A Couple of Catholics

A blog about faith, intentional living and the joys and struggles of married life.

Category: Culture

How to Come Down from Your Pope High

It was bound to happen…the dreaded letdown after Pope Francis returned to Italy. We soaked in every moment of the journey: the weeks and months of unbridled anticipation of his coming, the countless hours we spent glued to EWTN hanging on to his every word, but then on Sunday it all came to a screeching halt.

And now here we find ourselves…a nation with no more pope fanfare…in a slump of depression, too tired from watching all the media coverage to even drag our weary selves out of bed in the morning.

Pope Francis left before I could get my commemorative papal selfie.

We knew it would come to an end because Christmas can’t be every day. Humph…and so time ticks on.

But fear not dear faithful, we have come up with a list of six things you can do to help you slowly come down from your papal high.

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6 Ways to Follow Pope Francis’ Visit to America Digitally

Pope Francis Motorcade

Image: ABC News

There are many ways to celebrate Pope Francis’ first visit to America. But what is the best, unfiltered and easiest way to follow Pope Francis’ visit? I thought I would share six ways I’m engaging online during his time in the US and how to get unfiltered, honest, non-secularized news and updates about his visit.

After all, the pope will mainly be speaking in Spanish while he’s in the states, so the last thing you want is something lost in translation.

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10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Having a Baby [Video]

Before becoming a dad I had a lot of ambitions…in fact, I still do. It’s no secret that becoming a parent is a life-changing event, and with it come new challenges and a lot of questions. Even though it feels like my daughter has been a part of my life forever, I’ve only been on the job for seven months. Lets be real, I’m still a newbie.

To offer some guidance to new moms and dads and parents-to-be, Extra Space Storage put together a video called “10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Having a Baby.”

Not only is this video fantastic advertising (I should know), but all of their advice is 100% true…

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Can’t We All Just Agree to Stop Having Facebook Debates

I’m tired of Facebook debates. This past week, I intentionally held back my gut reaction to blast social media with my opinions about the Hobby Lobby ruling (although, it’s no secret that I was happy about the outcome). I was hoping that the ruling would spark a greater understanding and conversation around religious liberty. It pains me to see this issue, which deserves true discourse, get condensed into a few sound bites instead.

Think about it… when was the last time you read a comment thread that was well-intentioned and had well-formed arguments–true dialogue on the web?

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Tweet Positive

Since transitioning to stay at home mom life…and for now stay at home wife (it’s a super crazy life filled with wild parties, and plenty of spontaneous adventures 🙂 ) I have taken this opportunity to delve into educating myself about world affairs and current events. Okay, so really I just like to watch Good Morning America and keep daytime television on in the background whilst I go about my daily todos. Anyway there was a recent story that covered the bright and encouraging actions of a graduating high school senior, Taylor Stewart, has spent the last semester of her senior year anonymously spreading positivity through tweets about her fellow classmates.

As a former teacher and youth minister all too often my job has required me to teach the importance of character and building up one’s neighbor. Adults by no means are excused from or above this behavior. In a culture that gets ahead by tearing down one’s neighbor, and are bombarded by the message that we must be seen as better, smarter, and more accomplished than the one standing next to us, it is truly inspiring to see that some people still do have class.

Oh how we can all so easily slip into cynicism and negativity, particularly those glass half-empty kinda people like myself. We all learn a lesson from this young lady and reexamine our own thoughts and actions toward our neighbor. Props to you Miss Stewart may your positivity and kindness be returned to you tenfold.

The Value of Women: A Message to My Fellow Men and Society

To my fellow-men–

Listen up! 

This past week I was driving home and heard the following story on the radio:

I was in the supermarket waiting in line to check out. Behind me was a mother and her 13-year-old daughter. The mom had clearly gotten a boob job. As the daughter started admiring the celebrities on the tabloid magazines, the mother put her hands on the daughter’s shoulders and looked up from her breasts toward her daughter’s chest. “If you want to be like them, we’re going to have to get you a set of these.”

The radio host followed up by chastising the woman, exclaiming that she was a terrible example of a mother. The mom was reinforcing the view of our culture–that the worth of a woman is based solely on her looks.

After digesting this story of the current state of our society’s view on women, I am reminded of Archbishop Fulton Sheen‘s quote:

“To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

― Fulton J. SheenLife Is Worth Living

The Church on the Dignity of Women

You don’t need to look far to see that the Catholic Church tends to get a bad wrap for how it approaches women’s issues. While there are plenty of misconceptions from either side of this topic, I think it is fair to say that this mindset springs from the ideals of the liberal feminist movement, which pushes the pro-choice agenda, contraception and women’s equality by presenting it under the guise of women’s rights.

Now let me make myself clear, I am not saying women should be treated any less than equal to men, but treating someone equally and treating someone the same are two different things. If people would simply stop and do a little bit of research into what the Church truly believes and the logic behind this belief they would see that the Catholic Church is one of the few organizations fighting for women’s dignity.

My friends, the Church can not fight for women’s dignity alone. It begins with us.

Gentlemen, we in a distinct way are called to respect our female counterparts. As protectors at heart, we need to man up and put some action behind the Church’s teaching. From pornography to contraception, there is too much in our society that diminishes the spirit of women. I am fed up with this B.S., we can do better men.

A Challenge For Men

Even though the value of women is not held highly in our society, I challenge you (myself included) to hold women in higher esteem. It starts with small things. The next time you see a woman wearing revealing clothing, instead of checking her out, say a quick prayer for her.

Single guys, do not rush into a relationship and drag a woman’s heart along for the ride. Set boundaries for your relationships that are respectful to a lady.

If you are married, the next time you speak to your wife, praise her for the gift her femininity brings to your life and the life of your family. Thank her for the sacrifice of motherhood.

If you are a father, tell your daughter she is beautiful, not just pretty… Beautiful. Let her know that you delight in her as our Heavenly Father delights in each of His children.

A cultural shift does not just happen overnight. It begins and ends in the heart of every man. So men, join me and let us begin today!