Posts

Showing posts with the label Theology of the Body

How Theology of the Body Impacted My Life

Image
On our 6th wedding anniversary, sitting in a busy pizza place, I was flipping through our local diocesan paper when an article jumped out at me. I was excited as I read a statement by Pope JPII which stated that using contraceptives not only damaged a couple’s intimacy but also harmed their spirituality. We were both struck dumb, sensing a powerful Presence of God as this truth pierced our hearts. Michael and I try to never let anything hinder our journey into God’s heart, so this truth now meant artificial contraception was definitely not an option. Of course, I cannot find the exact quotes we read that day but the following is close enough: read more
Image
Do you have a body? There's a theology for that!

Today I review TOBET's (Theology of the Body Evangelization Team) Theology of the Body Marriage Preparation book. Author Monica Ashour created this book with her TOBET team. (You may remember other books by Monica Ashour I've reviewed before: her Theology of the Bodyboard books for toddlers and paperbacks for children.)
The book focuses on couples preparing for marriage, of course, but anyone wanting to learn more about the Theology of the Body could benefit from its clear, innovative format. Perhaps my favorite part of the book is a series of pages on personal health (16-18). This section proposes an integrated view of the human person, providing checklists for assessing physical, emotional, and spiritual health. How providential that I picked this book back up during Lent! The health checklists help me identify areas of personal growth I can cultivate intentionally during these 40 days before Easter.
Join me at Praying wit…

Theology of the Body for Children, Part 2

Image
Sooner than I expected, the gender-identity crisis has hit my family. A friend of my high school children recently announced that she occupies the wrong body. She is adopting a male name and look, and asks that everyone embrace the new identity.
My children are struggling to respond. I was about to write that my children are agonizing over how to respond (which is true), but whatever confusion they are experiencing is nothing compared to the agony of their friend. A bright, talented young person, their friend has decided--at the age of eighteen--that her body is a mistake. Every conscious moment must be torture for her. Every time she moves, looks at herself, or speaks, she regrets having the "wrong" body.


Please join me at Praying with Grace to get a glimpse of a new set of books for children (ages 4-7) that can help adults respond with love to gender issues.

Theology of the Body Building Blocks for Tots

Image
Children learn by doing. Take sharing, for example. Here’s what doesn’t work:

Son, I’ve asked you to sit down with me today to discuss the multifaceted benefits of sharing, both for the individual who shares and for the community concerned with fairness. I realize you’re only two years old [stop chewing on that electric cord, please], but I believe even you can learn to appreciate why [seriously, that’s dangerous–put down the cord] sharing will enrich your young life.

Here’s what works better:

[Prying toy out of two-year-old’s death grip] Honey, we’re going to give this little girl a turn with the toy. Why don’t you sing the ABC song with me? When we’re done with the song, she’ll give the toy back so you can have another turn.

The detached exploration of abstract principles has its place, but typically not with young children. Children are concrete thinkers. Effective parents embrace that fact and use immediate, hands-on opportunities to help children grow.

Some people have a gift for …

HUGE NEWS: Chris West Will Write the Foreword to Our Marriage Advice Book!

Image
Many of you have patiently followed the saga of our Catholic marriage advice book through the stages of proposal,publishing contract, and editing.  Over the summer, we found out our title:


The Four Keys to Everlasting Love: How Your Catholic Marriage Can Bring You Joy for a Lifetime


And.... we found out that Christopher West had agreed to write the foreword!!!! In every informal poll we conducted on social media, when we asked who would be the BEST person to write a foreword to a Catholic marriage advice book, you overwhelmingly responded, "Chris West."

Read more here...

Woof!: British Divorcee Marries Loyal Dog

Image
Woman marries dog. Just another weird story, or a sign that marriage has lost validity as an institution? 47-year-old British divorcee Amanda Rodgers married her female Jack Russell terrier, Sheba, in a ceremony in Croatia, and the couple are now making rounds on the British talk show circuit. Two hundred people attended the overseas ceremony, reported the New York Daily News. It is unclear whether the well-wishers were merely curiosity-seekers or whether they truly believed that Ms. Rodgers (and the dog) had found their respective soulmates.

In proposing marriage to Sheba, Ms. Rodgers followed the traditional custom of going down on one knee. "I could tell by her tail wagging that she said 'yes,'" explained Ms. Rodgers. (For more on how to ascertain the consent of non-humans to marriage proposals, see my earlier article on the subject here.)

