Oh, My Parents!

I love my mom

I am famous for telling pregnant girls that the two gifts of Motherhood are guilt and worry.  Which is a good opening concept for this post about seeing things from your parent’s perspective. I get emails from you expressing your frustration with your parents:

“My parents think my singleness is all my fault!”

“My parents never know the right thing to say.”

“My parents are so critical of me!”

“I wish my parents were more supportive.”

“My parents think I am mean for not responding to guys who only offer lame pursuits.”


Your parents may blame themselves for your singleness.  They may look back on any mistakes they made in raising you or mistakes made in their own marriage and wonder if that is causing your delayed marriage.

The guilt they feel from it makes them unable to form a sentence which sounds supportive.  The guilt they feel is communicating something that is most likely not true.  Your singleness may be, in their mind, communicating to the world that they are bad parents and this makes them feel guilty.

Your parents may also be projecting their issues and failures onto you, unable to see that you are your own person.  And, these issues and failures, if they are even slightly detected in you, make them feel guilty….and they worry.


Please don’t underestimate how much your parents worry about you.  I never knew worry before I had my son.  When he was first born, I had this exaggerated fear that he was going to get stolen. I had this ‘Lindbergh baby’ thing going on in my head where I thought someone was going to come into our house and take him.  Every night I would ask Gregg, “Did you lock the sliding glass door?”

I worry less now but I do have more compassion on my parents these days, especially my dad.  My mom was always really relaxed about my extended singleness but I think my dad worried.  He wanted me to be married so bad.  It drove him to, at times, say things that were meant to be encouraging but somehow fell flat.  Poor guy!  There was just nothing he could say that would help.  But, you should have seen him on my wedding day.  He practically had to be sedated he was so happy. And then when I became a mother I could see that, all along, it was the joy my parents wanted for me.

Now that I have a child, I totally understand. But, I can guarantee you that my worry for him as he grows into adulthood, will make it seem as though I am putting pressure on him to meet my expectations.  Heck, I do that already and he is only 9 years old.


Jerome as a baby

Oh, the pressure!  Parents have expectations. I am constantly on our son about stuff.  Practice your math, hang up your clothes, put your shoes where they belong, fast-forward through the commercials, turn the TV down, look people in the eye.  Just this morning we were heading into Mass and a schoolmate of his walked right up to him and said, “Hi.”  Our son half-way acknowledged the boy and said, “Hi.”  So, after putting some distance between us and the schoolmate, I reminded him about the definition of ‘stuck up.’  This, of course, made him almost cry.

I am just trying to prevent him from himself sometimes.  He is a really friendly, personable child but on the rare occasion when he acts stuck up, he cannot see how his response comes off.  It is my job, as his mom, to point things like this out to him.  Oh, and he never appreciates this by the way.

Just like our parents corrected us and we did not like or appreciate it.  They had expectations.  And, those expectations can really feel like pressure…..and criticism.


One girl wrote to me wishing her mom would be more supportive and not so critical. She wishes that her mom would be more accepting and not try to change or fix her.  As I was reading it, I could see my son saying this about me!

We all imagine that when we have children, we will be accepting, encouraging and supportive of them all the time.  We can think of no reason to not be! Well, I thought that too.  But, the job is not a glamorous one.  You have to be the safety patrol, Schoolmarm, the big wet blanket, Mrs. Manners and the fun and grammar police.

As a parent, you can see the pitfalls ahead of time and you, out of love, don’t want your children to fall into these pits.  So, you guide, you correct, you make faces, you make sounds of disapproval and you pontificate.


I think there comes a point when parents have to emotionally separate from their child so that the pain that the adult child is experiencing is not so keenly felt by the parents.  But, my guess is that this separation process is very difficult.  You have heard that having a child is like wearing your heart on the outside.  Well it is true.  The bond is so strong that you feel everything they feel. Your pain is their pain.  Your desire is their desire.  Your disappointment is their disappointment.

You want the best for them. However, parents, in their broken human condition, fumble the transition ball.


My guess is that your parents want your pain and disappointment to end as much as you do but they feel very helpless in making it go away. So, they offer less than helpful advice, on occasion act exasperated and make comments that can sound critical.

Maybe they married young and your extended singleness completely confounds them.  Maybe they are thinking “What is so hard about finding a husband?”  Or they are thinking, “If my daughter were more XX or less ZZ, she would be married by now.”  They just have no concept of your suffering.

When you were little, they could do something.  But now that you are a grown woman, they can only helplessly observe from the sidelines.  

What To Do

  1. Know that your parents love you and want the best for you.
  2. When your parents offer you advice about your love life, just smile, nod your head and say ‘thank you for loving me and wanting the best for me, Mom and Dad.’  
  3. When your parents fumble the ball and say things that upset you, forgive them.
  4. Find someone other than your parents to vent to. Once you are married and have their grandchildren, you will be glad you did not jeopardize the relationship with unkind and angry outbursts of frustration.
  5. Pray for patience and grace prior to each interaction with your parents.  Imagine the Blessed Mother at your side.  She understands your suffering.
  6. Continue to lead a Sacramental life so as to be strengthened during this time in your life.

