Too often we equate fertility with holiness in a Catholic marriage. If the children come later than we expect, are too spaced, are too few, we raise eyebrows. Of course we also raise eyebrows at the family with 6, 8, or 10 kids and assume mom has a general lack of education. 1/
But what of the family who has lost half of their children to miscarriage? Or who struggle with infertility? Or who are traumatized by loss so that fertility seems a curse? 2/
What of the family who discerns that they are not physically or mentally able to cope with the stresses of another pregnancy, or of having another child (though they would absolutely love their new little one and rejoice in that life if they were to come)? 3/
& I say family to stress that in a healthy marriage the woman and man are one, united in purpose and discernment, but the stigma will more often fall on the woman, assuming there is “something wrong,” or that she is too much temptation for the man so they must be contracepting.4/
We are blessed with our 4 on earth, and our 4 in heaven, and our sex life and fertility is none of your business, nor are the sex lives or fertility of anyone else, unless they choose to confide in you their struggles. 5/
We “pass” because 4 is “a lot” of children; enough to raise secular eyebrows, to prove to the inquisitive that I have been a diligent gardener.

That’s creepy and weird. My wife is a person not a garden, as are all of the women you are judging for being or not being pregnant. 6/
I don’t envy my friends who haven’t had our struggles: no point. They’ve had other challenges. God gave us ours, and helped us through, often through our friends. He has given other friends different struggles, and helped them, sometimes through our friendship. 7/
All of this is hindered by the fetishization of fertility, and the occasion-of-sin curiosity that wants to peek into another’s bedroom to make sure “they’re doing it right.”

Instead cultivate prayer, compassion, and holy naïveté. 8/
And remember that when someone is sorrowing, the empty “I’m so sorry, I don’t know what to say,” often means so much more than any amount of well-intentioned advice. Because you can’t process our sorrow for us, but you can sit with us, and that means a lot. 9/fin

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More from @MasterJeb

11 Apr 20

The ancient grayness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before a wind.
An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said:
“He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon.”
A murmurous excitement stirred
All souls.
They wondered if they dreamed –
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.
And Moses, standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?
And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?
Read 7 tweets
2 Apr 18
So with all the “It’s really Ostara” history-ignoring nonsense, it’s really tempting to write a snarky April Fool’s post. Like, don’t get me wrong, cursory history and linguistics tells us that Easter is what we say it is. But maybe their fiction makes sense? 1/?
We are more and more living in a post-Christian society, one in which self-proclaimed Christians don’t even know their history and heritage. Cultural religious literacy is in constant decline.

We are no longer Christendom, but a community of believers living among Gentiles. 2/?
And on April Fool’s we do well to remember that what we proclaim is foolishness to the Gentiles. For who would believe what we have heard? It is hard enough to die for a good man, but this Great Teacher died for us while we were still in bondage to sin. 3/?
Read 7 tweets

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