Category: The Catholic Family

Praying for a White Christmas
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Praying for a White Christmas

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The snow started coming down hard a few hours after we’d arrived. It was Christmas Eve 1976. We were 20 miles from home, visiting my mother’s sister at her home in the country. Earlier that evening, my mother, father, grandmother and sisters had piled into the station wagon to begin our trek. I was 14 […]

Getting in Touch Again: Date Night
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Getting in Touch Again: Date Night

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Making date night work without too much work One way of being a better parent and spouse is making and keeping “date night.” Contrary to popular belief, this need not be (a) extravagant, (b) expensive, (c) so regular that it becomes boring (you can only do “dinner and a movie” so often), nor (d) require […]

Ode to Feminine Genius: A Family Woman
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Ode to Feminine Genius: A Family Woman

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When I was a child I always said I wanted 9 children. In fact, I said I wanted 9 boys! I would tell people I wanted my own baseball team, not a softball team, a baseball team. Family was important to me and I hoped and prayed that one day I would find someone who […]

Confessions of a Publicly Grumpy Mom
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Confessions of a Publicly Grumpy Mom

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Milk and toothpaste. That’s all that was left on my shopping list as I maneuvered myself, two shopping carts (one of the race car variety) and my five youngest sons toward the back of our local supermarket. The oldest boy was big enough to push a cart, only occasionally racing down an aisle or bumping […]

"I Paid $50,000 for a Girl"
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“I Paid $50,000 for a Girl”

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I think future generations will look back on our insane notion of “reproductive rights,” and they will be horrified. Back in the 70s reproductive rights meant terminating a life you already started. Today it also means creating life however you see fit and tossing out whatever doesn’t suit your desires. So not only have we […]

"What's on Fire?!" An Advent Tale or Two
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“What’s on Fire?!” An Advent Tale or Two

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Dutifully, Catholics go on the hunt each year for the highly coveted, purple and pink candle ensemble vital to any serious Advent wreath. I’m eighty-seven percent sure that I buy a replacement set after Christmas in anticipation of the following liturgical season. I proudly congratulate myself for thinking ahead, taking advantage of the sale price, […]

Thank You: Two Words That Can Transform Your Marriage
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Thank You: Two Words That Can Transform Your Marriage

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Every night since we’ve been married, my husband crawls into bed, turns toward me, and says: “Thank you so much for everything you did for us today.” After a couple years, I asked Peter if he felt obligated to thank me every night. “No not at all!” he replied “You mean so much to all […]

Book Review: Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women
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Book Review: Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women

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Before reading Anne Costa’s book Embracing Edith Stein: Wisdom for Women from St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, I knew who Edith Stein was but did not really know a lot about her. She had figured into other things I have read and I had connected with some of the passages quoted from her writings. […]

Chastity and Love: Please Don't Let Them Be Misunderstood
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Chastity and Love: Please Don’t Let Them Be Misunderstood

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Chastity and love are two of the most misunderstood concepts in our culture today. In her new book Chastity Is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin, Arleen Spenceley does a masterful job clearing up the confusion. About chastity and how it differs from abstinence, she says: Chastity neither pretends sexuality doesn’t exist nor […]

The Law of the Herd, a Thanksgiving Story
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The Law of the Herd, a Thanksgiving Story

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I love the holidays. What an awesome opportunity it presents to get our large family together. One Thanksgiving a few years back, we were especially blessed to be in full force with all twenty-nine of us. The two military boys and eight college students had graced us with their presence. Additionally, several of the teens […]

UNFPA: Children Have Right to Sex, Drugs, Abortion to Reduce Population
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UNFPA: Children Have Right to Sex, Drugs, Abortion to Reduce Population

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There are more young people in the world now than ever before. According to the United Nations Population Fund’s latest report, this represents an unprecedented opportunity for progress, but only if future generations are smaller. UNFPA’s prescription to ensure a “demographic dividend” includes freely available abortion for adolescents, removing age of consent, drug and prostitution […]

Even When He is Silent, His Love Abides
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Even When He is Silent, His Love Abides

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Even with all I have lost in this life I still believe in love. Even when love seems silent, I believe in love. Even if God seems silent, I believe in Him for He is divine love, manifested to us in His Son Jesus Christ.[1] He abides with me. So too, my experience with human […]

