Receiving the Gift: A Way of Life Open to Reality

Receiving the Gift: A Way of Life Open to Reality

A baby in utero at about 14 weeks. And, the Blessed Mother visits her relative, Elizabeth.

(This essay was previously presented at the National Billings Ovulation Method Teachers’ Weekend.)1

If the Christmas Season is about anything, it’s about the salvific nature of the human body, human flesh, the human condition as united to God’s divinely perfect nature in Christ. It is about saying “yes,” fiat, when God breaks into our lives, and it is about bearing new life when the Lord of all life draws near. Unfortunately, contemporary ways of thinking tend to reduce reality, including our own bodies, to merely mechanical things. I am my thoughts, or my mind. My body is not me, but instead something that I possess. It is as if all the material things around me, including my body, is merely dumb stuff which I can technologically manipulate at will to achieve the ends which I see fit. This is played out, for example in contemporary gender theory, which sees people as free to determine their gender, regardless of their biological sex. I am biologically a man, but in my mind, I choose to be, and therefore am a woman. Not only then do I chose to act or behave in ways which I see as being feminine, but I may even begin to take drugs or undergo some kind of surgery to bring about phenotypical or physically observable changes to my body.

There are many reasons as to how we got here, as to how this way of thinking has developed. There is a long genealogy of thinkers: philosophers, theologians, scientists, etc., who have contributed to this way of conceiving of the world, or more properly of reality, as merely mechanical and technologically manipulable. Interestingly, this is not just a way of thinking and being in the world that affects our secular brothers and sisters. It affects all of us, including us Christians, such that despite our profession of faith in the goodness of God’s creation, we live in an intellectual context which has reduced all things, including people, to what they can do and what can be done with them.2

The purpose of this paper is not to trace this genealogy of thinking,3 but to highlight is how the Billings Method, along with the other methods of natural family planning, and indeed many other practices can develop habits, or habituate within us, modes of being present in the world which open us to an encounter with reality that leads to the fullness of life that was promised us (Cf. Jn 10:10). What I hope to argue is that methods of natural family planning, such as the Billings Ovulation Method actually provide part of an adequate response to much of the ills of our contemporary culture.

Technology, Boredom, and the Culture of Death
In 1968, Pope Paul VI promulgated what became his most controversial encyclical, Humanae Vitae: On Human Life. Within this encyclical he, rather unpopularly, upheld the Church’s constant and consistent teaching on the objective immorality of contraception. The controversy surrounding the document is well known, and public dissent from the Church’s teaching by Catholics at the time and since has been seen at an unprecedented scale. In the United States for example, moral theologians took out advertisements in secular newspapers to broadcast to the lay faithful, and to others, their public dissent from papal teaching in this instance. For faithful Catholics this was a time of much confusion and many, it would seem, took the advice of dissenting theologians and priests who advised the lay faithful to follow their own conscience, without much by advice way of how one could appropriately form one’s conscience.

Now, 50 years after the encyclical’s promulgation we are able to see with clear eyes the vindication of a great many of its warnings. In paragraph 17 of the document, Paul VI wrote that with the acceptance of contraception we would see a rise in marital infidelity, general moral decline, a loss of respect for women, the abuse of power, and a striving for unlimited scientific and technological dominion over nature.4 In our own day we are unfortunately witness to much of what Paul VI had prophesied. We see these prophecies played out in the devastating effects of the widespread acceptance of divorce, and its coincident cultural mentality; a culture of cohabitation prior to marriage; the legalization of abortion; the proliferation of pornography; increasing acceptance of assisted reproductive technologies; and increasing acceptance of homosexual behavior, along with the legal redefinition of marriage to include couples of the same-sex, and perhaps in the not too distant future, campaigns that would argue for “marriage” between more than two consenting adults, as part of this wide ranging cultural phenomenon.

To suggest that this all has its roots in the widespread dissent from Humanae Vitae is a ridiculous and unhistorical notion, as a great many of the cultural forces that fuelled this revolution in both public and private morality have roots reaching back long before 1968.The fact however, that Catholics contracept, cohabit, and divorce almost as much as their secular counterparts is evidence of the widespread rejection of the Church’s teaching in this instance.

This is not merely a problem resulting from the rejection of the Church’s teaching in this area, but instead an outcome of a more fundamental way of looking at the world, the way in which we conceive of reality as such. In essence, this is a way which understands and sees reality as fundamentally meaningless—and consequently manifests itself in the phenomenon of boredom.

Theologian and philosopher R.J. Snell argues that boredom is one of the most pernicious and widespread vices of our day.5 His work in this area can be used to illustrate in particular ways how even otherwise good Christians and Catholics can be co-opted unwittingly into becoming active participants in what Saint Pope John Paul II in his 1994 encyclical Evangelium Vitae refers to as a “culture of death.”6

For Snell, Boredom is linked to, though not identical with, what the ancient writers referred to as the vice of “acedia,” often translated in the Latin tradition as “sloth.” “Sloth,” he writes,

was understood [by the desert fathers and early monastics] as an aversion to our proper purpose or ultimate end, a hatred of friendship with God. Often this manifested itself in an aversion to the effort and disciplines of such friendship (prayer, fasting, study, etc.), but sloth could also result in a frenzy of busyness, even a workaholic life attempting to flee the quiet voice of God.7

Rather than a “hatred,” modern boredom is an indifference toward God, and to reality more generally. Things cease to have any value aside from my ability to make use of them.

While this might, perhaps, seem far from the kind of societal ills that were prophesied by Blessed Paul VI, the link will, I hope, become obvious soon enough.

