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Traditional Catholic Moms Spring/Summer 2011 - Page 3

post #41 of 293

This "split" is so much on my mind and heart right now, ladies. Please bear with me a moment while I explain.

 

DD has been going afternoons to a lovely preschool just a few blocks from our house. It's very AP, "hippie," to the point where they say a vague sort of "blessing" before snack and there are mothers nursing their 3 year-olds on the playground. A lot of the families make different moral choices than I would support. But DD is so loved and accepted, the teachers are wonderful, and I've met some of the most friendly and truly caring people there. She's been going 2 years, though, and will be a VERY old  4 years old in the fall (her birthday is just a few weeks after the state cutoff for kindergarten) and I'm wondering about trying something new.

 

We visited the parish school yesterday, and due to a number of things going on in the school district, are considering that for the K-whatever education of our children. However, the preschool environment seemed very structured, very little free play, and very, for lack of a better word, regimented, right along with "uniforms" for the littlest kids. Getting shoes on DD is a struggle, even in the depth of winter, so I cannot image a uniform! But there are crucifixes everywhere, and age-appropriate religious instruction, and the kids (even the littles) are part of the community of faith.

 

So what do I pick? The barefoot, loving "hippies" or the structured Catholics? And maybe it's not so hard, because she'll be nearly 5 and it's probably OK for her to wear shoes and have a bit less chaos in her life, but I never thought I'd consider sending my kids to CATHOLIC SCHOOL! (I'm a convert.) I'm really wishing there was a middle ground, not just for preschool, of course, but for me to feel like there are families I can socialize with and support ...

 

I guess that's what this thread is all about. I read this thread all the time and pray for each of you, but every time I post I sound like I'm whining so I usually just erase what I've written.

 

I know my struggles are small, and I feel petty to even complain, but I want what's best for my kids and don't know how to do it.

 

 

post #42 of 293
I think some of these posts are just a tad judgmental. And I don't think I'm coming from a position of defense, because I actually do a lot of AP practices (I won't say which ones I do or do not do. I've been censored on this site before - just for being honest, I might add - which makes me really angry, and I want to enjoy my MDC experience.) I don't think that AP=Catholic or Catholic=AP. Most parents are doing the best they can, and saying that one particular parenting method is THE parenting method is annoying. I think there are some practices that work for some children/families, and there are other practices that work for other children/families. There are some practices that have sound evidence behind them that show they are more beneficial, and there are other practices that seem to be more of an opinion on what is best or should be acceptable.

I particularly disagree with LTB's theory that too many children at too quick of a pace isn't AP or Catholic enough. Four arms can hold several small children, and learning to share parents, time, attention, toys, etc from practically the beginning of life seems like a good thing to me. How much harder is it on a child that has been the only child for a long period of time to adjust to sharing all of those things? (Sorry, LTB, that last sentence I know is very applicable to your situation, and I mean no disrespect to a situation which you have no control over.)

Anyway, I love you ladies and don't want to disagree, but some of these recent posts are putting a bad taste in my mouth, and I didn't feel like I could sit quietly by.
post #43 of 293

Oh, dear.  I hope I have not been judgemental.  That is one of the reasons I am here: for support in facing judgement.  Sometimes being Catholic puts me at odds with others on MDC, not to mention friends and family, and I was simply hoping to find others who practice some version of AP while staying true to their faith, or vice versa.  I DO think that Catholicism and AP go hand in hand, but they are certainly not one and the same.

 

As for Sarahsmiles, I have no idea what advice to give.  I have also been thinking a lot about my children's future education, although it is still quite long way off, and while I have always been partial to the idea of a nice Catholic school I also think it would be easier to raise a faithful child in an "AP" environment than raise an "AP" child in a more repressive or ordered environment.  That being said, I know that there are Catholic schools that use a Montessori curriculum, or perhaps you could find a nonreligious Montessori program as kind of a compromise between the two choices. 

post #44 of 293

Sarahsmiles, your issue is an excellent example of the "problem." In your shoes, I would hope to find a 3rd option. Before that, though, I might try to see what the particular teacher my child would get in the Catholic school is like. The experience can really vary depending on the teacher. I don't have a problem with the "natural families" in general, most are just great people like you describe, but would not want my child in such an environment without me, unless I really knew everyone. Here, at least, that lifestyle too often goes together with an understanding that the people are either pagans or into some sort of natural religions and it is expected that no one can have a problem with that and in some ways with practicing these things together. (But I am in Europe, so it may be different where you are.) I have had to say no to lots of nice activities when I have read through the whole program.

