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Archive for September, 2012

Why Do People Do NFP?

Why do they initially come for information?

What captures their attention?

What makes them continue using it?

These questions and more were part of a survey conducted by Mary Hasson at http://www.wordsfromcana.wordpress.com about Natural Family Planning usage.
As an instructor of the Creighton Model System of Natural Family Planning (CrMS), I replied:

People come to CrMS to learn how to be in control of their bodies (and, they hope, by extension, their lives).

They respond to the introductory information with amazement that this is scientifically viable, and not some hokey weirdness.

They stay when they experience the exciting synergy of working with their bodies (and thus, their Creator, but I digress…).

There is a huge psychological/spiritual component of natural methods of family planning.  It is truly holistic, addressing body, mind, and spirit, which we know are interconnected, but which becomes very clear when charting.

I always say, “It all comes out on the chart,” meaning everything going on in their lives, histories, and spirits shows itself through the chart, and if they are willing to do the work, much healing occurs.  Not just gynecologically.

I also call NFP a “Trojan Horse of grace,” because whatever the motivations for starting, God uses their NFP efforts as an excuse to bless and heal them and to turn their hearts toward Himself.

It’s real. I see it everyday in follow-ups.


If you’re not familiar with how CrMS can be used to achieve or avoid a pregnancy, or the medical branch – NaProTechnology, in which we can find and with the help of a doctor, diagnose and treat a wide variety of gynecological disorders.  Including  infertility!

More at: fertilitycare.org or creightonmodel.com

Ode to the Common Wipie

For my dear friend on the occasion of her baby shower, I composed this poem and attached it to her gift:

Forgive me, please. It’s such a bore
To receive wipies – nothing more.
But truly, after eighteen years
Of wiping noses, faces, rears,


There IS no finer “Mothers’ Tool.”
Nothing that you learned in school
(about cloth diapers, Boppys, slings
Or lots of other fancy things),
Can ever, ever quite surpass
The bag of wipes in Mother’s stash.

You’ll use them to “de-drool” the cars,
Wipe the slime from baby-food jars,
Wash their hands, and feet, and faces
(And, of course, the other places).

A thousand jobs these wipes will do,
And then you’ll hear of something new.
A task you had not thought before
To do with this hard-working “bore.”

Now, keep your wipies close at hand,
At home, abroad, in playground sand.
A wiser Mom taught me. It’s true!
And now, I pass it on to you.

And by their wipies, you will know
The other Moms, wherever you go.


The Mundane and the Practical –

are sometime very dramatic!

Like tonight, when the perfect storm of a fifteen-year-old boy assigned to make dinner, and too-hot oil met to create a literal conflagration of impressive proportion.

Translation – big fire!

So all I want to say is: have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. The flames coming out of that pot reached the stove hood and if it were not for the (expired) extinguisher stashed in a nearby cupboard, I would not be writing right now.

When the flames were out, we took the opportunity to have a fire drill, which included waking up the teen who was late for work, and everyone got out alive.

All that stuff they teach you about fires in school – it’s true.

The smoke really does rise, and you really do have to crouch down to avoid the choking cloud.

The fire really does get out of hand almost too fast to think.

The fire really does go out faster if you aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Smoke detector batteries really do have to be changed every six months. Ours did not function as intended. But they will tomorrow!!

And we will have new extinguishers, too.

Please get up right now and take a minute to make sure you have what you need, and that your kids and spouse know how to find it and what to do with it, and themselves.

Proper Prior Planning…

Death and Video Games

No, this isn’t a diatribe against video games. I think we all enjoy indulging in a little gaming on the computer from time to time – or perhaps a little more often than that.

But video games make a great analogy for life and death.

Here we are on Earth, a “copy and shadow” of Heaven, the Bible tells us. Like an alternate reality – beautiful, intriguing, complex. The Programmer of this virtual environment designed it to reflect the world in which He lives, as if it’s possible to reflect Heaven in three puny little dimensions.

In this game, you, the player, explore Level One, overcoming its challenges, discovering its hidden mysteries, gaining as many points as you can. But once you conquer the level, or your time runs out, you don’t hang around.

No. A player moves on to the next Level.

