NFP (And Holy Week Preparations)

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By Rebecca Teti

Wednesdays: Natural Family Planning

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This weekly thread is a place where you can share your struggles, triumphs, links, resources, concerns, and questions about all things related to Natural Family Planning.

Please join the conversation! 

Rebecca Teti


  • It's NFP Wednesday -- but it's also Spy Wednesday. Feel free to use this space for the topic at hand, but if anyone wants to talk about Holy Week, what you're cooking for Easter or related topics, feel free.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 5:32 AM by Rebecca Teti

  • Until today, I had never heard of Holy Wednesday referred to as Spy Wednesday...I learn something new every day! :) In commemoration of the anointing of Our Lord by Mary of Bethany, tonight's Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at our parish will include Holy Anointing (Holy Unction). In the Eastern Catholic tradition, Anointing is used more frequently, not just at times of grave illness, before surgery, etc. (it is used at these times, too). Since the holy oil is blessed by the Holy Spirit, the Anointing provides both physical & spiritual healing. Both children & adults are welcome to receive the Anointing. The oil carries God's grace both to renew the body & to cleanse the spirit. The service follows the apostolic tradition mentioned in the New Testament: "...let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven" (James 5:14-15). Holy Unction/Anointing is a sacramental mystery of great comfort to the faithful. It provides uplifting & asks for patience to accept the will of God whatever the physical outcome. The betrayal of Our Lord by Judas, also commemorated this evening, led to the tradition from Apostolic times of fasting on Wednesday throughout the liturgical year. A blessed Great & Holy Wednesday to all!

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 12:59 PM by Patricia

  • Patricia, I just had to say I love that you've been posting things about Eastern Catholic practice! It's great to have that richness of both perspectives.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 2:51 PM by Anna

  • What if you have diabetes and cannot fast?

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 3:14 PM by unknown

  • If you have diabetes and cannot fast, you are not required to do so. Anyone who has medical concerns is not required to fast. Perhaps you can think of something else to "fast" from, or make some other offering (of time or prayers) to Our Lord.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 3:19 PM by Mary Therese

  • Patricia I agree with Anna--I love hearing stuf about the Eastern Catholic practices . . . do you do the egg in the ring of bread (I know there is a name for that!!) and if so do you have a good recipe? I know that I have heard the story behind the tradition many years ago but I just remember that it is really neat.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 3:20 PM by Lisa

  • I find cooking at home is healthier and less expensive than eating out. I also really enjoy cooking for my family (no slaving here Jeanne), and the kids like to help out in the meal prep. I think teaching my kids to cook healthy meals is a skill they will carry with them throughout their lives. I am cooking a lasagna, home baked bread and a big salad for 8 people tonight with brownies for dessert. The entire meal will cost about $25. That comes to a little more than $3 per person, way better than eating out and it tastes better and is healthier b/c I control the ingredients.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 5:06 PM by Danielle M.

  • I, too, have enjoyed reading about the celebrations in the Eastern Catholic tradition! I also feel I have been the benefit of your great words of wisdom on Faith and family - now Catholic Digest...Thank you, Patricia!

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 5:08 PM by Donna L.

  • I'm with you, Danielle! I *adore* cooking for my family and with my, tastes great, and is frugal--really, what's not to love? We are having roast chicken, potato salad, coleslaw and apple pie...then we are back outside to clean the garage, and weed around the blueberry plants. I love spring projects!

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 5:12 PM by Donna L.

  • I like eating out on certain occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc. But for holidays I prefer to cook at home. Yes, it involves some extra work, but that's what makes it special. I want to provide for my son the kind of memories I have of family holiday dinners growing up. We use my dishes and flatware that were previously my grandmothers, and it helps to unite my childhood holiday celebrations with my current ones.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 5:21 PM by Claire S

  • No Jeanne, it is homemade lasagna. Tomatoes I grew in my garden last Summer, pasta made this morning, and homemade bread. If it costs more for you to cook at home, you are not doing it right. Your numbers don't add up. If you go out and spend $25 for one meal per day, you spend more than $100 per week on food, unless you fast for 3 days of the week and only eat 1 meal a day on the other 4. Cooking at home is healthier and cheaper than eating out, always. My "hub" doesn't need to take me out, since I prefer to eat at home with my children. Bagels and sliders are not healthy, perhaps you should consult with a nutritionist, your constant eating out may be contributing to your husband's condition.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 6:05 PM by Danielle M.

