OUR OWN rules.  I know many people struggle with the existence of God and eternal life.  But WHAT IF it’s all true?  Is living life according to one’s OWN rules (as opposed to God’s) so much fun and so worth it, that’s it’s worth the risk of giving up eternal life and eternal happiness and fulfillment FOREVER, if it really does exist?  I’d rather not find out.  I’d rather not take that chance, I’d rather my soul be saved, and those I love soul’s be saved, and maybe even help save a soul of someone I don’t even know.  As quoted from Fr. Schmitz, "We are created from love, by love, and for love."  For Christians, life's about LOVE.  Love for our human brothers and sisters who struggle in life. We ALL have struggles, and we all are sinners, but there's a way to eternal, true, happiness anyway... it's through Christ.  It’s NOT about judgment or bigotry, is about LOVE. 

I pray that we'll all go in peace to love and serve the Lord.  God bless you reading this!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why Catholicism Teaches Against Artificial Contraception

The Catholic Church's teaching against artificial contraception is beautiful because it edifies total respect for all human persons.  I hope in the future to continue adding posts about this topic, especially in more laymen terms.  For the sake of wanting to tackle serious, topical healthcare issues going on right now in America, I need to address this issue first, so to help me speed things along, I'm going to present the teachings of the Catholic Church on conjugal, married love as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

First... what is the Catechism of the Catholic Church (or the CCC)?  The CCC is the official text of the teachings of the Catholic Church.  There's no single author, but the Catechism of the Catholic Church Prepared Following the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (its full title) was developed, written, translated and published under Pope John Paul II's authority, with all rights reserved to the Holy See.  It's a book that helps us understand and see why the word of God teaches us what it does because as untrained, religious laymen, we can think we know what the Bible is telling us, but unless we rely on educated, religious leaders to "translate" per se, what it is that God is telling us in the Bible, we're just basing what we read on our own interpretations and opinions. 

Since the Catholic Church is a worldwide, universal religion, and there are millions of us, we need to be "on the same page".  Just like the game, Telephone, we played as children when you sit in a circle and whisper a message to the person next to you to see how the message changes by the time it gets to the last person, the same can be said for how people teach God's word, therefore, the Catholic Church has the CCC.  It references and quotes the Bible throughout the book, and is NOT a replacement to the Bible, but rather a "study-guide", or manual that helps define our religious beliefs so the millions of Catholics around the world will understand the one, true word of God and our religious doctrine, and thus all be "on the same page".  It contains small sections of the actual documents it references.  The church’s rich tradition, the Bible, and liturgy (our worship services conducted for the celebration of Mass) all illuminate each other and help us grow in faith, hope, and love.
Like I mentioned above, I will dialogue more personally about this topic in the future, but I think this is the best place to start.  The following text is directly quoted from the CCC regarding "The Love of Husband and Wife", "The Fecundity of Marriage", and "Conjugal Fidelity", and how these explanations reveal the Churches teachings on contraception.
This section of the CCC is found on page 626 under: 

  • SECTION TWO: The Ten Commandments
    • CHAPTER TWO: You Shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
      • ARTICLE 6: The Sixth Commandment
        • III. The Love of Husband and Wife
III. The Love of Husband and Wife

2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.

2361 "Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death."142

Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, "Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety." So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began by saying, "Blessed are you, O God of our fathers.... You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the race of mankind has sprung. You said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.' I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together." and they both said, "Amen, Amen." Then they went to sleep for the night.143

2362 "The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude."144 Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:

The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.145

2363 The spouses' union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.
The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity.

Conjugal fidelity

2364 The married couple forms "the intimate partnership of life and love established by the Creator and governed by his laws; it is rooted in the conjugal covenant, that is, in their irrevocable personal consent."146 Both give themselves definitively and totally to one another. They are no longer two; from now on they form one flesh. the covenant they freely contracted imposes on the spouses the obligation to preserve it as unique and indissoluble.147 "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."148

2365 Fidelity expresses constancy in keeping one's given word. God is faithful. the Sacrament of Matrimony enables man and woman to enter into Christ's fidelity for his Church. Through conjugal chastity, they bear witness to this mystery before the world.

