Friday, October 18, 2013

Quick Takes: They met Pope Francis!





1) Generally, this is not so much a mommy blog, and I don't write a whole lot about my family. But lately, obviously, I've been a giddy mom. Turn away if you can't stand any more, but I am seriously over the moon. My daughter and her new husband met Pope Francis this Wednesday as he greeted the section of newlyweds during his normal Wednesday audience. I can't post the pictures here, as I have not yet coughed up the zillion euros I need to buy the many photo files that I desire. Oh, don't you worry, I will eventually! But for now, you can see the entire ring-kissing, laughter-filled, joyful sequence here, if you scroll through page 12:



Her flame-red hair makes them easy to spot -- I knew it would come in handy someday! Also, click here for a couple photos of them earlier, as they wait. (That's not her actual wedding dress but a $14 dress she bought for the trip, easily balled up and thrown into a suitcase.) 

Not gonna lie, the whole episode just makes me want to jump and scream! I am so happy for them. And a shout out to my wonderful parents for making the trip possible. It's a dream come true. 




2) Okay, I have been waiting and waiting till I could tell you about Simcha Fisher's new book! I was privileged to get a full preview this summer, and I have been promoting it in comboxes all over the internet since then, even though it was not yet available. 

As you know, I am a proponent of the great gift of Natural Family Planning, and I have written about attitudes towards NFP in somewhat impassioned terms. Simcha's book, The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning, hits on many of the same issues with just as much passion, only she's funnier and more profound. Best of all, she does not sugarcoat NFP use at all. 


Adam and Eve, you started this!

Here's the review that I put on Amazon:


Simcha had me at "It is not possible to use NFP with a 'contraceptive mentality' so stop making up new sins, people!" (Yes, that is a paraphrase; yes, she says it so much better; yes, that's when I started cheering and didn't stop.)

This is not a book about how to chart your cycle or how your body works, it's a book about how human nature and husbands and wives work. Clear writing, refreshing logic, profound wisdom, practical, detailed advice, and laugh-out-loud humor (hooray!) make this unlike any other NFP book you have ever read.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite chapter, but Simcha's gentle admonition in the "You Don't Know" section is worth the price of the book and should be required reading for any Catholic who's ever expressed a public thought on NFP. Heck, while we're at it, the entire book should be required reading for every secular sex and marriage therapist on the face of the planet -- they might learn a thing or two (or 50) that never even occurred to them and save a million relationships.

If you love NFP, hate it, are confused by it, or have never heard of it, this is your book -- and the one you'll be discussing with your spouse and sharing with your friends.



3) Sorry, but this made me laugh, especially that last one!








4) My husband and I are going to the annual Bioethics Defense Fund event here in Scottsdale, Arizona on November 1! We never miss it. Please join us and let's have a blast, eat delicious food, drink with oodles of friends and hear the best, most inspirational speakers of the year. 


There really is no one else who does what pro-life attorneys Nik Nikas and Dorinda Bordlee do on the worldwide legal and educational front, and they are fearless in defending the dignity of all human beings from conception to natural death. Click the banner below to register, and I'll see you there!





5) Two good videos to recommend today.

First, what most economists don't want to talk about is the intimate connection between the health of the American family and America's economic health, but we ignore that connection to our peril:







Second, a brilliant 5-minute video from Prager University addressing the question of God and suffering, featuring Boston College philosophy professor (and a hero of mine) Peter Kreeft. Whenever Dennis Prager and Peter Kreeft collaborate on something, I am all ears, and I hope you will be, too:






6) I don't play the grammar nazi too often, but I'm doing it today, folks. I've been talking marriage on the macro and micro levels lately, and let's get two words straight:

Your father is going to walk you down the aisle, not the isle! If he walked you down the isle, you might fall into the ocean.

And what makes marriage marriage is that man and woman are complementary in nature, not complimentary! Well, I mean, they can compliment each other of course ("Nice hair, sweetie!"), but that's a whole other issue. 

Whew, thanks for letting me get that out. 


7) Here is a little beauty from Eastern Europe, Lydia, who might complement your family well, and one day even walk down the aisle with her daddy…. if only she could find a family to take her home and love her. She has cerebral palsy and would thrive in a loving home and with good medical care and nutrition.



Click here for more information on this seven-year-old beauty. 



