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Writer, Speaker, Catechist
Details to order books listed below! Check out some of these great titles!
Sale ends June 19th.
This episode of Among Women calls us to share our experiences of faith with others.
In our “Blessed are They” segment, I explore Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well. This is the longest recorded conversation of Jesus in Scripture. In it we find a woman whose life is changed by meeting Jesus, the Christ. We also observe how this woman could not keep the good news of the Messiah a secret. Her convincing testimony leads others to belief in Jesus, persuading them to hear his word and accept him for themselves.
Today, evangelization takes place both in person and virtually. Online Catholic resources often function as a modern well, where people gather to read and hear inspiring conversations about faith and life. Stories and articles can be shared and discussed — so that others might become curious about a life of faith, and ultimately find Jesus too. The Catholic website, Aleteia, now offers a lifestyle magazine “For Her” — hoping to capture the varied interests of Christian women who seek engaging content that resonates with their values. Join me for a discussion about this new venture with Cynthia Darmody, the editor-in-chief of “For Her”.
Listen to this latest AW podcast!
In this latest episode of Among Women the subject is the virtue of chastity and my guest, Arleen Spenceley, is a writer for the Tampa Bay Times. A few years back, an essay she wrote on being a chaste single adult garnered much discussion in print and went viral online. All this led to her book release Chastity is for Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin. Join us for a discussion of the influence of St John Paul’s thoughts on love between the sexes, and how chastity is a virtue every person must cultivate.
Also in this episode, a look at a Welch saint who rivals St Valentine as a saint for lover, St Dwynden.
Listen and share this episode!
This episode features comments & feedback from Among Women listeners! What a blessing to hear from friends of the podcast!
Winners of the AW 200 Drawing Prize Packs are announced! They are:
Jennifer Harned, Angie Wolfe, Debbie Quakkelaar, and Felicia Brown-Anderson.
Thank you to all who entered!
Find all the archives of Among Women here.
A recent video from Catholic Match about our podcast:
This is a very important show for the Among Women audience since it is first time we’ve discussed in-vitro fertilization, both in relation to Catholic teaching, and within the life story of a guest. For many years I have searched for a guest who would dare to talk about this subject in a reasonable and faith-filled way. In this special expanded edition of Among Women, I am suspending our normal format in order that I can bring you this important conversation in its entirety. Our focus today is on one woman’s story, Jenny Vaughn, and her personal journey through IVF, in vitro fertilization, and her conversion to a deeper relationship with Jesus and the Catholic Church.
Parental Programming Note: This program is rated PG-13. It contains mature subject matter, not suitable for children.
Go listen now.
There is no quibbling about Catholic teaching on the part of this show, but as we will hear, our guest took a while, for a variety of reasons, to come around to the truth of this teaching. I understand that this is hard subject for many to discuss. We have friends and relatives, who may be Catholic, who have built their families using IVF. There are some people we may love who have left the Church over the Church’s teaching that prohibits the use of IVF. There may be others who have never heard that IVF is prohibited. No matter where we may be on this subject, I humbly offer this testimony of teaching and sharing for your prayerful consideration.
This podcast is also a story of growth in understanding in the life of Jenny. For when we come to know Christ deeper, and ultimately encountering the truth of the Father’s love and forgiveness for us, we can own the truth of knowing our sins and repenting of then. So, dear listener, pay attention to the progressive faith journey that Jenny and her husband undertake, as she talks ever so candidly about the healing she has received in the face of the traumas she and her family sustained as she underwent IVF.
The Catholic perspective is that the use of IVF ignores the dignity of human persons and the dignity of marriage. IVF replaces the marital embrace with invasive third parties, and removes the unitive and procreative means of the conjugal act from the married couple. Plus, the process reduces the dignity of the human person who is created in the petri dish to a commodity, a product of reproduction, rather than being begotten or generated procreativity.
This episode of Among Women also mentions resources to help you learn more about this subject and the teaching of the Catholic Faith with regards to it.
Listen to this new episode of Among Women!
Texting differences between men and women…
Cuz this is just fun!