Decide, Don't Slide: Marriage Milestones
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Decide, Don’t Slide: Marriage Milestones

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Report reveals the order of milestones, and how couples handle them, makes or breaks marriages Milestone moments make memories for married couples, even the ones made together before the big wedding day. You always remember who first introduced the two of you, where and when you first kissed, when you proposed, and what you first […]

Pope Francis on the Complementarity of Men and Women
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Pope Francis on the Complementarity of Men and Women

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The Vatican-hosted international interreligious colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Women started in Rome yesterday with an address by Pope Francis. The purpose of the conference, which ends tomorrow, is to show the beauty of the complementarity of men and women, which has existed across cultures and religions. The Holy Father began his address […]

Weak Marriage Preparation Fuels the Vocations Crisis
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Weak Marriage Preparation Fuels the Vocations Crisis

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Articles relating to the sanctity of marriage have been churning out from Catholic media sources recently. The identity of marriage as between a man and a woman has been outlined and explained. Volumes have been written about the sacredness of sex and the scandal of contraception. Catholic couples with even limited exposure to Catholic media […]

When Dad Loves Mom, Children Benefit
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When Dad Loves Mom, Children Benefit

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“Who has helped you the most in your fathering?” We asked that very question to thousands of men as part of our research. Some answered, “My father” or “My pastor.” But the most popular answer by far was, “My wife.” And when we asked, “Who helps you overcome struggles in your fathering?” the number one […]

The Hour of Mercy
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The Hour of Mercy

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Eight months ago after welcoming my youngest into the wide world, I rediscovered the wee hours of the morning. After my longest gap between newborns (almost five years) in which I’d grown used to sleeping and waking according to my own wants and needs, I had to relearn that sacrificial habit of fumbling in the […]

Okay, Kid, Offer it Up
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Okay, Kid, Offer it Up

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Tyler Blanski wrote a fabulous and insightful article on fatherhood the other day on Catholic Exchange. It reminded me of my own father and one of his favorite sayings: “offer it up.” Whenever something traumatic happened in the lives of his ten children, like spraining an ankle during football practice or hearing something hurtful by […]

Nine Words We Must Say Every Day
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Nine Words We Must Say Every Day

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When I was young child growing up in the 70’s, I remember seeing greeting cards and cheesy home décor with the quote, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” an oft quoted line from the melodramatic film Love Story. It never made sense to me. If that is indeed true, I would tell myself, […]

Ode to Feminine Genius: the Merciful Woman
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Ode to Feminine Genius: the Merciful Woman

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Four years ago, my husband became someone else almost overnight. We’d been married for more than a decade and I’d always known I’d gotten one of the good ones. My husband was naturally compassionate, attentive to me and our children, and easygoing about most things. Reprinted with permission from Catholic Sistas. But then it was […]

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again
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I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again

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Life is more about getting up than it is about not falling. So my father commented once, long ago, when (of all things) we were watching figure skating. It wasn’t just any figure skating, though, it was the return of Scott Hamilton after his battle with cancer. For those too young to remember, Scott Hamilton […]

Beads for Men
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Beads for Men

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“The rosary is for old ladies and funerals! The rosary is not for me. I’m a man!” Yes, I was one of those knuckleheads who felt I was way too cool, too macho for anything as quaint as the rosary. It took the Holy Spirit shaking me to my core during an ACTS retreat to […]

My Journey Through In Vitro Fertilization
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My Journey Through In Vitro Fertilization

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It’s July 2008 and I’m strapped to a surgical table as a fertility doctor siphons three dozen eggs out of my ovaries through a long needle. Blood is coming from between my legs, as the needle repeatedly perforates my vaginal walls en route to my ovaries in search of viable eggs. In the next room, […]

How Sinner-Turned-Saint Augustine Can Teach You Temperance
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How Sinner-Turned-Saint Augustine Can Teach You Temperance

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Prior to his conversion, St. Augustine led a pretty debauched life, shacking up with a mistress for 15 years and fathering an illegitimate child with her. As a result I was initially surprised when Jean Heimann’s new book Seven Saints for Seven Virtues chose St. Augustine as a role model for temperance, “the cardinal virtue that helps […]

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