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Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Catholic wedding bells

June 28, 2011 1 comment

Since I am getting married this Saturday, I thought the latest Vortex episode (from RealCatholicTV) was appropriate (and very true).

In a few days, I’ll be one of the few … the proud … the married … Roman Catholic !

God bless & stay holy!

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CCD hs: St Ignatius + BAPTiSM + PRAY + ARRR + journaling (day 8)

November 10, 2009 159 comments

In our high school Confirmation class, today was supposed to be a review of everything to day, but I couldn’t get my handouts run off in time, so I took the cue from the saint presented today and taught on next week’s topic, PRAYER.

St Ignatius of Loyola (16th century;  feast day July 31) injured in battle at age 30. During recovery, he read the life of the saints & responded strongly to a personal call by God.  He was convinced that God could be found in all things, and was guided by an inner peace (“consolation”) that comes from knowing one is doing the will of God.  Developed the “Spiritual Exercises,” a practical guide to live a truly Christian life with prayer & especially devoted to the name of Christ (IHS).  His companions were called the “Company of Jesus,” today called the “Society of Jesus,” or the Jesuits, one of the largest religious communities in the world. Besides the 3 vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, members take a 4th vow of obedience to the Pope.

Prayer of Self-Offering to God

by St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will.  All that I am and all that I possess, You have given me.  I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your Will.  Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough and will desire nothing more.

Sacrament of Marriage … purpose is …

  • Pro-create (open to children),
  • Educate (evangelize your Catholic children)
  • Holy Mate (get your spouse to heaven)

Types of prayersB.A.P.T.i.S.M.

  • BLESSING – invoke God’s power for a person, place or activity
  • ADORATION – the “created” before the Creator
  • PRAISE – glory God (for who He is)
  • THANKSGIVING – gratitude (for what He does)
  • i ASK for ME (petition) + OTHERS (intercession)
  • SORRY – ask of forgiveness
  • MEDITATION – tuning into God, reflection (through quiet prayer, Sacred Scripture, lectio divina, liturgy of the hours, Rosary, holy icons, imagery, books of daily devotion, lives of saints, works of spirituality, etc.)

The MASS includes ALL these types of prayer

CONTEMPLETIVE prayer“silent love” — a deep awareness of God’s presence by being alone with God who we know loves us (“centering prayer” helps develop skills)

Steps in prayer … P.R.A.Y.

  • PRAISE = God for who He is + thanksgiving
  • REPENT = confess + rec forgiveness + change
  • ASK = for others + me   (see A.R.R.R.)
  • YIELD = be open to God’s voice & His Will

[PRAYER] When your spending time in personal prayer with the Lord, here’s a good outline to follow  . . . . A.R.R.R.

Personal Prayer … A.R.R.R.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE –- How’s my life right now? Pay attention to your thought + feelings + desires (“the Big 3”).
  • RELATE -– Tell God about ALL “3” honestly.
  • RECEIVE -– Quiet your mind, focus on God, & listen to “the Big 3.”  (Discern spirits)
  • RESPOND -– do what you NEED to do

When you have something to talk to the Lord about, process your “Big 3” with this model.

HOMEWORK:

(1) 3 prayer journals — letters to God, (2) Chapter 3 Quiz, (3) Chapter 17 Quiz

CCD 7th: Hats + 3 Birthdays + Vocations (day 5)

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we discussed our unique identities, our stages in life, vocations, marriage and closed with the story of St Agatha.  Lots of interaction and discussion, full of the Lord’s blessings!

3 BIRTHDAYS … each begins a new life

  • Physical B-day … start earthly life
  • Baptism B-day … start Christian spiritual life
  • Death B-day … start our heavenly life

Who Am I? (back page of journal)

  • –Birth name, Nick names, “Hats” (our roles)
  • Spiritual names? What does God call you?
    • (we’ll find out as we try different prayers)

VOCATION = “a call” by God to holiness

  • Primary” Vocation
    • –“to be a beloved child to our heavenly Father”
  • State of Life” Vocationwhich one?
    • Single, Consecrated Single
    • Married (husband/father, wife/mother)
    • Religious sister or brother
    • Priesthood (clergy, deacon)
  • Service” Vocation … career, ministry, etc.

Sacrament of Marriage … purpose is …

  • Pro-create (open to children),
  • Educate (evangelize your Catholic children)
  • Holy Mate (get your spouse to heaven!)

St Agatha (3rd century virgin martyr) a beautiful young girl who consecrated herself to Jesus and resisted the advances of a nobleman. He imprisoned & tortured her (even cut off her breasts), but she stayed faithful to God.  Died in prison. Feast on Feb 5. Patron of breast, nurses, (bell-makers & bakers – due to statue plater).

Brooklyn Bishop at St Mark’s Parish

090830-1207_Brooklyn-Auxiliary-Bishop-Octavio-Cisneros-at-St-Mark-ParishMASS — today at St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church (in Southwest Ranches, FL), a visiting friend of Fr Whyte presided the Mass.  Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros of the Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated Mass.  Even though the Deacon did a good homily, I wish the Bishop shared his wisdom over the readings.  There was also a long announcement encouraging involvement in ministries, especially Religious Education.  The Bishop supplemented both talks with great insight into tapping into our Baptism to be instruments of the Holy Spirit evangelizing wherever we can.  Catechesis is a critical part of our faith that we should all be involved in … whether on the receiving end to grow in our intimacy of our faith or the giving end as catechists to our own families or to others.  He also shared gratitude for the parish to having the weekly tradition of families taking home a Vocation Cup to pray for the response to God call in all our lives, whether it be priesthood, the religious life, or marriage.  He’s a very personable and holy man.

