Good morning and welcome to another edition of The Cause of Our Joy! Thank you so much for sharing your morning with us! Every week we get wonderful responses encouraging this “email ministry” and we are so grateful for your enthusiasm! We realize not everyone can make it out to the Marian Center in Joy Valley or can go to our conference in October, so we appreciate being able to connect with you in this way!
There are some neat things happening in the week ahead. Did you know it’s Natural Family Planning Week? Also, Sts. Anne and Joachim have their feast day this coming Friday, so we are excited to talk about that and a few other things!
So, without further ado, let’s get into this!
Natural Family Planning Week
This week has been set aside by the USCCB to take a special look at the Church’s teachings on life and family. The dates of Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness Week highlight the anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25) which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love and responsible parenthood.
If you are new to the concept of Natural Family Planning, the USCCB has a brief explanation with an FAQ section for further study. It’s often misunderstood, but, when properly understood and put into practice, it can be life-giving in more ways than one! The following article from The National Catholic Register sets the record straight and gives a brief overview about what NFP is and isn’t.
Benefits of NFP
There have been countless stories told about how incorporating NFP into marriages has not only brought couples closer together, but has actually saved marriages! Dr. David Anders’ personal story about how NFP changed his marriage is eye-opening.
Martha, Martha, Martha
Some of you may remember an old Brady Bunch episode in which Jan exasperatingly exclaims, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” Jan’s frustration is with her “perfect” sister. As you read tomorrow’s Gospel, you can almost hear that same frustration in Martha’s voice. But, as you know, Jesus tells Martha and all of us, that Mary has chosen the better part.
Fr. Mike Schmitz, campus minister at the University of Minnesota, Duluth and frequent contributor to Ascension Press has a nifty 4 minute video discussing this important gospel message about these two sisters.
And Marcellino d’Ambrosio wrote a great article for Catholic Exchange explaining how busyness, like Martha’s, can become a vice. Something to think about!
One of Martha’s biggest struggles is worry. Does that ring a bell for anyone else out there? It certainly does for us! Worry about finances, worry about children, worry about the future! Worry is something many of us struggle with! Fr. Ed Broom wrote a fantastic article on learning not to worry – check it out!
On July 26, we celebrate the feast day of Saints Anne and Joachim, the parents of the Blessed Mother and grandparents of Our Lord. If you are unfamiliar with these two, try reading this article from Catholic News Agency – we learned a lot from it!
This feast day reminds us of the importance that grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren and there are studies emerging that clearly point to this fact. Maternal care from a grandmother has a very important role to play as this article indicates.
For Parents and Kids
Raising children can be one of the most harrowing tasks known to man! This prayer to cover your children with God’s protection is powerful.
Both of us are parents to young children and we both agree that it can be difficult and possibly embarrassing to take noisy, antsy, or tired children to Mass. This article titled, Priest Gets Real About Noisy Kids at Massand it hit a resonating tone for both of us!
With St. Anne’s feast coming up, we found a cute activity to make with the kids, alphabet of saints, beginning with St. Anne!
We also found this link with great activities for feast day fun in honor of Sts. Anne and Joachim along with some ideas for honoring our own grandparents.
Today is the 50th anniversary of man landing on the Moon. For his journey, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a Presbyterian, brought communion with him to the Moon and read from Scripture. Buzz wasn’t Catholic, so it wasn’t the Real Presence, but it was great for him to invoke Christ during this amazing moment in history. In April 1994, three Catholic astronauts did bring the Blessed Sacrament on to the space shuttle Endeavor and received Holy Communion in space.
After receiving Holy Communion, one of the astronauts looked down at the beautiful Pacific Ocean and remarked: “It’s the blue of the Virgin’s veil.” The whole story is worth a read.
Marian Center Events
We will be hosting community BBQs and bonfires every Friday in July.Click here for more info.
The Marian Center is hosting the Eucharistic Miracles of the World exhibit until the end of the summer. Find out more here!
SAVE THE DATE: Marian Center Kids Camp will be held Aug 20-22 from 9 to Noon each day. K-5. More details to come!
To Christ Through Mary,
Katie Moe and Lori Mercer
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