Within contemporary Western culture, the effects of boredom seem to be easily identifiable. Our penchant for technology (in smartphones, internet, YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, Pintrest, twitter, etc.) exacerbates what is already an enormous problem— that being our loss of wonder in the created world. We can see this primarily in the younger generation, but in reality it effects everyone.

It seems that it is increasingly difficult for many, if not most of us to sit and wait patiently without reaching for, and scrolling through, our phone. We fritter away our time with frivolous things, slowly begin to abhor silence, and continue to drastically reduce our attention span. The world around us is bleached of meaning and, as such, we simply seek to occupy our time often with frivolous entertainment, and by so doing, we are increasingly bored, and consequently, less present to reality.

Now, it certainly seems something undesirable to be a personality that gets bored easy. None of us, I am supposing, would like to be known as someone who is easily bored. Chesterton once quipped that there are no boring subjects, only boring people.8 In fact, boredom is not just something undesirable, but according to Snell, boredom is a heresy.

In boredom, we declare that the world is not good. But it is good. God says so, repeatedly, in Genesis 1. Nor does sin negate the goodness, although the goodness is disordered or perverted. Further, God, in Christ, becomes one of us, a fellow member of the world, thereby definitively declaring the world good, beautiful, and true. In boredom, we say that God is wrong, that he cannot create or redeem, or that his nature is itself not good or worth loving. Boredom is a persistent rejection of what God reveals to be true, even after we’re told our error. That’s heresy.9

Now perhaps calling boredom a heresy is a little strong, but he makes an interesting case for it. More than that, we see that boredom is not simply the result of being inundated and constantly titillated by technology. It is, in fact, the result of a fundamental change in the way we view reality, or existence, (or being), that does not acknowledge nature as creation, or as wonderful and mysterious, or enchanted with the life of God’s Spirit. The modern way of looking at reality is one which reduces things to the sum of their parts and how they function. This is what the philosopher Michael Hanby calls a mechanistic and technological way of viewing reality – a way of seeing the world which is, in the end, inherently meaningless.10

Boredom is, in fact, an exclusively modern phenomenon. The first recorded use of the word boredom is in the novel, Bleak House by Charles Dickens, written in 1852, although the expression to ‘be a bore’ had been used in print in the sense of “to be tiresome or dull” since 1768. Modern boredom is the result of this technological and mechanistic way of viewing reality as though it is fundamentally meaningless or nihilistic. Snell writes that,

Unlike earlier struggles with nihilism found in thinkers like Camus or Nietzsche, the nihilism of our time tends less to an epic struggle to find meaning than to an endless search for the stimulation of entertainment and consumption. Our nihilism is of the debonair [bourgeois] version—nothing really matters, but have you seen the most recent [Netflix series]?11

What we live with now is a technological mentality that is fundamentally bored, a mentality that is in fact unable to be interested. If we think of the word interest, it can be broken up into two latin root words “inter” meaning, “among,” “between,” or “inside of,” and “esse” meaning, “to be,” or simply, “being.” To be interested is to be inside of some-thing. A technological mentality does not see things as having an inside, things are simply made up of smaller and smaller parts.

In a society which is fundamentally shaped by this nihilistic and technological or mechanistic mentality, which sees things as being reduced to the sum of their parts and how they function, it is increasingly difficult or even impossible to be truly interested, or ‘inside of’ in anything at all. Things cease to have an interiority, and instead they are seen only as the conglomeration of infinitely smaller and smaller parts. In the words of the hugely influential educational theorist John Dewey, who was celebrating this development, things are merely, “what they can do, and what can be done with them.”12  Things have no given purpose prior to our encountering and imposing our will upon them.

This shapes not only how we engage with inanimate objects, but also, and often unwittingly, how we relate to and treat our loved ones, our families, our friends, the world around us, even ourselves – in fact, this way of conceiving of being affects our capacity to relate and engage with all of reality, including God.

In this account, the separation of sexual intercourse from fertility by way of contraception is not simply a stand alone act, but part of a whole cultural dynamic which has reduced nature, including my own human nature, to an artifice which I can and should control technologically.13

We can begin now to see how the prophecies of Paul VI in Humanae Vitae which coincide with the acceptance of contraceptives are not simply problems in public and private morality. They are, in fact, the result of fundamental problems in how we understand and relate to reality as such. The boredom of which we have been speaking is, in fact, a kind of practical atheism. One that might acknowledge God intellectually, but in reality does not allow God to be God on His own terms as the omnipotent Lord of the universe and of history, but merely as a God of the gaps.

As a result of this modern technological or mechanistic mindset one’s posture towards reality is one fundamentally of activity. Things have no meaning prior to my encounter with them. Ineed to determine for myself the nature of reality, and even of my own being—I create myself and the world around me through my own self-asserting activity.

Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si, refers to this as the “technocratic paradigm.”

[H]umanity has taken up technology and its development according to an undifferentiated and one-dimensional paradigm. This paradigm exalts the concept of a subject who, using logical and rational procedures, progressively approaches and gains control over an external object. This subject makes every effort to establish the scientific and experimental method, which in itself is already a technique of possession, mastery and transformation. It is as if the subject were to find itself in the presence of something formless, completely open to manipulation. Men and women have constantly intervened in nature, but for a long time this meant being in tune with and respecting the possibilities offered by the things themselves. It was a matter of receiving what nature itself allowed, as if from its own hand. Now, by contrast, we are the ones to lay our hands on things, attempting to extract everything possible from them while frequently ignoring or forgetting the reality in front of us. Human beings and material objects no longer extend a friendly hand to one another; the relationship has become confrontational. This has made it easy to accept the idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology.14

Receptivity as the Fundamental Creaturely Posture
This leaves us in what might seem a pretty sad place. The technological and mechanistic mindset is, in many respects, absolute in our contemporary culture. It is hard to conceive of reality beyond this scheme. Our society praises the self-made man or woman, the person who is radically independent, not at all reliant on anyone or on anything. The person of faith is seen in this context to be weak—faith is a crutch for those who cannot bear the cold, harsh reality that there is no meaning anywhere. Yet our own experience tells us that this cannot really be true. We feel the constant pull, a constant attraction to the fact that there must be more to reality than just this cold, mechanistic world. What St Augustine, in the beginning of his Confessions referred to as his “restless heart,” which longs for an encounter with the living God, in whom he can find rest.

Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, in his masterful little book, Love Alone is Credible,describes the fundamental human experience as an encounter with another that awakens us to the love that is preeminent or fundamental to reality as such and not as the radical assertion of my own independence and my own will. He writes:

In order to gain an insight into humanity, the individual must encounter an other. The human being exists only in relation to others; he truly is only in the reciprocity of an I and Thou. The otherness of the other is a fundamental fact that he must acknowledge if there is to be any possibility of forming a harmonious community in the commonality of human nature… Man sustains himself—indeed, he first comes to himself—in an encounter. When one man meets another face to face, truth comes to pass, the depths of human existence come to light spontaneously, in freedom and in grace… the two [become] joined in a truth that transcends their finitude… If God, the Wholly-Other, ever wishes to encounter man, the place he manifests himself cannot but lie in the person who remains ever “other” to me, in other words, my neighbor.15

This contrasts significantly with the modern technological mindset, that simply does not need the other. In the modern mindset I must to construct my own reality out of the dumb stuff that surrounds me. For von Balthasar though, it is the fundamental human experience of an encounter with an other, an encounter of love, which alone can awaken us to reality. Existence itself is relational. Things exist because of a creator God who is relational, or, in the words of the Apostle John, ‘is love’ (1 Jn 4:8). We can see now what is at stake with regards to the bored, technological mentality which we described earlier.

It is in loving encounter that we are awakened to ourselves—and that we are awakened to the nature of reality, not a cold harsh mechanistic artifice, but as the creative work of a loving God. Balthasar develops this in a powerful and beautiful analogy in the same work, where he writes:

After a mother has smiled at her child for many days and weeks, she finally receives her child’s smile in response. She has awakened love in the heart of her child, and as the child awakens to love, it also awakens to knowledge: the initially empty-sense impressions gather meaningfully around the core of the Thou. Knowledge {with its whole complex of intuition and concept} comes into play, because the play of love has already begun beforehand, initiated by the mother, the transcendent.16

Von Balthasar deftly utilises the analogy of the mother’s smile here to demonstrate the love of God the Father. He continues,

God interprets {or conveys} himself to man as love in the same way [as the mother]: he radiates love, which kindles the light of love in the heart of man, and it is precisely this light that allows man to perceive this, the absolute Love.17

Originating from within, and tending towards love, our existence—all of reality—is and must be understood as a gift. Reality is both gift, and also given—that is, reality has an order which precedes our will.

The fundamental mode or posture then, of our creaturely being to first be receptive of love, like the child in relation to his or her mother, prior to being active. This is not a passive receptivity, but an active one most adequately exemplified in the person of Mary. Our Lady’s fiat, which we recalled every day in the recitation of the Angelus. Her yes, her willing receptivity, despite her being terribly troubled, opened her to receive the living and physical presence of God in the person of Jesus Christ, who took flesh in her womb, and whom she was able to bear forward and take out into the world, when she visited her cousin Elizabeth—Her yes is a model of the kind of receptive posture that we strive to emulate. She first receives, and then she goes out.

This receptive posture exemplified in Mary is built into our human nature, and our being both originates in, and ‘tends toward’ that love.18 Yet, as a result of the Original Sin, and perhaps in a way exacerbated by the technological and mechanistic logic of our own cultural milieu described above, this openness to the other seems to be increasingly difficult to attain.

How do we develop this mode of being open and receptive to God’s grace?

Cultivating ‘Habits of Presence’ – Developing an Openness to Encounter

The theologian David L. Schindler, speaks about the need, particularly in our cultural context, to develop what he calls “habits of presence”—ways of habitually being present, or open, or receptive to reality as it is, as it is given. ‘Forming such habits,’ he writes, “is the responsibility of every human being, and in a significant sense of every human institution.”19

To live with an openness to encountering the other as gift, to live with an awareness and an understanding that I am, in my nature, given—this is the task at hand. And it is a task of increasing difficulty in our day and age. How, then does one develop an openness to reality? How does one habitually live as present in the world? In every context?

There are, in fact, a wide variety of practices that have the capacity to habituate us into a mode of being present to reality that allows us to be open to such encounters. Like all habits, these habits of presence are the product of repeated action—action that begins deliberately, and often clumsily, but eventually becomes what Aristotle referred to as a “second nature.”

Like a little child learning to walk. Her efforts are clumsy, and require of her what seems to be an inordinate amount of concentration on her part. An adult however, who has been walking for years now, has through repeated action over many years, thankfully mastered the art of walking.

One fundamental practice that opens us to receive the gift of reality is prayer. Perhaps we can think of the Angelus. Traditionally prayed at 6 AM, 12 Noon, and 6 PM.

In encouraging the praying of the Angelus, the late Fr Luigi Giussani often substituted the word ‘dwells’ for the word “dwelt.” One of Giussani’s points of genius here was to highlight that while the mystery of the Incarnation did happen at a definite time, in a definite place, it is not something that is merely historical, merely in the past. For the Christian, Christ remains for us Incarnate in his Body on Earth, the Church. Christ is Incarnate in the Sacraments, and in the love shown between people—spouses, siblings, friends, neighbors, strangers… particularly in the poor, in the sick, the suffering, the imprisoned.

