#biblejournaling bender

February 24, 2016

The latest craze to sweep the faithful followers of Christ is bible journaling, a practice wherein a person reads or meditates upon scripture whilst embellishing, stamping, coloring, and/or illustrating on a page.


There are currently no readily available Catholic versions of journaling bibles (insert joke about Catholics not reading their bibles); however, given that Catholics do not make sweeping judgements based upon cursory self study, a decent protestant translation will fit the bill.


I picked up a Crossway ESV single column journaling bible (check ebay and discount sites for bargains as low as $20), a few crafting supplies and was off to the magical land of #illustratedfaith! I unwrapped all of my markers and pencils and stamps and began marking up my pristine book. I felt somewhat conflicted as I began. Was I defacing the word of God?


A little research revealed that the practice of illustrating the Bible in the margins is not actually new at all, but ancient! As the bible was copied by hand prior to the printing press, people would add ornamental and illustrated embellishments to the page. Nothing like carrying on a holy tradition!


Once I overcame the awkwardness and foreign nature of the practice, I fell in love. I was relaxing by creating, and I was digesting the Word, in a new way. I better retained what I had read and was able to use it to speak to me much the way one can in Lectio Divina. Maybe this should be called Pic-tio Divina? Probably won’t be catching on….


This is a practice I will definitely be exploring further and continuing. The absolute best part is spending time with my kids while I bible journal and they color. It feels like a family activity, and we can talk about what I’m reading. *high five*



Pax Vobiscum, Nerds!


Did Pope Francis OK Contraception?



Short answer: No

Long answer: Still no, bruh.

What it boils down to is contraception is intrinsically evil, avoiding pregnancy is not intrinsically evil, and the the effects of the Zika virus (or larvicides depending on your source) could be very bad. OK, moving forward with these premises, the AP article quotes him saying:

Abortion “is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil at its root, no? It’s a human evil,” he said. “On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one (Zika), such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear.”

The church has and will always say that in good circumstances AVOIDING PREGNANCY is the moral choice. One needn’t have a whole gaggle of children they cannot care for just #becauseJesus. That isn’t what the church teaches. Now, does the need to avoid pregnancy mean that you can use an intrinsically evil method? No, of course, not.

99% reliable Natural Family Planning methods such as Billings, Creighton, or Marquette would be perfectly reliable and morally licit. Mother Teresa’s nuns instructed women with 98% reliability how to use NFP in rural India.

NFP =/= Rhythm Method. That is misinformation. I, myself, used NFP to place THREE WHOLE years between my children. I have been married five years and have two planned children. I know several women on the pill who can’t say that. The argument that NFP isn’t reliable is just fallacious. It requires some self discipline, but I would argue most people could use a good dose of that anyhow!

Lastly, while this Pope Paul VI incident he references is spoken about time and time again by many sources, there are no official documents showing this occurred. The permission would have had to have been given in writing in his time. Until a document can be produced, I inclined to believe it is simply bad folklore.

Moreover, if it could be shown this DID occur, it would not be proof he did not make a mistake and would not be the same as the Zika situation. Unmarried, chaste nuns are not contracepting normal marital relations, and taking contraception is not in itself morally evil. It is the action the contraceptive causes in conjugal relations that is evil. Ultimately, this would not have been an infallible move, much how even if Pope Francis told people to use contraception, which he did not. It would not be infallible. It doesn’t work like that.

Ok, so to recap:

AVOIDING PREGNANCY = OK, but contraception is not the moral or Christian way to do it.

Remember kids, when in doubt, no sex = no babies!

Pax Vobiscum, Nerds!

Open letter to my husband

February 6, 2016


In the excitement and the emotion of our wedding day, I thought I knew everything that it meant to say that I love you. In my naivete, I thought I knew that I could not love a man more. I looked at you, wanting to spend my entire life with you, but even then, I had yet to understand authentic love.

On that day, I would have sworn that I would lay down my life for you, that I could not desire to give more of myself. That was true. Still, on that day, the fullest expression of my love was not realized. For my own sake, I wish to recount the kind of love I have realized for you.

I would still lay down my life for you, but to say this, is easy. As they say, ‘Talk is cheap’. Now, I understand that the character of real love is enduring, rather than exciting. It is not an emotion, and it is not a feeling. Love is choosing to bear all that another person is in the face of adversity and flaws, and doing it with joy. 

When inevitable minor or major troubles come to our marriage, I want to face the rocky terrain with you because life could only be worse without you.

I want to offer you my whole self in a love so tangible that it becomes physical realities that require names. As time goes, I can only offer you a much older, less attractive and desirable me, but I will always give you everything that I am.

When the craze and the excitement of young love recedes, I just want to hold your hand and rest my head on your chest, while we fall asleep.

I want to bring you a kind of lifelong happiness which will slowly become embodied in the laugh lines behind your beautiful, dark eyes.

I want to lock arms with you while we walk, as I assure you that you are every bit as handsome as the day we met because, to me, you are.

I want to watch your beautiful black curls fade into silver, as the years behind us become greater than the years before us.

If our knees, no longer spry, hurt too much to do all the things we once did, I want to sit with you and keep you company, because there is no where else I would rather be.

And, if one day, your mind fails you, I hope you will still recognize my unwavering and steadfast love, even if you cannot recognize my face, because I will still be there giving you everything that I am, and accepting everything that is you.