 

Lavatea, I am not sure whether or not we disagree. I guess, in the end, people can think of totally different thing, when using the term AP. Of course people can also disagree on how much whatever practice is needed. I guess I can say that I am quite Popcakian... ;) You know, I do believe that there is the best way to do things, and then there are worse ways. However, what these look like will be a bit different for each family.

 

When it comes to the families I wrote about. I absolutely judge their actions. I try not to judge them as people, as I certainly don't know all their reasoning, and I feel that they are confused by some of the poor teaching they keep getting from the movement. I need to stress, however, that these are not your average large, Catholic families. (My conversion to Catholicism is thanks to a Catholic family with 11 kids. In addition to this family, I have know 3 very large, very faithful Catholic families in the US. They were all just amazing, full of love and joy. One seemed very ap, the other two I have no idea. However, they were all very gentle and nice to their kids, whether they did the "normal" ap practices or not.)

 

This group does not exist in the US, at least not in most of the states, so I think you, thankfully, don't know what I am talking about. Once again I want to stress that all the large Catholic families I have know in the US were wonderful families. Unfortunately, the faith can be twisted into strange directions, and then the end results are not pretty.

 

When it comes to my family, I actually do share the worry about my child, as you (lavatea) well know. However, luckily, she has lately become very good at sharing. However, it is true that I don't think my child will have a normal relationship to any of this stuff. E.g., I could easily see her wanting babies at 18 or something, you know, wanting the very thing she never had when growing up. She pays attention to all little kids much more than those with smaller siblings. In a way this is good, but the reasons behind it are not necessarily positive. Yet, there is not very much I can do, rather than try to guide her in the situation she is in, even if I often don't know how.

 

Edited to add: I have absolutely no problem with spacing children with breastfeeding. It seems to be God's plan to begin with, even if the spacing we get these days may not be what it used to be. So, yes, some women may get pregnant quite soon after having given birth, at least a couple of times. However, that is quite different from what happens without any breastfeeding. I have yet to see a mama that nurses have a child every year. I suppose it can happen, but it would be extremely rare.


Edited by LessTraveledBy - 4/2/11 at 5:35am
post #45 of 293

I am so happy to find this thread.  I may have even popped in here earliler, I can't remember.

 

I am a convert to Catholicism.  I began to be drawn to the Church after seeing The Passion Of The Christ on Ash Wednesday of 2004.  That spring Jesus gave me faith in His Presence in The Eucharist.  So once that happened, I was on my way.  So far I'm the only Catholic in my family, though my husband and I have both been Christians for a long time.

Looking back Jesus was leading me this way for quite awhile.  After my first child was born back in 1988, I started to get ready to go back to 'normal', intending to use birth control.  To  my surprise, He showed me in my heart not to do that.  Thankfully when I shared this with my husband he was in agreement.  He was surprised, as I was, but he believed me when I told him that I felt it was Jesus who was showing me this.  Much later came beliefs about how Mary is the Mother of all Christians, and the Eucharist.  I didn't even know that the Eucharist is the center of the Church.  My husband is the one who told me that.  He was raised Catholic and I am hoping he will embrace Catholicism again someday.

 

I believe in AP and other 'Mothering' type issues, but as many of you have said here I can't agree with everything. 

I am very excited to find you all here to talk with and listen to.  God bless you all today!  Gotta go get some coffee and get some things done before my kids all start getting up.  And my little boy is sick today so I am pretty busy.

Have a good day!

post #46 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebecca2009 View Post

I am a convert to Catholicism.  I began to be drawn to the Church after seeing The Passion Of The Christ on Ash Wednesday of 2004. 



Welcome, Rebecca! You know, I remember seeing that movie and wondering how many people would become Catholic because of it. It had such a beautiful way of showing Mother Mary's presence throughout. I just loved that!

 

BTW, what age do you all think a child should be before seeing that movie. I think it would be way too much for our sensitive newly 6 y.o. Yet, I am wondering if we skipped some parts... Would that even make sense then, though. I think I will maybe watch it myself again.