When one prays the Angelus in this way, remembering that the Word continues to dwell amongst us, one is reminded of, and enters into the receptivity of the Blessed Virgin, and gradually one is habituated into the mode of openness which she models. Mary’s fiat, her “Yes,” was not something that was once off. She was, it seems, in the habit of saying “Yes” to God, to receiving the graces which he continued to bestow on her, such that, at this important moment, when confronted by the angel, she was ready—habitually present to reality, and open to receive the gift in the working of God’s Spirit.

As mentioned, prayer is the primary way in which we develop this habitual mode of presence in the world, but there are a great many others. Like all good habits, they are not easy to acquire (and, once acquired, are often all too easy to lose). And very often, these habits are not what we might see as romantic or even externally desirable. The technological mindset that we have absorbed and the technology with which we are constantly bombarded promises to make life easy. It promises the fruit of virtue, without having to go through the difficulty of acquiring it.

The practices like growing one’s own food for example, put us in touch with reality as given by God. We cannot impose our will on what is given—it can only be received. We can work with what has been given, but we cannot subject the reality of the ground, of the weather, of the plants and the animals and insects around us to our total control.

Natural family planning methods, like the Billings Ovulation Method, are other such practices that habituate us into this mode of being present to reality. Billings, like the other methods of NFP, requires of us virtue and discipline. Through a heightened awareness of the shared gift of fertility, through an understanding of the cycles and rhythms of the body, spouses are drawn ever more fully into the reality which God has created and given to them.

Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae did not simply contain the doomsday prophecies which began this paper. Paul VI did much more than prophesy what might become of a society that adopts wholesale the practice of contraception. In encouraging doctors and medical researchers to look towards developing more rigorous methods of understanding the given nature of our bodies, and thereby aiding married couples in living out the responsibilities of parenthood, he demonstrated, with prophetic foresight, the great many positive effects that the practices of natural family planning methods, such as the Billings Ovulation Method would have.

[T]he discipline which is proper to the purity of married couples, far from harming conjugal love, rather confers on it a higher human value. It demands continual effort yet, thanks to its beneficent influence, husband and wife fully develop their personalities, being enriched with spiritual values. Such discipline bestows upon family life fruits of serenity and peace; and facilitates the solution of other problems; it favors attention for one’s partner, helps both parties to drive out selfishness, the enemy of true love, and deepens their sense of responsibility.20

In this sense, we can talk of Billings as being more than a method—but a way of living that opens us to receive the gift of reality.

  1. Presented at the National Billings Ovulation Method Teachers’ Weekend. Perth, Western Australia. May 6, 2017. 
  2. See, for example, John Dewey, Reconstruction in Philosophy (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1920), 115. 
  3. There are many scholarly works in this area that map this genealogy including, but not limited to, Louis Dupré, Passage to Modernity: An Essay in the Hermeneutics of Nature and Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press 1993); Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2004); and, Brad S. Gregory, The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012). 
  4.  See Janet Smith, “Paul VI as Prophet: Have Humanae Vitae’s Predictions Come True?,” nd.edu/~afreddos/courses/264/popepaul.htm
  5. R.J. Snell, Acedia and Its Discontents: Metaphysical Boredom in an Empire of Desire (Kettering, OH: Angelico Press, 2015). 
  6. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae: On the Value and Inviolability of Human Life (1995), n. 12. 
  7. R. J. Snell, “Boredom and a Whole Lot More…” Jesus Creed (2015), patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2015/08/15/boredom-and-a-whole-lot-more-by-r-j-snell/. See also, Jean-Charles Nault, The Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of Our Times (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2015). 
  8. “There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.” G. K. Chesterton, The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton, ed. David Dooley, vol. 1 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986), 54. 
  9. Snell. 
  10. See, Michael Hanby, “A More Perfect Absolutism: Michael Hanby Examines Today’s Deep Threats to Christian Freedom,” First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, no. 266 (2016); “The Culture of Death, the Ontology of Boredom, and the Resistance of Joy,” Communio: International Catholic Review 31, no. Summer (2004). See also, ”Beyond Mechanism: The Cosmological Significance of David L. Schindler’s Communio Ontology,” in Being Holy in the World: Theology and Culture in the Thought of David L. Schindler, ed. Nicholas J. Healy and D.C. Schindler (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2011). 
  11. Snell. 
  12. Dewey, 115. 
  13. See Wendell Berry, “The Body and the Earth,” in The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry, ed. Norma Wirzba (Berkley, CA: Counterpoint, 2003). 
  14. Pope Francis, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2015), n. 106. 
  15. Hans Urs von Balthasar, Love Alone Is Credible (Ignatius Press, 2004), pp. 43-44, 45, 46-47. 
  16. Ibid, 76. 
  17. Ibid, 76. 
  18. Cf. Col 1:16 “for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” 
  19. David L. Schindler, “Habits of Presence and the Generosity of Creation: Ecology in the Light of Integral Human Development,” Communio: International Catholic Review 42, no. Winter (2015), 576. 
  20. Paul VI, Humanae Vitae: On Human Life (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1968), 21.  Read the source: http://www.hprweb.com/2017/12/receiving-the-gift/
Thomas Gourlay
About Thomas Gourlay
Thomas V. Gourlay is the president and co-founder of the Dawson Society for Philosophy and Culture Inc. (www.dawsonsociety.com.au), and the manager of Campus Ministry at the University of Notre Dame Australia. He holds Bachelors (BEd) and Masters (MEd) Degrees in education from the University of Notre Dame Australia, and has worked as a classroom teacher and faculty head of Religious Education in a number of Catholic schools in Western Australia. Tom also holds a Masters of Theological Studies (MTS) from The John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Studies in Melbourne, Victoria. Tom and his wife Elizabeth live in Perth, Western Australia.

