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Creighton Model Q/A

Have you been wondering what the Intro to the Creighton Model Event is all about? Did you think it was only for couples? KEEP READING and see what Katie Parris, FCPI + Instructor for this event had to say in this Q & A!

FRP: The Creighton Model offers something for SINGLE women, right? 

Katie: Yes! The Creighton Model offers an excellent way for women to chart and manage their cycles. This can mean learning what their wonderfully made bodies can do and identifying their times of fertility/infertility. It can also mean pinpointing and treating specific cycle abnormalities such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), endometriosis, PMS, and more. A regular, healthy cycle is an important indicator of overall health, so it can be liberating to better understand what is happening and to deal with any pain or hormonal issues that one may be experiencing. 

FRP: What is your experience with the Creighton Model? 

Katie: I have PCOS and learned the Creighton Model after suffering with infertility for 5 years. With the help of my Practitioner and a Medical Consultant, we were able to get to the root of my issue and restore my fertility! 

FRP: What’s your favorite part of your experience with the Creighton Model?

Katie: I love being able to help women feel like they are being heard in regards to pain, PMS symptoms, PCOS, etc., instead of just being given a “bandaid” or even ignored by an OB/GYN.

FRP: What did you find challenging about using this method?

Katie: Getting into the routine of checking for the biological markers was the most difficult part, but that just took a little bit of practice!

FRP: What should young women who plan to attend the Intro session be looking forward to? 

Katie: Learning new things about the amazing physiology of their bodies! And also understanding that what they have been told is “normal” (pain, PMS) is NOT normal and can be treated. 

FRP: What would you say to anyone on the fence about attending? 

Katie: Just try it out! You are not signing up to chart, just to learn.

Thank you, Katie! If YOU are interested in joining us July 18, click this link to sign up!

Have more questions for Katie? You can contact her @ keparris@gmail.com

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Theology of the Body + YOU!

Hey everyone, summer is beginning, the days are growing long and the warm nights are perfect for hanging out with friends, discussing and debating the important things of life. You might have heard that the FRP team is excited about a huge event coming to Louisville in September called Made for More!  It will be a multi-media experience, involving all the senses and directing our hearts, souls and minds to reflect on the creation of the world, the Creator and the significance of being created HUMAN.  

In preparation for this event, we are offering a four part series based on St. John Paul’s teachings.  Not often available locally, we want to be sure to invite YOU!  

By learning about John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, you will have the answer to the questions:

1)    What does it mean to be human?

2)    How can I live my life in a way that will satisfy the deepest longings of my heart?

Sadly, the world and our culture seem to be unaware of the beauty and goodness that is naturally in created reality!  We no longer allow ourselves to contemplate this mystery and be wowed by the fact that we humans are made in God’s image, having been given divinized bodies.  Instead, we have accepted the lie that our bodies are separate from our spirit, which is another way of saying that all that is spiritually exciting, beautiful and meaningful is totally unrelated to what the physical body finds exciting, beautiful and meaningful.  

This is a grave error and a complete distortion of the magnificent order God created from the beginning of the world!  Subsequently, some of us find ourselves aimlessly wandering from one idea to the next, or one relationship to the next, in search of the truth, in search of a love, goodness, or beauty that satisfies that deepest ache and longing – and we never find it!

This 4-part introductory series is free of charge and includes video presentations each week by Christopher West, followed by discussion and reflection.  Many people leave the series wondering “Why hasn’t anyone told me this before?”  

Why?  Because no one understood and explained it this way before!  St. John Paul II’s teachings are a gift!  

There is a tidal wave of cultural change sweeping America and the world.  Many feel lost, swept up in fear, seeing only confusion and uncertainty.  Now, with JP II’s help, we dive deeper into the mystery of creation itself.  Using Scripture as his guide, JP II helps us to see the absolute goodness and beauty of God’s creation of man and woman from the very beginning, and our ability to image God in love in a way we have never heard of before!   It is stunning, and it will take your breath away!

I hope you do not delay!  Get out your planners, check your calendars!  Then, please, sign up for Introduction to Theology of the Body to learn and hear for yourself what God had in mind when He created YOU!! 

WHO:  Cathy Blandford and John Sohl have been trained at the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia and will facilitate the discussions.

WHERE:  Holy Family Parish, Poplar Level Road, Reide Room.  (Look for signs)

WHEN:  Tuesdays June 11, 18 and July 2 and 9. Choose afternoon 1:00 – 4:00 PM; or evenings 6:30 – 9:30 PM.

SIGN UP: https://www.familyrenewalproject.com/event/intro-to-theology-of-the-body-a-4-part-series/

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The Sacrament

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the Church. 

Ephesians 5:31-32

Marriage is obviously the mystery Paul refers to in this verse and proves how intentional God was when he patterned marriage after the relationship between his Son and the Church. 

