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Ink Slingers Leticia

He Is That Into You

So right before my life in Amarillo crashed and burned 5 1/2 years ago I read this book called “He’s Just not that Into You” and it really was a good book but I didn’t really get how to change. Now as I sit here watching the movie I realize that I’ve changed all those things about me that attracted the kind of men who wanted to use me and ended being  married to a man who loves me. I found all the answers in the writings of the Saints of the Catholic Church, especially Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. It’s so sad that so many people are walking around seeking love while rejecting God, or accept the little god who doesn’t expect anything but you to believe he exists, but not the God who IS Love who wants us to make the changes with His help that makes us perfect as He in Heaven is perfect. That is what Jesus told us. I don’t know why He made such a dramatic entrance in my life, but I do know that it took me giving Him everything in my life. I had to give up control.

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Control comes from fear. Every place in our life that we insist on controlling is because we fear something. Birth control; we fear babies, and really if you really get down to the root problem of people who use it the fear is of self-sacrifice. Just pay attention to the words that we say: We can’t afford another baby. Babies are expensive. Yada yada yada. All of it comes down to “We don’t want to live in a small 3 bedroom house with 7 kids and crappy cars. Sometimes we can really justify it by saying that we are considering the “best” for the kids we bring into the world, but do our kids need the “best”? Or do they just need the essentials and isn’t it true that Jesus told us that if we have faith that God will provide all those things?  Kids don’t “need” game systems, or cable or even dance lessons. Plenty of people since the beginning of time have all survived not having those things. And while I’m at it, I’ll say that this is where the “contraceptive mentality” comes from. So, when I’m not rolling my eyes at the things that pro-aborts and pro-contraception people are saying, I’m rolling my eyes at the NFPers who hate the words “contraceptive mentality”  are saying. I’ve heard the word “Providentialist” thrown around like some insult. If by “Providentialist” you mean that some people think that God is smarter than them and more capable than them to provide what they need, then I don’t really see that as a bad thing. In fact, I think that He calls us all to that kind of faith. I have nothing but respect for people who use NFP, but I also have respect for people who don’t. I do not think one set is better than the other. We are all in the same boat of trying to live our faith as best we can, and we ALL have issues that need conversion. Conversion is a life long process.

There are so many other areas where we control out of fear. Gun control, health control, and many others. Yes, we should do our best to have a civil society and to be healthy, but when we care more about all of that than God, then we have put it in a place that it does not belong. It is a balance of what we do and what we accept that God does. That is the key to the Christian life, and it is not easy.

There is a great temptation to use others also. Or to throw others under a bus when it means that we will suffer. Fear of suffering. That is another great fear isn’t it? The talk about the fiscal cliff where everyone is trying to throw those they consider “rich” under the bus so that the rest of us don’t suffer. The Utilitarian philosophy is running rampant all around us. How can we use others to make us happy which means no suffering? That is what people think happiness is; not suffering. That isn’t the example that Jesus gave us. He suffered so that we could LIVE. Eternity with Him in Heaven is really happiness.

Back to my point about this movie. It’s stupid. The idea that men only get married because they are forced to, is such BS. Maybe in the secular world that is true, but if it is it is because people don’t really understand what marriage is anymore. Love has no place in marriage anymore, that is why people can “go their separate ways”  when things don’t work out. And the reason is because we want to control our happiness. So when the butterflies go away, because they always do in a relationship that is maturing, we think we aren’t “happy” and we can’t have that. Happy highs, that is what everyone is after in the secular world. If we aren’t “happy” then we have to MAKE ourselves “happy”.  Nobody ever stops to ask “What is happiness?”.  All the people who I know that have asked that question and have truly sought the truth about the answer to that question has ended up at the foot of the Cross of Jesus. Because Jesus is that into us.