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UNITED NATIONS PUSHES ITALY TO SUPPLY ABORTIONISTS  http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/03/30/united-nations-pushes-italy-to-supply-abortionists/

5 Feminist Pioneers Who Were Against Abortion http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/01/22/5-feminist-pioneers-who-were-against-abortion/

Lie of the Year: Abortion Clinics Are Safe and Planned Parenthood Cares About Women http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/12/17/lie-of-the-year-abortion-clinics-are-safe-and-planned-parenthood-cares-about-women/

Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s Racist Founder

Chilling unearth video: Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger says, ‘No More Babies’

VIDEO: For the first time an Italian bishop attends the Rome March for Life http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/09/video-for-the-first-time-an-italian-bishop-attends-the-rome-march-for-life/

Planned Parenthood Praises President Obama Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/17/planned-parenthood-praises-president-obama-supreme-court-nominee-merrick-garland/

Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards Spotted at White House After Merrick Garland Nomination to Replace Pro-life Justice Antonin Scalia http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/16/planned-parenthood-ceo-cecile-richards-spotted-at-white-house-after-merrick-garland-nomination-to-replace-pro-life-justice-antonin-scalia/

12th Video Catches Planned Parenthood Aborting Intact Late-Term Babies to Sell as Parts http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/03/12th-video-catches-planned-parenthood-aborting-intact-late-term-babies-to-sell-as-parts/

Margaret Sanger’s Sinister Agenda on Population Control

Planned Parenthood: Evil Exposed

MIC’D UP: EUGENICS AND THE PILL – They’re more closely related than you think http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/09/micd-up-eugenics-and-the-pill-theyre-more-closely-related-than-you-think/

Planned Parenthood Propaganda, A Superhero for Choice Trumps the Senators Down

A modern Jericho: Archbishop Aquila to lead Eucharistic Procession around Planned Parenthood March 5 http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/14/a-modern-jericho-archbishop-aquila-to-lead-eucharistic-procession-around-planned-parenthood-march-5/

Planned Parenthood and the Jesuits

CORDAID Funds Planned Parenthood & Dispenses Contraception

Planned Parenthood Latest Lies

Megyn Kelly Blasts “Political Hit Job” Indicting David Daleiden Not Planned Parenthood http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/28/megyn-kelly-blasts-political-hit-job-indicting-david-daleiden-not-planned-parenthood/

CMP’s Videos Expose 3 Big Lies of the Abortion Industry http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/28/cmps-videos-expose-3-big-lies-of-the-abortion-industry/

Planned Parenthood Made $1.3 Billion Killing 324,000 Babies in Abortions http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/28/planned-parenthood-made-1-3-billion-killing-324000-babies-in-abortions/

Unreal Nation: It is called Planned Parenthood

The Death of God and the Loss of Human Dignity: The Skillful Abortionist of Planned Parenthood

Human Capital – Episode 1: Planned Parenthood’s Black Market in Baby Parts

Declaring Planned Parenthood an Enemy of the Church

Enemy of the Church: Planned Parenthood

The Pity of Christ – Planned Parenthood Exposed

Planned Parenthood Supporting Catholic Politicians: A Pathetic Spectacle

Planned Parenthood Promotes Torture Sex to 15 year-old Girls

Planned Parenthood Versus the Catholic Church

Stop Planned Parenthood: Persistence in God’s Work

Planned Parenthood – What Christians can do to make a difference?

An Open Letter to Planned Parenthood: Discussing Fetal Body Parts Over Lunch

Ghasty Planned Parenthood Video

Top 10 reasons to fight Planned Parenthood sex education http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/09/top-10-reasons-to-fight-planned-parenthood-sex-education/

Planned Parenthood discusses how to bend the law in 4th video

Full Video Confirms Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts to Create “Humanized” Mice

US Bishops Responds to Planned Parenthood Videos

Bishop Kevin Rhoades: Why can’t Catholic support Planned Parenthood?

Were Planned Parenthood Videos Produced Unethically?

For Archbishop Cupich, Planned Parenthood videos should urges us to fight all social evils

What kind of evil? Planned Parenthood Supporters…

MIC’D UP—PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S STRATEGY http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/12/micd-up-planned-parenthoods-strategy/

Julie Woodley: Former Planned Parenthood volunteer brings message of life on Good Friday http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/06/julie-woodley-former-planned-parenthood-volunteer-brings-message-of-life-on-good-friday/

Archbishop Chaput: Other Moral Issues Not Equivalent to Abortion

Abortion Documentary Video – Right Choice or Murder

The Abortion Holocaust: 60 Million Babies Killed Since 1973

Abortion Nurse Quits After Baby Born Alive Left to Die

We will be seen as barbarians because of abortion

Legislators Globally Agree: Time to Investigate Planned Parenthood

Life Begins at Conception

Scientific Fact: Human Life Begins at Conception or Fertilization

41 Quotes From Medical Textbooks Prove Human Life Begins at Conception

Pro-life movement is a battle but it’s a battle of love

On Discussing Abortion and Other Horrors with Young Children

How to respond to Planned Parenthood? Prayer and Fasting say Colorado Bishops

If you still support Planned Parenthood, you are simply not a decent person

Forum: 7th Planned Parenthood Video & Saturday’s Rallies

Forensic report finds Planned Parenthood video are authentic and unaltered

US Bishop issues major call for men to join the battle for life & family: ‘We need to get off the sidelines’

Into the breach: An Apostolic Exhortation to Catholic Men, My Spiritual Sons in the Diocese of Phoenix

The most important question about abortion

The Cost of Abortion and Contraception Deception

Who is behind the murderers in abortion?