 

Did anyone else see and love the movie about St. Therese (the little flower). It must have come out in late 2004 or early 2005. I remember crying so much when she was basically saying goodbye to her dad when the dad was sick and she was already in the monastery. We go to Mass at a Carmelite convent and one of the nuns somehow looks a lot like St. Therese. :)

post #47 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by lavatea View Post

I think some of these posts are just a tad judgmental. And I don't think I'm coming from a position of defense, because I actually do a lot of AP practices (I won't say which ones I do or do not do. I've been censored on this site before - just for being honest, I might add - which makes me really angry, and I want to enjoy my MDC experience.) I don't think that AP=Catholic or Catholic=AP. Most parents are doing the best they can, and saying that one particular parenting method is THE parenting method is annoying. I think there are some practices that work for some children/families, and there are other practices that work for other children/families. There are some practices that have sound evidence behind them that show they are more beneficial, and there are other practices that seem to be more of an opinion on what is best or should be acceptable.

I particularly disagree with LTB's theory that too many children at too quick of a pace isn't AP or Catholic enough. Four arms can hold several small children, and learning to share parents, time, attention, toys, etc from practically the beginning of life seems like a good thing to me. How much harder is it on a child that has been the only child for a long period of time to adjust to sharing all of those things? (Sorry, LTB, that last sentence I know is very applicable to your situation, and I mean no disrespect to a situation which you have no control over.)

Anyway, I love you ladies and don't want to disagree, but some of these recent posts are putting a bad taste in my mouth, and I didn't feel like I could sit quietly by.


Agreed.

 

More to say but i'm heading out the door, just wanted to pop in and sub and say hi!

 

post #48 of 293

Mmmmm so many trains of thoughts!  First, Sarasmiles, I understand your dilemma and sympathize...I would be hesitant to go with the structured Catholic school for such a young child but on the other hand if they truly teach Church doctrine it sounds like a great deal!  Most if not all of the Catholic schools I know are Catholic in  name only.  Never teaching any true catechism and the colleges around here have no problem with their students co-habitating and ugh, it's just disappointing.

LTB,  I think I understand where your coming from when you expressed the thoughts too many children paced too quickly...I tend to agree Wit you about it not being good for families...For the most part I wouldn't say it's abusive, but in some instances yes.  I personally am from a large Catholic family and grew up with many friends from large Catholic families.  I LOVED it, in fact so much that I married young and I want to have one myself.  I think what LTB, was suggesting is it's the pace of the family that can be harmful not the amount of children...Also, I've noticed that if you mention something to women about spacing their children or maybe if they're having a hard time keeping up, they should consider, someone will jump in with the "not catholic enough" argument...  Personally, I know that the families that have children spaced 2-3 years apart are happier then those who have say 3 children under 4 years old...I think sometimes the moms handle it well but the children not so well.   I'm thinking of a young family I know who has 9 children in it and they seem so pleasant and happy...On the outside.  It's just when you get one on one with the kids you realize they are being forced to grow up REALLY fast and definitely are missing out on some parenting. 

It's frustrating for me trying to meet people in the area, who are Catholic with children.  It seems that many of them are contracepting and have a protestant view of parenting.  Very harsh, and this idea that children are born evil and you have to make them good.  I'd always learned that children are innately good.  Speaking of children, my little one is waking from his nap! :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #49 of 293


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbaer View Post

LTB,  I think I understand where your coming from when you expressed the thoughts too many children paced too quickly...I tend to agree Wit you about it not being good for families...For the most part I wouldn't say it's abusive, but in some instances yes. 



Just for the record here... ;)

 


When I mentioned abuse, I was talking about very specific families, not saying that children being born without much of a spacing causes that to every family. These families could have been like that, no matter what. However, something I have observed is that the early experience with one's children seem to have a huge effect on parenting later on. Not having the time to change a dirty diaper, for these families, seems to have grown into the idea that it is just fine to leave a child in a poopy diaper. That sort of thing. The parents who totally change their way of parenting later on seem to be rare ones. I only know of one such couple in real life, and their change came after their conversion to the faith.

