Why it’s still worth saving sex during engagement.

[callout]This is a guest post by Stephanie Calis, the author of Invited: The Ultimate Catholic Wedding Planner (Pauline, 2016) and the Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of Spoken Bride, a ministry and lifestyle blog for Catholic brides and newlyweds.[/callout]

Something is up with me. Whenever I consciously make a choice in my work, my relationships, or my parenting that’s out of the mainstream, I want to hide it. I avoid talking about it.

Yet a part of me also wants others to find out, so I can talk about it. What is it that makes me a living, breathing contradiction?

To stand for something, to let your voice be heard and in doing so, to reveal who you are, satisfies the part of us that longs to be known, seen, and understood. Name a political or social matter, and you’ll most likely find a contingent speaking out against it.

And rightly so. Freedom is a gift; our voices are a gift, and the desire to make our opinions known is rooted in a good desire that speaks to how we’re created. Yet going against general opinion means something different than it did a generation ago. What was once considered progressive is now perceived as normal, and what was once considered traditional is now perceived as uptight and reactionary, particularly with regard to sexuality. Continue reading “Why it’s still worth saving sex during engagement.”

The funeral.

In a chapel at a Catholic parish on a Friday, I knelt at my seat a few feet in front of the altar, during adoration. I wanted to pray, but got distracted by a casket.

Through the chapel’s glass wall, I saw a set of pallbearers in dress blues carry it into the commons.

I looked away and tried to pray, again. But I couldn’t, because an inexplicable urge had overcome me — the urge to attend the funeral. Continue reading “The funeral.”

8 important love quotes you need to read.

A book called Let Yourself Be Loved: Transforming Fear Into Hope has gone down in history as the book I was reading when a red pen exploded in my hand on a flight from Tampa to Atlanta.

But whatever I underlined when the pen exploded was worth the trouble because this book — which is short and easy to read — rocked my world. It is written by Phillip Bennett, a clinical psychologist and Episcopal priest who dissects the fears that get in love’s way and reminds us: perfect love casts out fear.

Here are eight of my favorite quotes you need to read from the book (which, let’s face it, you also need to read): Continue reading “8 important love quotes you need to read.”

What every human needs to know about love, marriage, and sex.

The best book I ever have read is Love and Responsibility by Karol Wojtyla, a.k.a. St. John Paul II before he was pope. It is hundreds of pages of exactly what all of us need to know. But it is tragic, because it is hundreds of pages that most of us haven’t read.

Richard Spinello, author of Understanding Love and Responsibility, agrees: The “neglect of this extraordinary book is unfortunate,” he writes, about Wojtyla’s book. “Those who do take up the challenge of carefully reading Love and Responsibility will be amply rewarded.”

Believe me when I say he kids you not. Continue reading “What every human needs to know about love, marriage, and sex.”

2014’s Most Popular Love, Chastity, and Sex Posts

FullSizeRender (12)As 2014 nears its end, I’m pumped to thank you, my blog’s fantastic readers, for a fabulous year, and to share a round-up of the blog’s five most popular posts from 2014.

These are the most-clicked posts, the posts you loved or hated, because — for one reason or another — they resonated. Thank you, sincerely, for reading them the first time, and for sharing them.

Here they are, from fifth place to first: Continue reading “2014’s Most Popular Love, Chastity, and Sex Posts”