My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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National author and public personality goes after the little guys.

Carolyn and Sean Savage, authors of the bookInconceivable have a blog and a Facebook page.
Recently Sean and I have engaged in a few online discussions with those that were quite bothered by Sean’s recent CNN blog challenging the Catholic Church (My Take: Catholic Church should reverse opposition to in vitro fertilization May 10, 2011)
IVF to conceive. They all have deeply held convictions in Catholic doctrine. If the Church deems it one way, it’s that way, for them. There are no exceptions.

Well if you don't deem in that way then why be Catholic? Catholicism is more than being born into it and having a big party for baptisms, first communions, confirmations and weddings. It's more than a social gathering on Sunday mornings or CYO sports. If you don't believe:

2032 The Church, the "pillar and bulwark of the truth," "has received this solemn command of Christ from the apostles to announce the saving truth." "To the Church belongs the right always and everywhere to announce moral principles, including those pertaining to the social order, and to make judgments on any human affairs to the extent that they are required by the fundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls."

Why bother? There are plenty of Christian denominations that will fit any particular bill and there's always the option of starting your own!

I respect their beliefs. If that’s what helps them make order of their lives, or sleep at night, and their belief isn’t infringing on the safety of others, who am I to say they are wrong? If approached right, I may even want to learn about why they think the way they do. After all, if we’ve learned anything from our experience it’s that well developed dissenting opinions are often accompanied by valuable nuggets of wisdom.

In my experience with her, Carolyn doesn't allow the discussion to get into the "well-developed phase." Again, from my brief experience with her she dissolves into logical fallacies, or fails to respond, or erases comments! Even her bishop tried, and he was accused of being uncaring and having bad timing. I'm not sure what "approached right" means but I'm pretty sure anything that supports the church's teaching on this is already going to be on the wrong track.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a single communication from those that are upset, that hasn’t initially contained or eventually denigrated into a personal attack against us or our family.

Another has called us neglectful of Drew, Ryan and MK claiming that we didn’t pay enough attention to their achievements during our pregnancy with Logan. (We wrote about how we were hyper-cognizant of them during my pregnancy, recognizing that the challenges we were facing could distract us from their needs.)

For the record, this is what I wrote in the Amazon review:
"I also wondered about the other Savage children. One of their sons is a great cross country runner, but his parents obsession with in vitro and surrogacy took their full attention from his achievements. During this time they also had a toddler daughter but their unfortunate situation overshadowed her milestones.

And I based that on the book - for example the last paragraph of page 57."

Yet another Amazon reviewer thinks we don’t belong in the pews of our church on Sundays. I guess we are not worthy according to her standards.

Actually the reviewer named Joanna wrote:
Carolyn, I'm curious... if you believe that Catholic Church teaches false doctrine, why are you Catholic? I left my (Protestant) church when I began to believe that they taught false doctrine.

It's a fair question. True to form, Carolyn didn't address it there.

The regretful reality is when someone loses their cool and litters their opinions with insults and attacks, they lose credibility. Any insights that could have been garnered from a respectful back-and-forth, are lost.

I honestly didn't see anyone lose their cool or use insults or attacks except Ms. Savage who said I "barraged" her blog with comments (I only made one comment).

My dad always said, “If you want to see who a person really is….piss ‘em off. They’ll show you their true colors every single time.”)

I think her dad is very wise. Carolyn Savage has become a public figure with a book and national media coverage at her disposal (they have a public relations firm)  and a lot of public support for the ordeal she went through. Yet because a few of us Catholics who were disturbed that the Catholic church kept getting dragged into this story (when clearly if church teaching had been followed there wouldn't be a story) her focus has moved beyond the many accolades, to settle on us in an attempt to squelch respectful dissent.

For the five Catholics that felt compelled to show us the “error of our ways” with regards to how our children were conceived—in the future please exercise some self-control by resisting the temptation to insult and attack.

Sadly, only five Catholics have spoken up about this. Not that it would matter I suppose, as any type of gentle teaching on this is giong to be construed as "insult and attack"

You’ll never shame us (or anybody for that matter) into listening to you.

Probably very true. If her own bishop couldn't do it, I think that door is closed.

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  1. It's so sad to read how ignorant she is of her own faith. She has no idea of what objective truth is, nor does she have any idea about the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. It's positively heartbreaking.

  2. The part that disturbs me is that a lot of Americans and even many Catholics get their idea of what the church teaches from the media. So if they see that a "Catholic" couple has had IVF, they may think that's okay with the church. I never saw in any of their coverage that they were dissenting from church teaching on this, just that they were "Catholic" (although one from the UK simply called them Christian. Thanks for coming by JoAnna and I added myself as a follower for your blog!

  3. Elena, I'm not a Catholic, so maybe you want to take my opinion with a grain of salt.

    I think the fact that she is claiming to be a Catholic without actually believing what the Catholic church teaches is like being a vegetarian who eats meat. It's a really weird contradiction of terms.

  4. Sara,
    Many people do not know the "rules".
    Being Catholic is an evolution. Unfortunately many priests are not good teachers, because they want everyone to be happy. Accepting some "rules" are difficult for some people. Some would prefer the Church to change Her stance on: birth control, war, poverty, divorce and many other things. Some feel She has changed- which She has occasionally, but actual change is VERY slow so no major mistakes are made.
    You can certainly continue to be Catholic even if you are excommunicated. The only person who can declare you no longer Catholic is God as far as I can tell. He is the only one who can give up hope once you have declared yourself to Him. You are not with the flock and still be a part. It is weird that way. It is not black and white- God is always working on us and changing our hearts to be the best saints we can be- now and in the future.

  5. Just cause a mouse is in the cookie jar doesn't make him a cookie.

    Old Lithuanian proverb

  6. Once a Catholic- always a Catholic.:>)
    A very OLD Catholic saying

  7. Carolyn did not react well to my less than positive review of her book.

  8. Janette - Martin Luther

    nuff said.

  9. It doesn't surprise me that Carolyn didn't like your review Ruth. I've interacted with her on Facebook, Amazon and on her blog and she has a very low threshold for criticism of any kind. And if you bring the Catholic thing into it, she and her husband seem to feel that the chuch somehow owes them a pass on this one. If you're a devout Catholic criticizing her book, she thinks it is because of a deep psychological need to hold on to Church teaching at all costs.

    I wish the Savages well. I hope the twins are delivered safely, but I really hope they aren't paraded through the media circus again.


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