 

I still think that the mistranslation of "grave reasons" (instead of the correct translation "just reasons") of Humanae Vitae has caused a lot of confusion in the church in the USA. I wonder, if Catholics were educated in their faith, if so many would contracept. It seems to me that they, do to a false understanding, see the Catholic teaching as impossible or idealistic, and see contraception as the only reasonable thing. (And once they are in disagreement about one thing, it is easy to slide in other matters as well. You know, if someone thinks the Church is wrong in one thing, then I suppose it can be wrong in others as well.) I have seen so many people (mainly unmarried, young men?) argue on Catholic boards that there is almost never an acceptable reason for using nfp in the USA. If you don't have enough money, there is always welfare, and you must go on welfare before using nfp. If the mother is suffering psychologically, she needs to pray more and offer it up. I find this very, very sad. We are called to be open to life AND responsible. This will mean different things for different families, obviously, and that is how it is supposed to be: between the spouses and God, hopefully with the help of a spiritual director. Thus I am simply writing about my observations. I would never walk up to a person and try to tell them what to do.

 

And, for the record, I would have 8 or more kids, if I could. However, we had our first when I was 28 and have been infertile ever since. Meanwhile, I really believe in the baby's right to nurse and to be a baby, so I do believe that a baby is always a just reason to use nfp, for those for whom nursing does not space babies. Our daughter has issues with food and relied almost completely on nursing until 2 and nursed a lot until 3. Had I lost my milk, for any reason, it would have been devastating for her and her health. If NFP did not exist, we would have abstained completely (common decision, not just mine). Now, God has decided for me and I will consider myself extremely lucky if I ever have 3 kids, whatever route (miracle conception, adoption, whatever). But, I also see that this is a topic where it is just fine to disagree, as the Church has left the interpreting of Humanae Vitae and other teaching to each family. I am just bringing up this side, just for the record, or whatever. :)

 

ABOUT THE SCHOOL ISSUE... I did not even think of the fact that the decision might be between a nice "natural minded" school and a Catholic one that teaches very little Catholicism or teaches error. (My dh was taught by nuns in a Catholic school how to put a condom on a banana. What a waste of his parents' money. Yack!) My decision making would start from the fact that I would never put my child in a school that claimed to be Catholic, and then taught something else. I would find that more dangerous than a public school or whatever. So... Assuming the Catholic school is not one of the rare great ones, I would try to look for a 3rd option, I think. (Is homeschooling totally out?) I might be ok with the "natural" school if I were able to volunteer a lot and knew what was going on there. In either case, tough. We have no option here, really, other than to home school, as we have public schools, only, and they basically expect everyone to be and act the same.

 

 

post #50 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by LessTraveledBy View Post





Welcome, Rebecca! You know, I remember seeing that movie and wondering how many people would become Catholic because of it. It had such a beautiful way of showing Mother Mary's presence throughout. I just loved that!

 

BTW, what age do you all think a child should be before seeing that movie. I think it would be way too much for our sensitive newly 6 y.o. Yet, I am wondering if we skipped some parts... Would that even make sense then, though. I think I will maybe watch it myself again.

 

Did anyone else see and love the movie about St. Therese (the little flower). It must have come out in late 2004 or early 2005. I remember crying so much when she was basically saying goodbye to her dad when the dad was sick and she was already in the monastery. We go to Mass at a Carmelite convent and one of the nuns somehow looks a lot like St. Therese. :)



I saw the movie about St. Therese in the theater.....I was in tears at the end.  I barely made it to my car before I just sobbed.  I don't know why....it just moved me so much and I guess it was very validating for what I was going through at the time.

  I loved how one scene showed when Therese was sick in bed, she reached over to the picture of Jesus beside her and said, 'my Beloved.'   <3

 

post #51 of 293


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LessTraveledBy View Post

 


And, for the record, I would have 8 or more kids, if I could. However, we had our first when I was 28 and have been infertile ever since. Meanwhile, I really believe in the baby's right to nurse and to be a baby, so I do believe that a baby is always a just reason to use nfp, for those for whom nursing does not space babies. Our daughter has issues with food and relied almost completely on nursing until 2 and nursed a lot until 3. Had I lost my milk, for any reason, it would have been devastating for her and her health. If NFP did not exist, we would have abstained completely (common decision, not just mine). Now, God has decided for me and I will consider myself extremely lucky if I ever have 3 kids, whatever route (miracle conception, adoption, whatever). But, I also see that this is a topic where it is just fine to disagree, as the Church has left the interpreting of Humanae Vitae and other teaching to each family. I am just bringing up this side, just for the record, or whatever. :)

 

ABOUT THE SCHOOL ISSUE... I did not even think of the fact that the decision might be between a nice "natural minded" school and a Catholic one that teaches very little Catholicism or teaches error. (My dh was taught by nuns in a Catholic school how to put a condom on a banana. What a waste of his parents' money. Yack!) My decision making would start from the fact that I would never put my child in a school that claimed to be Catholic, and then taught something else. I would find that more dangerous than a public school or whatever. So... Assuming the Catholic school is not one of the rare great ones, I would try to look for a 3rd option, I think. (Is homeschooling totally out?) I might be ok with the "natural" school if I were able to volunteer a lot and knew what was going on there. In either case, tough. We have no option here, really, other than to home school, as we have public schools, only, and they basically expect everyone to be and act the same.

