Saturday, July 21, 2012

Giving Guys a Voice

Most of the links I post here tend toward the feminine side of the TOB equation. Here, for a change, is a link for the guys. Catholic "Hack" and convert podcaster Joe McClane speaks of his fight against porn addiction (starting at age 8) and other signs of these TOB-needy times.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Comprehensive new resource for NFP

Natural Family Planning is an approach to responsible parenting that fully respects the sacramental meaning and integrity of marriage and the "spousal language of the body." It is completely acceptable according to Catholic principles, is known to strengthen marriages and when properly learned and practiced it allows couples an amazing amount of "control" (with all due respect to God) in spacing out births. It can also help couples recognize serious female health issues long before symptoms might otherwise be noticed. But it is hardly known even among practicing Catholics.

To respond to that situation, a team of women have created the "I Use NFP" website, a comprehensive resource for all things NFP, starting with a helpful description that highlights just how counter-intuitive NFP can be:
Natural Family Planning (NFP) is a lifestyle choice people make for a multitude of reasons. Some people come to it for religious reasons, some people come to it so they can be a better steward to the earth, and some people come to it as a last resort in their infertility journey. Regardless of why a couple chooses natural family planning the goal is that they learn the innate goodness of a woman’s body and her natural fertility.

Though the site is expressly created by women, for women, men's voices are not entirely silenced. Be sure to get James' story on what he learned about his wife from tracking her fertility charts (a "job" many NFP husbands assume): " I never expected NFP would help me understand what is really going on with my wife."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

TOB-related: Good reads

A Lutheran minister discovers "Humanae Vitae" and is surprised by how prophetic it was--and how the TV lineup confirms Paul VI's predictions ("Bachelorette," anyone?). Be sure to read the comments, which can be as interesting and informative as the post.

 Here's an analysis of "the tension between religious liberty and gay rights". Is the redefinition of marriage inevitable? Not light reading, to be sure, but a helpful parsing of the issues.

The Theology of the Body Institute's latest newsletter also provides some good reads, like the discovery of Church teachings on the body by a young couple for whom contraception was simply a given. When Rebecca realized the effects the pill was having on her health and looked for other options, NFP came up. "Who knew that the church taught responsible parenthood?! We didn't know that we didn't have to have as many babies as physically possible! We could space pregnancies and financial reasons could be legitimate reasons to avoid a pregnancy?! We were in shock, good shock, all the way around...When we removed the pill from our marriage we experienced a healing that we never expected or dared hope for." Read how NFP helped Rebecca and her husband face an unexpected hurdle in their married life.

And here (also from the Theology of the Body Institute) is Dr Peter Colosi's presentation of the Theology of the Body as a commentary on the 1968 Humanae Vitae.

 This afternoon I learned (hat tip to the Maximus Group) that this is "National NFP Awareness Week" for Catholics:  this year’s theme is “Faithfully Yours.” NFP awareness week always coincides with the anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae (July 25).

Over at Aggie Catholics, there's all the facts about porn use in America, in the world, by men, by women. And at HuffPost, one woman's list of things she wished she had known about porn before she got into it (plus links to all the data behind those things she wished she knew).

And for healing of porn and other sex-related forms of addiction through a method based on brain science and THEOLOGY OF THE BODY, "Reclaim" offers private, anonymous, online help.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

No Controversy? Women of the World respond to Melinda Gates' plan

An excellent response from women around the world to (Catholic!) billionaire Melinda Gates' plan to provide birth control to women in poor countries. "We need better schools. We need better hospitals. We need better roads."

By medicating women and treating their healthy fertility as a problem, she is ignoring the role of men! Sadly, Gates believes she is applying Catholic social teachings (which she clearly has not been fully tutored in) to the needs of the desperately poor. (If only Gates could learn the Theology of the Body!)

"Help us to build a culture of respect for women."

The Catholic Church and Same-Sex Attraction

It's easy enough to understand where people might get the impression that the Catholic Church is stuck hopelessly in the taboos and prejudices of the past, and simply "hates" people who are attracted to the same sex. In fact, it is becoming routine  for a Catholic to be written off as a "hater" for simply affirming human realities such as the unique nature of the relationship between a man and a woman in terms of bringing new life into the world.

Still, the real confusion of people who strongly identify as Catholic and yet also strongly same-sex attracted needs to be taken seriously. I've had a long standing admiration for the ministry of Courage, which helps people with same-sex attraction find the support they need in appreciating the beauty of the Church's authentic teaching--and not just appreciating it in a theoretical way, but in taking the steps necessary in living lives that are not obsessed with the avoidance of sin, but focused on joyfully following Jesus. Some members of this movement know that the help they find in living chastely is what keeps them alive despite some self-destructive compusions.

Here is an interview with the former Marine who is now the spiritual director of Courage; he puts Church teaching on same-sex attraction in context with the (equally rejected) Church teachings on living together and on birth control--all ways in which the fundamental beauty of the call to mirror the Trinity in creation is compromised. All important areas for evangelization and conversion.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Confessions of a 26-year-old Virgin

And it looks like she has a genuinely TOB understanding of marriage, too:

"...Chastity shifts a person's focus from self to others, from what a potential husband could do for me to what he and I could do together — what we, as a unit, could contribute to the world. It is less about whether sex with him will be awkward at first and more about whether it would be a good thing for our future kids to grow up and turn into one of us.
"For us [Catholics], sex serves two purposes: procreation and unity. We don't believe we're supposed to decide to unite because sex is pleasurable, but to create a pleasurable sexual relationship with the person to whom we are permanently united."

Read the rest here!