A Better Way to Care for Women’s Health

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Bella has painful and irregular periods.

Anna suffers from endometriosis.

Marylin deals with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Pamela has acne.

They were all prescribed the birth control pill to control their symptoms.

But there is a better way! A way consistent with the dignity of women and authentic sexuality, a way that treats underlying causes and respects a woman’s total health, a way free of the Pill’s risks of depression, weight gain, nausea, cancer, blood clotting and early abortions.

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Marriage vs. Cohabitation

Ten reasons God’s plan for families is good news for everyone

Madeline and Matt Example have been together five years. Because of a choice they made, they are in a category of couples who are statistically happier, healthier and better-off financially than their neighbors, Caitlyn and Chris. They will stay healthier, live longer, accumulate more wealth and report higher levels of happiness and satisfaction in their relationship and in their whole lives. Their household is less likely to witness violence or abuse. Their 2-year-old daughter, Maggie, is in the safest, healthiest and happiest categories of kids. Because of her mom and dad’s choice, she is at the lowest risk of child poverty; she is likely to succeed in school and be a happy adult.

Caitlyn and Chris have also been together five years. But because they made a different choice, they are in a group that statistically reports lower levels of happiness. They are more likely to get sick, suffer from anxiety or depression, and will likely not live as long. Despite having similar jobs as their neighbors, Caitlyn and Chris have lower incomes and smaller savings. Sadly, abuse and violence is more likely in their household, between them and against their 3-year- old, Cooper. Compared with Maggie, Cooper is at a much greater danger of child poverty and academic problems.

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Lent and Easter in the Domestic Church

“God bless you and keep you,” my husband says, tracing the sign of the cross on our wiggly daughters’ foreheads. After our family finishes our night prayer in the living room, and the squabble discussion about whose turn it is to blow out the candle on the family altar is peaceably resolved, each of our girls receives her blessing. “God bless you and keep you,” I also pray for each of them, marking them with the sign of the cross as well. This pairs well with a bedtime hug.

This simple daily practice is one way that we try to live out our family’s vocation to be a domestic church. Through baptism and the sacrament of matrimony, Christian families live their daily life “in the Lord.” Just like the universal church, the Holy Spirit forms the Christian family into a communion of persons, a communion of life and love. Jesus is present in their midst and works in and through them. Continue reading “Lent and Easter in the Domestic Church”

Christmas and January in the Domestic Church

Christmas lasts until Jan. 10 this year.

Though the stores have switched their displays from Christmas décor to weight-loss accessories and Super Bowl gear, if you visit any Catholic Church you will encounter smells like pine, balsam and incense. You will see Christmas trees sparkling with lights and sanctuaries lush with velvety poinsettias. You will hear Christmas songs sung at Mass. And you’ll hear the story of the Nativity over and over again. It is as if we need time to let the grace of Christmas soak in.

By late December, however, our consumer culture is sick of Christmas. It has been celebrating it since November with a glut of holiday products and treats, a frenzy of seasonal activities, and lots of shopping. But the church has been waiting for the Lord through the holy season of Advent with silence, prayer and penance. Now that he is here, the church is ready to revel in Christmas with all her senses!

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Top 10 Ways to Make a Family Rosary a Reality

Praying together doesn’t have to be such a struggle

You know that the rosary is a powerful, Christ-centered prayer, and you would like to pray it as a family to bring its many benefits into your household. You envision a reverent domestic scene, gathering with your children around the family altar. They are purposefully fingering the appropriate beads and reciting the Hail Marys and Our Fathers with devotion. In Latin. Gregorian chant wafts softly in the background. Angels smile.

In reality, the children sprawl in various attitudes of beleaguered exhaustion on the couch and floor. Your tween daughter’s rosary is intricately woven between her fingers as if it were auditioning for a new career as brass knuckles. Whether you have eyeball-rolling teens or couch-acrobatic toddlers, here are 10 creative ideas for incorporating the rosary into your family’s daily routine in ways that are engaging, meaningful and, most importantly, doable.
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The Importance of Fatherhood

Pope Francis’ advice for fathers: be present, practice mercy

Daddy!” This call can mean so many things. It could be a delighted greeting at the end of a workday: “You’re home!” Or a proud, “Watch me do this!” On the other hand, “Dad!” could also express indignation at a boundary set — an important but less popular duty of fatherhood. “Dad!” could mean, “I’m scared — hold me!” or “Your turn, catch!” “Dad?” could mean, “Can you explain this/fix this/give me my allowance?”

What does it take to be a good father, to respond well to all those calls for Daddy? In two recent talks, Pope Francis (whose title, papa, means “daddy”) reflected on this. He said it takes presence and forgiveness. Continue reading “The Importance of Fatherhood”

Celebrating Spiritual Motherhood

All women, mothers or not, have a special gift of receptivity to the human person

There is something about a woman’s beauty that is life-giving. The radiance of a bride on her wedding day becomes the loveliness of a new mother’s smile as she gazes at her infant. Our grandmothers are beautiful because of their loving hearts, which nurture ours. The beauty of the Blessed Virgin Mary shines especially in her “yes” which brought the life and grace of Christ to us. And all women, married or not, and regardless of whether they have ever had children of their own, have a beautiful vocation to “spiritual motherhood.” Continue reading “Celebrating Spiritual Motherhood”