When Religion Goes Bad

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It is my understanding that in popular Protestant thought, faith is good while religion is bad. There is currently a song on Christian radio that starts out with these words:

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He might not give you a million dollars, but God will provide

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In a discussion about NFP, a couple in our marriage prep course told us this:

There’s also the fear of having a child before being ready. And no, God is not going to give me millions of dollars because it will help me prepare for the child. So don’t tell me that god will provide. He provided me with intellect, and abilities to survive and make something of myself. With my intellect, I will be using birth control.”

Well, if we all had to be “ready” to have a baby, not many of us would have children at all! 

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Forget the Tumble-Weed Life

Forget the Tumble-Weed Life

I saw Beauty and the Beast recently. I know, I know, spear me. I’m not going to get into the whole ‘gay’ thing, because that’s not what I’m here for. Besides which, I think, if anything else, the gay community should kinda take it as an insult that of all the characters, Disney picked Le Fou, an idiot, coward, and a villain, to represent them. Anyway. There was another message, buried much deeper, that will hurt our children and our society much, much more in the long run. Spoilers coming, but since the movie really hasn’t got much new on the old one, I think this is safe water to tread.
 

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Growth Spurts

Growth Spurts

For those of you who follow the blog regularly, you know that last fall I wrote a lot about being pregnant. Then, at the end of December we welcomed our baby girl into the world and now I have to write a post about nursing.
 



Because sometimes it feels like feeding the baby is all I ever do anymore! Last week, I nursed this chubby child for two days straight minus sleeping. I couldn’t get anything else done and the other three children were starting to be seriously unsupervised. It felt like I’d never be able to do anything but feed the baby ever again! But that’s the funny thing about growth spurts: they come in spurts. Intense eating is followed by intense sleeping, and it’s a constant adjustment as our bodies grow and change.

Just like growth spurts, life is always changing and no two days are ever the same. Growing has a lot of ups and downs on the way. So whether you are raising kids, learning to live with your spouse, trying to have children, or working hard at your job, we all work through growth spurts where things are always changing. The goal is to press on and take what God has to teach us through these ups and downs.

I find that a baby’s growth spurts are similar to the growth of my soul. Prayer is the way our souls grow, and there are some days where I get good prayer time in, and some when I don’t. On good days, I have patience and quality time with the kids, and the house gets cleaned. I thank God for these days. Because I know there are other days when it’s all I can do to get everyone fed and beg God to get me through the day.

Some times my prayer life is rich. I have a growth spurt on which I’m feeding on the Word of God and listening to the Spirit in my heart. Like a tree planted beside the water, my faith is rooted deep and I grow closer to God.

Other days all I can say is, “Jesus, help me. I’m hanging on.” The world can start to spin around and I don’t know which way is up or how I can keep my head above water. But if my roots are deep from the times of rich prayer, they can get me through the times of dryness and desperation.

Bad days keep me humble and remind me of my need for God. Good days are ones that I can be thankful for seeing God’s presence in my life.

So the one thing I can tell you from my experience of these growth spurts: even when things are bad and I feel desperate and overwhelmed, I never tell God to go away.  I make sure to go to Mass each Sunday, no matter what state I am in (physically or emotionally) because I know that my short spurts of prayer and the grace of the Eucharist are my lifeline. I can survive without a shower or a hot cup of coffee. But I can’t survive without grace. I need Jesus daily (even if its in a short cry of help), and I need to at least get to Sunday Mass (even if it’s in the cry room).

So even when you are feeling overwhelmed and far from God, one thing is for sure: never give up. The worst thing you can do is give up on God (because He never gives up on us!) There’s always hope that we can do better, pray better, and that tomorrow can be different. If you’ve not tried praying in a while, or you’ve missed Sunday Mass a few times, there is always the present to start over: get yourself to confession (it’s Lent!) and get a brand new start. God meets us where we are and wants to grow with us.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

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Heaven is Full of Legos

Heaven is Full of Legos

The other day my 5 year old announced that he didn’t want to go to heaven. That’s problematic for several reasons, mainly because of the salvation of his soul, but as Catholic parents we teach him that heaven is our ultimate goal. We talk about how the saints are in heaven with God and therefore we want to be a saint, too.

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An Academy of Truth and Freedom

An Academy of Truth and Freedom

Marriage is the only school where you get the certificate before you start. It’s also a school where you will never graduate.

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A Father's Love for His Child

A Father's Love for His Child

I can recall how as an infant my older sisters, whilst reading me bedtime stories, would reassure me on moonlight nights about “the man in the moon” as if to reassure me of an abiding presence of care and protection from above.

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