Write to me anytime at: theveilofchastity@gmail.com 

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too! 

This Week’s News

Soooo, I already sort of broke my commitment to not watch any football this season.  I actually didn’t watch much football yesterday but I did watch the NFL Sunday Countdown.  They opened the show on a very somber note talking about domestic violence.

Without going into detail about the incidences that played out right in front of our eyes this week, I want to propose that the following virtue can prevent these ills of society: Chastity

But first I thought we would take a look at Sunday’s readings, specifically the first reading from the book of Numbers: 

“From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient on the way.
And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.”
Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.
And the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”
So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.”

Numbers 21: 4-9

Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.  That Old Testament passage is a foreshadowing of the saving power of Christ.

Do we become impatient and complain?  Yes.  But note the Confession of the people:  We have sinned…” and the power of Moses’ intercession on their behalf: So Moses prayed for the people.…” and God, the great Physician, provided the antidote to sin and the prescription for life:  “…everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”

The ways of the Lord bring life, not death. Chastity, also brings forth something beautiful:  Good Fruit

Chastity results in a powerful fruit referred to here as Superabundance.  When I hear of domestic violence, I always wonder if the needed antidote is Superabundance? 

“Von Hildebrand’s concept of Superabundance is an inner richness that flows over and brings about fruit. This good fruit includes children and many other common human desires such as faithfulness, devotion, sacrifice, reliability, gentleness, constancy, affection, admiration, freedom, security, peace, compassion and protection.

For Catholics, our faith already teaches that chastity, which includes sexual abstinence before marriage, is a virtue, and that virtue bears fruit. The Catechism also teaches us that in the case of marriage, the practice of chastity (remaining open to life) naturally leads to patience, temperance, prudence, honesty and trust. Clearly these fruits of real love are characteristic of a man who is devoted and is into you.”

Gentleness, not abuse.  Affection, not punches.  Security, not control.  Protection, not harm.

Can domestic abuse be a part of a chaste marriage?  Sure. Okay.

Back to this week’s news. I guess I just don’t get why she married him even after the abuse in the elevator.  Maybe it is because they had a child together and she was attached to him emotionally, psychologically and physically.  Maybe it was because of greed and the affluence that comes with running in those circles.

But, she has a daughter.  A daughter who will more than likely witness more abuse or maybe be on the receiving end of abuse from the father.  This is the part I find most unacceptable.  Choose for yourself the consequences of your decision.  But, pure selfishness drives the decision to put your little daughter in that situation.  This is the blindness so many suffer from today. 

“One of the fundamental problems that unchastity brings about is a blindness that leads directly to acts of imprudence.  A person who is inflamed by lustful desires is hardly in a position to do what is good for himself or anyone else.”

Angelic Warfare Confraternity

I heard people say we need more education about domestic abuse and that the NFL should throw a bunch of money at the problem in order to solve it.  Money and education will have little effect.  The life-giving prescription of Confession, repentance and Chastity will go a long way towards domestic peace.  Let us pray and intercede for those bitten by the fiery serpent.

“If you want peace, work for justice”   Pope Paul VI

“If you want justice, work for Chastity”   Saint Pope John Paul II 


God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too!

7 Quick Takes Friday ~ Vol 91

— 1 —  This Week’s Post:  Tactile Healing!  I pray this conversion story blessed you.

— 2 —  Next Week’s Post:  Oh goodness, so many things on my mind! I hope it is as good as this:

If You Want Justice, Work For Chastity”  Saint Pope John Paul II

— 3 —  Audrey Assad:  Death In His Grave.  I am also more of an Old Testiment girl!  Check out her whole post.

“Many of the ones I considered seemed ‘cliche’ to me, which seems terrible to say about a verse from Scripture, but I couldn’t help myself.  And I felt disconnected from their tone—on their own, removed from their surroundings, they rang hollow to me, as though stripped of the rightful dignity of context. I felt more connected to passages in Ecclesiastes that spoke of the vanity of life.  I was more enamored of Job than of Paul or Peter.”

— 4 —  Spotlight On:  This week’s spotlight is on Joan from Everything Is Yours for her post called The Mission of My Life. Here is the beginning but be sure to visit Joan to read the rest!
‘The Mission of my Life’ by Blessed John Henry Newman

“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.


— 5 —  Leah Darrow:  This was good:  A Message From Leah Darrow – A Word to Men

— 6 —    Q-TIP:  I love this from Kari Kampakis and will be posting it in my office!
— 7 —  Kari Kampakis’ Book:  I am honored to be asked by Kari to review her book, “10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know.”  I will be doing a review soon!  Remember I read very slowly so the review may not be posted for a while. 🙂
God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Dear Teenage Girl

Dear Teenage Girl,

I have been asked several times recently how to ‘reach you’ with the wisdom and power of Chastity.  Each time, my response has been “I am not quite sure.”  You already know that you can get pregnant and/or an STD from sex.  But, these facts are not very convincing when you are in the heat of the moment.

