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Showing posts from July, 2012

I refuse to hide in the basement

Most of the time I really like what well established Catholic author and my Northern Virginia neighbor  Elizabeth Foss writes. But today on her Facebook page she endorsed and linked to this blog post by Jen Hatmaker:

This is precisely how I feel about the Chick-Fil-A debacle and all the other accoutrements of the culture wars. I am so over it. I'm so over the fear mongering and the hate propaganda. I'm over the political posturing and power plays. I'm over the finger pointing and name calling. The storms are raging overhead, and let me tell you something:I'm going to the basement. Jen Hatmaker goes on to invite us all down to her basement to contemplate the really important things like love, feeding the hungry, justice, etc. She hates how the Gospel has been turned into a "bludgeoning tool".


I have very mixed feelings about this hiding in the basement thing. I agree we do not need to rage at people. We need to love everyone, even those who disagree with us. W…

Seeking souls instead of gold at the Olympics

In these turbulent social times, i sometimes have a tough time making it through the newspaper. Even the comics get tangled up in the issues of the day. My refuge is often the sports page. I love athletic competitions. Not being a great athlete myself, I love to read about the feats of those who are. Athletes are not saints by any stretch of the imagination, but normally the stories focus on values we can all agree upon: discipline, strong work ethic, perseverance. Other than Barcelona FC, I don't have a strong emotional attachment to many teams. I always cheer for the National League in baseball because I hate the designated hitter rule. I tend to cheer for the team with the best back story.

The Olympics is the mother lode of inspiring stories. There are so many obstacles, challenges, and come-backs. However, I was feeling a bit jaded this time around. American soccer goal keeper, Hope Solo, has been dishing about the bacchanalia that takes place in the Olympic Village. Olympic o…

Melinda Gates pushes dangerous solution and more

I know I said I would use this blog for more than just linking to my articles published elsewhere, but I think you will find the following interesting.

Melinda Gates is busy pushing her population control on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. She is covering it with the veneer of trying to improve women's health. Her methods, however, are dangerous and will harm more than they could possibly help.  Read more here.

This article generated quite a bit of media buzz. I did a taped interview for LifeNews radio. Not sure when it will be broadcast. Today I did a live interview with Janet Parshall. You can find it here. It is the broadcast dated July 26, 2012.

Finally, my latest HLI Article for Zenit is up. While prenatal testing is a benefit and a blessing at time, it can also be used for evil purposes. Read the whole story here.

All of my HLI America work is archived here.

Hope you find this work thought provoking and helpful.

It's Natural Family Planning Awareness Week!

In case you haven't heard, the bishops declared July 22-28 Natural Family Planning Awareness Week. My contribution for the week is up at HLI America.
Pope Benedict XVI offered an encouraging message to the recent meeting of the Equipes Notre Dame (translation: Teams of Our Lady), a pro-marriage apostolate. The Holy Father invited all Christian married couples to be “the gentle and smiling face of the Church.” There is no greater way for couples to achieve this than to joyfully open their marriage to the gift of life. Head on over to HLI America and read the whole thing!

In addition, Dr. Donald DeMarco offers some great thoughts on NFP as well.

And I highly recommend the series of posts by Elizabeth Foss.

Happy NFP week!

Exceeding Expectations

I have to admit I settled into daily Mass a bit complacently today. I saw that the celebrant was a priest with a very thick accent. Combine that with a less than stellar sound system and I am often lucky to understand much at all of what he says. But that is okay. I am grateful for his presence and grateful for the Eucharist. I smugly consoled myself with a reminder that I don't necessarily need a rousing homily at every Mass.

But somehow today I did understand his words. The Gospel reading was:

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you."
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
"Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
"Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother…

Time to fly

As I mentioned yesterday, I've grappling with letting go--mostly of stuff. But I am also having to let go a little bit of my baby. My youngest graduated from high school last month and will be moving on to college in just a month. Unlike his older siblings, when he heads off to college he will be going five miles up the road instead of 1500 miles across the country. He is going to live in the dorm for at least the first year so that he can get a taste of independence and learn to handle money, time, and school without Mom and Dad right there to double check things. I am pretty sure he is ready. But it is hard to watch the last one fly. Of course, based on his older siblings, the flight in August will probably include a return leg or two and maybe even a few stints back under our roof. However, it will never be the same.
Now all through high school, I did not give my kids total free rein. I had to know where they were, who they were with, and what time to expect them home. I still…

Should it stay or should it go?

As I mentioned yesterday, my mother had a tendency to collect things. I believe I inherited bit of that tendency as well. However, the propensity to hoard that my husband brings to our marriage makes my side of the family look totally detached from things. He wants to save everything. "It might be useful someday!" are frequent words as I try to declutter. Which is why this article recommended by Fr. Z caught my eye.  It offers a pretty good psychological explanation of why we hang on to things. Yet, all the explanations in the world are worthless if they do not also offer a solution. I like this idea:

Now, knowing the power of the bias, for each item I ask myself a simple question: If I didn't have this, how much effort would I put in to obtain it? And then more often or not I throw it away, concluding that if I didn't have it, I wouldn't want this.
Let this anti-endowment effect technique perform its magic for you, and you too will soon be joyously throwing away t…

Just because you ask it...

Since my mother passed away a little over a year ago, one of my tasks whenever I visit my dad is to sort through another stack of papers. My mother was a collector. She never failed to pick up and never threw away a single religious tract, pamphlet, or prayer card. You know the ones you get from fundraising letters? She saved them all. And I can't just throw away whole piles, because tucked inside the papers are often photos or other sentimental treasures. So I sort.
The upside is I have found some wonderful tracts, pamphlets, and prayer cards to add to my own collection. What can I say? I am my mother's daughter. Though I have made the intention to cull my collection and keep it a bit more organized in consideration of any offspring who may someday find themselves sorting.
One of my finds now in my purse is a card that carries  The Universal Prayer of Thanksgiving After Mass. It is attributed to Pope Clement XI. It is now my prayer as I kneel after Mass. Many of you may be f…

HPV vaccine revisited

My post yesterday mentioned some of the many changes that have occurred in my life since I started this blog in 2006. Because you asked for it, Barb, let's chat about what has happened with the HPV vaccine in that time. I have a whole series of posts on this that you can read here
First of all, there are now two vaccines to choose from instead of just one. Gardasil is manufactured by Merck. Cervarix is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Instead of being marketed just to girls and women. The vaccine can now be given to boys and men ages 9 to 26. For males, the indication is the prevention of genital warts. For females, the indication is the prevention of infection with two of the subtypes of HPV (16 and  18) that cause cervical cancer. The cost of the vaccine is just under $400 for a three shot series. Some insurance plans cover the cost of vaccination. Women who are vaccinated still need to have regular pap smears because the vaccine does not cover the types of HPV that account fo…

Can we talk?

For as much as I have been writing, I am amazed to see how little is on this blog. I have been stringing words together seemingly non-stop, but very few are showing up here. When I started blogging six years ago, it was an attempt to hone my writing skills, evangelize, and test the waters. My hope was that somehow my work would be noticed and my clinical career in medicine would transition to a teaching and writing career. Guess what? It worked.
Because my blog got noticed by some folks, I did a little networking. The next thing you know I am a fellow for Human Life International and writing about family issues,  beginning of life issues, end of life issues, health care policy issues, and so much more. I am doing exactly what I set out to do when I started blogging. I am combining my love of God, my love of the Church, my love of teaching, and my love of writing.
Of course I am also still Mom. But I am also Gramma. When I started blogging I had one child in college but still consider…