by Frank Tinari, Ph.D., Life Education Council Board of Trustees
Mary & Mother’s Day
When we call Mary our own mother it doesn’t belittle or replace our relationship with our biological mother, just as it doesn’t take away from our relationship with Jesus. By devoting ourselves to Mary’s motherly care we are more disposed to see the beauty of every mom’s love. We see just how much moms do & care for us. We see how much joy and peace they bring to our lives. So too does a devotion to Mary help us see how compassionate Jesus is. For Mary’s glory is only a reflection of her son.
And to all mothers reading this, thank you for reflecting the very love of God and Mary! Saint
John Paul II said: “Mary is the sure path to our meeting with Christ. Devotion to the Mother of the Lord, when it is genuine, is always to a life guided by the spirit and values of the Gospel.”
Media Use by Kids
Despite all the evidence showing how media saturation is connected to sleep disorders, aggressive behavior and obesity, the American Academy of Pediatrics (www.aap.org) says children are growing up in a world surrounded by media that are portable and instantly accessible. Parents and pediatricians may find it hard to keep up with the vast amount of content and new features constantly being introduced. Children and adolescents need guidance to make good choices in their media consumption.
The AAP says media use should be discouraged for children under 18 months old, except for video chatting (e.g., Skype or FaceTime). Parents of children 18-24 months who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming and watch it together. For children 2-5 years, media use should be limited to one hour a day to ensure they have enough time to engage in other activities.
For older kids, parents should be wary about providing smart phones too early. And it may not be helpful to have a TV and/or a computer in a child’s bedroom. Studies reveal that media usage by children 8 to 17 is very heavy. Most kids have cell phones and nearly all send text messages. Yet many parents don’t talk to their children about the dangers and long-term repercussions of activities such as sharing photos & pornography. In short, parents need to pay close attention to what the outside world is feeding their kids.
Blood Clots: Covid Vaccine vs. the Pill
The J&J covid vaccine was temporarily halted due to women getting blood clots. According to the CDC, there were 8 blood clot incidents from over 6.8 million vaccine doses. Though worrisome, the incidence of about one in a million is rare. Now for the shocker: according to the National Blood Clot Alliance, for women who take hormonal contraceptives, i.e., The Pill, the equivalent of over 3,000 blood clot events occur for every million.
An Ob-Gyn doctor reports that medical school training is heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry that promotes the Pill, and never even mentions NaPro Technology, the main alternative
to chemical contraception. Instead of covering up a woman’s reproductive patterns and possible ob-gyn problems, Natural Procreative Technology allows doctors and patients to understand each woman’s particular fertility, monitor health conditions and develop corrective solutions. “Birth control pills are a band-aid, never solve any health issue, are not 100% effective and pose potential health risks,” says Dr. Monique Ruberu. “We are much too cavalier about women’s well-being in this country. Natural family technology deals directly & naturally with the root of a woman’s health problems.” Visit https://femmhealth.org
“It’s such a beautiful thing to work with your spouse on such an intimate level in planning your family. It actually strengthens one’s marriage. And it is in line with the life-affirming teachings of the Church that strongly counsels against artificial contraception.” [Dr. Monique Ruberu, EWTN Pro-Life
Book review: Fighting for Life
[interview of Lila Rose by Patti Maguire Armstrong]
As a teen, I read and saw for the first time what abortion does to a baby. In the first trimester, in the humanity of that baby, I saw this beautiful little child, with arms & legs. You could see faces. I saw what a first-trimester abortion does to destroy that developing child. My heart was really touched by that & grieved.
Then I remembered the death toll at that time – 3,000 abortions daily in America – that I had learned about, and I thought, “This is it. This is the cause of the day, the greatest human-rights cause, and I can’t just pretend like it’s not happening. I have to get involved.”
We’ve experienced social media censorship such as having abortionists serve as fact-checkers on our content and being completely banned on Pinterest. Despite the resistance that we have faced over the last 10 years, we’ve built the largest following for the global pro-life movement: over 5 million people strong. What is more powerful than the obstacles is the passion and determination of many pro-life Americans who want to stand up for what’s right.