Deep within yourself listen to your conscience which
calls you to be pure. … Passing encounters are
only a caricature of love, they injure hearts and mock Gods plan.”

Blessed Pope John Paul II

I also will never tell a girl that she will be damaged in some way if she does have sex outside of marriage.  Although unchaste behavior does injure our relationship with ourselves and with God, that message is just not very loving.  So, how do we reach you with the Truth?

I am going to try to draw a picture for you.  No, actually several pictures.  The first is a picture of your future which I will draw from the deepest desires of your heart.  The second is a picture of how you are designed (biologically, emotionally, spiritually and physically).  And the third picture will help you connect the first and second picture.

The First Picture

I don’t think your exact age right now really matters.  You could be 12, 14 or 18 years old and I think this first picture will look familiar to you.  It is a picture of the future you are hoping to have.  It includes love, trust, family, life and faith.  Do you know why I believe this?  Because logically I don’t think anyone hopes for hate, betrayal, being alone, death and doubt.

So, close your eyes and picture your future painted from the desires of your heart.  It includes a husband, right?  And children, right?  This is normal.  This is healthy.  God put those desires there for a reason.  The picture you painted of your future is beautiful

“Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour.” 

1st Peter 5:8

Keep that picture in the front of your mind as you navigate through the next 10 or so years because you will be challenged.  Hatred, betrayal, loneliness, death and doubt stand ready to enter your life.

The Second Picture

Wow, that last sentence was quite a Debbie Downer statement wasn’t it?  I included it because I think you are old enough to hear the Truth.    

There are tripping hazards in your future and you need to know about them.  In order to see and avoid these tripping hazards, you need to first understand how you are designed; how we are all designed.  So let me paint the second picture for you.

You have a body and a soul.  This is true whether you are a Catholic or an atheist, male or female.  If you are a human person, you have a body and a soul.  In order to accept the gifts of love, trust, family, life and faith, your body and your soul must be in harmony with each other.  Your body and soul cannot be significantly disconnected.

“In the absence of chastity, a person is easily seduced into doing things that are beneath his dignity, things that are shameful, things that do not accord with who he truly is”

Angelic Warfare Confraternity

Here are the things that disconnect your body and your soul:

1. sex outside marriage  2. allowing anyone to use your body   3. doing things that are beneath your dignity  4. contraception  5. immodest dress 6. immodest language and 7.  entertainment and media which glorifies the 6 prior things listed

Chastity is a powerful virtue and is required in order to keep your body and your soul in harmony.  Chastity, simply put, includes saving sex for marriage and remaining open to life within marriage (not contracepting).  When contraception is used, it is a violation of our design and dignity and it is a violation of the virtue of Chastity.

Contraception.  Oh, yes, I went there.  As a teen, you will most likely be tempted and maybe even pressured to go on the pill.  It would be better for you, precious teenage girl, to create a child in the heat of the moment than it would to be on birth control and get used by boys/men for the next 10 or 20 years. 

It is very hard to admit to ourselves when we are being used.  We want to believe that the boy we are intimate with is not using us, that he loves us and that we have a future with him.  But, as Blessed Pope John Paul II stated, these are “passing encounters” and are “only caricatures of love.”  “Deep within yourself”, you know this.  And, I am so sorry to inform you, so does everyone else.

Even if you do not believe you are being used, you need to know that sex is designed to create babies within the Sacrament of Matrimony.  When you disconnect sex and babies and sex and matrimony, you disconnect your body and our soul.  So please avoid this tripping hazard so you can accept the good gifts that God has for you!

God Triangle Healthy RelationshipThe Third Picture

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” 

Psalm 37:4

I have wonderful news for you! God knows who your husband is!  So, doesn’t it make sense for you to stay close to the One that has the inside scoop on your future?  Stay close to Him in the Sacraments (Confession and the Holy Eucharist received at Mass), in prayer, Eucharistic Adoration and in Sacred Scripture.  The grace from the Sacraments and this closeness with God will strengthen you in your commitment to Chastity.

Either God or Satan is in the bridal chamber.”

Alice von Hildebrand, Man and Woman: A Divine Invention

Chastity is a life-long virtue (not just a teen virtue).  It means to honor our bodies by protecting the holiness of the marital embrace (the Holy of Holies).  Sex is only for marriage and we must remain open to life if we want to enjoy this closeness with God.

The Veil

I sincerely remember being a teenager.  We want love and affirmation.  We believe every other girl our age has a perfect life.  We experience rejection.  This desire for love and affection as well as the hurt of envy and rejection are not limited to your teenage years so you might as well strengthen yourself as soon as you can!  How?