+++++++



Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks to Jen for hosting!



55 comments:

  1. Hi Leila,

    I love reading your blog and don't leave comments very often but had to come out of lurkdom to say those two video's were awesome. My 16 year old daughter said, they need to make one for Australia.

    Our youngest child has very mild cerebral palsy so I will pray for Lydia to find a family and get the love and care she needs.

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    Replies
    1. Therese, I am glad you came out of lurkdom! Thank you, and thank you for your prayers for Lydia!

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  2. Those photos of your daughter, husband and pope are priceless...even with the huge price tag! I love them all and would enlarge them all for my living room wall!!! Just think...either granite counter tops for the kitchen or photos of your daughter meeting Pope Francis?!?!

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  3. 1. You should be giddy. You guys have ripped the cover off the ball. Let's see : 8 kids 2 parents. That's 10x10 love relationships. 100 love relationships! Wait, add Carter now that's 111 love relationships. Start throwing in a few babies and Watch Out! Whole new voting block! 10 years from now even Nubby would be raising an eyebrow at that math.
    Photos are amazing.

    2. Simcha is brilliant! Can't wait.

    3. Assuming the last one is a bad thing. So presumptuous. As long as I can eventually walk my baby down the eye-ul.

    4. Future topic: end of life issues

    5. Brilliant! Pretty much where I started going with my didn't finish bios yesterday.

    6. Ok fine, then what does Eye-ul mean? Why can't I spell it that way? You have no right jamming your preconceived rules about written language down my throat. Oh, oh, it's sad that my kids will learn that spelling? What's sad lady is your arrogance.

    7. One of these days lady. You keep this up and I'm going to get that Tuesday afternoon call "honey dear love, I've been thinking .....

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  4. Ha- Chris. Actually, the combination of love relationships in Leila's family is 28. Adding in her son-in-law, it's 36.
    Binomial formula: 8!/2!6! = 8x7/2x1 = 28 and 9!/2!7! = 9x8/2x1=36

    Leila, that is such a blessing that your daughter and SIL got to meet the papa.

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  5. I am all balled up blowing snot bubbles! I don't get it!

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  6. lol- ur hilarious. The factorial changes between her kids and her kids + son in law. Cancel out the duplicate love relationships (ex: kid A loves kid B counts only once, you don't count kid B to kid A, etc.). It would look like this before cancelling out 8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1. Once you cancel out duplicates = (8x7), the rest are cancelled out), solve for combinations. Nerdy enough for ya? ;)

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    Replies
    1. Haha . My wife insists I use scratch paper next time I'm doing math instead of a public blog using her last name. Which means my next demonstration, sentence structure, is officially canceled. Y'all are on your own . Sorry
      Thank you Nubby

      Delete
  7. I think you could explain to people when to use lose and when to use loose. Then you can explain what it means to loose or bind something on earth and in heaven. How did all those women knew to wear white? Is that something you find out in pre-cana and the rest of us don't get let in on the secret? Imagine showing up to that event wearing a different color. Awkward.

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  8. Is the book only in kindle? that's all i am seeing on amazon. i would love to buy it, but would need a hard copy.

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  9. How awesome that your daughter got to meet the Pope! I especially liked the pictures of her after he was walking away, you could tell she was in a daze!

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  10. This is so weird. I am not getting any comments in my personal email inbox, aaarrrghhhh! When did this change???

    Anyway, Chris and Nubby, I am going to pack you two up and bring you here to live with me, simply for my own entertainment!! You two CRACK ME UP. Too much fun!!!

    Lena, great point on the "lose" vs. "loose"! And, the section for the newlyweds is reserved ahead of time (my daughter secured their spot way in advance). The couples are told at that time that they have to wear their wedding attire. It may even have specified "white" gowns for women, but I hope that was assumed anyway, ha ha.

    WR, yes, I think it's only an e-book now, and I am praying someday it's a hard copy!

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  11. Kristi, I loved that "dazed" look, too! Ahhh!

