Some Interesting Reading

July 30, 2006 by

This article from Psychology Today describes some of the difficulties that parents can create for kids by not giving them enough freedom.  Lots of the “acting out” that occurs at later ages, including things like binge drinking and sexual experimentation, seems to be due to overmanaged childhoods that do not allow children to develop the social skills that are necessary when dealing with more adult situations where the stakes are often much higher.

Here is an informative interview about the new human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, often described as a cervical cancer vaccine, since HPV is one of the primary causes of cervical cancer. 

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Comments Wanted

July 21, 2006 by

Here is a space to discuss the activity e-mail that I sent out.  You can respond to my e-mail, of course, or you can post comments here.  Here is a briefer summary of what I’d like to convey with the activities.

1.  Making a bad trade.  When we lack information (or understanding, or faith) we can give up on something that is wonderful in exchange for a lesser good, or even something that can harm us.

2.  Freedom is ordered to the good.  If we only think of freedom as the capacity to choose what to do, rather than as connected with the capacity to achieve some particular end, then we have the capacity to choose but no reason to choose one thing over the other.  Our freedom is pointless.

3.  We must live out our moral decisions in a world that may be indifferent or hostile to them.  If we try to go it alone, we will likely fail, but we are more likely to succeed if we make decisions in support of our values and have a support system to sustain us.

4.  If you’re trying to build something with somebody else, you had better be looking at the same blueprints.

 Brainstorm Away!

An Important Point

July 18, 2006 by

This article makes an important point.  The physical aspects of sex, the biological facts, are not the most important part of sex education.  The relevant biology can be conveyed to someone pretty quickly, but the moral and relational aspects of sex education are far more subtle.  What does it mean to be in love?  When is it ok to have sex?  What should I look for in a husband or wife?  We are no longer talking about simply imparting information, but character formation, and the consequences of bad decisions can be profound, as the stories the author tells illustrate.  Certainly it is important to talk to teenagers about the biology of sex, and the physical consequences like disease and pregnancy, but this is not the end, but the beginning of sex education. 

A Useful Site for Parents

July 17, 2006 by

Commonsense.com is a primer for parents about the internet.  It contains information on web searching, online communities like myspace and facebook, and online gaming so that parents can get some idea of what is out there and how it is being used by teens.  It also includes helpful ideas about how to help youth use the internet responsibly and how to avoid the most common dangers. 

Comments Policy

July 17, 2006 by

All the comments here are moderated, so your comment won’t be posted for all to see until an administrator approves it.  This topic is a sensitive one, and our program and this blog are aimed at teenagers and parents, so we wish to be wary about what ends up on the site.  Thanks for your patience.

About the Name

July 12, 2006 by

The name of this blog is a line from a poem by Alfred Noyes, an early 20th Century Catholic poet.

Song

  

I came to the door of the House of Love

and knocked as the starry night went by;

And my true love cried “Who knocks?” and I said

“It is I.”

And Love looked down from a lattice above

Where the roses were dry as the lips of the dead:

“There is not room in the House of Love

For you both,” he said.

I plucked a leaf from the porch and crept

Away through a desert of scoffs and scorns

To a lonely place where I prayed and wept

And wove me a crown of thorns.

I came once more to the House of Love

And knocked, ah, softly and wistfully,

And my true love cried “Who knocks?” and I said

“None now but thee.”

And the great doors opened wide apart

And a voice rang out from a glory of light,

“Make room, make room for a faithful heart

In the House of Love, to-night.”

Alfred Noyes

I am not a poetry critic, and it has been a long while since I took an English class, but I think this poem captures something powerful about the nature of love.  Genuine love is always sacrificial, because it always seeks the good of the beloved.  If I love someone, I give myself to them in some way.  The precise character of the gift may vary depending on the kind of love involved, whether it is the love of friends, spouses, or family, but it always excludes certain possibilities.  If I love my friend, I will not use or betray them, and if I have promised myself to my spouse, I will not be unfaithful to them.  Genuine love demands that I give up my claim to absolute freedom and sacrifice my desires to act in certain ways when they conflict with the good of the beloved.  Note that this love is not a feeling, but a promise or covenant.  

In the beginning of the poem, the lover has not realized this.  Since he is unwilling to give himself, he cannot yet enter into true fellowship with the beloved.  He cannot receive the gift of love until he is willing to give himself.  He is turned away, but in this comes to realize what love demands of him, and the demand is a painful one.  But how great the reward when he returns and is received into the House of Love.   

This poem reflects on a great theme of the Gospel, that we must lose ourselves if we are to be saved, that we must give ourselves if we are to receive.  In Christ we see this love most fully, as in Christ God gave Himself for the salvation of His beloved.  As Christians we are called to conform ourselves after the image of Christ, to love as He loved.  We give ourselves up to Him, but in doing this He richly gives us Himself.

The title of this blog reminds us that love is a promise and that every promise is a sacrifice, but a beautiful sacrifice because through it we can receive the gift of another.  None now but thee refers to the promise of a Christian to follow none other than Christ, to give ourselves to Him.  And it also refers to the covenant of marriage, when we give ourselves to another person for life. 

For now, we remain selfish, and so this love is not easy, but we were created to receive and enjoy it forever, and it is the most beautiful gift of the God who Himself is called Love.

Hello world!

July 11, 2006 by

This is the blogsite for the We Care Pregnancy Center Prevention Program, a ministry of the We Care Pregnancy Center of DeKalb, Illinois.  This goal of this program is to encourage youth to practice chastity and aid parents in instructing and supporting their youth regarding sexual decisions.  We do this primarily through a program for church youth groups that presents the Christian vision for sexuality as an integral part of the Christian vocation to follow Christ in all aspects of life.  The program also provides practical advise and principles to aid youth and parents in the often challenging practice of chastity.  This blogsite will support the program by providing ongoing communication between program participants and the staff and volunteers at the We Care pregnancy center.  Our plan is for this site to provide a forum for discussion, a place where questions can be asked and answered, and we plan on updating it with links and information regarding resources that are of help to parents and youth.