The mainstream culture sees having sex before marriage as a virtue or something very normalized, but getting pregnant after having sex is seen as a terrible thing. That is so unfair and misleading for young people — instead of saying sex is beautiful and good in a lifelong, sacred relationship — a marriage — and it’s good to bring life into the world.
Our culture calls evil good and often good evil. It’s totally upside down. This confusion costs us dearly; it’s the reason we have a death toll of nearly a million abortions a year. If you don’t know the truth, if you believe the lies, you are going to make the wrong choices, and those bring serious hurt to yourself and others. So we must expose the evil, speak the truth, rehumanize the child, remind people of their dignity, of morality and God and who God is. [National Catholic Register,
How you act depends on what you believe about God, the universe, the meaning and value of life, what a human being actually is. Mothers and fathers who trust in God no matter the circumstances, who live out the Golden Rule even at great cost, and who sacrifice time, money, and comfort to give of themselves in service to the Kingdom of God, are living a grand philosophy without perhaps ever even knowing the meaning of words like “metaphysics” and “ethics.”
[Philip Martin, www.crisismagazine.com, 4/22/21]
Helping Women Who’ve Had Abortions
Rachel’s Vineyard weekends are a beautiful opportunity for those struggling with the emotional or spiritual pain of abortion. For those considering the need to reconcile their abortion, the retreat is a wonderful gift to yourself to experience the sadness, grief & shame in the company of other women and men feeling very much the same. You will turn pain into hope with the help of nurturing counselors, and are given time to reflect & become open to the healing process. “Through participating in Rachel’s Vineyard, I was finally able to forgive myself. I know that God has given me a peaceful mind, cleansed my heart and has washed away my guilt.” For more information, log onto Rachel’s Vineyard at https://www.rachelsvineyard.org.
Helping Teens is Pro-Life
The majority of pre-teens and teenagers attend public schools where “health” class ignores Christian values and promotes a secular lifestyle. So parents who want their kids to make truly healthy choices need to use other resources. For example, Tan Books provides a comprehensive program called LoveEd: Raising Kids That Are Strong, Smart & Pure (https://tanbooks.com). Organizations like LifeNet provide in-person programs such as Authentic Love & Sexual Integrity; Helping Teens Make Healthy Choices; and Teen Purity (www.lifeneteducation.org).
The chastity/abstinence presentation for teens and young adults covers the risks of sex outside marriage including pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, & emotional and spiritual consequences. For parents, the Helping Teens program helps reduce children’s risk-taking behavior (sex, drugs, alcohol, etc.) and explains why teens need their parents to talk to them often about the meaning of the gift of sex and the importance of saving themselves for marriage.
Another comprehensive source is the Chastity Project (https://chastity.com) that addresses dating, birth control, pornography, STDs, how far is too far, emotional virtue, and other topics of interest to teens. Their team also travels the country giving life presentations, so parents should check their website for current schedules.
The Future of Marriage
(book review excerpt)
In Poland, Justyna believes strongly in Christian marriage, is engaged to be married but is living with her boyfriend for the past two years to save money for a big wedding. She resents her priest’s warning that this is sinful and unwise. Justyna is conflicted. Young Christians all over the world are wrestling with similar challenges, and we get to meet many of them in sociologist Mark Regnerus’s newest book, The Future of Christian Marriage.
Young Christians, like their less religious peers, are marrying later & less frequently, with less disapproval of fornication & cohabitation. Their families are smaller; they largely reject traditional gender roles. They see beauty and wisdom in Christian teachings, but they share the outlook of less devout contemporaries. They ask: How can they avoid a sexual landscape that prioritizes pleasure over long-term fulfillment? What to expect from a potential spouse? How much should a person be willing to sacrifice for marriage? How to establish a secure social & financial foundation for family life? Culture and tradition used to provide more guidance. As marriage-supportive customs erode, the up-front costs & sacrifices increase, while the visible benefits become more elusive. [See Rachel Lu’s full book review at www.nationalreview.com]
This free monthly newsletter is used by dozens of churches as a bulletin insert, and has had over 30,000 readers. To receive a copy in your inbox, email Frank Tinari, Ph.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org