Monday, August 31, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Modesty is important, not because we judge by appearances, but because how we act reflects what we believe." – Bishop Walker R. Nickless

Friday, August 28, 2009

Question Box Friday: Talking about Sex

Question: When should I talk to my boyfriend about not wanting to have sex until I'm married?

Answer: It is really important to have this discussion early on in the relationship. I have personally had this conversation as early as on my first date with a guy. I find that it is easier to be open and honest from the beginning.

Relationships involve a lot of communication. If your boyfriend knows that you are committed to saving sex for marriage, he will be able to help you. When you tell your boyfriend about your values, it will bring up great topics for discussion and you will be able to see where he stands on these issues as well.

It may be scary to bring up this important topic, because you don't know how he will react. However, you know that your sexuality is a special gift for only one person, your husband. If your boyfriend doesn't respect or agree with that, he might not be the right guy for you. You are worth waiting for and shouldn't settle for anything less than the best.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Truth about the Lies: Lila Rose and Planned Parenthood

Lila Rose, a 20 year-old junior at UCLA, has been making headlines across the U.S. because of what she calls the "Mona Lisa Project” an undercover investigation of abortion clinics that openly violate certain laws within their clinics. This young woman and her group, Live Action, have been visiting Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics across the country, posing as potential clients and donors in order to uncover the truth about the abortion industry.

Here's what she found:

  • Racism is still alive in Planned Parenthood clinics: Planned Parenthood employees accepted money that was specifically tagged for killing "a black baby."

  • Some Planned Parenthood employees deliberately cover up cases of statutory rape.

  • Clinics will break parental consent laws. (source:

Visit to see the footage of her Planned Parenthood visits for yourself. YouTube has banned several of her pro-life videos...

Lila Rose will be appearing as a guest on EWTN's "Life on the Rock" tommorow night, August 27th, at 8 p.m. EST.

"Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." - Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gardasil: Worth the Risk?

ABC News reported this past week that studies examining the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, have found that 32 deaths may have been linked to the vaccine, and that there have been more incidences of other serious side effects that could possibly be related to Gardasil, such as blood clotting and neurological disorders, than other vaccines. HPV is responsible for 99% of all cervical cancer cases, so the vaccine has been widely distributed.

I don't recommend taking Gardasil, and here's why: for starters, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released this study along with an editorial. The editorial asked an important question: is the potential benefit of the HPV vaccine worth its potential serious, or even tragic, risks? This is a really important point. The potential risks involved in many vaccines or pills (such as birth control) pose a serious threat to a woman's health, both physically and emotionally. Dr. Diane Harper from the University of Missouri stated that "Although the number of serious adverse events is small and rare, they are real and cannot be overlooked or dismissed without disclosing the possibility to all other possible vaccine recipients . . . The rate of serious adverse events is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer." (

Secondly, Gardasil only "protects" against four of the 100 strains of HPV. In other words, a woman can still contract HPV even after receiving the vaccine. “Protection” does not mean that you’re protected.

Remember, sex is a fantastic thing. God created it to be a wonderful expression of love between a man and wife. But it is only by keeping it within the boundaries of marriage that one can truly be “safe” from all of the risks and fears of STDs that sex can bring outside of marriage.

Keep your heart and your body for your future husband/wife alone; marry someone who also waited, and be faithful to each other. 100% guaranteed protection.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Quote of the Week

“Your life vocation is a like a treasure buried in a field, the pearl of great price. The grace is in the calling. Pursue it at whatever cost” - Fr. Scanlan

Friday, August 21, 2009

Question Box Friday: Real Love?

Q: How do you know if you really love someone?