“…Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies…  Hebrews 9:4

“…the veil shall serve for you as a partition between the holy place and the Holy of Holies  Exodus 20:33

If I could transport myself back to my teen years, it would help to know that I was covered by a veil.  Please go here to read about The Veil and Superabundance.  Although the veil is just a metaphor, I think you can follow the concept.  God knows who your husband is and He will arrange your marriage if you stay close to Him and commit to chastity.  Because you are covered by a veil, only your husband will be able to ‘see’ you.  All other guys will, thankfully, reject you.  This will be frustrating and painful but oh so rewarding when you realize that, in your husband’s eyes, you are the girl of his dreams.

As it instructs us in sacred scripture, be ‘asleep’ in the will of God and do not ‘stir things up’ until the Lord says it is time.

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up, nor
awaken my love, until it pleases.”
Song of Songs 8:4

Hold on to these pictures, dear Teenage Girl!  Remain chaste. Remain asleep and refrain from stirringHope in the Lord.  Wait on Him.

God love and bless you!

Other posts you may enjoy:

Dear God:  What Do You Want From Me?

Is He The One?

A Man’s Perspective On Attraction

If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Thank you!


Praying For Your Husband

Woman In Love BookI have been dying to post this book review ever since I finished this book back in September.  Katie Hartfiel’s book “Woman In Love: Redefine The Journey Toward Your Husband To Be” is one of the best books I have read regarding practical and spiritual advice to single women.  

I immediately knew that Katie was my kind of girl when I noticed she used the word Superabundance’ several times in her book.  Although she applied the term a little differently than I do, I was impressed because it is a word that is not often used. 

Okay, where do I begin?  I will break the book down into three main points and try not to give away too much:

  1. It is a proactive approach to the vocation of marriage
  2. It is her personal story and therefore it held my interest
  3. It is a complete catechesis on Chastity

A Proactive Approach To Marriage

St Michael The ArchangelNow by proactive I don’t mean aggressive.  I mean she got down to business!  She wisely chose to participate, through prayer, in the spiritual well-being of her unknown future husband.  She proactively started praying for him when she was 17 years old. 

Her prayer was not “God please give me a husband!” or “God, please give me ‘that’ husband!”  It was, instead, “God please bless and protect my husband.”  And, her prayers were honored.   

This, to me, is the best quote from her book:

The most important thing you can do for your spouse is pray for him.  Crawl into the trenches of the spiritual battle raging over his soul and be a warrior for him.”

Goodness, I wish I had this insight when I was 17!  I may not have had to wait 38 years to be married.   I can accept that it may have been God’s will for Gregg and me to have a delayed marriage vocation, but if I had known the power of this prayer, I could have positively impacted Gregg in his earlier years.  I could have crawled into the battle and been a warrior for him!!

But, I didn’t.  However, you can!

A Personal Testimony

Katie was honest about her story.  She did not have her spiritual strength handed to her on a silver platter but instead went through suffering and doubt.  God had to unlock her heart. 

Katie wrote, “The process of discerning our vocation molds us.”  She admitted that, “the time leading up to the revelation of God’s will can sometimes be seemingly torturous.”  An understatement indeed!

A Key Decision

She did a very wise thing, in my opinion, which set the course for her life.  She was determined to attend The Franciscan University of Steubenville.  Every single person that I have met who attends or attended Steubenville has impressed me with their love of the Lord and their solid Catholic identity and foundation.  This one decision seems, to me, to have been a driving force in the revelation of her future vocation.  She met Mark, her husband, at Steubenville practically on her first day!

What if she had attended some public college (like I did)?  Think of all the secular guys she would have met.  Her heart, which needed to be unlocked, could have hardened and locked up even more from all the hazards awaiting her there.  Her life today would have potentially been totally different!

Sometimes Our Wounds Protect Us

Katie met Mark, her future husband, at Steubenville and they immediately were interested in each other.  But, Katie was suffering from her parent’s recent divorce which caused her, out of fear, to keep her feelings for Mark hidden.  In other words, she did not chase him or overtly reveal her feelings for him.  She did, however, sweetly respond to his courageous initiation

After a while, Mark initiated their ‘relationship talk’ because her struggles with herself  “caused her to hesitate and prevented her from chasing Mark.”  It is amazing how God can even use our wounds as a natural protection.  As women, our reserved and silent, but sweet, response to a man’s initiation can often force a man (that loves us) to reveal his feelings.

Beyond Expectations

I can relate to Katie when she  wrote, “My expectations paled in comparison to what the Lord had in store for me.”  God knows what we need and in my case as well surprised me beyond my expectations with my husband, Gregg.

Katie thought she would have to “Choose between a man who was a strong spiritual leader and one she was attracted to” but happily reported that “Mark fit the needs of her soul while simultaneously captivating her on every level.”  She wrote that, “God chose Mark as His vessel to save her from herself.”

I can also relate to this!  I thought I would have to choose between a strong spiritual leader and a man I was attracted to.  But, to my surprise, Gregg met all of my hopes and needs

A Complete Catechesis on Chastity

Katie somehow packed a complete catechesis on Chastity in her book.  And, she made the information relevant and easy to understand.  She explained that chastity is a ‘yes, yes, yes’  as well as the Sacramental component of a chaste marriage.  She covered the bonding hormone oxytocin, STD’s, the problem with contraception, the benefits of NFP, reconciliation and much more.  She answered the question “How far is too far?” and provided rules for singles that are logical and clear.  She displayed a solid understanding of the Church’s teaching on Chastity as well as Theology of the Body.  Finally, she included quotes from Blessed John Paul II and others concerning marriage and chastity.