 

 


LTB,

It's odd sometimes the gift/trials/tribulations God gives each of us... Some of who married young and had no problem conceiving and for our sanity and welfare as well as health of children/spouse must space our children and then those who would love more but are only blessed with one.  I'm sure though that in your case you are putting all your effort into your precious little one and giving your little girl all the guidance and love she can handle! :-)  

 

I'm so passionate about NFP and what the church teaches that I get really worked up when I meet Catholics who just blatantly disregard Church teachings.  It's simply a matter of time before this causes a rift between my in laws and myself.  I don't know why I am so naive when it comes to contraception but I just expect that more Catholics are using NFP when that's not the case.  I read the statistic somewhere that it's close to 90% using contraceptives.  Completely frustrating to hear from someone that they just "can't" have anymore only to find out later that they are on birth control, or sterilized.  I just got through reading Brian J Gail's book Fatherless and am halfway through the second one Motherless;  I found it to be a reawakening of many things I felt and believed as a young teenager.  Also,  right now I'm going through a huge internal struggle over what is the right thing to do.  I feel that in some ways we are morally responsible for saying something when then conversation arises, especially among friends and families.  But should we?  I don't want to cause a argument and at the same time I read somewhere that it is sinful to allow people to believe that you are ok with their participation in things that you find morally wrong.  I just don't know it's such a touchy subject but one I feel so strongly about, I want others to feel the same way? I am not saying we should go up to random strangers or even friends and just say "contraceptive are wrong, you shouldn't be using them." no, not that, but when the subject comes up because it does, should you voice your opinion?  I often find myself just nodding and smiling with whatever family is saying and never voicing my opinion, they all know that I personally only use NFP but is that what Christ is calling us to?  Doesn't he call us to more?  Doesn't he call us to evangelize in our own small way? 

 

I completely agree with you LTB on the school issue.  What a waste of money!  My husbands family is very into Catholic school and I'm sitting here thinking "THEY'RE NOT CATHOLIC!".  The schools down here have half catholic teachers and the others are protestants.  They go to Mass once a week but even that isn't worth it to me.  Even if they went once a day it wouldn't be.  If the schools don't teach the truths of the church and like LTB said if they are demonstrating how to put condoms on??  This was my dh's experience as well as his cousins, who are still going.  Btw, his cousins don't think there is anything wrong with this.  Argh. 

 

We had a dinner party at our house and a boyfriend of a family member was there bashing the Church.  Now not really bashing but the family was offended.   I was slightly humored by the whole thing because I saw his points and they were valid ones.  I don't want everyone to think I was humored because this kind of thing is ok with me but please understand I grew up in a split religion household. My father was and still is anti-catholic, he wasn't always this way but my mom did marry him with an exemption because he wasn't but somewhere down the road he had a religious "conversion" and became strongly anti-catholic.  At any rate, the debates I'm used to are heated and ugly so when this "boyfriend" started joking about the church in way that offended the family it seemed very mild in style to me who has seen so much worse!  Anyway, back to the story he asked a question of two children at the table "Who is St. Monica and why is she a saint?" The children were aged 11 and 9.  They replied with they didn't know (btw, their church's name is St. Monica) and he started laughing and said "don't you go to church and Sunday school every week?"  The table got super quiet and I'm watching this whole scene unfold wondering if someone is going to pipe up with some basic Catholic knowledge.  It ended up with this debate between him and the boys about shouldn't they know these things and shouldn't the family know these things.  I'm sitting in the living room, breastfeeding P and decided I couldn't let this whole shabackle go on so I walked in and set the record straight on St. Monica, saints and said I totally agreed that Catholics were uneducated about their Faith.  Needless to say, the family was not very happy and blamed the whole thing on him. 