Natural Family Planning (NFP), Catholic birth-control

June 29, 2009 5 comments

090629-0820_IPF-Natural-Family-PlanningToday’s lecture was on Natural Family Planning.  The first hour was a presentation in Riggie Hall by couples that teach the program from The Couple to Couple League (CCL).  The second hour was back in the classroom for question-and-answer session with one of the couples.  A lot of great info and lots of great questions.  For the basics about the Catholic view on birth-control and contraception, check this out.

What is Natural Family Planning (NFP)? NFP is a way of following God’s plan for achieving and/or avoiding pregnancy. It consists of ways to achieve or to avoid pregnancy using the physical means that God has built into human nature.  Today’s NFP should not be confused with Calendar Rhythm Method taught in the 1930’s.

NFP-Umbert-the-Unborn-trendyNFP consists of two distinct forms:   Ecological breastfeeding is a form of child care that normally spaces babies about two years apart on the average. Systematic NFP is a system that uses a woman’s signs of fertility to determine the fertile and infertile times of her cycle.  Couples seeking to avoid pregnancy practice chaste abstinence during the fertile time of her cycle.

Systematic NFP consists of various “methods” or systems that seek to determine the fertile and infertile times of the cycle. The “Ovulation Method” focuses primarily on the mucus sign.  Other couples use a temperature-only form of NFP, and some use the cervix sign in combination with either the temperature sign or the mucus sign.  We were taught how to use a cross-checking system called the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM). It uses all the common signs of fertility in a cross-checking way.

A FREE 156 page manual is available on-line at NFP and more.org in PDF format called Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach by John and Sheila Kippley.  Basically, there is a chart (blank available in pdf format) that is used to track the changes in cervix, cervical mucus and temperature daily.  (In one hour, I think we learned more about the female anatomy than most married men do.)  Each variable has a code at the bottom of the chart to note:  (from chapter 2, pdf)

NFP-menstrualcycleTEMPERATURE (when a woman wakes up) is taken with a digital thermometer (oral, vaginal, or rectal).  Before ovulation, the waking temperature is lower than it is after ovulation. In the five or six days before ovulation, the higher levels of estrogen tend to depress or lower the waking temperatures slightly.  After ovulation, progesterone causes the waking temperatures to rise.

Before ovulation, the CERVIX undergoes four changes: (1) cervix rises slightly; (2) the mouth of the cervix (cervical os) opens slightly; (3) the tip of the cervix becomes softer; and (4) the cervix secretes a mucus discharge.  Around ovulation or usually right after ovulation, these changes in the cervix are reversed.

Before ovulation, the CERVICAL MUCUS first appears as a somewhat tacky substance and then becomes more fluid. It usually starts a few days after menstruation, but sometimes it can start toward the end of the period. As it becomes more fluid, the mucus becomes slippery and stretchy, and usually produces sensations of wetness on the outer lips of the vagina (the vulva).

Besides bombarding us with lots of science, they were proud to note that “We have no doubt that married couples who are properly instructed and motivated can practice the cross-checking Sympto-Thermal Method at the 99% level of effectiveness for avoiding pregnancy.”

NFP can also be used for couples who are trying to have a baby.  We also had the option to visit the Pope Paul VI Institute located in Omaha, NE that does extensive medical research dedicated to providing morally and professionally acceptable reproductive health services.  They include the CREIGHTON MODEL FertilityCare System and NaPro Technology that has helped women conceive children, while respecting the Catholic Church view against in-vitro fertilization.

NFP-HormonalForecaster-STM-chartThe Couple to Couple League (CCL) offer classes for couples and have computer software to help track all the variables into cool colored charts (I could definitely see guys getting into this … like me).  They said some couples have it on a laptop next to their bed (there’s something creepy about the sound of that … but I can see it happening).  The software they offer is CyclePRO, but I couldn’t find a screenshot of it.  I did find another popular ovulation & fertility software available called Hormonal Forecaster with many kinds of visual displays (the STM chart screenshot is shown here).

Besides all the technical info with science and the Catholic Church view on fertility, the idea of personal intimacy of a married couple started to get minimized.  The couples started sharing their own lives and the application of NFP in their marriages.  Through their own experiences, they recommend that the couple always do NFP together.  Even though the woman’s body is where all the signs come from, the husband should be the one to record the readings to actively be involved, pay attention to his wife’s needs more sensitively and find ways of intimacy outside of sexual union during their times of fertility.  They also posted a chart that concluded divorce is lowest in couples that practice NFP.  The chart showed a bar graph of “divorces per 100 marriages.” In 1960’s, it was 26 per 100.  In 1970’s, it was 32 per 100.  In 1980, it was 50 per 100.  For NPF users, it was LESS THAN 5 per 100 marriages.  (I’ve got some doubt about this research … a little too good to be true … no real source cited.)

Other questions about fertility and Catholic teaching can be found here.

Some personal testimonies of Catholic couples struggling with infertility.