St. John Chrysostom suggests that young husbands should say to their wives: I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us.... I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.149

The fecundity of marriage

2366 Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church, which "is on the side of life"150 teaches that "each and every marriage act must remain open 'per se' to the transmission of life."151 "This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act."152

2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God.153 "Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility."154

2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:

When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart.155

2369 "By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man's exalted vocation to parenthood."156

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.157 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:158

Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality.... the difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.159

2371 "Let all be convinced that human life and the duty of transmitting it are not limited by the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation and full significance can be understood only in reference to man's eternal destiny."160

After citing the above, I think it's also important to cite something in the very next section under: 

The Gift of a Child

2378 A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. the "supreme gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception."169

I'm sure this doesn't answer all questions regarding the Church's teachings against artificial contraception.  In a nutshell, we see that God has meant sexual intercourse to be between a married man and women for procreation and as a gift to each other, a gift of TOTAL SELF-GIVING.  Any form of artificial contraception, abortifacient birth control (click HERE to see how some birth control pills actually abort a fertilized embryo) or sterilization prohibits TOTAL self-giving to your spouse.  I personal "get this" and think it's absolutely beautiful!  Sadly, many Catholics don't understand this, or don't know what the Church teaches about this, or they just want to follow their own will for their lives with no regard for God's will for us, so you might hear many Catholics do use artificial contraception. 

There's so much that can be discussed about this topic, as it does open a big can of worms, such as:  What if you don't want a large family, What if you can't afford more children, What if the wife (or another family member) has a serious medical or genetic condition, What is one spouse isn't Catholic or doesn't agree with this teaching, and so on.  These are things I hope to post about in the future, as they do deserve discussing.  These questions are valid and there are beautiful, Godly truths to the answers to these questions that I look forward to sharing.  In the meantime, if you're wondering what the alternative to man-made contraception is, it's Natural Family Planning.  Yes, you CAN effectively plan the size of your family without artificial contraception, and no, the church doesn't expect every married woman to have one baby after another throughout her entire fertile years.

"Natural family planning (NFP) is a term referring to the family planning methods approved by the Roman Catholic Church. In accordance with the Church's teachings regarding sexual behavior in keeping with its philosophy of the dignity of the human person, NFP excludes the use of other methods of birth control, which it refers to as "artificial contraception."  Periodic abstinence is the only method deemed moral by the Church for avoiding pregnancy. When used to avoid pregnancy, NFP limits sexual intercourse to naturally infertile periods; portions of the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and after menopause. Various methods may be used to identify whether a woman is likely to be fertile; this information may be used in attempts to either avoid or achieve pregnancy."  -Wikipedia 
These method are not hard.  Typically there are only 7 days in a month that a married couple would not have intercourse if they are not wanting to conceive a child.  So the other 23 days, have at it!  It's really not that restrictive.  Besides, that 7 day sacrifice PALES in comparison to the sacrifice Christ made for us! 

Natural Family Planning practices can do much good for a marriage and the respect for one another, and human life, which God has intended for us to have for each other.  I believe it's only seen as hard, or outdated, or too restrictive because of the hypersexualized culture we're living in today, which can be attributed much to the materialism and commercialism everywhere in society feeding us that life is all about doing what WE want to do for our own pleasure.  This way of living breeds selfishness, which sadly isn't even seen as selfishness in many people's eyes, but rather our "right to happiness". 

God doesn't ask that we live a life according to His will in order to be mean, or controlling, or to punish us.  It's because He loves us so much, and knows what's best for us - our Father does know what's best for us - just like a parent/child relationship here on earth.  I truly believe, as God tells us, that by living His will for our lives, we will experience true happiness and be blessed abundantly, on earth and in Heaven.  Unfortunately, again much of our culture doesn't see it that way because of how our society defines "happiness".

Check back soon, as I'll post links (on the right side of this blog page) to cites that are good resources for NFP information.  If you're interested in reading one of my other posts about the perspective of a woman who came of age in the sexual revolution of the '60's and the onset of wide-spread use of the Pill, see this post: "We paid the price for free love:  The flip side of the sexual revolution".

May the love of God and peace be with you!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We Are Catholic

"We are in the world, but not of the world."

This is an AWESOME video!  It gives me chills, brings tears to my eyes, and makes me want to dance!  A quote from Joseph K., the young man who made this video... "The Catholic Church is my home, and it is a beautiful place of absolute truth. Unfortunately the world has tried to define it in ways that are far from the truth." 

To fellow Catholics, if you are not aware, the Church is under serious attack from all sorts of evil.  I beg you to join me in standing up for the Church that Christ himself began.  Learn your faith, and learn about what's going on in society that's compromising the succession of true Catholic beliefs, what's not being passed down from generation to generation, and our rights to Freedom of Religion.

To fellow Christians, PLEASE join us in the fight for religious freedom.  I know our Catholic beliefs may be difficult to understand (I assure you they're pure and true and will try to show that in my blog), but please, from one Christian to another, try to know that we're fighting for all religious freedom and NEED YOUR HELP.  You may not understand our faith, but it's the principle of religious liberty that's at stake, and I beg of you to help fight the good fight.  Please, stand with us!  Please talk about and share with other Christians, what's happening in our culture today that's fighting against faith.

Pray for all souls, and peace be with you.