Keep reading to learn how to win a copy of this terrific book!
Given we have recently developed a miscarriage ministry for Joel’s deacon formation requirements, we have become more attuned to the acute need for healing in this area. Joel and I have learned there is a lack of awareness of the resources available to those experiencing miscarriage and infertility. There is a lot of suffering in this area, and it is often silent.
Are you surprised to learn that one in every six United States couples experiences infertility?Â Catholic couples face additional confusion, worry, and frustration as they explore the medical options available to them. Filling a major void in Catholic resources, The Infertility Companion for Catholics is the first book to address not only the medical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of infertility, but also the particular needs of Catholic couples who desire to understand and follow Church teaching on the use of assisted reproductive technology.
Authors Angelique Ruhi-LÃ³pez and Carmen SantamarÃa offer the support and wisdom gained in their own struggles with infertility. They describe the options that Catholic couples can pursue in seeking to conceive, many of which are not ordinarily presented by the medical community. In an encouraging and non-judgmental tone, they address both husbands and wives and help them recognize the emotional impact of infertility on their relationship.
The Infertility Companion for Catholics presents a variety of spiritual resources including prayers, devotions, and the wisdom of the saints and provides suggestions for further reading of reference materials, Catholic documents, and Catholic blogs about infertility.
The authors have graciously offered to partner with us in our miscarriage healing ministry and will include links at their website to the resources we are continually compiling and offering for the Des Moines area. Angelique and CarmenÂ are offering this for other resources as well. Visit their website hereÂ to check it all out. I would like to especially point you to their webinarÂ entitled â€œInfertility: Spiritual Care and Practical Support for Catholic Couplesâ€ available here to view.
Bonus: we have one book to giveaway to a reader. To enter, please leave a message in the comment box below or email me atÂ Â lisa [at] thepracticingcatholic [dot] com.
In the meantime, the authors have shared an excerpt from their book to read here.
From Chapter 3 â€œReproductive Technology and the Catholic Church”
What I found in my own research of Church teachings were two major desires that the Church has for me with regard to infertility: that I care for my body and that I care for my soul. First, the Church desires for me to be as healthy as possible in order to honor the body that God gave me. If I have symptoms of infertility, for example, the Church encourages me to get to the bottom of why this is happening, be it physiological, hormonal, or just a matter of timing. It was encouraging for me to see that if I have a hormonal imbalance, the Church backs taking the appropriate hormones to regulate this imbalance; if I have some sort of physiological condition (blocked fallopian tubes, letâ€™s say), then the Church also supports having surgery or other appropriate procedure to fix this.
If itâ€™s a matter of not timing intercourse properly, then the Church even offers classes in Natural Family Planning to help me realize my optimum fertility. The Church gets a bad rap with regard to accepting modern medical technology, but it really surprised me that the Church was ahead of the game in terms of wanting us to avail ourselves of technology as long as it truly helps to heal us.
The second theme I found is the Churchâ€™s desire to guard my soul and uphold my God-given dignity. Because the Church knows that some of these treatments do not honor both the procreative and unitive elements of marital love as God designed it, the Church, as my loving mother, says, â€œNo, thatâ€™s not good for you.â€ She fears that by taking conception into my own hands, I may lose sight of God being my loving Father who ultimately knows whatâ€™s best for me. Additionally, I am failing to respect my own dignity, my husbandâ€™s dignity, and my future childâ€™s dignity if I begin to manipulate the act of creation and forget that I am a mere co-creator with God. It can be hard to heed the teachings of my mother Church and my Fatherâ€™s Word, but I know from personal experience that not trusting in my parents can have negative ramifications.
â€¦ The Church is always teaching us like a gentle parent, and it has an obligation to help us form our consciences by teaching the truth.