Loading

The Church wasn’t meant to be the “cool mom”

Julie Filby

Photo by Petr Kratochvil

When I was asked to share my perspective on the HHS mandate, I thought there must be a mistake. Surely folks would rather hear from a good Catholic. A perfectly NFP-practicing, saved herself for marriage—five, six, seven-kid-having Catholic woman.

That hasn’t exactly been my path. Not to mention, what could I possibly add to the conversation that hasn’t already been said?

Media outlets and social networks are saturated with news and opinions about the mandate that requires religious institutions to pay for health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. Comments along the lines of: “It’s like stepping back into the 50s” or “Wasn’t the whole contraception debate settled around the time of JFK?” appear regularly out of one camp, making it clear that some people (OK, many people) think the Catholic Church’s stance on birth control is old-fashioned and anti-woman.

In the past I may have jumped on that bandwagon and even added my own comment along those lines. But now I better understand what’s missing from that line of thinking: for Holy Mother Catholic Church, and those who love and trust her teaching, the morality of artificial contraception was never up for debate.

Long ago she made a decision and like any good parent, she stuck with it. She stays true to who she is, as she loves and guides her children through contrary decisions that can lead them down the wrong path; a path that leads to sin.

We do it all the time as mothers. It’s not my role to my kids’ BFF—or to be a so-called “cool mom”—it’s my job to be a parent that stands firm when it comes to forming their consciences and trying to teach them right from wrong. Mothers don’t win popularity contests that way, but it’s who we’re designed to be.

When I was about 5 years old, I got busted by my mom for stealing Starlight Mints from a bin at Nu-Way Grocery Store. When she figured it out, she didn’t say: “Oh, that’s fine. Everyone’s stealing mints. Next time steal something bigger.”

She marched me right back into the store, and guided me through the painful, yet valuable, experience of returning the mints and apologizing to the manager. She may not have won Most Popular Mom that particular day, but she does now (and I’m not a kleptomaniac).

As a mother she stayed true to who she is, and what she was called to do.

When it comes to contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, Holy Mother Church can’t say: “Oh, that’s alright. So many other people are doing it, just go ahead. Hey, I’ll even foot the bill.”

While she respects our freewill, she won’t aid us in a choice that leads us to sin; in a choice that violates her conscience, as she works to form ours. She’ll stay true to who she is as a mother, and the government can’t force her to cease to be who she’s designed to be.

A well-formed conscience isn’t guided by societal pressure, secular media, political messages, the blogosphere, talk radio or government coercion; it's formed by natural law aimed toward the common good—by God’s law, which we believe is aimed for our eternal good.

And as I measure my holiness only in terms of progress, not perfection, I’ll continue to look to Holy Mother Church to be the still, small voice of my soul that tells me right from wrong.

Topics:

Julie Filby, wife and mother of two (ages 8 and 5), is a reporter for the Denver Catholic Register newspaper. She also enjoys blogging at Mother’s Musings about the simple ways Christ is unmistakably present in every-day family and work life. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter. She also contributes to CatholicMom.com and Catholic Lane.

View all articles by Julie Filby

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

RECENT POSTS

OUR TOPICS

Abortion (42)  Advent & Christmas (19)  Beauty (2)  Bioethics (4)  Books (55)  Church history (14)  Church teaching (28)  Contraception (22)  Culture (119)  Current Events (85)  Dating (15)  Death (4)  Depression (14)  Divorce (7)  Education (12)  Eucharist (3)  Exercise (3)  Faith (213)  Family (86)  Fashion (5)  Feminism (12)  Fertility (2)  Fitness (1)  Food (2)  Forgiveness (17)  Friendship (18)  Generosity (2)  Girl Scouts (2)  Grieving (1)  Health (23)  Home Management (17)  Humor (14)  Leadership (4)  Lent & Easter (12)  Liturgical Year (9)  Marian devotion (8)  Marriage (33)  Mature Years (5)  Meditations (17)  Mental illness (1)  Mercy (1)  Military Families (2)  Ministry (4)  Miscarriage (1)  Motherhood (55)  Movies (1)  Music (4)  Natural Family Planning (2)  Nutrition (4)  Parenting (44)  Personal Growth (105)  Politics (3)  Pornography (3)  Prayer (31)  Pro-Life (26)  Psychology (1)  Reflections (4)  Relationships (44)  Religious freedom (10)  Saints (9)  Scripture (6)  Service (8)  Sexuality (18)  Single years (4)  Social justice (1)  Social Networking (5)  Special Needs (3)  Spirituality (2)  Suffering (13)  Suicide (1)  Travel (11)  Welcome (1)  Women in the Church (3)  Women's Health (20)  Workplace (12)  Writings of the Saints (8)  Young Women (39) 

Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Gospel
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: