Natural Family Planning (NFP)

Helping couples to deepen conjugal love and achieve responsible parenthood is part of the Church’s total pastoral ministry to Catholic spouses. Fulfillment of this ministry includes both education and pastoral care.

This means “instilling conviction and offering practical help to those who wish to live out their parenthood in a truly responsible way” (Familiaris consortio, #35).

Natural Family Planning (NFP)

NFP is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. These methods are based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Couples using NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from intercourse and genital contact during the fertile phase of the woman’s cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy.

NFP reflects the dignity of the human person within the context of marriage and family life, promotes openness to life, and recognizes the value of the child. By respecting the love-giving and life-giving natures of marriage, NFP can enrich the bond between husband and wife.

Click here to view the official USCCB NFP site

Couple to Couple League

Billings Ovulation Method

Northwest Family Services

Family of the Americas

Creighton System 

NFP and More Site

NFP Outreach

FREE NFP Tracking Software for your Palm Pilot

Theology of the Body Site

Science and Creation … with NO Conflict At All

Science and Creation … with NO Conflict At All

There’s an ongoing battle between some Creationists and Scientists, but this site simply explains … using short videos … the physical characteristics of every element that’s included in the periodic table.

Watch a couple of the videos … and see if it doesn’t make you want to give thanks and praise to God, the Creator of all things.

Click here to watch the videos

Believe in God, but not religion?

Q: Believe in God, but not religion?
If someone believes that God does exists, but does not go to church, or believe in the bible, or in an after life in Heaven or Hell, are they called an Agnostic, because I know an Agnostic is someone who does not know if there is or is not a god.

A: An agnostic is typically someone who doesn’t really care whether God exists … or not … or that God is simply unknowable.

Someone who claims to believe in God, but not religion, obviously believes that faith in any deity will get the job done.

Authentic religion will prove … both logically and factually … that such a belief is simply not true.

The Catholic Church teaches that the primary purpose of our human existence is to come to know and love the one, true God.

Next, is the virtually simultaneous process of being ultimately perfected in God’s grace, so that we might one day, be fit to share with him all that he is and all that he has, for all eternity.

There is no religion on the planet that compares with the divinely revealed, complete, consistent, practical, and systematic theology of the Catholic Church.

And that’s no coincidence, since the Catholic Church was personally founded by Jesus Christ, who is God, and who proved it, by rising from the dead.

“Flying Priest” Feared Dead

“Flying Priest” Feared Dead

Rescue crews are scouring densely forested mountains in southern Brazil for some sign of the Roman Catholic priest who vanished over the Atlantic Ocean after sailing into the air under a cluster of colorful helium balloons. (April 25)

 

Click Here to Watch the Video

Officials confirm discovery of balloon priest’s remains

Do You Know This Man?

New Analysis Confirms Second Face on Shroud of Turin and Raises Questions About Other Images

NEW YORK, March 11, 2005 — Skeptics and people who believe the Shroud of Turin is the genuine burial shroud of Jesus have always shared one common perception: they thought they knew what the man on the shroud looked like. Now, new computerized image analysis suggests they may be wrong.

Results of this analysis suggest that many characteristics of the images on the shroud are optical illusions caused by random plaid patterns in the cloth. For instance, because of these patterns, the face of the man on the shroud appears gaunt and the nose abnormally long and narrow. By using image enhancement technology to reduce the effect of the variegated patterns, the shape of the face changes significantly. The face takes on a broader look and the nose becomes realistic looking.

Shroud researchers have discovered that these patterns are caused by alternating bands of darker and lighter threads in the cloth. Ancient linen was often manufactured by bleaching the thread in batches before weaving, thus producing nonuniform whiteness in the cloth.

Click here for the rest of the story

What is your opinion on Catholics?

Q: What is your opinion on Catholics?

A: Catholics are the “spoiled rich kids” of Christianity, on whom God has lavished all his love and care, for the last 2000 years.

Many Catholics neither appreciate God’s abundant blessings, or do much of anything to reciprocate.

The clergy has been out of control for hundreds of years … and there’s the real source of the problem.