Help Lead Men To Holiness

Without  coming off as judgmental, Katie gives girls the straight facts on supply and demand, respect and holiness.  This quote nicely summarizes her wisdom:

“For every guy who gets what he is looking for, there is a girl who is giving it to him.  If women begin to demand respect, men would be more inclined to offer it.  Help lead men to holiness.”

Katie’s book also includes insights from Mark.  This quote was my favorite one from Mark because it parallels the terms and concepts I use in my book and on this blog :

“When the man that God has for them comes along, he will be captivated by this purity and it will be utterly beautiful to him.  He will never forget how superabundantly blessed his is to have such an amazing woman.”

I clearly do not own the rights to the term Superabundance or the concept of a Holy  Spouse.  But I think it is amazing that Mark and Katie applied the term and concept in a way that aligns with how I apply the term and concept.

Holy Spouse

Note that Mark wrote, “when the man that God has for them comes along…”.  To me, he reinforced the idea that God arranges marriage and has a specific person in mind for us in accordance with His will.  This is what I call our ‘Holy Spouse’ This concept among believers is not often discussed with such certitude.  Virtually all the books I have read concerning chastity and marriage seem to lead the reader to believe that God leaves it completely and sadly, up to chance.  Woman In Love will fill your heart with hope!

Katie and Mark Wedding

Katie and Mark on their Wedding Day
Gorgeous Dress and Veil!


Mark’s quote also described what I believe happens as a result of chastity before and within marriage.  The husband has this supernatural view of his wife.  He is “captivated” by her and she is, despite her faults, “utterly beautiful” to him.  And, he has a perpetual belief in how blessed he is to have her. 

As a result of the Superabundance in a chaste marriage, my observation is that the husband’s love for his wife grows rather than diminishes with time.  This, I believe is a result of the supernatural grace imparted during the chaste marital embrace.  The Catholic Church teaches us that this is a renewal of our Sacramental wedding vows and that supernatural grace is imparted.

Get. This. Book!  You will learn so much and be inspired to get in to the trenches and pray for your future husband! 

You can join Katie on Facebook here .  Go to Katie’s website to order her book.  There is a special bulk order price!  Also, while you are there, check out the video of Katie and Mark and you will be further inspired!

Her book is available on Amazon in soft cover  or for only $9.99 through Kindle.

** Next week: Mythbuster #3:  Something Is Wrong With Me

God Bless!

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My First Movie Review

Today I offer my first movie review!  In the future, I also plan to write book reviews and blog reviews as a way of providing a variety of resources that impart wisdom and hope to single girls. 

The movie “Paul VI: The Pope in The Tempest” is about the life of Pope Paul VI.  First let me warn you that the movie is only available in Italian.  This language hurdle would have normally been a show-stopper for me.  But, since there are English sub-titles, I found it very easy to understand.  To give you an idea of how easy it is to grasp this movie, even in Italian, our 7 year-old was able to follow (read) along and he loved the movie (he is a history buff).  So, I am confident that you will also be able to easily follow along.

Rather than attempting to summarize the whole movie, I’ve decided to provide this Editorial Review directly from Amazon.com:

“Pope Paul VI was a leader in the Catholic Church as a priest, bishop, cardinal and pope through one of the most difficult periods in its history from the Fascist regime and World War II to the constitution of the Italian Republic, from the Second Vatican Council to the protests and the terrorist attacks of the 1960s and 1970s.

His papacy ran from 1963 to 1978, during which he wrote the prophetic, controversial document Humane Vitae that strongly proclaimed the Church’s teaching on the sacredness of married love and human life, and the evil of contraception which the Pontiff said would open the door to abortion if allowed. He was the first travelling Pope who began to visit the dioceses of the 5 continents like no pope had ever done before.

This exciting and insightful film covers fifty years of history that changed the Catholic Church and the world. Paul VI: The Pope in the Tempestis a story that draws emotion and lessons from history itself, dramatically mixing stunning reconstructions and real film footage.”

You may be wondering why we should care about this man who died over 30 years ago?  I think there are many reasons but I will offer two.  First, he was a modern-day prophet and second, he understands women and reveals us to ourselves.  Hey, anyone that can explain me to me is definitely worth a study! 

Pope Paul VI visits the Holy Land, 1964.

A Difficult Period In History

My review will focus on the topics in the bolded text above.  Specifically, Pope Paul VI’s prophetic encyclical, Humanae Vitae and the impact our Holy Father’s wisdom had on the Church and on the world.

The Editorial Review above states that he was Pope of the Catholic Church during “one of the most difficult periods in its history.”  I agree with this evaluation.  Before watching this movie, I had very little insight into the historical relevance and timing of Humanae Vitae and the difficulty that the Pope endured as a result of releasing the encyclical. 

