Stirrings of the Spirit

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RIP Fr Vic

I have just returned from the funeral of Fr Vic.

It was the first funeral of a priest that I have attended. It was a beautiful Mass with the Bishop and many priests from around the Diocese. The service filled me with hope, rather than making me sad. I remembered the quiet light that Fr Vic was, and prayed for his sister during her loss.

It is a rainy hot day. It was difficult to get a park, and I ended up having to walk a block through the pouring rain to make it just in time as the funeral started, where I stood in the doorway, dripping wet, as his coffin was taken down the aisle.  It may have crossed my mind that it might be easier to not go to the funeral when I couldn’t find a park and it was so wet, but I’m glad i decided to stay for it.

Fr Vic ran the first young adults group that I ever joined. It was at the encouragement of some of the people in the parish. I remember him telling me once he wouldn’t have done it on his own volition, because he was never sure what to do with young people, but it was him they asked, and he did a wonderful job. Every sunday for years we would meet, and we would pray the rosary together.  We would then go over to the hall, and have some sort of discussion, where I learnt so much.  We did some bible study, and with him I found my favourite book of the bible.

I didn’t realise it until I reflected on it with the news of his death, but Fr Vic is a very influential person in my journey of faith. I will always be extremely thankful to him for all he shared with me.

That young adults group fell apart after he had a heart attack a few years after it started, and the people in the group went their seperate ways. Some people I still know of, but I wonder what happened to the others. Facebook stalking hasn’t revealed them yet.

Please remember Fr Vic in your prayers – may he rest in peace.

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January 31, 2012 Posted by | Faith, Life | Leave a comment

The beauty of NFP

It is currently Natural Family Planning Awareness Week.  There are blog entries all over the place dedicated to this, so I’m just going to throw in my two cents worth. 

Natural Family Planning is a term that refers to a variety of family planning methods that don’t use artificial contraception.  They are methods that have been approved by the Catholic Church in keeping with the philosophy of the dignity of the human person.

Growing up as a Catholic, I knew of the existance of Natural Family Planning.  My dad, in his pro-life involvement, often left brochures lying around about the dangers of the Birth Control Pill, which I would have seen and noted in my subconscious, but no real information was ever given to me about Natural Family Planning.  It was on my list of things that I would learn about later in life.

I was diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome at seventeen.  The treatment the doctor put me on was the birth control pill.  Even with the dangers of the pill in my subconscious, I went along with it, because I didn’t know any better.  And I stayed on it for the next 10 years, until I became engaged.

My husband and I signed up for a class to learn the Billings Method. It was probably quite confronting for the both of us.  It was very detailed and my husband learnt the names of parts of the female reproductive system that he didn’t know existed.  When we got over the shock of discussing cervical mucus with a stranger, the whole thing was fascinating. 

I learnt how my body worked. I learnt how to know what my body was telling me. For the first time in my life, I finally got it. That even with all the irregularities that my body had, it made sense.  This is the great gift that NFP gave me; that it taught me about my body and how it worked.  Things that had been hidden and disguised for years by being on the pill were now embraced. 

learning NFP has been such an empowering experience for me.  Women around me seem stuck in this trap where their fertility is treated like a disease that needs to be stopped, and turned back on again when it suits them.  Our fertility isn’t a disease. It is a gift to be embraced.  My only regret is that I never bothered to learn about it earlier.  I think this knowledge would have been extremely helpful in the years after my diagnosis in learning about my fertility and the condition I have.

I love that NFP is also completely natural.  With a recent trend with being more environmentally friendly, I’m surprised that more people aren’t making the switch to NFP.  I don’t know much about the production of artificial birth control like the pill or condoms, but I imagine that it probably pumps a fair amount of carbon into the atmosphere, all for a matter of ‘convenience’.   I have several friends who are making the switch to organic vegetables and meat, as its better for the environment, and I’m always surprised to discover they are still taking the pill.  They usually just refuse to try any method of NFP. 

Artificial Birth control has become such an ingrained part of our society, that its the people who aren’t using it that are dismissed as being the strange ones.  On the times that I reveal that I use NFP, I am dismissed as being an ultra-committed Catholic.  I’d love to share my experiences with more people, but I’m usually shut down soon after its brought up in conversation. 

For some other blogs that better describe the awesomeness of NFP try: 

LIberator of Women; a guest post by My Feminine Mind in No Wealth But Life

NFP’s Many Benefits at Plot Line and Sinker

Five Good Reasons You Haven’t Tried It Yet at Engaged Marriage

And there are many more out there

July 27, 2011 Posted by | Faith, Life | , , , , , , | 2 Comments