Global Warming Unmasked

Mic’d Up: Is Contraception Killing the Church?

CIA: Rockefeller Foundation – Actively Undermining the Catholic Church

Contraception & the New Dark Age, Part 1-4: Where we are & How we got here?

The Politics of Contraception

Salesian Missions promote masturbation and contraception

Salesian Missions distributed over 100,000 condoms

The Cost of Abortion & Contraception Deception click below:

The Cost of Abortion and Contraception Deception

RESEARCHERS CRITICIZE STUDY CLAIMING WOMEN BENEFIT ECONOMICALLY FROM ABORTION  http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/22/researchers-criticize-study-claiming-women-benefit-economically-from-abortion/

  1. LOUIS ARCHBISHOP ROBERT CARLSON FULFILS VOW TO FIGHT ABORTION ORDINANCE http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/05/22/st-louis-archbishop-robert-carlson-fulfils-vow-to-fight-abortion-ordinance/

How to Change Someone’s Mind on Abortion in One Minute, Show Them This Video http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/03/09/how-to-change-someones-mind-on-abortion-in-one-minute-show-them-this-video/

I aborted 1200 babies, then my 6-year-old daughter was hit, and killed http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/04/02/i-aborted-1200-babies-then-my-6-year-old-daughter-was-hit-and-killed/

German Catholic archdiocese promotes fornication, abortion, to 15-year-old girls http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/11/06/german-catholic-archdiocese-promotes-fornication-abortion-to-15-year-old-girls/

Pope Francis Defends Life From Conception to Natural Death During Angelus – February 7,2016 http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/07/pope-francis-defends-life-from-conception-to-natural-death-during-angelus-february-72016/

Dear Men, Abortion Is Not A Women’s Issue. We Have A Duty To Get Involved. http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/14/dear-men-abortion-is-not-a-womens-issue-we-have-a-duty-to-get-involved/

I Sat in the Clinic for 7 Hours Debating Whether to Abort My Baby, Here’s What Happened http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/20/i-sat-in-the-clinic-for-7-hours-debating-whether-to-abort-my-baby-heres-what-happened/

Woman Sends 28-Week-Old Aborted Baby’s Body to Her Ex-Boyfriend in a Box http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/20/woman-sends-28-week-old-aborted-babys-body-to-her-ex-boyfriend-in-a-box/

Do Men Have a Duty to Have More than 2.1 Children? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/26/do-men-have-a-duty-to-have-more-than-2-1-children/

Fighting Poverty by Eliminating Children http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/10/fighting-poverty-by-eliminating-children/

Contraception and Original Sin http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2015/12/14/contraception-and-original-sin/

Contraception gave us divorce and gay ‘marriage’ and will destroy us: here’s how http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/06/contraception-gave-us-divorce-and-gay-marriage-and-will-destroy-us-heres-how/

Is Contraception a Legitimate Response to the Zika Virus? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/04/is-contraception-a-legitimate-response-to-the-zika-virus/

Pope Francis and Contraception: A Troubling Scenario Commentary http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/23/pope-francis-and-contraception-a-troubling-scenario-commentary/

Exclusive: Bishop Schneider takes up Pope Francis’ remarks on contraception for Zika virus http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/23/exclusive-bishop-schneider-takes-up-pope-francis-remarks-on-contraception-for-zika-virus/

Abby Johnson confessions of a former Planned Parenthood Director: Contraception access increases abortions. And here’s the proof http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/08/abby-johnson-confessions-of-a-former-planned-parenthood-director-contraception-access-increases-abortions-and-heres-the-proof/

Women on IUDs and LARCs more likely to have multiple abortions: new study http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/25/women-on-iuds-and-larcs-more-likely-to-have-multiple-abortions-new-study/

Catholic Bishop James Conley: “Abortion is a Moral Evil Which Can Never be Accepted Under Any Circumstances”  http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/11/05/catholic-bishop-james-conley-abortion-is-a-moral-evil-which-can-never-be-accepted-under-any-circumstances/

Catholic Bishops: Voting for Candidate who supports abortion is formal cooperation with evil

Stojan Adasevic: A communist abortionist turned pro-life after a saint visited him

Eclipse of Reason – Live Abortion Documentary/Pro-Life Anti-Abortion Video

12-year-old speaks out on the issue of abortion

ABORTION INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO OPERATE WITH IMPUNITY  http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/03/17/abortion-industry-continues-to-operate-with-impunity/

He performed 1,200 abortions: In new videos, he wants you to see what abortion really looks like http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/24/he-performed-1200-abortions-in-new-videos-he-wants-you-to-see-what-abortion-really-looks-like/

Former abortionist describes horrific dismemberment abortions during Planned Parenthood hearing http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/10/14/former-abortionist-describes-horrific-dismemberment-abortions-during-planned-parenthood-hearing/

Abortion Methods and Abortion Procedures Used to Kill Unborn Babies http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/27/abortion-methods-and-abortion-procedures-used-to-kill-unborn-babies/

If late-term abortion isn’t torture, it’s hard to imagine what is http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/16/if-late-term-abortion-isnt-torture-its-hard-to-imagine-what-is/

Abortion Backers Become Pro-Life After Watching This Eye-Opening Video on Abortions http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/16/abortion-backers-become-pro-life-after-watching-this-eye-opening-video-on-abortions/