A: First of all, ask yourself: what is love? Love = willing the good of another, or doing what's best for the person. You can know if you really love someone when you have the courage to do what is best for them, when you are completely emptied of your own self, and are thinking about the good of the other person. John Paul II calls this amor benevolentatiae in his book Love and Responsibility. It's being selfless, which is the opposite of being selfish. Scott, who works with us at Pregnancy Center East, says that he knew he truly loved his wife when he knew that he would sacrifice anything for her. He said that before he proposed to her, he wondered what if she was in an accident, disabled and in a wheelchair for the rest of her life? He knew he would sacrifice his entire life to take care of her. I love how Mother Teresa puts it: "For love to be real, it must cost. It must hurt. It must empty us of self.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Balancing Relationships

Relationship pyramid

Can you imagine building the Egyptian pyramids from the top down? Of course not, a pyramid only works when you build it from the bottom up to the top. It is the same way with relationships and marriage. I love this pyramid because it describes the steps that lead up to the intimacy of sex within a marriage.
Relationships start with the most basic element, friendship. Imagine building a pyramid upside down. The pyramid would not be able to balance on the point. It would collapse from all the weight at the top.
This happens when we begin a relationship with sexual activity. We may be hoping that the sexual activity will lead to friendship and love. However, this doesn't work and it's contrary to God's plan for life and love. In most cases the relationship ends up collapsing and hurting the people involved.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stand up for Truth: Contraception, Abortion, Health Insurance, and Belmont Abbey College

One of my favorite quotes comes from a Catholic author named Flannery O'Conner: "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd." It's extremely difficult to stand up for truth. Kudos to this Catholic college for refusing to back down to pressure to keep contraception and abortion coverage in their health insurance plan.

Belmont Abbey College, a Benedictine-affiliated school in North Carolina, recently discovered that their health care insurance plan unintentionally offered coverage for contraceptives and abortion for women. The college immediately took steps to cancel this part of their coverage, and is currently receiving a lot of heat from the EEOC for refusing to give up their stance on abortion and contraception.

This is what the college's president had to say on the matter: "As a Roman Catholic institution, Belmont Abbey College is not able to and will not offer nor subsidize medical services that contradict the clear teaching of the Catholic Church . . .There was no other course of action possible if we were to operate in fidelity to our mission and to our identity as a Catholic college."

He also stated that Belmont Abbey was committed to remaining true to its Catholic principles, which include "valuing all life and treating individuals with dignity and respect."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quote of the Week

“Much of the modern resistance to chastity comes from men’s belief that they “own” their bodies – those vast and perilous estates, pulsating with the energy that made the worlds, in which they find themselves without their consent and from which they are ejected at the pleasure of another.”
- C.S. Lewis

Friday, August 14, 2009

High School Dating

Question: How seriously involved can I be with my boyfriend in high school? Should we be exclusively dating?

Answer: Answering the question of when the right time to date is very difficult. Maturity has a lot to do with it, but we also need to consider many other issues, such as what is the purpose of dating. I believe that the purpose of dating is to eventually find your future spouse. When I was in high school, I had a friend challenge me and tell me that I shouldn’t be dating someone unless I could see myself marrying that person. This gave me a whole new perspective on dating. I thought that dating was fun and just something to do before, but now I understand that dating is much more significant than that.

Exclusive dating is not something that I would recommend in grade school or high school. That doesn’t mean I think you should be dating multiple people, it’s actually the opposite of that. I would recommend going on group dates as friends instead of exclusively dating someone. Every single time an individual enters into a relationship, they are giving away a part of their heart. I am extra cautious now after experiencing a few heart breaks from relationships, because I want to save my heart for my husband and be able to completely give myself to him. If we exclusively date or constantly have a boyfriend/girlfriend think about how much of our heart we’re giving away and how little we will have left when we commit to our future spouse.

I want to address the idea of being seriously involved. What does it mean to be seriously involved? If we’re talking about emotional involvement, it is important to guard your heart. Females especially tend to connect emotionally and assume feelings of love are present when in actuality it may be infatuation or lust. The reason I recommended group dating is because it is best to avoid putting yourself in a situation where you will be tempted to be physically intimate. Physical and sexual intimacy adds even more complications to relationships. In high school, I think the focus should be on friendships and working on communication before getting physically involved. It is important to treasure your gift of sexuality and reserve that for your future spouse.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chastity and...Sports?