Hidden Treasures of God’s Wisdom

“He (Christ) is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge. I tell you, then, do not let anyone deceive you with false arguments, no matter how good they seem to be.”                                                                               Col 2: 3-4

Up until The Lambeth Conference in 1930, all Christian faiths were against contraception and believed it to be morally wrong.  Protestants like Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Wesley, Melancthon Jacobus, Matthew Henry, Christian Gottlob Barth, the Synod of Dort, Jerhard Gerhard, William Dodd, Alfred Edersheim, and a bunch of other Protestant theologians all saw Genesis 38 (the spilling of the seed to impede conception) as a condemnation of birth control. But, the Lambeth Conference surprisingly allowed for contraception in limited circumstances for Anglican Protestants. By 1960, a mere 30 years later, most Mainline Protestant denominations had removed prohibitions against artificial contraception. 

By the 1960’s many of the Catholic laity, theologians, priests, Cardinals and Bishops were unable to see a problem with artificial birth control. I say “unable to see” because most, at that time, saw artificial birth control as a good thing and their arguments in support of it seemed to be good.  But, Pope Paul VI found the hidden treasure of God’s wisdom and was not deceived with false arguments.

Humanae Vitae

Humanae Vitae, released by Pope Paul VI in 1968, reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s traditional view of marriage and marital relations and condemned the use of artificial birth control. The encyclical states that “of its very nature (artificial birth control)  contradicts the moral orderand that “it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.”

As you can imagine, the encyclical did not go over well and was very controversial! 

Even the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control, formed by the Pope for the purpose of studying the topic, disagreed with the Pope’s conclusion.  The Commission recommended the Pope go against the consistent historical teaching of the Church and allow artificial birth control. But, Pope Paul VI courageously went against the recommendation of the Pontifical Commission and went forward with the encyclical.

Prophetic Pope

This is one of many examples in history where Jesus’ words ring true:

    “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future.”              John 16:13

Indeed, the Holy Spirit did tell Pope Paul VI about the future and guided him in truth; a truth which others found impossible to see.  The Pope predicts, with amazing accuracy, that wide-spread acceptance of artificial methods of birth control will result in several negative societal, marital and spiritual consequences, including an increase “need” for abortion.  The specific consequences he predicted, all of which have come true, were:

  1. a “general lowering of moral standards” resulting from sex without consequences, and
  2. the danger that men may reduce women “to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of [their] own desires” and
  3. abuse of power by public authorities and
  4. a false sense of autonomy

 His Wise Words

In the movie, you can feel the pressure Pope Paul VI was under and the inner conflict he experienced.  But, it is his words that I will forever remember.

During one of the meetings with the Pontifical Commission, Pope Paul VI said, “Sterilizing the poor makes the rich feel less guilty.”   This was in response to the Commission trying to make the point that artificial birth control would allow poor families control over their fertility.

Pope Paul VI also said to them, “We are trying to understand the meaning of Love.  What is more important than that?  Be strong!”

In a different conversation, a priest said to the Pope,

The world has long awaited an encyclical that discusses sex.  You cannot publish one that says the same things that a Pope would have said a century ago.  What will our followers and women in particular, think when they read: ‘Any action that impedes procreation must be avoided.’? How much longer can we ignore the needs of the modern world?”

In response, Pope Paul VI said,

I didn’t write this encyclical to discuss sex but to talk about Love…about Life…about men and women. I’ve asked myself, “What’s the value of love and life and of men and women?  What will become of this civilization of love, of men and women?  What will a population in search of personal pleasure be like?  Won’t these contraceptive methods make us lose respect for women?  Won’t they transform women into an object of pleasure?  Won’t they give us the illusion of freedom in exchange for losing faith in the parental roles?  How can love deny the transmission of life?  Isn’t life the greatest gift God has given us? The Pope cannot say something is right if it is not.”

Chastity and Superabundance

What is the connection to Chastity? The most basic definition of Chastity is the virtue of saving sex for marriage and remaining open to life within marriage.  Artificial birth control has made it very easy for sex to take place outside of marriage with the false notion that it is ‘consequence free.’  Here we are, almost 50 after the introduction of the pill, and premarital sex is pretty much a given in relationships.

Abortion is a tragic but normal part of our reality and it is a natural consequence of failed contraception. Contraception has led today’s society to believe that sex should not result in babies and when it does, they are perplexed. How did this happen?  Now, they must get rid of this baby.  In the United States, about 3,000 babies are aborted each day.  That equates to 1,350,500 a year.  That is one every 24 seconds.  For every 100 births in the United States, there are 31 abortions.   

Within marriage, artificial birth control breaks the unitive and procreative meaning of the marital embrace.  Artificial birth control blocks the channel of grace that is supposed to be available to us when we are open to life.  This channel of grace is what produces the fruit of Superabundance.  Artificial birth control cuts off access to grace and Superabundance.  Superabundance is what gives the marriage life.  Without it, marital love dies.

