Active, Involved, Informed and Engaged: Dealing with Reproduction

Dealing with reproductive issues is a very sensitive issue and can make one or both spouses feel isolated and alone, unless they have exceptional communication skills and are mutually supportive of one another.  Post-Gazzete reports:
 "...infertile couples often break up because they can't talk about it in healthy ways. Men have a hard time talking about infertility, and their wives may conclude that they don't care because they don't talk about it, he said. Women, because they realize there is no one to blame for the problem, sometimes displace their anger about it onto other issues in the marriage, causing great friction" (Read more).

"The Pope Paul VI Institute is the only Catholic Institution of its type in the United States and perhaps the world that has dedicated its services to the development of morally and professionally acceptable reproductive health services. The Institute is nationally and internationally recognized for its major accomplishements, including the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System (CrMS), the official language of a woman's health and fertility and the new women's health science, NaProTECHNOLOGY" (The Pope Paul VI Institute).

I wonder if men in fact do find it difficult to talk about with their wives?  If so, what makes that a difficult discussion?  I know there are as many reasons, as there are open hearts to the blessings of a child.  To my brothers, I'd suggest the easiest and first step woud be simply to get informed; and if a Catholc brother knows of another dealing with such burdens, it is a gift to share this information on The Pope Paul VI Institute, keep him (and his wife) in your prayers, and be there for support.  If you extend this gift of charity, who knows, you may become someone's uncle someday.

The Well of Consciences...How Deep is Your Well?

Fewer and fewer Catholic dads with young families seem to be actively involved in their local parish's community activities .  But is the well of conscience growing deeper, or more shallow among Catholic  dads?


Prior to March 2002, I like most obtained much of my political and general information from secular radio and T.V.  Of course, I talked with friends and family about their views, went to church and listened to what the priest had to say; and I relied heavily on my education to understand the "right thing to do". I wonder if you are the same way?

Little did I know my consciences wasn't as deep as I would like it to be to actively manage the complex moral and social issues our culture faces today; this was in part due to my lack of awareness and prior laziness many years ago.   No longer passive (a passive soldier is the best kind for evil to spread), I am much more active and informed to defend truth, the rights of the helpless, homeless, hungry and those marginalized. The Lord gained my attention through several life events I have faced throughout the course of my life, and I see there is so much yet to be done.  What about you, brother?  Are you actively engaged in your community?

As you consider the degree of your own involvement, here are resources to replenish what may be a well running dry.

A great downloadable resources entitled Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, can be found at http://www.faithfulcitizenship.org/.

For documents from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, pertaining to Protecthing Human Life, you can go to CatholicDads.org and click on Pro-Life Updates for documents listed in alpha order. For a short video on clarifying the Catholic's responsibility, see Faithful Citizenship at The Catholic Life playlist (Youtube/CatholicDads).

Together, actively living and  spreading the Gospel, we contribute to the well of conscience that grows ever deeper, refreshed by our Lord's love to satisfy our thirst for life and truth, empowering one another to make a positive change in the communities in which we live.  So, how deep is your well?  Deep enough to make a difference in the lives of rich and poor?  In what way(s) will you make a positive change in your community today?





Got Rap? Our Pope does!

What do you get when you blend the commitment of a loving father with a simple desire of his children? You get creative ways to further enhance the relationship between them.

Similarly, I am pleased to see the Vatican creatively come up with a method for outreach to the young, by endorsing the group Ooberf├╝se, and their song, "Heart's Cry", which has been selected to represent (italics inserted) the Papal visit in the UK" (A rap is the soundtrack to the forthcoming visit of Pope to the United Kingdom, RomeReports.com, 2010-09-11-10:00).

Music is a universal means to stir the soul and this is a fantastic way to do just that, stir the soul for Christ!


Reflections of Faith

Catholic Dads Headquarters: Reflections of FaithThe soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary was the space from which God was able to gain access into humanity (Pope Benedict XVI). Today God welcomes on earth the holy throne which he had prepared for himself.  He who established the heavens in wisdom has fashioned a living heaven(Byzantine Liturgy, Adapted from Magnificat, The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 8, 2010).


On this special occasion, I am mindful of the interior disposition that gives rise to the beauty found in artistic expression, which is a simple, powerful, and yet an imperfect reflection of our Creator.  The images provided here (Reflections of Faith) have been a blessing in my life and I hope they will provide some enjoyment for you, and an encouragement to take note of all the beauty found in our respective places of worship and the places we share with each other.

