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My “Yes” Moment

First Reading: Wisdom 6:1-11

Hear, O kings, and understand;
learn, you magistrates of the earth’s expanse!
Hearken, you who are in power over the multitude
and lord it over throngs of peoples!
Because authority was given you by the Lord
and sovereignty by the Most High,
who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels.
Because, though you were ministers of his kingdom, you judged not rightly,
and did not keep the law,
nor walk according to the will of God,
Terribly and swiftly shall he come against you,
because judgment is stern for the exalted–
For the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy
but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test.
For the Lord of all shows no partiality,
nor does he fear greatness,
Because he himself made the great as well as the small,
and he provides for all alike;
but for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends.
To you, therefore, O princes, are my words addressed
that you may learn wisdom and that you may not sin.
For those who keep the holy precepts hallowed shall be found holy,
and those learned in them will have ready a response.
Desire therefore my words;
long for them and you shall be instructed.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 82:3-4, 6-7

R. (8a) Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
Defend the lowly and the fatherless;
render justice to the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the lowly and the poor;
from the hand of the wicked deliver them.
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
I said: “You are gods,
all of you sons of the Most High;
yet like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.

Gospel: Luke 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”


nov 11

“As they were going, they were cleansed.”

I am a cradle Catholic, but I had never once heard of the Church’s teaching about contraception until my now husband and I were attending the required pre-cana marriage prep. I gotta say, it seemed . . . how shall I put this? Crazypants crazy.

How could we NOT “plan” our family? How could we NOT know exactly how many kids we were going to have, and when? I didn’t know anyone in real life who seemed open to life in this radical way.

I did not understand it. I did not want to do it. But, after looking into it some more on my own, I also couldn’t figure how the Church could be right on everything else, but wrong about this. So, despite our lack of understanding, my husband and I decided not to use artificial contraception as we began our marriage.

And, like the ten lepers, I was cleansed ON the journey, not before. Maybe I was cleansed BY the journey. In any case, I was given an understanding of and appreciation for the church’s position on contraception AFTER I had been willing to embrace it, not before.

It hasn’t always been easy, of course. But when I look at my life now, as a faithful Catholic in a loving marriage that has been blessed by many more children than I ever would have “planned,” I point to that decision as THE turning point. My “yes” moment. The decision from which all these graces have flowed.

I had called out to Jesus from a distance. I had asked Him to have pity on me. And He had sent me on a journey unhealed, unchanged, the same old me. But as I was going, I realized I had been healed.

Now all that’s left is to work each day on being that one guy of the ten who remembered to say, “Thank you.”

Where are you on your journey? Where have you said “yes” in your life, despite it being hard to understand?

photo by Sara Miller

Kendra Tierney lives in Los Angeles, CA where her interests include blogging, homeschooling, looking after her eight children, and suburban homesteading . . . in case of zombies. You can find out more about her here.

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  • Reply
    November 11, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I still don’t completely understand it, but the longer I practice NFP, the more I do. Like you, I thought, how could the Church be right on everything else, and wrong on this? I had an “aha” moment a few months ago. Realizing that I have trouble even deciding which color to paint my living room, how could I possibly decide on my own how big my family “should be”. I need God’s guidance!

    • Reply
      November 11, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Yes! The idea of not knowing how many kids I would have was terrifying at first. But now I take such comfort in knowing that I’ve left that up to God. It’s too big a decision for me. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Our Pre-Cana was horrible. It was a couple meetings with another couple who were just not helpful in any way, shape, or form. They gave us no tools, we never met with a priest, no one ever explained the Church’s teaching. I knew that the Church said no to barrier methods and the Pill, etc., so my husband and I thought that meant the standard days method. The first month I got pregnant, which was completely (in my mind), not a good thing. I miscarried, but the scare was enough to send me running to the condom aisle. After a year we “tried” once, but then I got cold feet. The deal was I was already pregnant. We were thrilled. But I had a serious medical concern to avoid pregnancy for one (more like two) years after my child’s birth. So back to the barrier methods. I would never use the Pill or an IUD, but I didn’t understand why barrier methods were not permitted. The we decided to start trying and had miscarriages and infertility. For two years. I started to learn Creighton to conceive, but went in with the mindset that I would never use it for avoidance. And then I learned a bit more, then I got interested in reading the Church’s teachings (Humana Vitae, Theology of the Body, Janet Smith). And I became a convert to the Church’s teachings. It took me months, but I finally gave up my fertility (and infertility) to God. Then we got pregnant. We are overjoyed, but the real challenge will come postpartum. I am already scared and I am sure I will struggle. But we have learned Creighton and I am looking into other methods. So, where am I on my journey? In regards to NFP, I am almost seven years into my marriage and just taking my first baby steps. But I have plenty of fertile years left. Who knows? I might be able to give some of the larger Catholic families a run for their money in a few years, with any luck. And that doesn’t sound as scary as it once did.

    • Reply
      November 11, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      Ugh. I’m so sorry for all your struggles on so many fertility issues. And especially for the lack of guidance during your marriage prep. I really pray that it’s something our parishes can improve upon. Couples deserve to hear the truth, even if it’s a “hard saying.”

  • Reply
    November 11, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Beautiful reflection! I pray that I, too, am cleansed ON the journey- so wonderfully, aptly stated, Kendra! Thank you!

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