There is nothing more to gain from the now-empty surroundings of Level One. The sterile, flat, shallow environment has only surface beauty. You have already received the training, earned the points, overcome the evil. It’s time to move on. This place has nothing more to offer. Like a house without furnishings.

God equipped us with a burning desire to live. The instinct to survive is as basic as the instinct to seek happiness and to reproduce, and it’s a good thing, too. If Earth is to Heaven what a virtual environment is to the real world, who would want to stay around? What would be the incentive to finish the Level?

Real life has its shades, nuances, emotions, personalities, history, organizations, societies, and experiences – complete with hot chocolate, Gold medals, newborn-baby smell, and tomato plants. Imagine the new dimensions we’ll find in Heaven!

Nevermind, you can’t. Jesus said we can’t even conceive of what is waiting for us in Heaven.

Don’t be afraid to die. When He calls you, leave this Level for the empty shell, the proving ground that it is. Empty, except for Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. Let Him take you to the Real World, the next level.

What’s the Opposite of Prayer?

If you’re into science fiction, you will love contemplative prayer.

Not because prayer is fiction. It’s not. It’s your best opportunity to experience what’s really real.

(Remember, you’re living in a copy and shadow, not the real reality.)

Science fiction gives the reader a chance to explore places they’ve never conceived of and envision sights they’ve never imagined. It expands your mind and helps you think in new ways.

That’s how science fiction is like contemplative prayer.

Prayer is like a ladder – we climb it to get closer to God, to whisper in his ear, to peek over the wall into the real world – Heaven.

Do you pray by rote? Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be?

Great. You’re on the bottom rung of the ladder, off the ground, reaching toward Daddy.

Do you pray by reading the Bible and thinking carefully about the words?

Fantastic! You’re participating in a millenia-old tradition of Lectio Divina. You’ll be zooming over the wall in no time.

Do you pray by sitting in God’s presence, fixing your gaze and lifting your spiritual arms to Him, and letting Him lift you up like a Father sweeping a child into his arms?

If so, the view is brilliant, and earthly science fiction will never satisfy you again.

If you’ve prayed like that – if God has picked you up for a better view – you know you’ve passed your moments in the very best way possible on this side of the wall. You feel suspended, time doesn’t apply, and it passes indiscriminately while God holds you.

Healing your sin-wounded heart.

You come away feeling like your roots reach down through a vast expanse of space and time. You feel like you’re a part of the eternal. Like your legs go down to the core of the earth and your hands can stretch through space and out the other side into Heaven.

You see beautiful things. Any you’re happy. And there is peace.

No wonder contemplative monks and nuns can live in poverty and visually unstimulating environments their whole lives. Who cares about your physical surroundings when God grants you such Views? Who cares about fashion and gourmet foods when you get to see new colors and eat Life itself?

You come away from this prayer inclined to goodness. Able to love in impossible circumstances. Prayer saves civilization and enhances humanity.

Which really torques our enemy.

Especially when we dispose ourselves to be picked up and carried in God’s arms like that.

So the sore loser makes an opposite.

These opposite distract us and draw us away from God.

Like negative numbers, opposite their positive numbers.

Trying to neutralize God’s goodness in mankind.

Think blessings vs. curses. Mass vs. a black mass. Birth vs. contraception and abortion.

Contemplative prayer vs. What?

I’ll give you some hints and see if you can figure it out.

For what non-prayer activity do we fix our gaze, and sit silently?

During what do we see new sights and distant places, some of them neutral or good, many abjectly evil, depraved, stripping us of our innocence?

In this activity, time is suspended, but afterward, you feel crabby and short-tempered. You’re inclined to vice.

Too much of this is associated with neglect, abuse, drug culture, ignorance, brainwashing, indolence. It does make you forget your surroundings, but leaves you inclined to act out the evil you have imbibed, tears at the traditional fabric of society, and perverts the innocence of humanity.

On a recent drive through a rural county, we passed a trailer home failing in its efforts to resist gravity. Rusty detritus filled the yard, creating an dark blight on the peaceful, bucolic countryside.

Against the backdrop of a magnificent setting sun, the glow of an LED screen flickered through the curtain-less window.

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