Friday, October 31, 2008

Question Box Friday: How far is too far?

Another popular question Thom and I get in the classrooms is "How far is too far?" Basically, the students are wanting to know what are the appropriate physical boundaries for a dating couple. I can remember wondering the same question when I was a teenager. Thom and I answer this question in two steps: first, concretely and then secondly, analogically.

First, we discuss a study that was done by scientist Desmond Morris who developed the Steps of Sexual Progression. There are 12 steps, we discuss the first 8 which are as follow: (1) Notice the other person, (2) Eye-contact, (3) Conversation. These first three steps are the foundation of a relationship, because it is in talking to another person that you get to know them; their likes, dislikes, hobbies, talents, interests, morals, values, etc. The next three steps are side-by-side physical contact that still allow for conversation to take place: (4) Holding Hands, (5) Hand-to-Shoulder, (6) Hand-to-waist. The next two steps are more intimate physical contact: (7) Simple Kiss, (8) Hand-to-Face (This is not a slap. This is a prolonged kiss in which one brings their hand to caress someone face. It is intimate kissing). We do not discuss steps 9-12 because these are steps that begin to prepare one's body for sex with the final step being sex. If we are saving sex for marriage then we ought save sex and all the steps that prepare the body for sex for marriage. It took eight steps to get to intimate kissing and only three steps are left until you reach sexual intercourse so after step eight things escalate quickly and it is good to set up boundaries at step eight or even before. Also, Morris discovered that if any of these steps are hurried along or skipped all together, the bond between the man and woman is weakened. We encourage the students to wait to date until they are much older, but once they do start dating we encourage them to take their time and really get to know one another.

Secondly, pretend it is a beautiful summer day and you are at Niagara Falls with your boyfriend or girlfriend having a picnic. You have never been there before and you want to get a closer look at the falls so you get up and go running over to the edge. How close can you get to the edge before you know that you have gone too far? You can only know when you have gone too far, once you have already fallen. Otherwise, you might think you can always go a little further and a little bit further because you have not fallen yet.

We say that the questions "How far is too far?" is the wrong question to be asking because in a sense we are really asking "How close can I get to hurting you without actually hurting you?" or "How close can I get to sinning before it is considered sinning?" Asking this kind of question is not really loving someone. Rather, if we really love someone, we should be asking, "How can I show my affection for this person?" or "How can I show how much I care for them?" and ultimately, "How close can I bring this person to Christ?" By saying "no" to sex and sexual activity before marriage, we show how much we love someone because we show we are willing to wait for them and that we have their best interest at heart.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

When is a good time to start dating?

One of the biggest questions Thom and I get out at the schools is "When is a good time to start dating?" This is a great conversation to have with your parents. I would recommend later in life than earlier. Some people may be ready to date sooner than others. There is no magical age for dating. It really depends on your maturity level as well as the maturity level of the person you want to date. Healthy, long-lasting relationships take a lot of maturity, effort and responsibility. I want to encourage you not to rush into dating. Studies have shown that the sooner someone begins dating, the more likely they are to be sexually active before graduating high school. It's important to have friendships with people of the opposite sex instead of just dating them for popularity or because it looks good or because you want the self-esteem boost. It's important to really get to know someone and their values and morals before getting into a relationship. If your values and morals do not match up, the two of you are most likely not going to be very compatible and the relationship will most likely be an unhealthy one that can leave you with painful baggage. Take your time. There is no rush. Your worth is not defined by whether or not you have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Give yourself time to grow into the man or woman God is calling you to be. Give yourself time to discover who you are and what you want out of life, then you will be ready to know what kind of person you need and want and can build a future with. Until then enjoy the opposite sex in group dates or activities. You'll save yourself a lot of grief.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Yesterday was Thom and I's first day in our first high school. A question about homosexuality was raised and I thought it an opportunity to do some research to learn more about the topic. Here is a link to an article by the group Courage, a ministry for people with same-sex attractions, about eleven Church teachings on homosexuality. I found it helpful. Maybe you will too.

Friday, October 24, 2008

An attack on the dignity of the human body.

Read this pastoral letter entitled "Bought with a Price" by Bishop Paul S. Loverde to learn why pornography is so bad. Click here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Changed Hearts

The way to overcome abortion is through the conversion of hearts. Read an uplifting story about how 200,00- student's effort on this past Tuesday's (October 21st) Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity changed the hearts of at least 32 women. Click here. We can make a difference.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

True Feminists are Pro-Life because they are Pro-Women

A true feminist seeks what is best for women. Abortion is never the best and only solution for women. Abortions cause women harmful physical, emotional and/or spiritual consequences. Women deserve better. They deserve real solutions. Read about an organization of true feminists, Feminist for Life, by clicking here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