Ms. Rodgers married a man 20 years ago, but the marriage only lasted a few months. Although Sheba and Ms. Rodgers shared a kiss o…

I Am More Than My Desire

Image
I am a woman who desires men, but I don't define myself that way. Who I am depends equally as much on the parents who raised me, the town where I grew up, and the schools I attended. I am an introverted and somewhat socially awkward intellectual, who likes Renaissance music, science fiction, and macaroni and cheese. I am all of these things and I like all of these things completely apart from my heterosexuality.

I could identify myself as a Virginian born-and-bred or a New York transplant, as a blogger or a lawyer or a stay-at-home mom, but these categories don't constrain or pigeon-hole me. On a deeper level, I am a former WASP turned Catholic convert. I am a baptized Christian who bears on my brow and in my soul the seal of Him who died. I am bound to my husband through the Sacrament of Matrimony, and in some mystical way we have been made one. On a still deeper level, I am a creature of God brought into existence out of love and because He has a special plan for me.

So I don&…

Christmas Gift Ideas: Book Edition

Image
Just in time for Christmas, here are some awesome book suggestions for nearly everyone on your list.
For Married or Engaged Couples
For Better... Forever!: A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage, by Greg Popcak. This modern Catholic classic has been offering helpful advice to couples for more than a decade. Give a gift that helps love grow all year long. Click here for my review.

For Moms and Dads
Growing Up in God's Image, by Carolyn J. Smith.  One of the biggest struggles parents face is teaching their kids a healthy outlook on sexuality. You can start laying the groundwork when your kids are very young by teaching them respect for their bodies. Then, it's much easier to talk to them as they get older. Learn how in this helpful book. Click here for my review and link to buy.

Catholic Family Fun, by Sarah A. Reinhard.  The family fun can last all year round if you use the ideas in this clever book. Imagine always having something wholesome to do that will keep bodies and minds acti…

Happy Anniversary to Can We Cana!!

Image
On December 2, 2012, I started the Can We Cana? blog on a wing and a prayer, hoping to provide support for Catholic marriages and families. Thanks to you wonderful readers, the blog reached its 1000th pageview in less than two months. By today, its one-year anniversary, the blog has attracted more than 30,000 pageviews from readers in all 50 states and in countries around the globe.

Blogpost topics have included everything from sexuality and the Theology of the Body to staying married through sickness and health, unexpected pregnancies, first-year disillusionment, and the pressures of raising a big family. There are parenting tips, household tips, and reviews of awesome Catholic family resources. I've even included discussions of difficult issues like marital abandonment, abortion, annulment, virginity, and rape. Thanks to the support of some amazing on-line friends I've made, Can We Cana? posts have also appeared on CatholicMom.com, CatholicLane.com, AmazingCatechists.com, M…

Woman Marries Bridge in Catholic Ceremony

Image
I'm only half-kidding. Australian woman Jodi Rose did in fact marry Le Pont du Diable bridge (also known as the Devil's Bridge) on June 17, 2013. The union was not blessed by a Catholic priest, however. It was blessed instead by the mayor of the neighboring town. For those who are wondering, here are five reasons why the Catholic Church would never have allowed marriage between this woman and this bridge.

1. The bridge never consented.
Ms. Rose took advantage of the bridge's inanimate nature and married it even though the bridge could not possibly express its consent to the marriage. (Catechism, sec. 1626 )
2. The bride never agreed to be faithful.
"He understands that I love other bridges -- and men -- ours is a love that embraces the vagaries of life, as materialised in the swirling currents of the river that flow beneath his magnificent body," stated Ms. Rose on her blog. She clearly refused to pledge herself solely to her spouse. (Catechism, sec. 1646)

Click …

It's All About the Bones

Image
A number of years ago I read von Hildebrand’s Privilege of Being a Woman. To say it was life-changing would be an understatement. Of course, there is a saying that “when the student is ready the teacher will appear” and that may have well been the case with Alice’s book. As a grown woman I can safely say that I was ready for the truth that was found in her words—hence “life-changing.”
The problem with life-changing experiences, per se, is that they sort of leave you wondering “Now what? Where do I go from here?”
In the years since reading Privilege of Being a Woman I have read countless other non-fiction books that have been touted as “must reads” and yet without exception each has left me feeling a bit empty. Not quite doing it for me. They are okay, don’t get me wrong; but of the caliber of the von Hildebrand book? Nope. And I know they serve a purpose—but I have yearned for something more than a book that seems to be a mere collection of blog articles (as a dear friend has said about…