 

The best thing about the whole thing is there were 4 adult sisters present at the table, each with their respective husbands (one boyfriend), one to two children each (respectively lol ) and the grandmother.  Each sister had been to Catholic school all her life and sent her own children to one if not for their entire schooling, at least several years.  This type of thing may not be fair but it definitely paints a bad picture (at least for me) of Catholic schools and does not lead me to wanting to send my children there.  In a few years I will have to defend my decision to my in laws who are already saving money to send my child to school.  FUN FUN.

post #52 of 293

Thanks everyone for the good thoughts on the school issue. Just feel like I need to clarify. Right now, we are looking at a *preschool* for DD. We had fully intended to keep her in the hippie-trippie preschool she attends now, along with some clarification from me about what we believe, and then send her to public school next year. I work full-time and DH, who is the primary caregiver for the kids, is not Catholic and is VERY anti-homeschooling.

 

I always thought they'd be better off in their faith in a "pluralistic" public school than a "Catholic in name only school." Given some recent changes in the city school board, it looks like sending the kids to a small, friendly, neighborhood school might not be happening, so we took another look at the parish school. (I should mention I don't attend this parish, but go to the campus center. I think the parish is probably a lot more typical in the US in terms of liturgy, what is preached, etc.)

 

Since we are a one-income family (by choice, of course) we cannot afford other options. The parish school is affordable only because of the way parish members pay tuition (we would transfer to the parish from the campus center.) There are lots of private schools options for this small-ish town, but none are affordable on one-income. And most are even more problematic in terms of what is taught.

 

Since there was only one spot left for preschool in the fall, and since we haven't come to a decision about this, it might be a moot point.

 

But -- how do you KNOW if a Catholic school is actually supporting the teachings of the Church? What are the signs? One of the priests teaches religion to the older kids (which of course doesn't mean much --  there's a REASON we go to the campus center!) and when I specifically asked about why there was meat on the school lunch menu Fridays in Lent, the principal corrected me (I had been looking at the wrong month. Of course, since they have cheese pizza every week, could it be SO HARD to make that day Friday? Don't get me started ...)

 

It's not like they come out and say "We teach kids to put condoms on bananas!"

 

 

post #53 of 293

Hoping someone here can help me find this - I'm working on our summer school plans to help dd retain skills between K and 1st, and I'd like her to do some easy copywork everyday to help with handwriting. We're using CHC handwriting, and will be using CHC lesson plans and materials for 1st grade. I know they have a lot of quotes and such suitable for copywork in the 1st grade plans, but she hates repeating things, even when it's done months later. So does anyone know of a site or book where I can find good selections for copywork for a child going into 1st grade? I'd prefer moral or religious theme, saint quotes, etc over just sayings.


 

 

 

post #54 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post

Hoping someone here can help me find this - I'm working on our summer school plans to help dd retain skills between K and 1st, and I'd like her to do some easy copywork everyday to help with handwriting. We're using CHC handwriting, and will be using CHC lesson plans and materials for 1st grade. I know they have a lot of quotes and such suitable for copywork in the 1st grade plans, but she hates repeating things, even when it's done months later. So does anyone know of a site or book where I can find good selections for copywork for a child going into 1st grade? I'd prefer moral or religious theme, saint quotes, etc over just sayings.


 

 

 


I ran across this site the other day while looking for something, they have the Baltimore Catechism copybooks.

 

post #55 of 293
Quote:

Originally Posted by sarahsmiles View Post

 

But -- how do you KNOW if a Catholic school is actually supporting the teachings of the Church? What are the signs? One of the priests teaches religion to the older kids (which of course doesn't mean much --  there's a REASON we go to the campus center!) and when I specifically asked about why there was meat on the school lunch menu Fridays in Lent, the principal corrected me (I had been looking at the wrong month. Of course, since they have cheese pizza every week, could it be SO HARD to make that day Friday? Don't get me started ...)

 

It's not like they come out and say "We teach kids to put condoms on bananas!"

 

I do think that you don't need to do a whole lot to get a feel... Mainly, it is the people. Look at how they dress, talk with the principal, etc. Everyone knows that most schools are far from really being Catholic, so the ones that are, tend to be loud about it. Ask what series of books they use to teach the faith, attend a school Mass and see how the teachers act, are there abuses, that sort of thing. Even the school website will probably tell you a lot. If there are any religious teaching in the school, check out their order. These days, unfortunately, some orders have a great reputation, some not so much.
 