“Run so as to win . . .” 1 Corinthians 9:24

When you hear the word “Chastity,” the next word that comes into your mind is probably not likely to be “sports.” But when I sat down to think about it, I found that Chastity and athleticism really go hand in hand, and that the two have much more in common than I initially thought.

I haven’t played any sport, even somewhat competitively, since I was in middle school. But over the years many people have often suggested picking up basketball (which lasted less than 5 minutes) or some other sport “because it’s good for you.” Yes, I’ve always thought that sports were “good for you,” but I’ve always just assumed the benefits were mostly on the physical side – it’s good for your body, health, etc.

But I’ve found that playing a sport, or being athletically involved in some activity, really supports and helps a person to live a clean, pure life. Why? For starters, Chastity is a virtue, which means that it is a good habit. It takes a lot of hard work, courage, and discipline to live a chaste life. It requires laying down our immediate desires in order to work for a higher good – authentic love. Matthew Kelly says, “The very nature of love requires self-possession. Without self-mastery, self-control, self-dominion, we are incapable of love…” Love requires discipline.

Enter the athletic world. Playing sports requires discipline, both in body and in spirit. It takes a lot of hard work to excel in a sport, and disciplining yourself to prepare to play can also help you in your struggle to live Chastity. Disciplining your body through playing a sport can help you to discipline yourself in other areas of your life, too. Living Chastity requires discipline of the body, similar to the way that playing a sport does.

“God never gives us a challenge that he will not give us the ability to handle.”
David Eckstein
St. Louis Cardinals

A couple of great resources:

And because I’m from Kansas City: "5-Time Major League All-Star on Winning the Game for Christ."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Can you imagine a world where every person thinks, speaks, and acts out of love? Things would be so different. This is what we need in order to restore our view of sex and human life. It starts with our thoughts, which lead to our words, and eventually become our actions.
Training our thoughts for sexual purity takes time and effort. It is natural to make assumptions and/or judgments when we first see someone. When we see someone with a smile, we may assume that they are friendly. If we see someone that is homeless, we may make other assumptions. However, if we practice making positive assumptions that show respect and appreciation for individuals, we are taking a step in the right direction. The opposite of these positive assumptions, would be negative assumptions that disrespect a person’s dignity or imply that we are lusting after them or using them for our own pleasure.
If it is common for someone to speak of sex in a degrading or disrespectful manner, that person’s actions may also be degrading or disrespectful to the beautiful gift of our sexuality. Each one of us is created with a special purpose and deserves dignity and respect as a human being. Before letting something slip out of your mouth, think about how it may affect the other people involved. Discern whether or not
the comment is respectful of our dignity as human beings.
Our sexuality is such a special gift that we need to protect it. The way that we act today may influence us a year from now or even ten years from now. The virtue of modesty helps us use our bodies in the right way, to protect our value and who we are. As human beings we desire to be treated with love and respect. When dressing modestly however, we are sending the message that there is so much more inside of us that is worth anyone’s time to get to know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quote of the Week

"The beauty on the outside never gets into the soul. But the beauty of the soul reflects itself on the face." - Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Friday, August 7, 2009

Question Box Friday: French kissing?

Q: Can I French kiss my boyfriend/girlfriend?

A: I wouldn't recommend it; French kissing can be serious sin. Why? First of all, it is a very intimate expression of affection. It's the kind of closeness that, for many people, prepares the body to go further and further - often to leading to sex itself. It's important to remember that Chastity isn't a "line"; it's a direction. It's a conscious movement towards purity of mind, heart, and body. I would first suggest examining your own reasons for wanting to French kiss your boyfriend/girlfriend - it is because you want personal gratification? Does this help your relationship glorify God? Is it loving? (Love = willing the good of another) Would French kissing cause him/her to fall towards lust or wanting to go further? Lastly, would I want my future husband/wife to be doing this with someone else?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Actions speak louder than words

The way we dress and the way we act represent who we are as people. In order to reform our view on sex we must consider our thoughts, words, and actions. My last few blogs talked about how our thoughts and words can influence us, in much of the same way our actions also impact us and those around us.