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  12. In today's reading
    "Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed,
    because you know from whom you learned it,"
    Can you say apostolic succession? Read that line many times but never heard it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean really, why should you remain faithful? Because it makes you feel good? Because you really really think it's right? No! Because you know from whom you heard it! You can trust the source.
      Imagine how much BS was being lobbed in the 20 years after the resurrection. " I knew that dude, we surfed together once, he was like 10 ft tall and really knew his torrah"
      What great on street practical advice. Makes sense. You heard it from a direct source who walked with Jesus and of course God would not leave you orphans.
      Thank you, and send your free will offering to PO box...

      Delete
  13. Re. #5, I think Peter Kreeft has just proven that God exists, he is evil, and human beings having a higher standard of morality than Him.

    PK can't have meant to do that.

    The best he can be said to have done is to say, we don't know why creatures suffer physical and moral evils.

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  14. Kevin, ???! Where did you get that?

    You sort of skipped the whole free will thing.

    And how would we know what a "higher standard" of morality is if there is not an objective measure of it?

    We do know, in the macro, why creatures suffer. It's due to sin. The Fall. The separation from the Good, True, and Beautiful. Makes sense to me. Would not make sense otherwise.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not saying that's my view.

      Has PK explained why we and other sentient animals suffer physical evil? I watched the video twice and missed an explanation. He also didn't account for why God does not prevent others' moral evil from harming the innocent.

      These are questions atheists are asking.

      Kreeft says we *know* the suffering of the innocent is wrong and we do what is in our power to stop it. PK hasn't explained why God seems to do less than we do. That is why is could be reasonable to conclude that we have a higher standard of morality that this (partial) conception of God.

      I know that is provocative.

      Delete
  15. Kevin, interesting, but I honestly did not get that at all. I believe he did mention that if there is no God, there is no justice. That answers why he doesn't stop evil now (and take away free will) -- because justice will come, no worries about that.

    It's sort of like this, to which we can all relate:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/03/mystery-of-suffering-and-personal-story.html

    Bottom line, to keep the video at five minutes, he could not expand on that, but he did touch on it.

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  16. Sooooooo excited for your daughter! Looking forward to reading Simcha's new book.

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  17. Your new SIL is preciously cute! Gahhhh!

    I bet it was amazing to meet him!

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    Replies
    1. It probably was amazing when Leila met her son-in-law for the first time.

      Delete
  18. It is time to leave the thread about arrogance and move on to more pleasant subjects. To raise eight children and see them off to living good Christian lives on their own or with (opposite sex) spouses is worthy of great admiration and emulation. It has made enough of an impression on me as to make me want to be a part of the faith that inspired it. Whatever I or others may have to say about that faith, it doesn't change the goodness and beauty that come from it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what about the ugliness that religion brings?

      http://catholicismontherocks.blogspot.com/

      Delete
    2. People bring the ugliness. Humans can mess up a perfectly good thing, whatever it is.

      Delete
  19. "It's not possible to use NFP with a contraceptive mentality."

    This is a puzzling comment. Why does one use NFP, if not to avoid conception?

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  20. Captcrisis, because there is nothing "contraceptive" about NFP. NFP is not an "act". It's information. NFP does nothing at all to interfere or change the nature of the sacred act of sex. Contraception changes the nature of sex. I wrote more about that here:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2013/01/my-nfp-plea-stop-giving-warnings-and.html

    Also, there is nothing inherently wrong with abstaining from relations in order to postpone or avoid a pregnancy (it's the only acceptable way to postpone a pregnancy, in fact):

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/03/important-follow-up-to-natural-family.html

    Hope that helps!

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  21. What puzzled me was when she (Simcha) went on to say, "so stop making up new sins". Do you know what she's reacting to? I also did some searching and found admonitions against "using NFP with a contraceptive mentality". Do you know what that means?

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  22. Simcha did not say that. I was paraphrasing. It's a reaction against Catholics who disdain NFP (i.e.,providentialists) and go further than the Church herself does. It may be a little bit "inside baseball" unless you are familiar with the Catholics who are "more Catholic than the Pope".

    Again, my first link should really have addressed that whole issue for you. I wrote about it in detail.

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  23. Yes, your first link cleared up my question. (For some reason I only read the second link at first.) I also understand this new (to me) word "providentialism" (i.e., we have sex when we want, and whether we conceive or not is God's will). Thanks for the education.

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  24. @captcrisis
    "This is a puzzling comment. Why does one use NFP, if not to avoid conception?"