 

 

post #56 of 293

I have a theological question for you all.....

 

I have heard of Mary referred to as the Gate of Heaven.  Today online I saw her called the door of heaven.  Same thing I guess.

I love Mary very much, and I am wondering about this name being applied to her.  The thing that comes to mind for me is that Jesus said 'I am the door' when He was talking about the shepherd and the sheep, the sheepfold, in the gospel of John. ' I am the door.  Anyone who tries to come in another way is a thief and a robber.'  That is what He said. 

 

I understand how important and precious Mary is, but is calling her the door to heaven wrong.  What do you guys think...thanks.

post #57 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebecca2009 View Post

I have a theological question for you all.....

 

I have heard of Mary referred to as the Gate of Heaven.  Today online I saw her called the door of heaven.  Same thing I guess.

I love Mary very much, and I am wondering about this name being applied to her.  The thing that comes to mind for me is that Jesus said 'I am the door' when He was talking about the shepherd and the sheep, the sheepfold, in the gospel of John. ' I am the door.  Anyone who tries to come in another way is a thief and a robber.'  That is what He said. 

 

I understand how important and precious Mary is, but is calling her the door to heaven wrong.  What do you guys think...thanks.


As someone who is still becoming Catholic (I haven't finished RCIA yet) I often wonder about this too.  Mary is one of my absolute HEROs but Jesus did say that "No one comes to the Father except through me," so sometimes I feel a little uncomfortable when I hear people going on about how devotion to Mary can get you into heaven.  I have a really hard time explaining to my nonCatholic friends and family that Catholics only worship God when the devotion to saints, especially Mary, is so fervent.  So please, do try to enlighten us!

 

post #58 of 293

Rebecca, I haven't heard that one, so I really don't know if it is inconsistent with Catholic teaching or not.  I'm pretty sure that it's not something that is absolutely defined.  We haven't even defined (yet?) that Mary is co-redemptrix (with the redeemer).

 

mt_gooseberry, devotion to the saints, especially Mary, leads us to Christ, not away.  If I were to praise a work of art, I would be honoring the artist, not detracting from him.  As Catholics, we join a Church that is past, present and future: the Communion of Saints.  Just as I might ask a friend for prayers, how much more would I ask for the intercession of the saints who are our brothers and sisters already glorified in heaven.  Mary, most of all.  Just as Jesus turned water into wine at her request, so to he honors her pleas for us in heaven.  We can be devoted to the saints in heaven just as we can be devoted to our dearest loved ones on earth.  Through our deep friendship with specific people in heaven, we can be moved to greater holiness on earth, similarly to how earthly friendships can influence us toward Christ.  While with earthly friendships with sinful people, the influence on us may be toward or away from Christ depending on the situation, the saints, who have already been cleansed from all sin, will always guide us toward Christ.

post #59 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebecca2009 View Post

I understand how important and precious Mary is, but is calling her the door to heaven wrong.  What do you guys think...thanks.


St. Bernard (lived 1090-1153) called Mary "the gate of heaven, because no one can enter that blessed kingdom without passing through her."

 

In ancient midwifery, I believe that the cervix is often referred to as the "gate" or "door."  So this particular title would refer to Mary's role as the Birthgiver (Theotokos) of Christ.  If you read the list of Mary's titles in Litany of Loreto, you'll see that she is the "seat of wisdom," not Wisdom itself, the "mirror of justice," but not Justice itself, etc.  As the Gate of Heaven, she is the vessel through which we receive salvation in the person of Jesus Christ.  As far as I can tell, the reason for Marian devotion in Catholicism comes down to a single unique word in Luke's Gospel: kecharitomeni, "having been endowed with grace/favor."  In other words, she was already in a state of grace before she even accepted the Father's will to become the mother of Jesus.  There was something special about her from the moment she was conceived in her mother's womb.  All Marian devotion is intended to be Christological in nature.

 

post #60 of 293

Thanks to both of you for your answers,  very helpful!

 

I remember several years ago when I was sitting in a service at a very anti-Catholic church that my family and I were visiting....all of a sudden I heard Jesus say within my heart, ' My Mother is your Mother.'   I was so surprised.  It made me very happy.  It made me think of the way a man takes his fiance home to meet his parents.heartbeat.gif

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