That said, those Catholics … clergy or laymen … who take the time to come to know and love God, and who act accordingly, by faithfully and charitably participating in all of the work, worship, sacraments, and devotions of the Church, will almost certainly obtain all the blessings and rewards that God has promised … and much, much more.

Killed in Darkness, Remembered in Light

Killed in Darkness, Remembered in Light

by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

On the afternoon of Sunday, July, 27, 2008, close to five hundred of the faithful filled the tremendous Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament that Mother Angelica built in Hanceville, Alabama. They were gathered for the funeral of three children – Karen Esther, Enoch, and Rebekah.

The three children were all in the same small white casket. All had been killed just weeks earlier by abortion, and discarded in the trash outside of an abortion mill in Livonia, Michigan. Dr. Monica Miller, Director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society, transported the children to Alabama.

I conducted the funeral ceremony. Mother Angelica’s community of sisters sang. The People of Life prayed, worshipped, mourned, and rejoiced in the hope of resurrection. As they honored the dead, they recommitted themselves to protect the living.

I have done funerals like this in various parts of the country. It was especially important, however, that this funeral took place at Mother Angelica’s Shrine. I remember when she first told me, years ago, that at the heart of her vision for that Shrine was the unborn child. This was to be a place dedicated to the Divine Child, and a place where children in the womb – so easily forgotten and discarded in this culture of death – would be remembered and celebrated.

That’s what we did on July 27.

I reminded the congregation of the funeral that Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago conducted back in 1988, when he buried two thousand aborted babies. When asked about the legal implications of the burial, he responded that such concerns paled to insignificance in comparison to the evil of taking innocent human life. He said he was doing a corporal work of mercy – to bury the dead.

That’s what the People of Life do. They protect the living, and they bury the dead. They are not ashamed or afraid to honor in public those who are dishonored in secret by the hidden violence of abortion. By gathering in large numbers to bury aborted children, and by letting as many people as possible know about it, they make up in some small way for the callous disregard in which these children are held by many in our society.

That’s why the 16,500 babies found in a large container in the Los Angeles area in the mid-1980’s had to wait for three years before they were buried, as abortion supporters launched a legal battle to block the burial. They did not want society to acknowledge in any way that there was any humanity there to be honored. Just throw them away – and the more secret, swift, and private the better. So the abortion advocates believe.

But the Church believes different, and as we believe, so we worship. The congregation – including children holding their parents’ hands – filed by the casket, which was open, and viewed the remains of these babies. There were tears of sorrow, but full of hope.

Each person left that church more committed than ever to bring the killing to an end.

This column can be found online at http://www.priestsforlife.org/columns/columns2008/08-07-27-hanceville-funeral.htm

Fr. Frank’s columns can be heard via podcast. See www.priestsforlife.org/podcast for more details.

Fr.. Frank’s columns can be listened to in MP3 format at www.priestsforlife.org/columns/columns2008/index.htm
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Praise for our Work!

Dear Janet and Fr. Frank, just wanted to let you know since our [Gospel of Life] program was on the “Angel network” we have been receiving around 30+ phone calls per week! In addition, we have had 3 International calls. One from France and two from England. Thank you so much for helping us reach out to more people in need. We look forward to working with you soon. Always for Life, Shawn and Kambra Malone (Back in His Arms Ministry)

How can we speak about God?

Q: How can we speak about God?

A: With reverence, faith, and love.

Constantly giving him thanks and praise.

With a contrite heart, in the spirit of repentance.

Maintaining a blessed hope of salvation, in Christ Jesus, the Lord.

Confession….How do you repent…are you sure you’re forgiven?

Q: Confession….How do you repent…are you sure you’re forgiven?

A: The first thing Jesus did after he rose again from the dead was to give the apostles the power to forgive sins, in his name.

It was the most radical, head-on attack against the forces of Satan, sin, and death that the world has ever known … and it still is … yet protestants conveniently ignore the plain text of the scriptures, in this regard.

 They also fail to realize that, outside the sacrament of reconciliation … where only a FIRM PURPOSE of REPENTANCE is required … merely telling God you’re sorry for your sins is typically not enough … one must also ACTUALLY REPENT of one’s sins, to be assured of forgiveness.

This leaves many in danger of eternal Judgment … and come Judgment Day, it will be too late to do anything about it.

Catholics … thanks to Christ … the Church … and the great sacrament of reconciliation … need not worry about such things … since through the sacrament … when they make a “good confession” … they have Jesus’ assurance that ALL of their sins have been absolutely forgiven … without exception or qualification.

In this, Catholics have always enjoyed the “better part”.

Cardinal James Francis Stafford looks back 40 years, to “A Bitter Cup”

 

Humanae Vitae

The Year of the Peirasmòs – 1968
By Cardinal James Francis Stafford

It was the year of the bad war, of complex innocence that sanctified the shedding of blood.  English historian Paul Johnson dubs 1968 as the year of “America’s Suicide Attempt.”  It included the Tet offensive in Vietnam with its tsunami-like effects in American life and politics, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee; the tumult in American cities on Palm Sunday weekend; and the June assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy in southern California. It was also the year in which Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical letter on transmitting human life, Humanae Vitae (HV). He met immediate, premeditated, and unprecedented opposition from some American theologians and pastors.

By any measure 1968 was a bitter cup.

On the fortieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae, I have been asked to reflect on one event of that year, the doctrinal dissent among some priests and theologians in an American Archdiocese on the occasion of its publication. It is not an easy or welcome task. But since it may help some followers of Jesus to live what Pope Paul VI called a more “disciplined” life (HV 21), I will explore that event.

Click here for the whole, remarkable story

1968 Vatican plea for teaching support on Humanae Vitae

Read the Encyclical

George Weigel on The Humanae Vitae Controversy

Why do Catholics Idolize religious figurines when is clearly stated in The Ten Commandments not to?

Q: Why do Catholics Idolize religious figurines when is clearly stated in The Ten Commandments not to?

4 ‘You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth.

5 ‘You shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God and I punish a parent’s fault in the children, the grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren among those who hate me;

For those who don’t mind explaining facts to me, the 4th commandment states:
” ‘You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth. ”

So why have it in your church or home?

A: Jesus perfectly fulfilled and set aside the entirety of the old law. Then on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit presided at the birth of the Church, which replaced it.

No more Old Covenant. No more Old Law.

The Beatitudes are to the New Covenant what the Ten Commandments were to the Old Covenant.

New Covenant Christians are now under grace … not law. And that’s a good thing, too … because the law was never capable of saving a soul.

Old Law – Fulfilled and Set Aside By Jesus Christ

Thanks to Jesus, New Covenant Christians know precisely what God looks like,  so there’s no danger of our worshiping anyone or anything else.

Also, please note that in Old Testament times, God commanded many types of graven images to be made and used, for his own sacred purposes.

Since Jesus remains the head of the Church, and he personally gave the Church the power to bind and loose, on earth and in heaven, it was long ago officially decided that sacred art and statuary pose no obstacle to the authentic Christian faith.

In fact, sacred art and statuary have been used for practical catechesis, since long before the average citizen was even able to read.

Thanks to the Catholic Church, every Christian now has a very good idea what Jesus really looks like … while Jesus himself remains the flesh image of a heavenly thing … something which apparently breaks God’s very own commandment.

Go figure!

Catholics- Why erect statues of Mary and saints which are less important than Father Son Holy spirit?

Q: Catholics- Why erect statues of Mary and saints, which are less important than Father Son Holy Spirit?

A: Every one of the saints is in heaven, so every one of the saints serves as an inspiration to current day Christians.

And since all of the saints got to heaven by means of cooperating with God’s grace, and by that grace alone, every saint gives glory to God, the one who created him/her.

The saints also prove that Jesus did not die in vain, that God keeps his promises, and that his promises apply to every Christian, in every age.

And since the lives of the saints were typically not easy ones, Christians are suitably inspired to persevere in their faith and in God’s grace, until the end, no matter what.

That is the message of the whole Bible … for every man or woman of God … salvation according to the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ … our Lord and Savior … the one on whom all Catholic worship and all Catholic living is centered.

The Dark Knight – A Modern Morality Play

“The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules!”