There has been, in the last two weeks, much important reading on subjects close to my heart, and many women’s hearts, relating to the feminine genius and the beauty of womanhood — and our loss of that sensibility and truth. Much of my writing and speaking in the three years has been to point out the basics of woman’s dignity, gifts, and mission as presented to our through the teachings of the Catholic Church, which is more pro-woman and pro-life than any other institution or organization you could name. (To learn more on this perspective, see my book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious. Or come to one of my events.)
Sadly, I have been unable to comment on these posts, save for the briefest ideas, due to my current writing work load and travel schedule
I am, however, linking to a few of those posts here. It’s Lent, after all, so I invite you to read and reflect on these in light of the Gospel, and our call to live it.
1. Mary Eberstadt’s piece on Jailhouse Feminism over at National Review online is jarring as it is astutely on to something… the rage of women in the media and elsewhere is pointing to their abuse and abasement by themselves and others all in the name of freedom. This is must reading. Warning: course language here.
2. Read Our Emotions, Our Bodies, Ourselves by Carolyn Moynihan as she comments on a female psychiatrist, writing in the NY Times about a boom in the number of women (1 in 4) talking medications… it was most emailed article on the New York Times website over the weekend, “Medicating Women’s Feelings”. I admit I have not had time to read the NY Times article but this reply references offers much quoted source material. It is worth reading this piece by the ever-wise Carolyn Moynihan.
A few of my thoughts: One of the powerful gifts of women is their sensitivity, or empathy. It is more than emotions, for sure. But if we don’t understand the body-soul connection of a woman’s great ability of “seeing” with her heart, she might not understand that what breaks her heart also points her in the direction of holy actions: To be deeply rooted in prayer and clinging to Christ, and to be ready to acknowledge the the persons in their midst in need of care and nurture.
Perhaps more than men, women acknowledge the person, because they see persons with their hearts. They see them independently of various ideological or political systems. They see others in their greatness and limitations; they try to go out to them and help them. In this way the basic plan of the Creator takes flesh in the history of humanity and there is constantly revealed, in the variety of vocations, that beauty—not merely physical, but above all spiritual—which God bestowed from the very beginning on all, and in a particular way on women.
(St John Paul II, Letter to Women, 12)
How many women may have been medicated, or told they were crazy or unbalanced, when, really they are not — just normal? I can’t take that in now, but it grieves my heart.
3. Yet another post on one of the gifts of women, this time, maternity: Motherhood is the Strongest Bond written by a blogger who describes the heart of women… and how we need to stand alongside one another, mother to mother, when we encounter the toughest of all crosses, the death of a child. I’m reminded here how mothers are well disposed, as St John Paul would say, not only their own children, but to all children. The author of the piece has this central message: “You’re a mother, you know.”
Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the woman’s womb. The mother is filled with wonder at this mystery of life, and “understands” with unique intuition what is happening inside her. In the light of the “beginning,” the mother accepts and loves as a person the child she is carrying in her womb. This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise to an attitude towards human beings—not only towards her own child, but every human being—which profoundly marks the woman’s personality. (St John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem, On the Dignity and Vocation of Women, 18)
5. Some hope here from Lisa Hendey in her piece on The Blogosphere as a Mission Field, with lots of commentary from women leaders, including myself.
While I really appreciate this well written piece, it’s important to remember Lisa’s end point: we are all called to the new evangelization. For many of us, it’s the call to be saints whose mission is to rescue the culture from its confusion and chaos regarding the gifts of masculinity and femininity.
noun ( pl. gentlemen )
1 a chivalrous, courteous, or honorable man: he behaved like a perfect gentleman.
-New Oxford American Dictionary-
The other day on the phone my son told me he sent flowers to his girlfriend who having an extremely busy week in the run-up to an international event her firm is hosting. Good move.
The next day I saw Facebook photos of my other son wearing a suit before a college homecoming dance, complete with a purple tie to flatter his girlfriend’s dress. Nice touch.
My husband and I recently went out to a pretty upscale French restaurant to mark our anniversary. And he brought a card, complete with a note inside from him. Words are big on my love-language list. This man never misses on this count. He is big on hand holding and door holding too. He’ll even hold my purse for me when asked.