There are so many other severe consequences to the contraceptive mentality, some of which are not felt until it is too late. The Pope predicted this.


The controversy concerning contraception and abortion is still going on today.  But, as the Pope said, it is not about sex.  It is about love.  It is about life and the greatest gift God has given us:  The ability to be co-creators with Him and to participate in the transmission of life. 

“How can love deny the transmission of life?”  Pope Paul VI

It is about Love. 

Thank you, Pope Paul VI.  Thank you, Holy Spirit of Truth. 

God Bless!

Upcoming Reviews:

  1.  Women In Love ~ a book by Katie Hartfield
  2.  Would You Date You? ~ a book by Anthony Buono (founder of AvaMariasingles.com)
  3.  Made In His Image ~ a blog by Maura
  4. Held by His Pierced Hands ~ a blog by Meg Hunter-Kilmer

Hard But Not Impossible

“Though I tried to understand all this, it was too difficult for me,

Till I entered the sanctuary of God and came to understand their end”

Psalm 73:16-17 

Earlier this week I participated in a Facebook exchange.  The exchange followed an article on the CatholicVote.org website. One person objected to her very clear explanation of the Church’s teaching on marriage, love and life.  Let us call this person Sue.  Sue shared that she just had a molar pregnancy and her doctor had recommended she not get pregnant for one year.  So, Sue and her husband started using some form of contraception although it was not the birth control pill.

Sue feels the topic of contraception is ‘complex’ and she doesn’t like being judged for using contraception in her very special circumstance.  She was indignant that others would want her and her husband to go one year without the marital embrace.  And she really did not like being thought of as a ‘bad’ Catholic for using contraception in her very special circumstance.  She had even checked with her priest who gave her the green light to contracept.

Singles Must But Marrieds Are Not Required?

I chimed in with the perspective that single people who follow the Church’s teaching on Chastity go year after year after year after year without any embrace in sight.  I questioned why we expect them to be able to do this yet a married couple, for the sake of health, obedience and life, are not expected to be able to do this?

The poor logic behind this thinking is rooted in the contraceptive mentality.  But, it is also a result of the abstinence mentality.  The abstinence philosophy goes something like, ‘Hey all you single people, don’t have sexWe married people, on the other hand, will do whatever we want because we have been granted the right to have sex even when we don’t want kids.  Oh, you single people want to have sex but you don’t want kids too?  Nope.  Sorry. That is a sin.”

That is why I am a big proponent of teaching Chastity to everyone rather than abstinence.  Chastity is a life-long virtue.  It is to be practiced before marriage and it is expected in marriage.  And, because the virtue is required of all of us, it helps make single people feel like they are not alone in their struggle.

Don’t confuse marital Chastity with abstinence.  I am not saying that the marital embrace is not good or encouraged by the Catholic Church.  I mean, my goodness, it is highly encouraged by the Church!

But, marital Chastity includes remaining open to life with the knowledge that the marital embrace has a purpose.  Besides being a renewal of our wedding vows, the purpose of the marital embrace, simply put, is bonding and babies.  To separate the marital act from its purpose is a sin.  That is the teaching of the Church and it is brilliantly explained by Dr. Janet Smith here.  In addition, marital Chastity results in Superabundance!

But some marrieds want to believe that their contraceptive sex is somehow okay yet sex outside of marriage is a sin.  But both are sins because both misuse and deny the beautiful purpose; bonding and babies.

It Is Possible

When I was pregnant with our miracle child, we were not able to participate in the marital embrace (Dr.’s orders) due to fear of another miscarriage.  We did this for nine months followed by a C-section recovery period. Was it hard? Yes. Is it possible for love’s sake? Yes. Were we stronger afterwards? Yes.

You see, we had experienced the loss of two babies.  So, the requirement put upon us was a light burden because obeying it meant the possibility of embracing our healthy baby in the future.

Also, my husband and I, like today’s chaste singles, had many years of being single without an embrace in sight.  So, the thought of waiting nine plus months was possible for us because we had already strengthened our ‘delayed gratification’ muscle.

The Marshmallow Experiment

The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a study on delayed gratification conducted in 1972 by a psychologist:

“A marshmallow was offered to each child. If the child could resist eating the marshmallow, he was promised two instead of one. The scientists analyzed how long each child resisted the temptation of eating the marshmallow, and whether or not doing so was correlated with future success.  Although the experiment has been repeated many times since, the original study at Stanford has been considered “one of the most successful behavioral experiments”.

It gets more difficult to be obedient and faithful to the teachings of the Church when there is no reward in sight.  And, that is my point about the heroic virtue demonstrated by our single brothers and sisters who are living out the Church’s teaching on Chastity.  Given their ongoing challenge, it is almost an insult for us marrieds to act like marital Chastity is a major burden.

For these chaste singles, the marshmallow is set before them and they resist the temptation.  They resist even with the knowledge that they may never get to enjoy that marshmallow let alone be given a second one.