From the start the Joker pulls back the curtain on true evil, showing the world to be horrifying place when morality is thrown out the window and replaced with chaos, lawlessness and an ends-justify-the means mentality.

Other villains have come and gone, but the Joker should remain imprinted on people because he is evil with all the glamor and ambiguity stripped away. He lies about everything, he relishes in goading good people to break rules, he destroys things and people for fun and he does it all for evil’s sake.

“See, I’m not a monster…I’m just ahead of the curve.”

“What is truth?” “What is good?” “Why do the good guys have to play by the rules?” are all questions that flesh out this movie into something far more serious than your typical action movie.

Click here for the rest of the article 

Catholic and cool in Sydney

Reuter’s photo

Catholic and cool in Sydney

World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney was a triumph for the Catholic Church and its 81-year-old head, Pope Benedict XVI. About 400,000 people attended a final Mass on Sunday (July 20), briefly making the pilgrims’ destination bigger than the nation’s capital, Canberra. Some baffled journalists described it as a Catholic Woodstock – the 1969 orgy of, drugs and sex and rock ‘n roll which became an iconic moment for baby-boomers. But 40 years later, the world has moved in an unexpected direction. WYD, the biggest youth event in history, is an anti-Woodstock, a repudiation of the materialism and secularism of the baby-boomers.

Click here for more

Submitted by Doria2

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI AND THE PORTIUNCULA INDULGENCE

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI AND THE GREAT PARDON
KNOWN AS THE PORTIUNCULA INDULGENCE
                        

by Susan Tassone

The Portiuncula (small portion) refers to the land in Assisi, Italy, that belonged to the Benedictines.  On this land  was an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God but abandoned. 

The great St. Francis had great devotion to the queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly and repair it.  He heard that the angels often visited it, so that it was called St. Mary of the Angels. 

The Benedictines wanted to give Francis the church but in order to remain faithful to Lady Poverty, Francis rented it from them with the annual compensation of a basket of fish from the Tescio river. 

Here is where Francis began his service to Christ and His Church.

Here Francis founded his Order, received Clare as his spiritual daughter, and where he died commending this spot above all others to the friars. 

St. Francis had great love and compassion for everyone.

On a night of July, 1216, Francis was praying in the little church of the Portiuncula devoured by love for God and a thirst to save souls. He prayed for the forgiveness of sins of mankind.

Suddenly a brilliant light shone all around. In great splendor Jesus and Mary appeared in the midst of a dazzling cloud surrounded by a multitude of radiant angels. 

Out of fear and reverence, St. Francis adored Our Lord prostrate upon the ground.

Then Jesus said to him: Francis you are very zealous for the good of souls. Ask me what you want for their salvation. St. Francis was rapt in ecstasy before Jesus.

When he regained his courage he said: 

“Lord, I a miserable sinner beg You to concede an indulgence to all those who enter this church, who are truly contrite and have confessed their sins. And I beg Blessed Mary, your Mother, intercessor of man, that she intercede on behalf of this grace.”

Our Lady at once began to beseech her son on behalf of Francis. Jesus answered:

“It is a very great thing that which you ask Me; but you are worthy of even greater things, Friar Francis, and greater things you will have. So I accept your request, but I want you to go to my Vicar, to whom I have given the power to bind and loose in Heaven and on earth, to ask him on my behalf for this indulgence.”

With one of his companions, Francis hastened to Pope Honorius III and prostrate implored him to proclaim that every one visiting the church and confessing their sins with a contrite heart would be as pure from all
sin and punishments as he was immediately after baptism. The Pope granted this petition. This indulgence has been extended to all parish churches throughout the world.

The date was set from vespers of the first of August until sundown on the second of August, the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels. It is said that St. Francis was given this day by Our Lord because the Feast of the
Chains of St. Peter celebrated on August first is the day Peter was released from prison and his chains removed.

This is an extraordinary demonstration of God?s mercy in removing the chains of sin from those who
devoutly and faithfully seek to gain the indulgence by completing its requirements. 

The conditions to obtain the Plenary Indulgence of the Forgiveness of Assisi is (for oneself or for a departed soul) as follows:

The Portiuncula Indulgence is a grace not to miss not only for yourself but for the many suffering souls in Purgatory.