Still think abortion is medically necessary? This abortionist begs to differ (video)

http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/26/still-think-abortion-is-medically-necessary-this-abortionist-begs-to-differ-video/

‘I freaked out’: clinic worker describes first time watching abortionist remove baby’s arms, legs http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/03/i-freaked-out-clinic-worker-describes-first-time-watching-abortionist-remove-babys-arms-legs/

This is Jack. His mom aborted him. But he miraculously survived. http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/14/this-is-jack-his-mom-aborted-him-but-he-miraculously-survived/

Think this woman should be dead? Amnesty International does http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/14/think-this-woman-should-be-dead-amnesty-international-does/

Pro-abort witnesses: It’s ok to deny care to babies born alive after botched abortions http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/17/pro-abort-witnesses-its-ok-to-deny-care-to-babies-born-alive-after-botched-abortions/

Former abortionist: Abortion is never necessary to save a woman’s life http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/21/former-abortionist-abortion-is-never-necessary-to-save-a-womans-life/

Polish baby left screaming for an hour before dying after botched abortion: reports http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/21/polish-baby-left-screaming-for-an-hour-before-dying-after-botched-abortion-reports/

Lila Rose explains what it takes to perform an undercover investigation—and why abortionists deserve to be exposed http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/lila-rose-explains-what-it-takes-to-perform-an-undercover-investigation-and-why-abortionists-deserve-to-be-exposed/

SAN FRANCISCO PROFESSOR DR. DIANA GREENE FOSTER: LET BABIES BORN ALIVE DIE http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/21/san-francisco-professor-dr-diana-greene-foster-let-babies-born-alive-die/

UK Bishop Philip Egan: Denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians is ‘an act of mercy’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/14/uk-bishop-philip-egan-denying-communion-to-pro-abortion-politicians-is-an-act-of-mercy/

FDA changes RU-486 protocol to fit abortion industry’s illegal practices  http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/31/fda-changes-ru-486-protocol-to-fit-abortion-industrys-illegal-practices/

http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/01/florida-becomes-eleventh-us-state-to-defund-planned-parenthood-scandals-riddling-abortion-giant-continue-motivating-states-to-cut-funding/

POLAND: NO ABORTIONS, NO EXCEPTIONS – Poland’s prime minister wants a total ban on abortion without exception http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/04/poland-no-abortions-no-exceptions-polands-prime-minister-wants-a-total-ban-on-abortion-without-exception/

‘This baby won’t stop breathing!’: Abortionist strangled baby born alive while nurses stood and watched http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/this-baby-wont-stop-breathing-abortionist-strangled-baby-born-alive-while-nurses-stood-and-watched/

Cardinal Burke rebukes Notre Dame University for honoring pro-abort Vice President Joe Biden  http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/07/cardinal-burke-rebukes-notre-dame-university-for-honoring-pro-abort-vice-president-joe-biden/

Very Surprising Quotes From Abortion Doctors Make it Clear Abortion is Wrong http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/25/very-surprising-quotes-from-abortion-doctors-make-it-clear-abortion-is-wrong/

Watch abortion supporters change their mind about abortion in minutes http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/05/24/watch-abortion-supporters-change-their-mind-about-abortion-in-minutes/

JOURNAL REFUSES TO RETRACT STUDY WRONGLY CLAIMING UNBORN FEEL NO PAIN http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/16/journal-refuses-to-retract-study-wrongly-claiming-unborn-feel-no-pain/

This Communist Abortionist Turned Pro-Life After a Saint Visited Him in a Dream http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/06/22/this-communist-abortionist-turned-pro-life-after-a-saint-visited-him-in-a-dream/

Irish Archbishop Eamon Martin: Seek a ‘revolution of tenderness’, not legal abortion http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/10/05/irish-archbishop-eamon-martin-seek-a-revolution-of-tenderness-not-legal-abortion/

PREGNANCY CENTERS SAVED HALF A MILLION UNBORN LIVES  http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/10/06/pregnancy-centers-saved-half-a-million-unborn-lives/

These 27 Universities Purchased Body Parts From Aborted Babies for Experimentation http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/02/09/these-27-universities-purchased-body-parts-from-aborted-babies-for-experimentation/

NEW YORK BISHOP SCOLDS CATHOLIC POLITICIANS’ SUPPORT OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD  http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/02/16/new-york-bishop-scolds-catholic-politicians-support-of-planned-parenthood/

Who is behind the murderers in abortion?

Abortion and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Is there a link between abortion, contraception and breast cancer?

Abortion and Eucharist by Michelle Yax

Please click this link to watch on Abortion with Movie: From Old Testament, New Testament & Fathers of the Church Teaching to Present Day

Bible’s Teachings Against Abortion

US Representative Nancy Pelosi vs. The Catholic Church on Abortion Issue

Is there Ethics of Abortion?

Abortion Warns of Something Worse?

‘We’re killing babies all over the place!’ – Dr. Ben Carson

Ben Carson: They say abortion is about women’s rights but what about the baby?

United Nations Committee Calls Abortion a Human Right, Punishes Country That Protected Unborn Baby http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/05/united-nations-committee-calls-abortion-a-human-right-punishes-country-that-protected-unborn-baby/

Unborn babies “sing & dance” to music proving that learning begins in the womb

8 Unbelievably heartbreaking quotes from women who aborted their babies

Help to abolish abortion: Turn the tide 2012 Pro-life video

Discovering Natural Family Planning

US Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz backs personhood in powerful new video: “Defend the right to life of born and unborn”

http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/18/us-presidential-candidate-ted-cruz-backs-personhood-in-powerful-new-video-defend-the-right-to-life-of-born-and-unborn/

Pro-life Song and Video: Stand Up For Life

Is Health Care a Pro Life Issue? http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/02/14/is-health-care-a-pro-life-issue/

Pro-lifers will keep losing and babies will keep dying until we do this…

Planned Parenthood Videos Put a Spotlight on Another Issues: Procurement Companies

Top Planned Parenthood Abortionist Admits She Dismembered & Killed Born Alive Babies

Video: Laughing abortionists ‘pull out baby hearts after abortion, just for fun’. It’s cute.

