NFP Awareness Week – Hormonal Contraception Linked With Depression

July 23-July 29 is the USCCB National NFP Awareness Week. This is a great time to raise awareness about NFP in your ministry or parish.

The Pill has been correlated with higher risks of certain forms of cancer, blood clotting, and lower libido. This new study from Denmark finds its correlates with increases rates of depression, especially among teen girls. Shouldn’t they develop a way for couples to manage their fertility in a way that respects womens’ bodies and doesn’t harm their health and wellbeing? They did! It’s called NFP.

 

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.

Continue reading “A Better Way to Care for Women’s Health”

The New Feminism and the Feminine Genius

Here are some writings on the New Feminism, also related to Catholic Womanhood and Spiritual Motherhood:

St. John Paul II, The Gospel of Life (Evangelium vitae), 1995

St. John Paul II, On the Dignity and Vocation of Woman (Mulieris Dignitatem), 1988

St. John Paul II, Letter to Women, 1995

St. John Paul II, on The Genius of Women, 1997, USCCB.

Dr. Pia di Solenni, blogging on Patheos. Nice video of her talk on Feminism and Beauty. Great interview about her dissertation.

Rebecca Ryskind Teti, “Woman, You are a Gift!” podcast

Continue reading “The New Feminism and the Feminine Genius”

Salt and Chastity

A pure gaze focuses our desire on our husband or wife alone

When people defend pornography, they often say things like, “It’s not hurting anybody. What harm is there in just looking? It’s not like you’re doing anything.” Remember Lot’s wife, whose wistful gaze back at Sodom and Gomorrah caused her to turn into a pillar of salt? (see Genesis 19:26)

She “just looked” back at the town where sexual immorality was rampant, and it destroyed her. She turned into something sterile, the stuff that tears are made of.

The way we look at others is morally and spiritually significant. Looking with lust objectifies others and harms marriage. A pure gaze, on the other hand, sees the other in the full dignity of their personhood, created in the image of God, and it strengthens marriage. A pure gaze is an important part of marital chastity. Continue reading “Salt and Chastity”

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love NFP

It’s pro-life, pro-woman, pro-family and green!

When we were engaged, Nathan and I took a natural family planning class. Word got out that we were planning on using NFP when we were married, and some folks took the opportunity to tell us the old joke. “What do you call people who use NFP?” they asked, with a knowing chuckle. “Parents!”

It’s true, we are parents thanks to NFP, but that is because the information it gave us has helped us know when we can conceive and when we are not likely to. Using NFP has actually been a huge blessing in our marriage. As newlyweds with years of college and grad school ahead of us (complete with attendant student loans!), we were a little anxious at first. Giving up control requires trust. This is all the more true with birth control. But when we trust God and our spouse with our fertility, the rewards are amazing. Continue reading “Top 10 Reasons Why I Love NFP”

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Marriages

This presentation was given at Holy Family Church in Kirkland, WA, on August 5, 2013.

View the Prezi slideshow here.

The Benefits of Marriage:

Why work on strengthening marriage? Husbands and wives enjoy better physical health, quicker recovery from disease and injuries, longer life, greater incomes and household wealth, greater mental health and happiness, and greater satisfaction in their sexual lives than their single, cohabiting, or divorced counterparts. Children growing up with their married mother and father are happier, do better academically, have fewer problems with drugs, delinquency, and early sexual activity, and have more successful marriages of their own than those raised by single, unmarried, or divorced parents. Married households have more resources to devote to the community in volunteer and service work.

Marriages facing serious trouble can find great help in the Retrouvaille program

The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Marriages:

1. Develop Good Communication Skills

2. Work Together on Money Management

3. Learn how to Manage Conflict

4. Share Faith and Values

5. Respect the Sanctity of Sex in Marriage

  • Premarital sex and cohabiting are linked to higher rates of divorce
  • They are correlated with higher rates of infidelity in marriage, another big factor in divorce
  • Pornography use is also cited as a major factor in divorce
  • Chastity is the virtue of using sex as God intended: exclusively with your husband or wife to celebrate a total mutual self-giving in a faithful, life-long and life-giving covenant.
  • No matter what choices we’ve made in the past, Christ can always give us the grace to be made new in Him. He can restore our dignity and help us grow in chastity, healing the effects of sin and giving us the power of His own love to strengthen, purify, and elevate the love we share with our husband or wife in our marriage today and in the future.

6. Practice Natural Family Planning rather than contraception to space births when necessary

  • The levels of intimacy, communication, respect, self-control, and mutual responsibility required by NFP draws couples together. Here is a great post about the benefits in marriage of using NFP from the husband’s perspective (he and his wife switched to NFP from the Pill after several years of marriage). And some more testimonies of NFP couples.
  • Some data suggests that couples practicing NFP have a divorce rate of 0.2%. Conservatively adjusted, still less than 5%.

7. Grow in Holiness and Virtue

  • Draw on the power of the Sacraments to connect with the Source of Love (God Himself!).