—    Sacramental Confession to be in God?s grace (during eight days before or after.)

—    Participation in the Holy Mass and Eucharist

—    Recitation of The Apostles Creed, Our Father and a prayer for the Pope’s Intention.

Mark your calendar for the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels beginning on the First of August to August 2.

Tell everyone of the magnitude of this gift. Once again, we see the unfathomable Divine Mercy of God.

In the words of St. Francis: O my Brothers and Sisters, I want you all to go to Heaven!

Links – http://www.spiritdaily.com/portiunculaindulkgence.htm

http://www.franciscanfriarstor.com/stfrancis/stf_devotions_to_mary.htm

Submitted by Doria2

A quote from a great saint

A quote from a great saint as shown in the EWTN Q&A section:

Quotation: “While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder [i.e., destroying other people’s faith in God by their terrible example], those who take scandal, who allow scandals to destroy their faith are guilty of spiritual suicide.”

St Francis De Sales

Submitted by Bob Stanley

Did you know the Roman Catholic Church is rooted in paganism?

Q: Did you know the Roman Catholic Church is rooted in paganism?

A: Sounds like somebody has been reading the fictional “Two Babylons” again!

The Catholic Church is rooted ONLY in Jesus Christ, since it was Jesus who founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed the Catholic Church, while he still walked the earth.

The whole world, except for a few Jews, was pagan, from the beginning.

The Catholic Church converted much of the pagan and Jewish world for Christ, a thousand years before the first protestant ever thumped a Bible.

Jesus remains the founder and head of the Catholic Church, while the Holy Spirit remains the Church’s arbiter of all divine truth.

Who started your little group?

Could it be S A T A N ?

I have religious beliefs that differ so I’d like advice from Unitarians, Humanists, Christians, Catholics?

Q: I’m Catholic, but I have religious beliefs that differ so I’d like advice from Unitarians, Humanists, Christians, Catholics?

A: People have the right to do what’s best for themselves … or not.

That’s why there’s a heaven, and that’s why there’s a hell.

That’s also why there’s the authentic Church … the Catholic Church … and all the rest.

There’s Catholics who follow the teachings of Christ and the apostles, and therefore the Church … and there’s people like yourself.

Make up your mind, already!

The Catholic Church long ago explained all that’s explainable about the Christian faith, and only a few unsolvable mysteries remain.

Study authentic Catholic theology, and you can’t miss.

Try to reason things out in your own head, without the guidance of the Catholic Church, and you play right into the hands of the devil.

If Jesus died for our sins, then why does one have to be Christian?

Q: If Jesus died for our sins, then why does one have to be Christian?

A: Thanks to the poor choice of our original parents, the default condition of fallen mankind is eternal enslavement to Satan, sin, and death.

To be “saved” from that decrepit end, one must typically exercise his own free will, reject Satan and all his works, and swear faithful allegiance to Jesus Christ, through Christian baptism*.

The rules have been clearly taught and in force for some 2000 years now, and in this age of information, there’s no excuse for anyone to remain ignorant of the truth.

Now that you know the truth, what do you plan to do about it?

*Some exceptions may apply.

What makes the teaching of Koran more authoritative than the Bible, or vice versa?

Q: What makes the teaching of Koran more authoritative than the Bible, or vice versa?

A: Fact is … regardless of their true origin … both books require interpretation by people … and that invariably leads to the types of grievous errors that are so prevalent in the world today.

The Koran has much more in common with the Old Testament of the Bible than anything else, with its’ emphasis on the need to keep various laws, and its’ habit of keeping God obscure, full of wrath, and very, very far away.

In that, the Koran is merely a rehash of an old system of things that was made obsolete by Jesus Christ, some 600 years before Mohammed, when Jesus gave us the New Covenant … based not on law, but on grace … something that is also largely ignored and little understood, by devotees of the Koran.

The lesson of history (and of the Bible) is that people who attempt to please God merely by keeping his laws are doomed to fail … while those who make a serious, faithful, and lifelong effort to know and love God, and who act on that love, are never forsaken by him.