But how exactly?

We were uniquely + individually created to represent God’s love…through the Spirit within us and the body given to us. This is why our bodies—individually as male and female AND through the union of the two—reflect God. Particularly: (1) His participation in an eternal exchange of love (the spousal analogy) and (2) His bodily sacrifice as a perfect gift of self. When they become “one flesh” man and woman (1) fulfill their purpose and (2) foreshadow the eternal union of Christ and His Church.  

Paul continues…

“[Therefore] be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”

Ephesians 5:21-25 

In Ephesians, the spousal analogy takes on another dimension: the wife is a symbol of the Church and the husband is a symbol of Christ. We can clearly see that this biblical calling of a wife’s submission to her husband isn’t blind passivity or weakness. God intended it to be unabashed love–much like He offers us. 

And the man, taking on Christ’s persona, should not take his wife’s submission in a self-serving manner. For Christ came not to be served, but to serve—to lay down his life for His Bride. 

This holy, sacrificial love is what John Paul II calls, “The Sacrament.” Marriage, like every other sacrament, has both a divine and human dimension. We’ll look at the divine dimension now. The Sacrament of Marriage, right from the beginning, “prepared the way for God’s wedding himself to US in ‘one flesh’.” In the beginning, God’s mystery became visible through mans union with woman. At the end of time—at the eternal “Supper of the Lamb”— the mystery becomes visible through Christ’s union with the Church. 

These two signs form one great sacrament (The Sacrament). The great mystery comes full circle…in that we see the purpose of our creation. Not just as man and woman, but in the relationship between God + mankind and it’s being brought to fulfillment through Christ.

Christopher West poses a great question: If the union of spouses in “one flesh” truly reveals Christ love for the church, why, then, are we so prone to think of sexual union as something unholy and defiling? How can we reclaim a true sense of the holiness of sexual union in God’s plan? 

Let us know below! We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

As always, thanks for reading! 

The FRP Team

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What happens to your body…

If you type the words “what happens to your” in the Google search bar, the second result is “…to your body when you die.” Seems to be a pretty intriguing question to most people!

1 Corinthians 15:44 says: 

They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.

After all God has to say about the body’s significance, did you think he’d leave it out after death? 

According to that verse in 1 Corinthians, our “heavenly” bodies will be significantly different from our earthly bodies.

How? 

“The powers of the spirit (the Holy Spirit—spiritual and divine) will permeate the energies of the body” (TOB 67:1).

Why?

The spiritualization and the divinization of our body is how we will participate in the “divine communion” God intended for us. This is promised to us from the beginning when we—as man and woman—are created in God’s image. We image God’s eternal exchange of love on earth as He does in Heaven: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

This is the communion God foreshadows for us in our earthly marriages (the union of one flesh). However, the “union of the sexes” as we know it now will give way to an infinitely greater union: the union of Christ and the Church.  

Because of this, we must remember our earthly marriages are…as Christopher West puts it…a glimmer…or an icon…of something infinitely greater. 

That is what we can expect after the resurrection of our earthly body. That is why we exist! 

As Pope John Paul II so eloquently put it, “All people—regardless of their vocation—are called to prepare and perfect themselves for eternal union with God.” 

What does eternal union with God look like? 

Perfect love. 

An end to all suffering. 

Ecstatic, never-ending happiness. 

Perfect justice. 

Healing of all wounds. 

Ending of all sadness and despair. 

What great hope we have in these things! So prepare yourself emphatically. Pray for these things unceasingly. 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

If you’d like to learn more about what God has to say regarding the rising/resurrection of our bodies, keep reading! 

(Continued: 1 Corinthians 15:45-57)

“The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.

What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.

But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Thanks for reading! 

The FRP Team 

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Now Serving…

We’ve learned that eros—the longing—inside of us for Love was an intended part of our makeup. God created us in His image and, because of His communion of love in accordance with the Trinity, we are made for Love.

At the same time, he continuously warns us to guard our hearts from the perversion of Love:  lurking lust and the sin of adultery. 

“You have heard it said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28

Sounds pretty clear cut, right? But don’t misunderstand His point! Although we must guard our hearts from lust, Christ encourages us NOT to suppress our desires for Love…instead, he asks that we purify our hearts towards a holy desire.

The process of purification is not a strict set of standards. Christ does not want to impose laws on us… he wants to transform our hearts to “free us from the law” (Galations 5:18) and help our “eros” reach it’s true height, according to the Creator’s original plan.

(Theology of the Body is not only an invitation, but a “road map” to understanding what this means for each of us.)

As we’ve learned, our sexuality is a major part of God’s plan for humanity. As followers of Christ, we must mature and learn to distinguish between (1) what composes the riches of sexuality/sexual attraction and (2) what compels lust. This requires what God continuously calls us to perfect: our self control. 