This is the same man who helps me run a large bible study every week. He leads a discussion group. He helps set up and put away the supplies. He locks up and make sure everything is safe and secure when its over. His generous courtesies actions allow me to take final personal questions and visit with the participants who’d like to spend a little extra time. I’m grateful for it all.
For women, a man being a gentleman is not just about courtesy and gallant gestures… it’s more about the virtues that motivate them. It makes women ask: who is the man within?
In the last week my news feeds keep sending me gentlemanly posts and I thought I’d share a few with you.
In 4 Signs of a True Gentleman, Dale Partridge, now father to a daughter, is in a kind of quest to really be the first gentleman in his daughter’s life. He offers this as numero uno:
1. He Puts All Women Before Himself
Being a gentlemen has no bounds of an intimate relationship. It is a badge a man should carry with him at all times. A true gentlemen treats his mother, sisters, female friends and all feminine acquaintances with admiration and regard. He is in constant search of ways to honor and uphold the value of his female counterpart. Whether through listening, defending or affirming, a true gentlemen is a source of strength to all women, not just the one he desires.
That’s a pretty tall order. Yet it is another way of saying, love your neighbor. Or extend respect to all women. For respect precedes love. I always told my daughter, back in her dating days… pay attention to how a man treats his mother and his sister. It will tell you much.
Over at CatholicMom.com, Ginny Moyer writes “What it Means to Be a “Gentleman” (And Why a Mom Should Care)“. In it she describes the gift of courtesy, too, and she also talks about a man’s inbred notion of the dignity of the human person — his treatment of the other — as a necessary core value.
A gentleman sees the innate human dignity of others, all others. Remember in Pride and Prejudice, when Elizabeth goes to Darcy’s home and hears from the housekeeper about how well he treats all the workers on his estate? Previously, she had accused him of not being a gentleman, but a testimony like that goes a long way towards altering her initial opinion. You can be fairly certain you’re on a date with a gentleman when he is genuinely and unostentatiously kind to the guy who refills the water glasses.
Read the rest.
I came across a fairly young blog for men called, The Catholic Gentlemen, written by Sam Guzman, the communications director for Pro-Life Wisconsin. He is pretty direct in calling men not only to gentlemanly behavior, but to holiness. He writes that there is a “man crisis” in the Church today and his call to radical faith in the teachings of Christ and his Church. You’ll get a taste of that from this recent post post on “12 Ways to be a Committed Catholic Man. ” Besides calling men to a deep faith in Jesus Christ… his #5 on his list of 12 is all about the Eucharist.
Discover the majestic manliness of the Mass – The Mass is the “source and summit” of the Catholic faith, and yet, the majority of men claim to “be bored by the Mass” and to “not get anything out of the Mass”. This is because they don’t know what is occurring in the Mass: they have little understanding of the manly symbolism of the Mass, a Sacrament that has been devoutly passed down for 2000 years. They don’t realize that during the Mass they are witnesses to the actual Bloody Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. If a man doesn’t actively participate in the Mass because of ignorance and boredom, he can’t receive the Graces that flow from the Eucharist. Learn the Mass to such a degree that you can explain it to others with the reverence and devotion that Christ’s Sacrifice deserves.
BONUS from Guzman: Chesterton’s Rule of Drinking.
The holiness factor — men with virtue — this is what we women are seeking.
Come join me for a day-long event this Saturday, November 8th! The day features Mass plus three main talks adapted from my award-winning book, Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious. I’m pleased to be joined by three dynamic women — Peggy Clores, Bridget McCormack, and Angela Rizzo — who will share the podium and with testimonials on the how the feminine genius shapes their dignity, gifts, and mission. Eileen Benthal will provide the music ministry.
Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious, is on sale now !
Click here for links to find the book and BBB gift items!
The Back Porch is where I love to visit. Here it's coffee and conversation, and where the faith-sharing is often a friendly mix of catechesis and cannoli. It's a place where I can be unplugged... yet connected to the people and things I care about. It's also the name of my blog.
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