Labor of Love

Catholic Dads HQ - On your side: The important role of today's Catholic dads cannot be overstated, when it comes to their responsibility for the temporal and spiritual well being of their children.

While Labor Day has been traditionally focused on the contributions made by workers to the well-being of our country, we cannot overlook the concurrent importance of a dad's "labor of love" for his children.

The cumulative contribution of modern day fathers to their children's lives is well documented in current literature and social services: "Fathers are far more than just 'second adults' in the home...Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring."   And, that importance is brought to life in popular media and underscored in our outreach. Catholic Dads HQ is committed this Labor Day and everyday to the proactive and effective involvement of Catholic dads in their children's lives.

This Labor Day, reflect on your "labor of love" and what new meaning it can have for you and your children.

Enjoying Geco Juice

I've been experimenting with different breakfast drinks, and came up with Geco Juice. I have found that getting my children (ages 4 and 6) to join me in these experiments is a lot easier if I give these creative and healthy concoctions a funny name.


Cooking Time: N/A
Servings: 6 cups
Preparation Time: 5 minutes


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups - organic apple juice
  • 1/2 - organic large cucumber
  • 1 - organic carrot
  • 1 - medium banana
  • 4 tbs - Organic Blue Agave Sweetener (Trader Joe's)
  • 2 tbs - soy Lecithin Granules (Sprouts)
  • 3 tbs - sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups - ice
DIRECTIONS

  • Pour juice in blender;
  • Add each ingredient one at a time, and blend until smooth;
  • Add Agave Sweetener and ice to taste and consistency desired.
  • Enjoy!

Teaching a four and six year old about (dignity and miracle of) life

Each day parents are faced with issues of our time related to education, the economy, changing social norms and then the big one, dignity of life.  As parents it is important to take life’s challenges, show confidence in our Lord (John 16:33) and put issues in “digestible” terms for our children.


Around the dinner table, my daughters and I really, really enjoy a meal with white rice.  Recently, as we sat chatting about the day’s events, I recalled news in my mind on the right to life issue.  In a flash of inspiration, I picked-up a single grain and directed the conversation to how “Magnificent you are to me and how much I love you.” Each of my daughters’ eyes widened to hear my enthusiasm.  From there I proceed to reflect for them, “How magnificent is God our Father and what a miracle it is to be created by Him from something smaller than this grain of rice.”  By this point, I had the full attention of my girls as I held a single grain up with an out stretched hand and proceeded to point, “God is so wonderful, He made you, and you and me”.


“Really, Papa?” my oldest questioned.  “Yes.” I responded.  I continued, “And, then from there you became the size of the nail on your little pinkie.”  I pointed to each one’s little finger with the precision and gentleness as if to poke the Pillsbury dough boy in the tummy and then proceeded to shake my youngest daughter’s little finger with vigor, resulting in giggles all the way around.  From there, I persisted as their little faces reflected with amazement what their minds began to conceptualize and marvel at in the comparison of their current size with that little grain of white rice; which lead to some discussion on who they will become, “Someday, as big as me!”


“Wow!” exclaimed my oldest, jumping up to her little feet, as if to make herself stretch a little taller at this “teaching moment” to get there a little faster.


The dinner conversation was now theirs.  “Papa, were we smaller than that?” my oldest pointed to a stray half-grain of rice. “Yep…” I said confidently.  Then my youngest, grasping her own little finger, “Was I smaller than that?”  “Yep…” I said nodding my head again with a smile, “Can you believe it?”


That brief period of time over dinner, for me set the foundation for my daughters to grasp just how miraculous they are, and how their very existence fills me with great pleasure and love. From a tiny grain of rice is born the idea (albeit not fully formed for some years to come) that something so small (and smaller) can become so big and wonderful.  I am sure there will be many dinners that will challenge me to find creative ways to infuse the ideas of dignity and value packaged in such small miracles.  And, so will continue the education on the dignity and miracle of life.



The Miracle of Life - "The “Miracle of Life” shows us how amazing and wonderful the gift of “Life” is that God has blessed us with. Through incredible ultrasound video and photos we can actually see this miracle as we watch a baby develop in the womb. This video will make a great...illustration when you are preaching on the topics of abortion and sanctity of life" (Hyper Pixels Media).