But, God is faithful.  There will always be fruit and rewards for our obedience in this life and in the everlasting life with Christ Jesus.  It is very empowering to know that obedience keeps us in God’s will.  Our hope rests in Him alone.

We are all called to the virtue of Chastity.  Single folks, married couples and yes, even those with a missed vocation.  This doesn’t make sense to a world in which Chastity is not understood and sex is mostly for pleasure both outside of and within marriage.

Hopefully, my Veil theory along with the information in this blog and in my book will fortify you in your pursuit of holiness through hope, obedience, the Sacraments and delayed gratification.  Most of all, may they help prevent you from missing God’s will for your life.

God bless.

Olympic Champions Need Birth Control? Really?

I did not watch many of the Olympic events but I found this article to be disturbing.  The article attempts to make a connection between the success of our Olympic athletes and birth control. The article is quite silly really but when you understand the obvious motive of the author, it becomes sad.

The author says, “Without the IUD, implant, pill and other methods, many of our athletic heroines might have been home changing diapers or packing school lunches instead of scoring soccer goals and setting swimming records.”

The word Asceticism comes to mind.  Asceticism comes from the Greek meaning “exercise” or “training.”  It is a type of lifestyle “characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures.”  The object of the ascetic lifestyle for us Catholics is the “subordination of the lower appetites to the dictates of right reason and the law of God, with the continued and necessary cultivation of the virtues which the Creator intended man to possess.”

The typical Olympic athlete benefits from abstaining from things like cheeseburgers and fries, recreational drugs and all night parties.  This discipline, or self-mastery, is a type of training for the body and mind.  However, to this author, these Olympic athletes are able to master control over all aspects of their minds and bodies except for their sexual impulses.  To this author, self-mastery of our sexual impulses is just too much to expect.  So, these girls must have birth control. 

When I read about the author, I see that she is a big advocate of reducing teen pregnancy.  Very good.  But, she believes that teaching teens sexual abstinence (which is self-mastery) is unrealistic and that birth control pills, IUD, emergency contraception and abortion-on-demand are the only way to reduce teen pregnancy.

I actually agree that abstinence programs are lacking and instead believe Chastity programs to be more effective (more on this in a future blog).

But, the flaw in this author’s method is that those drugs, devices and procedures don’t always reduce teen pregnancy.  They often only reduce the birth rates.  That is why it is called birth control and not pregnancy control.  Babies are created but not birthed.  They are either killed in the womb with abortion or prevented from implanting due to the pill.  You see, pregnancy happens with the birth control pill but the baby is often aborted through the abortifacient nature of the pill.  

One of the many things I love about Chastity is that it encourages us in true self-mastery.  Chastity teaches us that saving sex until marriage allows us to live with our body, mind and soul in harmony.  The virtue of chastity brings our sexual appetite into harmony with reason, and creates purity in mind, heart and conscience.

For those that are married, there is the very effective option of Natural Family Planning (NFP). NFP allows for delaying and spacing pregnancy and it is hormone free.  It is more effective than the pill at preventing pregnancy.  Only 1 in 250 NFPers (versus up to 9 in 100 pill users) will have a surprise pregnancy.  More impressive is the success rate of  marriages for those that practice NFP (99.8%) compared to those that use contraception (50%). 

For those that are not married, I believe, and the Catholic Church believes, that self-mastery in all areas of their lives, including their sexual impulses, is possible and healthy for their minds, bodies, hearts and souls.

Olympic athletes are trained by both abstaining from what is harmful and exercising what is good.  Chastity, through the practice of asceticism, is achieved in a similar fashion.  Abstain from what is harmful (toxic relationships, near occasions of sin, pornography, self-gratifying endeavors, media that glorifies fornication) and exercise what is good (Mass, receiving the Sacraments often, prayer, scripture, like-minded friends, service activities, media that glories God).

Oh, I know people are still going to have sex outside marriage.  But, sadly they will never know the benefits of chastity.  They will only know what they have been sold by the sex-absorbed culture.  They will miss out on the benefits of superabundance and will set themselves up for failure instead of success in their marriage.

This article was written by a man who reviewed a study done by Brigham Young University that revealed that waiting until marriage to have sex resulted in greater marital stability and satisfaction.  The man went into the analysis seriously doubting that Brigham Young could produce a study that was without motive, namely promoting abstinence.

However, the author was quite surprised that “the study has also been peer reviewed by the academic community and the results are statistically shown to have been controlled for the religious background of the participant.”  In other words, it was done without bias and they may be on to something.  The author concludes:

“On first glance, the study surprised me a bit.  But once I thought about it, I realized that perhaps the authors are onto something. Those who start their relationships without the powerfully-distorting drug called “sex” are likely to make more rational relationship choices.  They may also be more likely to choose a partner who stimulates them in other ways, leading to a stronger and more lasting relationship.”

Yes, the “powerfully-distorting drug called sex” makes self-mastery difficult because it distorts the mind, the body and reality.

You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to be strong and excel in self-mastery.  Commit to chastity and all its benefits.  You won’t regret it.

God Bless!