Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25 Feast of St. James the Greater, Apostle d. 44

Today's feast celebrates St. James the brother of St. John the Evangelist. Like St. Peter and his brother St. Andrew, Our Lord called Saints James and John from their lives as fishermen to become fishers of men. We believe that St. James had a lot of zeal because he along with his brother, they were called the 'Sons of Thunder' (Mark 3:17.)As one of Jesus' closest three friends, St. James witnessed the Transfiguration, the raising from the dead of Jairus' daughter and the Agony in the Garden. St. James was the first of the twelve apostles to be martyred under King Herod Agrippa.
It is believed that St. James had preached the gospel in Samaria, Judea and ultimately in Spain. Since the eighth century pilgrims have journeyed to Compostela, Spain to pray to St. James and seek his intercession. The Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James is the path on which pilgrims travel. The most common starting point is in the Pyrenees in France. Pilgrims walk, run or bike the Camino over many days and weeks. Some go to the Camino for religious reasons, to seek a heavenly favor or draw closer to our Lord. Others are tourists who make the Way simply to physically challenge themselves.
There are a lot of internet resources that tell more about the Camino and have the maps and pictures for us armchair travelers. In addition to being a virtual traveler, today we could make a journey to a Parish or Shrine that is in our diocese named for St. James. Pack a lunch, take the kids and park 1/2 a mile away from the church itself to get just a small feel for the walking pilgrimage.

Tonight watch the Emilio Estevez movie The Way. It stars Estevez and his real life father, Martin Sheen.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Sinner's Guide to Natural Ffamily Planning by Simcha Fisher

National NFP Awareness Week is JULY 20 - JULY 26, 2014

The USCCB 2014 theme:
Natural Family Planning: It's Worth It.
Join the Revolution!

To Celebrate Natural Family Planning Week, I am reviewing Simcha Fisher's book The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning and sharing other great marriage resources.

So, you’ve decided to use Natural Family Planning. Has it blessed your marriage? Deepened your respect for your body? Has it made your sex life fantastic? Do you and your spouse hold hands at sunset, and do pink flowers grow around your marital bed? If so, this book is not for you. 

But if you’ve tried Natural Family Planning and have discovered that your life is now awful – or if you feel judged or judgey, or if you trust NFP but your doctor doesn’t, or if just you’re trying to figure out how the heck to have a sex life that is holy but still human – you’ll find comfort, encouragement, honesty, wit, and, most importantly, practical advice in The Sinner’s Guide to NFP. 

In a series of funny, frank, and profound essays, popular Catholic blogger and mother of nine Simcha Fisher shows what it’s really like to practice NFP, and how to achieve those fabled “marriage building” benefits. 

The Sinner’s Guide to NFP helps you with: NFP and Your Spiritual Life, NFP and the Rest of the World, NFP in the Trenches 

An easy and lively read, thoroughly grounded in orthodox Catholic theology, this book is packed with refreshingly frank insights about sex, love, and marriage. The next time you ask yourself, “If NFP is wonderful, why am I so miserable?” – don’t panic. The Sinner’s Guide to NFP is here to help.

MY TAKE: I am so glad this book has been written. It is practical and encouraging and REAL! Many times promotors of NFP make it sound like using NFP will solve all your problems and make your marriage like your honeymoon, all the while allowing you to have 'church approved' Sex. While all of that is true, some or most of the time, many people have found it difficult to live a married life with Natural Family Planning. Fisher does something amazing with this book, she tells it like it really is. And more than that, she opens the door for both the husband and the wife to laugh at themselves, to honestly assess their marriage and to find practical ways to make the marriage better.

I highly recommend this book.

Interested in learning Natural Family Planning? The St. Gianna Center is THE GO-TO place to help women and couple's learn NFP, Naprotechnology and the science of Women's Health. VISIT:

Lighthouse Catholic Media has some great talks on Natural Family Planning and Understanding a Catholic Vision of Marriage and Family Life. These talks are available on MP3 or CD for $5 or less.

Click HERE to get a CD or MP3 of Green Sex by Jason Evert

CLICK HERE to get a CD or MP3 of Marriage and Family: Love Unveiled by Dr. Scott Hahn

Click HERE to get a CD or MP3 of Contraception: Cracking the Myth by Prof. Janet Smith

For more great MP3s and CD on Marriage, click HERE.