WELCOME! Here is my not-terribly-eloquent attempt to grow closer to God via... blogging. Unfortunately for you, I'm not sure what that means either. I guess we'll find out!

I'm 30 years old, married to an IT Guy and a stay-at-home-mom to two spectacularly gorgeous children. While we attend Mass on Sunday mornings, I spend the entirety of the Eucharistic Prayer focused on making sure the baby uses her crayons on the bulletin, not the pew

You can read more about me at Mighty Maggie and more about my Catholic and not-so-Catholic background on the Official About Page. Thanks for visiting!

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I stumbled upon a post about NFP once and read the comments (well, some of them. There were probably 8,467,942 comments total.). I was shocked. Overwhelmed. Feeling stupid. Wondering if I was supposed to know everything they were talking about.

This post is right-on. Why can't the super-Catholics stop bickering about stuff that is not up to them, and instead, use their super-knowledge about all things Catholic and educate the rest of us? ;)


This makes me think of what my pastor talked about yesterday in church...that Paul (the apostle) was sometimes very inflexible, and other times very flexible, in ways that were practically problematic. Paul's rule of thumb seems to be: inflexible about the truth of Jesus. Flexible about everything else.


Oh, oh, oh, the uber-Catholic infighting. I had a funny talk with a Catholic former colleague about this one time, when our boss (arguably the most pro-life member of the entire U.S. Senate) was getting attacked by some pro-lifers because he failed to endorse someone in a state election who--wait for it--WASN'T EVEN RUNNING. Because they thought this guy was MORE pro-life than the pro-life guy who WAS running. Argh.

And so we were talking about how nuts these folks were and how it's strange that there really are these disputes within the "serious/orthodox Catholic" world. I mean, the rest of society would look at us and that we (1) go to Mass every Sunday (or even more!), (2) don't use contraceptives, (3) oppose abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia, (4) have particular views on what marriage is and isn't, and (5) actually believe in things like the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, and Transubstantiation, and they'd assume we were the same as everyone else who believes these things. But we knew that there were all these fights within the universe of people who believe this stuff: the skirts v. pants debate, the can-you-ever-use-NFP debate, and so forth.

I hate this kind of infighting, both because it is a bad witness (how's that for a Protestant word?), and because it's counter-productive in bringing anyone around to your view.

I LOVE your point about meeting people where they are. There's also something HUGE to be said for the grace of the sacraments. I know that when I came into the Church 10 years ago, I wasn't initially convinced of the Church's position against artificial contraceptives. I believe it's in large part the grace of the sacraments that opened my eyes to the truth and beauty of the Church's position, and now I would defend it to anyone. But if we turn people off with infighting and attack-style debate from the outset, they never get exposed to the grace of the sacraments.

(And I'm not saying we should water down or hide the Church's positions on any "controversial" topics. I just don't think we should go out swinging when it's not called for.)

Anyway, I've written a NOVEL here, but it's all to say: I like your attitude about this stuff, and I'll pray that God uses you to draw these inquirers and others closer to Him.


I SO know what you are talking about, Maggie! The NFP debate is crazy-making, but thought-provoking at the same time. For what it's worth, I think anyone who can look at issues like NFP in black and white terms is what you would call "young in their faith." The wisest people I know would say that we're all at different points in the journey; the Church's role is to meet us where we are. Loving your writing here!

Sarah in Ottawa

Can I just say 'ditto' to Lauren's comment. The infighting is embarrassing, uncharitable and WILDLY counterproductive.

And who says that you aren't good at this stuff? Remember the first email I sent to you, back when I was a lurker. I am resending it to you right now, just to remind you that your writings were instrumental in MY returning. Take that! :)



Have you seen this interview? (link above) I think it is a great example of meeting someone where they are instead of cramming your beliefs down their throat in some misguided attempt to instruct the ignorant.

The Sojourner

I often end up wanting to shout: do you know how many Catholic couples have never even HEARD of NFP? Don't you think you should be talking about THAT? Or how many Catholic couples hear of it but laugh it away? Or how no one ever mentions it? EVER? Shouldn't you be starting THERE?

Maybe this is a geographical thing, or a "Well, you're part of the tiny percentage who reads Benedict XVI for fun," but I've actually been a little bit driven up the wall by the fact that all the marriage prep literature we've been getting *doesn't* meet us where we're at.

I have come across a few articles from Danielle Bean and Simcha Fisher that do speak to where I'm at (Summary: It's permissible, obviously, but not necessary and not The Best Thing Since Jesus), but then of course I read the comments and half of them are, "NOOOO, never use NFP! NFP is part of the post-Vatican II compromise with the devil!!!!" and the other half are, "You must ALWAYS use NFP! It makes your marriage full of communication and unicorns and rainbows!!!!"

Is that relevant at all, or am I just taking a sentence in your post out of context so I can rant about something that annoys me?

The Sojourner

Number 1: The first paragraph should be italicized or in quotes or something.

Number 2: The first thing that annoys me (which I did not explain clearly) is that marriage prep in this diocese pushes NFP sooo much. As if 1: It's the only legitimate thing to do in your marriage. (Which it's not. I do get that a lot of people are not going to jump on board with, "Oh, we'll just do nothing at all and have 10 children!", but can you at least mention that NFP is not a requirement?) And 2: It has NO downsides. I've never tried it, so I don't know, but I have heard from too many credible people that it does not in fact involve unicorns and rainbows.

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