The virtue of modesty helps us use our bodies in the right way, to protect our value and who we are. As human beings we desire to be treated with love and respect. When we dress provocatively we are sending a message that our body is the best part of us and there is no need to actually get to know us. When dressing modestly however, we are sending the message that there is so much more inside of us that is worth anyone’s time to get to know.

Our sexuality is such a special gift that we need to protect it. The way that we act today may influence us a year from now or even ten years from now. Jason Evert asks people to think about their future husband or wife as teenagers. Looking at it from the perspective of how far in a relationship you would want your future husband or wife to go physically with their current boyfriend or girlfriend adds an interesting twist.

Actions speak louder then words. Our thoughts become our words and lead to our actions. It is so important to realize that people are always watching and to be cautious and conscientious of that. At any given moment someone could be forming an impression of you; what do you want that impression to be?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Straight Talk: Contraception, Condoms, and NFP

It's not uncommon to hear criticism directed at one particular aspect of the Church's teachings on human sexuality: contraception, whether that be in form of a birth control pill or a condom. What's wrong with contraception? Why can't I wear a condom? are a couple of questions that pop up pretty frequently in our presentations among high school students.

  • Contraception? Sex is the most personal, the most intimate, the most opening/revealing act there can possibly be. It requires complete vulnerability, and thus it's sign of complete giving and receiving. Fertility is inherently tied in with the sexual act, and one can't give himself/herself completely while he/she is denying the fertility aspect of sex. Having sex with birth control or a condom, knowingly or unknowingly, says "I give my entire self to you....almost." What if we smiled at someone and said "Nice to meet you" and then slapped that person on the face? What's going on here? We would be lying with the body. Contraception is a lie with the body. It's saying "I give myself to you completely" while withholding or rejecting a part of the self.

  • Condoms? When you really think about it, condoms (or birth control pills) were not created to prevent pregnancy. There's already a 100% effective method of doing that: abstinence. They were created so that men and women could indulge in one's sexual desire. No self-control required. Ever. No responsibility. If we use a condom we don't ever have to say no, and we train ourselves not to. The less self-control we have the more enslaved we are to our own sexual desires. It will just become easier and easier to slip into pornography, infidelity etc...
  • Furthermore, just FYI: Condoms have a 15% failure rate if used correctly (and less than 50% of teenage males actually use them correctly) AND they provide no protection against many STDs like Chlamydia, herpes etc. Also, birth control has serious side effects for women: weight gain, moodiness, increased blood pressure, risk of gall bladder disease and liver tumors, heart attacks and strokes, depression etc.
  • So what's with NFP? It stands for Natural Family Planning. In a nutshell, NFP trains couples to recognize the signs that a woman is during the fertile period in her cycle (this only happens about 3-5 days per month) and so the couple is able to abstain from sex during this time. It's extremely reliable. In fact, NFP has a 99% accuracy rating. This the difference between NFP and contraception: NFP doesn't in any way impede the procreative course of sex. It doesn't block anything. It's like the difference between an abortion or a miscarriage, or the difference between suicide and natural death. Another interesting fact about NFP: couples who practice NFP only have a 2% divorce rating. Using NFP encourages couples to work together and use other ways to express affection besides sex, encouraging more communication etc. Giving up something mutually for the good of their family strengthens marriage.

More questions? This is a great resource:

Quote of the Week

“Chastity is the cement of civilization and progress. Without it there is no stability in society, and without it one cannot attain the Science of Life.”
- Mary Baker Eddy