Buckle Up! Riding the Marriage Roller Coaster

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Roller coasters are a centerpiece of the amusement park, a common summer vacation destination for many families including ours. While there is some danger involved in riding them, roller coasters can be safe when properly designed and tested. Engineers understand what forces a body can comfortably withstand. Proper measures are taken to make sure the cars stay on the track and the passengers stay in the cars. Riders also play a role in ensuring a safe ride. They are instructed to, “Keep arms and … [Read more...]

What Every Catholic Marriage Prep Program Ought to Include

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How would you answer this question ... Outline a marriage preparation program for your parish. Explain what components you would like to include and why. Joel had to answer this very question for his sacramental theology course, and we thought it made good blog post material, too. It's the topic of our latest column at Catholic Stand. And {cough, cough}, for the record, Joel received a perfect score on his answer. Was the professor too gracious or just right in his assessment? Head on over … [Read more...]

Marriage is like Chicken Soup

Engagement Picture, 2004 (image courtesy of Stalzer Photography)

I learned to cook out of necessity. I was 34 when Lisa and I got married, so I would have starved otherwise. During my extended bachelorhood, I found that I enjoyed experimenting with different culinary techniques. It became something of a creative outlet for me. As a biochemist, I learned to enjoy the science of it, too; I’m a huge America’s Test Kitchen geek. I had also found that women were usually impressed by men who could cook. Let’s be honest here. Before we met, I was single in my early … [Read more...]

Strengthening the Mr. and Mrs. Once You’re Dad and Mom

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We were scheduled to lead a young couples event at a parish in eastern Iowa today. We’ve been defeated by the weather once again this winter and were not able to travel due to the snow. But all is not lost. We share with you, dear readers, a portion of our presentation titled “Strengthening the Mr. and Mrs. Once You’re Dad and Mom: The Beatitudes of Healthy Marriages.” Please keep in mind a few things as you read: The target audience is young married couples with one or more little ones at … [Read more...]

Why I Love My Wife, Volume 3

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Had enough, yet? Neither have I. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to read from 1 Corinthians for a friend’s wedding. I’ve never really heard it or read it the same way since. It’s the standard to which we should hold ourselves, particularly as a married couple and parents. It’s a high standard, but so much depends upon how well we love. We directly impact the salvation of our spouses and children by how well we measure up to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. So, how’s my lovely wife doing? Let’s … [Read more...]

Why Didn’t Someone Share the Truth With Us?

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We are practicing Catholics, not perfect ones. That label "practicing" is a constant reminder of our great need of repentance and conversion. In our latest post at Catholic Stand, we openly share about an area in our marriage where our repentance and ongoing conversion was and still needed. Click here to read full post. … [Read more...]

Is it Ever Too Late for Natural Family Planning?

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It's been an interesting NFP Awareness week here at The Practicing Catholic. It probably comes as no surprise that we lost a few followers. Are we disappointed? Sure, a bit. Our goal has been to share the beauty of the Church's teaching about human sexuality through the lens of natural family planning --- to put the truth out there as best we can and also do so charitably. We felt called to write this series, in part, to become more comfortable articulating that message. For many couples we … [Read more...]

When Spouses Aren’t on the Same Page About Natural Family Planning

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Welcome back! It's Day 6 in our weeklong series on natural family planning (NFP). This post is linked up with NFP Link Week hosted at the blog NFP and Me. DISCLAIMER: This series is meant to inform and spark conversation about the Church's teaching on respect for human life. While these answers are in-line with Catholic Tradition, they are by no means exhaustive or comprehensive. We are not bioethicists nor moral theologians and do not claim to speak on behalf of the Church in answering them. … [Read more...]

Why Don’t We Want More Children?

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Welcome back! It's Day 5 in our weeklong series on natural family planning (NFP). This post is linked up with NFP Link Week hosted at the blog NFP and Me. DISCLAIMER: This series is meant to inform and spark conversation about the Church's teaching on respect for human life. While these answers are in-line with Catholic Tradition, they are by no means exhaustive or comprehensive. We are not bioethicists nor moral theologians and do not claim to speak on behalf of the Church in answering them. … [Read more...]

Trusting God or Grasping for Control?

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Welcome back! It's Day 4 in our weeklong series on natural family planning (NFP). This post is linked up with NFP Link Week hosted at the blog NFP and Me. DISCLAIMER: This series is meant to inform and spark conversation about the Church's teaching on respect for human life. While these answers are in-line with Catholic Tradition, they are by no means exhaustive or comprehensive. We are not bioethicists nor moral theologians and do not claim to speak on behalf of the Church in answering them. … [Read more...]