In the end, that is the key to happiness: Jesus. Jesus is the key to everything. He came down from Heaven and became a Baby in the womb of Mary, and born in a manger for you. Why? Because He loves you. He created you. He wants to be in a relationship with you. He died to saved you. But He will never impose Himself on you. He will always wait for an invitation. I handed Him my life and I have never looked back. (Well I have a few times when I thought maybe I wasn’t really happy and had to take back my life to be happy, but that didn’t work and I turned back to Him. That is another blog post. LOL) Jesus is my Beloved, He is my friend, and my God. And because of that; I am finally happy.

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Giving Up (Birth) Control

In a world where we are able to control everything from the temperature of our water to our exact shade of blonde, it is no wonder that controlling all parts of our physical body is widely accepted. And, as humans, why shouldn’t we be in control? God gave us the intellect to learn and grow, and gave us dominion over His Earth.

I personally, understand the appeal of total control. I’m definitely a Type A kind of person, and I absolutely hate surprises. In fact I’m maybe the only person you’ll ever meet who despises breakfast in bed simply for the surprise factor. So I understand the inclination for a person to want to control every aspect of his or her life, because then there are no surprises. There’s nothing unexpected to throw off your plans. In fact the only thing that we cannot control is death, and yet though we may not know the hour, we all understand its impending finality will someday be upon us, no surprises there.

So what happens then, in a culture where everything becomes controllable?

Surprises become upsetting, even devastating.

It is common knowledge that when a woman begins puberty, she becomes able to bear children. But, if you are not willing to live by natural consequences, you can easily prevent this onset of fertility by using birth control.

What happens then to this same young girl as she ages, becomes married, and decides she wants to have children? Well then, if she has trouble becoming pregnant, the medical world has made it easy to receive all kinds of treatments from clomid to in vitro to ensure that she can control that too. Recently, there have even been medical advances which allow women to delay menopause indefinitely if they so choose, by using ovarian transplants. Not to worry however, because finally when this same woman has decided her fertility must once again come to an end, contraception is readily available and even sterilization to prevent all future “surprises”.

This woman who was at first devastated by her fertility is later in life devastated by her lack of fertility. Her complete desire for control has perhaps left her life empty both physically and spiritually.

That’s what happens when we try to block God’s control, our soul becomes tired and empty. We were not made to toil on this Earth alone, but to accept love, and thereby be filled. God made us because he wanted to share his divine love. His love is perfect, and His ever-generous gift to us is this life to share in His love and omniscient existence.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that, “God has placed it [the natural desire for happiness] in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it” (CCC 1718). We do not find happiness by creating our own, we find it in His creation. We have the opportunity to cooperate in His grace each day.

When in your life have you felt the most free? When have you felt the happiest? For me, it is when I give up control. When I decide to just let go and be happy. It’s when I let someone else decide for me, and know that His decisions will be far better than any I could make alone. Isn’t it ironic that happiness is most easily found when we give up that seemingly all-powerful control?

Well, I was that young woman. I was the woman who feared having children at “the wrong time”, who needed to be able to say exactly when each one of my children would be conceived. I was taught as a non-Catholic christian, that there was no sin in using contraception, and that it was morally prudent in order to best provide for your child or children. The very thought of having a surprise baby was both embarrassing and irresponsible.

And yet, all 5 of my children have been surprises! Not one of them was planned by me, but every single one of them was planned by God. And while it may sound overwhelming, trust me when I say that with every “surprise” I have felt more and more freed.

Just knowing that I don’t have to make the decision alone as to when it’s best to bring a new life to this world is freeing. Knowing that my husband and I can enjoy being a married couple and not have to stress about remembering to take a pill, finding a condom, or on the flip-side praying that an embryo made outside the womb will somehow successfully attach, is as close to perfect love as two humans can have. Fertility is a gift, “a child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment” (CCC 2366).

We are currently pregnant, and I can honestly tell you that after the birth of our child, I am looking forward to the freedom and excitement of letting God plan our next child should we be so blessed. Nothing is more freeing than bathing in the love of God. Nothing allows us to feel more fulfilled then living the life that God has planned for us.

“As to the past, let us entrust it to God’s mercy, the future to divine providence. Our task is to live holy the present moment.” – St. Gianna Molla