  • Claire, I wish my holiday meal memories were as good as yours. But my mom was always in a bad mood on holidays because she got so stressed out with making the big meal and cleaning and all. Even though all of us kids helped, she was still very stressed and would blow up at us. So wanting to avoid a repeat of that tradition, my holiday meals are pretty simple. For Easter brunch I will make waffles after mass. Dinner will be lamb, a vegetable, a starch and dessert. A relaxing day that even I can enjoy.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 7:03 PM by Monica (momof2)

  • Monica, I totally relate. My parents were both very short-tempered (a trait which I unfortunately inherited, either by genetics or environment or both). So I didn't mean to imply that holidays in my house were all peace and harmony. But the dinners with extended family were special, even with the blow-ups (which I guess we were used to, because they occurred most of the time anyway). I also keep my holiday meals very simple. We have a small family, so I feel no need to have a multitude of different appetizers, desserts and sidedishes. For Easter, the one appetizer is deviled eggs. Dinner will be lamb, mashed potatoes, gravy and a vegetable. I make one dessert. When I do host a larger group of people, I take people up on their offers to bring dishes to contribute to the meal. Also, my husband is a huge help. He pretty much cooks the lamb and does a lot of the childcare, and I do everything else. Then when it's time to clean up, he takes care of the things that can't go in the dishwasher.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 7:14 PM by Claire S

  • NFP question- Any advice on what method to use when wanting to postpone pregnancy in the immediate months after childbirth? I am breastfeeding, but on a schedule so I can't rely on that as a child spacer. I took NFP classes and have the postpartum book, but looking for more support and help! Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 7:15 PM by unknown

  • We are going to have lamb as well but my husband is barbecuing it--reaching for the Choy of Cooking and reprising our time in Hawaii--lamb, rice, mac salad . . . kind of fun!

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 7:44 PM by Lisa

  • Thank you, Anna, Lisa & Donna L! Your words are very kind! We felt tremendously blessed when we discovered the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom about 7 years ago…we felt we had found our spiritual home & formally petitioned for a transfer of rite to one the Eastern (Byzantine) Catholic Churches. Raised Roman Catholic & now also embracing the rich & mystical traditions of the Catholic East…we gratefully “breathe with both lungs – East & West” as Bl. John Paul II called us to do in his Apostolic Letter, Orientale Lumen (Light of the East). Lisa: I do sometimes make the braided Pascha bread with red-dyed eggs in it (it is supposed to look like a woven crown with the red eggs as jewels…can’t say that mine always looks quite like that!). More often, I make a traditional Russian Easter Bread (Kulich) that, after rising & being decorated with a white glaze, resembles the onion-domes of Byzantine churches in Eastern Europe (it is baked in a large coffee can). I am pretty sure both recipes are in “A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Joys of Family & Faith Throughout the Christian Year” by Evelyn Birge Vitz (lots of neat recipes in there for celebrating the feasts & fasts of the liturgical year!) Regarding the red-dyed eggs…according to tradition, during a dinner with the emperor Tiberius Caesar, Mary Magdalene was speaking about Christ's Resurrection. Caesar scoffed at her, saying that a man could rise from the dead no more than the egg in her hand could turn red. Immediately, the egg turned red. Because of this, icons of Mary Magdalene sometimes depict her holding a red egg. This is also why Eastern Catholics & Orthodox dye eggs red at Pascha. Dittoing the advice about fasting if you have diabetes or other medical needs (incl. pregnancy). Speak with your spiritual father or confessor about it & he can give you a substitute penance, since fasting truly deals with so much more than just food.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 8:26 PM by Patricia

  • We eat three small meals and nothing inbetween anyhow. That's fasting.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 9:05 PM by unknown

  • Unknown- I know a lot of people who use the Marquette method during the postpartum period. It uses the Clear Blue Fertility monitor. I haven't used it personally but several friends are very happy with it - particularly for post-partum timeframe. A little expensive up front, though, but they all say it's worth it.

    Posted on Mar 27th, 2013 at 9:44 PM by JM