Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Catholics have a lot of rules: Natural Family Planning Edition

Serious burtations.

By now everyone knows that some Catholics say that you can't be gay and Catholic.

Even if you are chaste and live a celibate life - you may not be a really good Catholic if you say "I'm gay."

Likewise, you can't be SSA and celibate if ... wait - has that been defined yet?

I'm exaggerating - but you know what I'm saying.

Who am I to judge?  Jesus said something like that when he asked Peter: "How does that concern you?" - John 21:22

All sarcasm aside, it now seems that you can't use NFP - Natural Family Planning to avoid having children unless your reasons for doing so equal 'heroic virtue'... otherwise it's just plain contraception and couples that do that are selfish pigs - just like the Sodomites.

BTW.  Did you know not all of the people of Sodom were gay?

So anyway - Catholics online are arguing about NFP again, and pointing out the evil side of human nature and lust.  Of course, there are those who say NFP is not contraception - and those who think it is - and those who don't know anything about it.

See what I've been trying to tell you?

So even if I just called a cab for Bruce Jenner, to take him to his sex-reassignment surgery I would be condemned, no questions asked. (JK)

I know you aren't following what I'm saying...  I blame myself.


"Take warning from the example of Lot's wife who, because she was disturbed at the destruction of Sodom, turned back to look at it." - John of the Cross

Over the years, something Jean Vanier wrote reminds me of what I have seem to have always known to be true. It is our lives which give witness to the truth of the Gospel. If we are faithful, the Holy Spirit attracts those around us to the Church. The Church waits with open arms, Catholic teaching is recognized as lovely and true. The Church's ministers are there to reconcile and counsel those who return.

Evangelization is not about 'fixing' people or seeing success or telling them what and how to do things - it is about living - a living witness, even when it is only a silent, loving action at work in the midst of them. "Jesus walked in peace through the midst of them." Without thinking of them as 'them' however, as if we are, or I am different from 'them'. As Madeleine Delbrel explained, "To be people immersed as deeply as possible in the midst of the world ... just like people you find everywhere."*  Christ dwells in our midst...

“Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, 
but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don't talk about it; 
they are the ones who make a community live.” 
― Jean Vanier

*"To be people immersed as deeply as possible in the midst of the world, with no rules, no vows, no habits, and no convents separating us from the world; to be poor, but just like people you find everywhere; to be chaste, but like people from every social stratum; to be obedient, but just like people of every nationality.  We will not be the Church, and salvation will not reach the ends of the earth, unless we help save the people in the very situations in which we live. And we will not be working toward salvation, we will not let it pass through us, unless in their very midst, we remain purely and unchangeably the Church." Madeleine Delbrel

Never mind.


  1. Ah ! Thank you Terry for this lovely post: I will take it with me in my heart to work this morning, these quotes.....and thank you for your deep encouragement re: my little 'spot in the world'. It is really...all about prayer, isn't it: 'being immersed'....
    no one said it would be easy, but, actually, it Can be a light cross.

    1. It really is Consolata - it is about prayer - which is a lived intimacy with God - living in the Presence of God. Today is the feast of St Catherine and so many love to emphasize that she like Therese are Doctors of the Church - and in Catherine's case, she influenced the upper echelon with he teaching and so on. Catherine was a little soul, she did the most menial tasks - she served those who abused her and remained patient and loving. She understands the little souls. They claim she was a nun, a sister, she was a lay tertiary. The group she belonged to were older women, widows - who formed a pious association but lived at home. She was a lay woman.

      Have great confidence.

  2. I really like Madeleine Delbrel. She's my girl.

  3. I received this in an email - I hope my friend doesn't mind me posting it - I'll keep it anonymous of course, and please understand - that some of my statement on my posts are meant to be facetious - like calling a cab for Jenner.

    An Anonymous commenter wrote:

    "I mean, I'm kind of being facetious, but seriously? Who the hell are these people? This is why I stopped reading a lot of online Catholic stuff -- and not just the trads. In fact, I find that the more traditionally-minded folks (the ones who are not Jansenist Puritans) have a more down-to-earth view of sex in general. I mean holy crap does each and every time a couple goes to bed have to be a contemplative theological experience? I think we over think this crap so, so much. That's not to knock the beautiful work done by St. John Paul II, but I think orthodox Catholics to lean towards over thinking and over-theologizing crap."

    I couldn't agree more.

  4. I used to teach NFP with my husband and often got the criticism you are talking about because I would not beat couples over the head. NFP CAN be used with a contraceptive mentality. It's morally neutral in itself. But everybody is in a different place physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A couple with no support group who have three children may be totally stressed compared to a couple with nine who have an active family and parish support group to help them. I never judged the moral decisions of couples we taught; I just encouraged them to think of NFP as a method for planning to have a family. And it was interesting to watch the decision making. I could always tell from reading charts when a couple was ambivalent. They didn't choose the best days of the cycle to conceive, but didn't follow the rules for avoiding pregnancy either. When I asked them how they would feel if they got pregnant they always said, they would be happy. It was especially gratifying when couples having fertility problems conceived. Gods way is the best way!

    Re the SSA issue. That's like saying you can't have an inclination to sin and be Catholic. Good grief, you'd have to be born without original sin!

    1. Thanks Mary Ann - common sense rules. I always appreciate your comments.


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