Undercover pro-life investigator: I saw evil in the face of late-term abortionist

Does God want Christians to stand up against the injustice of abortion? Here’s what the Bible says…

Fidelity to fertility

THE VORTEX: THE PILL KILLS – Contraception is destroying the faith http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/07/the-vortex-the-pill-kills-contraception-is-destroying-the-faith/

Scientific Fact: Human Life Begins at Conception or Fertilization

‘I made a huge mistake’ – Why one radical feminist changed her mind on abortion http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/06/i-made-a-huge-mistake-why-one-radical-feminist-changed-her-mind-on-abortion/

THE VORTEX: TIME BOMBS IN THE MARCH FOR LIFE – The March for Life has been hijacked by the Church of Nice http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/21/the-vortex-time-bombs-in-the-march-for-life-the-march-for-life-has-been-hijacked-by-the-church-of-nice/

THE VORTEX: GHOST ABORTIONS – The cost of abortion is too high to count  but it can be calculated http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/01/22/the-vortex-ghost-abortions-the-cost-of-abortion-is-too-high-to-count-but-it-can-be-calculated/

WATCH: U.S. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz push for gay ‘equality’ will ‘destroy everything Christian’ http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/06/watch-u-s-bishop-fabian-bruskewitz-push-for-gay-equality-will-destroy-everything-christian/

She Had an Abortion at 15, Now She’s Had 5 Miscarriages and Can’t Ever Have Children http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/09/she-had-an-abortion-at-15-now-shes-had-5-miscarriages-and-cant-ever-have-children/

Low Natality, Low Growth: The Economic Consequences of Fewer Babies http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/17/low-natality-low-growth-the-economic-consequences-of-fewer-babies/

Study: IUD use puts girls at risk for STDs http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/22/study-iud-use-puts-girls-at-risk-for-stds/

US Congress Subpoenas StemExpress, Which Buys Fully Intact Aborted Babies From Planned Parenthood http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/30/us-congress-subpoenas-stemexpress-which-buys-fully-intact-aborted-babies-from-planned-parenthood/

Breastfeeding: A social justice issue http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/30/breastfeeding-a-social-justice-issue/

MRI Shows Breastfed Babies’ Brains Develop Better/Faster than Formula or Mixed-Fed Infants http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/03/18/mri-shows-breastfed-babies-brains-develop-betterfaster-than-formula-or-mixed-fed-infants/

ABORTIONS EASIER THROUGH NEW FDA REGULATIONS: Abortion pill can now be taken up to 10 weeks after conception http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/04/01/abortions-easier-through-new-fda-regulations-abortion-pill-can-now-be-taken-up-to-10-weeks-after-conception/

My mother was advised to abort me, says Cardinal Raymond Burke in new book http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/26/my-mother-was-advised-to-abort-me-says-cardinal-raymond-burke-in-new-book/

THE DOWNLOAD—A SPIKE IN MEDICAL ABORTIONS  http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/07/27/the-download-a-spike-in-medical-abortions/

‘Catholics for Choice’ Draws Clarification From Bishops   http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/09/16/catholics-for-choice-draws-clarification-from-bishops/

NEW STUDY YOKES BIRTH CONTROL TO DEPRESSION  http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2016/10/10/new-study-yokes-birth-control-to-depression/

Michael Voris talks an in-depth discussion of the true, financial cost of abortion and its effects to the United States. Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, “The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death” (CDF, Donum vitae III; CCC: 2273).

Contraception & the New Dark Age, Part 1-4: Where we are & How we got here by Dr. Martin Brenner click below:

Contraception & the New Dark Age, Part 1-4: Where we are & How we got here?

Contraception’s dark fruits

CIA: The Rockefeller Foundation – Actively Undermining the Catholic Church click below:

CIA: Rockefeller Foundation – Actively Undermining the Catholic Church

We are used to thinking of the Rockefellers as simply a byword for wealth, power and financial success. Perhaps we might think of them as determined businessmen or see them as great philanthropists. But the truth is far different; the Rockefeller Foundation is actively undermining the Catholic Church, and in the process, attempting to erase man’s natural orientation to the eternal.

Global Warming Unmasked click below:

Global Warming Unmasked

Are the environmental movements and groups simply devoted to laudable, correct stewardship of God’s creation, or do they have a more sinister, hidden agenda? Is “global warming” being used as an excuse for something far darker? Is the final goal of the liberal elites behind the push of junk science population control, eugenics and Gaia worship?

Mic’d Up “Is Contraception Killing the Church?” click below:

Mic’d Up: Is Contraception Killing the Church?

This week on Mic’d Up we’ll be tackling the terrible scourge of Contraception on the Church. Michael Hichborn and Rey Flores from American Life League will join us to expose Catholic Relief Services complicity with Organizations who support contraception and to Discuss The Pill Kills Day of Action 2014. Also joining us will be Lynn Mills who will be discussing the continued prayer rally at Providence Park Hospital in the Archdiocese of Detroit because of their complicity in abortion, contraception and sterilization. Following that same thread we’ll break down the announcement from Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron concerning the crisis of parish closings facing Detroit. Also dropping by will be author James Kalb, to discuss the plague of pluralism on the Church’s Hierarchy.

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