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Sharing Our Beliefs

Staring at the packet the dermatologist handed me, I tried to process what had just happened. How did a routine skin cancer screening appointment end with me holding a pamphlet about birth control? I recalled the moment when she asked if I wanted to learn about an option to treat my acne. Not thinking twice since my wedding was a few months away, I agreed.

“I think some form of birth control would clear up your skin and help you plan your family,” she said, winking.

“Interesting . . . ” I replied unsure of what to say next.  My then-fiancé and I were planning to follow the Church’s teaching of being open to life in our marriage, but I had no idea how to tell her this without sounding awkward. I also didn’t want to seem ungrateful in declining her recommendation.

“I don’t think it’s for me,” I blurted. My response was vague but as honest as I could be in that moment. Her smile turned to a look of surprise.

“Well, here’s some reading material. Let me know if you change your mind.” she said before leaving the exam room.

Today’s First Reading (Acts 5:27-33) reminded me of this experience.  Unlike my response where I tiptoed around the truth, the Apostles spoke boldly to the Sanhedrin. “We must obey God rather than men,” (Acts 5:29) they said when asked why they didn’t stop preaching about Jesus.

Talk about having courage! I can think of several other instances where I’ve skirted around conversations to avoid sounding “too Catholic,” but the Apostles embraced every opportunity!

Let that be our challenge today, sisters. How can we be more like the Apostles? How can we care less about what others think and more about what God thinks? May we ask the Holy Spirit for help in those difficult moments where we are unsure of what to say and trust that the truth be shared.

Saint Peter and all the Apostles, pray for us that we may have the courage to share the good news.

Joan Geiger is a North Dakota native and new mother, and in her spare time she can be found going on adventures with her husband, working as a Registered Dietitian, and drinking coffee. You can find out more about her here.

7 Comments

  • Reply
    Brenna H.
    April 12, 2018 at 7:52 am

    God bless your courage to be bold and have faith in His plan for your family.

  • Reply
    Kimberly Yamanaka
    April 12, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Shout out from another catholic dietitian ❤️ :). Love this post as I have had a few very similar experiences that were really challenging for me.

  • Reply
    Shelbie
    April 12, 2018 at 11:06 am

    I too, have struggled with talking about how I won’t be using birth control in my marriage, and have scurried around the topic with non-Catholic Christians who I am close to when they ask me questions about what form I’ll use. I’ll say things like, “Well, we’d like to have babies pretty soon after, so we won’t be using birth control,” instead of telling them about the biblical teachings around contraception and why I believe that God calls us to trust His plan for our fertility. It’s difficult – do I speak truth at the risk of making someone else feel bad, guilty, or upset, potentially damaging the relationship I have with these people, or dodge the topic to avoid confrontation? Of course, I know the better choice. Christ urges us to preach His gospel everywhere we go, even to those who are already Christian, but perhaps have not yet thought about or do not understand the gravity of rejecting the life that comes from marriage relationships.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    April 12, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Read this in the Magnificat for morning prayer:
    “Lively is the courage of those who fear the LORD, for they put their hope in their savior.” (Sirach 34:13)

  • Reply
    Sarah B
    April 12, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    I appreciate your reflection so much! This is very similar to my experience with contraception – I was on it for several years for a medical condition prior to becoming Catholic, but as I went through RCIA and was preparing for marriage, I knew that God was calling me to give up the contraceptives. Man that was tough to do (and right before my wedding, too!) but it turned into such a beautiful experience of trust in God to provide for my needs, both physical and spiritual. God is good!

  • Reply
    Stephanie McCutcheon
    April 12, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Another option is to find a Catholic doctor, who is faithful to the Magisterium. These doctors need our support: we should seek them out, pray for them, and use them! Tell them why you chose them, too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Christi Weber
    April 13, 2018 at 11:36 am

    I agree with Stephanie’s comment above – many NFP-only doctors are being “dismissed” from their practices when other doctors learn that they will not prescribe birth control – a form of religious persecution in the 21st century. They definitely need our support, and all of our prayers!

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