    Actually, NFP is a method many couple use to achieve pregnancy. I used to teach classes in NFP and they were attended by more couples trying to get pregnant than couples trying to avoid pregnancy.

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  25. Johanne is exactly right. NFP is information about a woman's body, and how she is "fearfully and wonderfully made". Many, many couples I know use NFP to achieve a pregnancy.

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  26. Conversely, many women take the Pill for non-contraceptive reasons. I knew one for whom it was prescribed to make her periods regular. This would have presented a problem if she tried to get pregnant -- for that purpose, NFP would have been useless to her. She would be forced to be a "providentialist". . . !

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  27. Why is it that if you interviewed women in line at the local whole foods store and asked if they used a daily chemical BC pill , which specifically alters a million of years of hard wired human anatomy , you would get some huge number saying yes without hesitation. Yet the same women would hike 20 miles in the snow for a chemical fertilizer free bunch of Broccoli that they eat once a week?

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    Replies
    1. I wonder if a study or interview like this one has ever been done. It would be interesting.

      Delete
  28. I am loving Simcha's book too! I have already recommended it to a client. It's a much-needed resource out there for couples who are not experiencing the sugar-coated version of NFP! (Honestly, some folks LOVE NFP... but one thing I've learned in teaching it: God really does bring two unique individuals together to create one very unique marriage. And what might be "easy" for one couple in a particular season is legitimately hard for another).

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  29. And captcrisis... even if you are using it to avoid for a season, that is not wrong, nor is it "contraception." Contraception prevents conception occurring from a particular act of sex by blocking (or even destroying) the woman's or man's fertility.

    With NFP, the couple is exercising self-control (a virtue) to say, "Well, we have so much respect for sex's design, that if we aren't ready for a baby, we will temporarily avoid sex." So there's no active thwarting of conception, just a decision to be intimate later (and even when having intimacy during a non-fertile phase on the chart, the couple is still being open - sometimes pregnancy does occur anyway - and embracing God's design for the couple's fertility - after all, God did give couples days and even seasons of natural infertility). .

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  30. Number 5 is hogwash. I am a very sensitive person and the ONLY way I found peace with suffering was to finally admit that there was no reason for it. I don't care what kind of reward a person gets for suffering in heaven, it is WRONG to do it on purpose. Only God can allow something and wish it if he is all knowing. I definitely believe in the beginning of this video, but I do not agree with his conclusions.

    http://catholicismontherocks.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_morality

      here are some basics ideas of morals without God

      Delete
  31. AJL, what do you think of this, especially the personal story part:

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/03/mystery-of-suffering-and-personal-story.html

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  32. AJL, please don't come on this blog and start planting your blog posts and links (three so far?). Either have a conversation or leave. I am sorry that you never found your way back to God. More than anything, my heart actually aches for your husband. I cannot imagine his grief, nor the depth of his concern for the faith of his children. May God bless and protect them, and you, too.

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  33. AJL, God will be waiting for you to come back.

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  34. Leila, I went back and read the post and comments on the mystery of suffering and personal story post. It was very comforting and encouraging. On a side note, I was wondering if the doctor waited long enough for the painkiller to take effect (or affect?) before stitching the lip. Or your child could've just been freaked out and scared by the whole procedure, which is understandable.

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  35. Lena, yes, my son started screaming and freaking out long before the needle punctured his skin. It was simply fear.

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  36. Leila, I remember when my 14 month old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He was severely dehydrated and had to get a drip in. I wrote about that same thing if holding him down so the doctor could get the drip in. Because of the severity of the dehydration, they weren't able to get the drip in and it took many picks and many twars. I really felt like I was betraying him. He is 13 now and knows all about how hard I found it.

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    Replies
    1. http://aussiecoffeeshop.blogspot.com.au/2007/04/seeing-god-in-our-trials.html
      Here is a link from that story.

      Delete
  37. Oops. So the blog is from a long time ago. So, I am sure things worked out for the better.

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  38. That's okay Bill. I have published your comment and will leave a reply but need to go to bed now.

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  39. What a blessing for your daughter and son-in-law to meet the pope!

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  40. I am just now seeing this post...AUGHH!!! Love the pics of your daughter and son-in-law with the pope!!! And the family/economy video is fantastic...and sad. Is Simcha's book now available in hard copy? Going to check!

    ReplyDelete

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