An Encouraging Word

I'm not going to lie, living the virtue of chastity is no walk in the park. It would be a lie for me to sit here and tell you chastity is an easy thing to live. It requires much self-control, sacrifice, discipline and humility. But it is so worth it! We use these things everyday. Many of our dreams and goals require much self-control, discipline and sacrifice whether it be to give up party or hanging out with friends in order to study for an exam or to train for a sport. But how many of us would encourage one another to give up on our dreams and goals because they take too much time and effort? How many of us have the dream to truly love and be truly loved? Don't give up this dream just because it takes time and effort. Take it one day at a time. Daily remind yourself of the reasons why you are doing what you are doing. Remind yourself how special you are and how much God loves you and how much He wants you to know that you are not alone. Sometimes the only thing we can do is throw our hands up in the air and humbly admit we cannot do this alone. We must ask Him to make up in us what we lack. He knows we can't do it without Him and He takes joy in helping us.

And from time to time we may fail; we may stumble. It's important to remember during these times that God always loves us. His love never fails. God is not surprised by our weaknesses or our sins. He knows we are weak without Him. What surprises Him is our lack of faith in His mercy and love. Never run from Him. Never convince yourself that you are too sinful to approach God. This wounds His heart more than your sin. When we face sin in our lives honestly and openly and humbly admit them and seek God's forgiveness, He will have mercy on us and empower us to overcome them. It is never too late for anyone to turn to God and to overcome obstacles. And then sit back and watch as your life becomes more fulfilling and more satisfying than you ever imagined possible.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

About the The Pill

Did you know that The Pill can often cause an abortion? Find out want doctors fail to tell women about The Pill: click here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Beauty of Modesty

The In Control chastity program that Thom and I run has a six part definition:
(1) Saving sex and all sexual activity for marriage
(2) Married couples remain faithful to one another
(3) Priests and religious take a vow not to have sex
(4) Dress Modestly
(5) Respect for oneself and others
(6) Purity of thoughts, words and actions

Basically, chastity is the virtue that helps us live out our sexuality in a way that is in accord with God's plan for our life.

I want to speak with you for a moment about the 4th part of our definition of chastity: dressing modestly. It is so important for us to regard our bodies as something very special and dress accordingly: covering up those parts that are not meant to be seen by the whole world.

Here are some great fashionable and modest clothing for you to check out:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

HOOKED: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting our Children

Think STDs and pregnancy are the only consequences to worry about when it comes to casual sex? Time to think again. New science research find emotional and psychologically consequences of casual sex. Want to read more about this new scientific research click here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Previous Abortionist on Abortion

Check out the truth about abortions from a previous abortionist: here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Helping the Parish

Have you considered volunteering for you parish? There are many beautiful ministries that a lay person can do. There are lots of ways that you could help and feel the joy and peace from charitable service. For example: Among other ways, you could teach CCD, bring Communion to the sick, be a reader at Mass, or help out with some cleaning or decorating. Your parish needs you. Please, take some time to consider volunteering an hour or two a week at your church.

God Bless!

Good News about Sex and Marriage

Christopher West's book entitled The Good News about Sex and Marriage is an interesting and helpful read to better understanding the Church's teaching on sexual morality. West takes the most controversial and most asked questions about sexual morality and answers them; often in light of John Paul II's Theology of the Body. West combines his gifts of knowledge, wisdom and wit to help explain the Church's deep teachings on sex and marriage.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Church and Natural Family Planning (NFP)

I read an article in Family Foundation about steps that are being made to help encourage and empower priests to talk about and promote NFP and preach against contraception with confidence. With many within the laity using some form of contraception, this is a hard topic for many priest to talk about because of the fear of the rejection they are bound to receive. Steps have been made to teach priests about NFP while they are in seminary. Many priest are incorporating NFP education into their marriage prep program. The article mentioned seven videos written by the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan seminarian that can be found on YouTube entitled "NFP vs. Contraception." I went and checked them and encourage you to do the same! Members of the Church need to hear and learn about the good news of practicing NFP and about the misunderstandings of our contraceptive world.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Drop your Dough for Diapers

Pregnancy Center East relys on the generosity of others in order to provide the life giving services we have. One event coming up that will help raise funds and awareness of Pregnancy Center East is an

Exclusive Market Day Shopping Event

"Drop Your Dough For Diapers"

A wonderful opportunity to get a jump on your holiday shopping, and purchase many specialty items including: custom stationary, jewelry, purses, children's clothing, one of a kind art work, beauty products, custom jackets and skirts, trunk show featuring Khaki's, monogrammed gifts, Otazu Jewelry, golf and tennis gifts, , Southern Living.....Come with your friends and neighbors for a cup of coffee, or a boxed lunch and plan to make a day of it!!!

Being Held In Historic St. Rose Church Undercroft

2501 Riverside Drive

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

10 am – 8 pm

Our amazing variety of specialty retailers will be directly donating a portion of their sales to help raise funds for clients in need of our everyday free services!

We hope you will come out and support the Center while buying items for friends and family.