To grow in purity, we must train our hearts and minds to control our “passions.” It’s an act of the will. 

Christopher West uses the example of exercising a muscle. The more one sacrifices bad habits and devotes themselves to training, the stronger that muscle becomes. 

However, he rightly notes that only half the “training” comes from our own will. We MUST surrender our struggles to grace and let Christ give our desires a new, pure form. Only He can give us the power to love in God’s image.

It is NOT an easy process!

JPII writes, “Lust is not always plain and obvious; sometimes it’s concealed, so that it passes itself off as ‘love’… Does this mean we should distrust the human heart? No! We must remain in control of it.”

Sometimes lust looks a lot like love. Sometimes, it looks a lot like “fast food.” As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, Christians often feel our only two options are fast food or “starvation.”

From “A Four Letter Word for Love:”

“Erotic love (as intended), like much in our culture today, has been completely defiled. And like many spiritual things, its original intention isn’t properly understood, resulting in rejection and a sense of disgrace… leading its new meaning to be rejected and disgraced by the very people God created it for: the Church. This is a mindset we must reverse.

In the confusion, we find ourselves at a crossroads: either (1) by a pure act of the will we become stoic by repressing our desires, condemning them as “bad” or unholy…OR… (2) once we realize that “starving ourselves” of our deepest desire is not possible, we give up the fight by “consuming” immediate gratification — in whatever form it takes. —> Can also be known as “fast food” love.  

Enter: Jesus. 

“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’” Matthew 16:24

A process like TAKING UP OUR CROSS (in this case, controlling our *given* desires) is not.going.to.be.easy. 

Christopher West describes it as “emotionally and physically wrenching at times.” 

Dying to lust—letting the Lord crucify impurity—is a birth of authentic love and a life as God intended it. 

However! We know that God has prepared a banquet (an everlasting wedding feast, actually—see Revelation 19:7) for those who follow Him. So there’s no such thing as “starving ourselves” and fast food can be a thing of the past! 

We pray that you’ll find peace and strength if you surrender your burdens to the Lord today. We can testify that you’ll actually lose nothing and gain everything (even though it feels like losing a lot of the time!). 

Want more Theology of the Body? 

We’re announcing a new introductory series in JUNE! Stay tuned for more information next week. 

Thank you for reading! 

The FRP Team

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Man and Woman He Created Them…But Why?

Have you ever thought about why God created men and women? Not the “species”–as human beings–but men as men and women as women and ultimately how/why they were created to become one.

Yeah, me either!

“Men are from Mars, women are from Venus”…sure! We’ve heard the almost cliche explanations for a while. The purpose, though, is still a point of ignorance. Until today!

Let’s quickly go back to an important part in the last blog post:

God wants to marry us.

Crazy, right? And these claims come from the Bible! That’s not too hard to believe though…after all, the Bible begins and ends with marriages: Adam to Eve and Christ to the Church.

Today we come full circle: to answer our question, we have to look at the first marriage. Actually, we have to look at a specific element from the first marriage…one that might make us a little uncomfortable.

That element is nakedness. OR, more emphatic, nakedness without shame.

John Paul II says, “The innocent experience of nakedness is ‘precisely the key’ for understanding God’s original plan for human life. If we do not understand the meaning of nakedness without shame, we do not understand the meaning of our creation as male and female; we do not understand ourselves and the meaning of life.”

The first humans experienced this…they understood themselves and their purpose – naked and without shame. Why? Because the dignity of their persons was completely perfect; because they were created in God’s image – the image of perfect love. They knew no sin (lust, in particular) and were entirely free to be a gift to one another…their ultimate purpose.

They were unashamed…unafraid…to show their naked bodies because they didn’t feel objectified by one another. They weren’t threatened by the feeling (or reality!) that they were seen as objects for the other’s sexual pleasure. They were free to love and, as 1 John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casts out fear.”

Christopher West says it best: “This is why nakedness without shame is the key for understanding God’s plan for our lives–it reveals the original theology of our bodies and, through that, the truth of love (emphasis mine).” We were uniquely + individually created to represent God’s love…through the Spirit within us and the body given to us. (As we’ve learned in previous posts) this is why our bodies reflect God. Particularly: (1) His participation in an eternal exchange of love (the spousal analogy) and (2) His bodily sacrifice as a perfect gift of self. When they become “one flesh” man and woman (1) fulfill their purpose and (2) foreshadow the eternal union of Christ and His Church.  

We can only discover who we are by loving as God loves. THAT’S why God created men (as men) and women (as women).

What do these points make you think about our current cultures take on gender and sexuality? What does this reveal to you as a child of God…and did it result in a shift of your thinking about your life’s purpose?

We’d love to know!

As always, thank you for reading!

The FRP Team