My rakes’ tongs bend and flip.

The leaves fly up and cast down.

I work till my hands burn

With a pause the rake is taken –

And in three rough strokes

you have done what I could only do in nine.

Dear God, you, you were meant for this!

And I, your rib, outdone

admire it, your work, your curse!

Oh, to toil like a man,

Even this exertion makes my hips sway.

I only know desires and labor:

Receiving, bearing, moaning.

I give in.






Come, Hang man! Come, Vulture!

Lewis Mumford on Roman Decadence in his 1961 book ‘The City in History’:

“From the standpoint of both politics and urbanism, Rome remains a significant lesson of what to avoid: its history presents a series of classic danger signals to warn one when life is moving in the wrong direction. Wherever crowds gather in suffocating numbers, wherever rents rise steeply and housing conditions deteriorate, wherever a one-sided exploitation of distant territories removes the pressure to achieve balance and harmony nearer at hand, there the precedents of Roman building almost automatically revive, as they have come back today: the arena, the tall tenement, the mass contests and exhibitions, the football matches, the international beauty contests, the strip-tease made ubiquitous by advertisement, the constant titillation of the senses by sex, liquor and violence—all in true Roman style. So, too, the multiplication of bathrooms and the over-expenditure on broadly paved motor roads, and above all, the massive collective concentration on glib ephemeralities of all kinds, performed with supreme technical audacity. These are symptoms of the end: magnifications of demoralized power, minifications of life. When these signs multiply, Necropolis is near, though not a stone has yet crumbled. For the barbarian has already captured the city from within. Come, hangman! Come, vulture!”

Marriage Prep and NFP

In one of his Lectures Fr. Ripperger, suggests that NFP talks, given in mixed company are inappropriate. This observation resonated with me. I found it incredibly awkward, as an engaged woman, striving to live a chaste life, to be thrown into a room (of mixed sexes!) and given an explicit “how-to-use- NFP” talk by a married couple. I was mortified. I cried afterwards. It left me demoralized.

The NFP talk given at out marriage prep was at best confusing, at worst heretical. It was presented as a catholic contraception. If you don’t want to have children, use this, not contraceptives! How sad. The focus should have been on the great blessing of children not NFP strengthens marriages and is as effective as contraceptives!

One older engaged couple, said they were not open to having any children because  the dangers of pregnancy, at their age, were too great. This seemed to be accepted as  reason enough, and  to enter marriage, with not intention of ever having any children, was not even blinked at. It was troubling to hear such stories.

I thought marriage was for children, I thought NFP was for grave reasons, I thought that if you weren’t ready for children, you shouldn’t be getting married! The push for NFP seemed completely contrary to all of this.

When it comes to marriage prep, the focus should be marriage is for childrennot how to avoid having children. Of course, the evils of contraception needs to be addressed! Couples should be properly catechized in these matters. But these NFP crash courses are not properly catechizing people! They are  at once biologically explicit and Dogmatically  vague.

I believe NFP courses should be available, Catholicism is not a type Gnosticism, NFP isn’t a secret knowledge. However, it is just a small piece in properly catechizing couples. Such public and mixed presentations are inappropriate. Such sexually explicit discussions are better done in men only or women only groups or privately between the instructor and a married couple or even a single woman who needs it for health reasons.

I am not against NFP in itself. In fact, we find ourselves in a grave situation now. Sadly, my treatment for Lyme Disease, is incompatible with pregnancy.   (I tried treatments that were compatible with pregnancy but they did not work.) Without this treatment (BVT), I was completely bed-bound some days! Without it, my symptoms were numerous and far-reaching: from severe depression, intrusive thoughts to constant heart palpations. I was unable to fulfill my basic duties as a wife and mother.

With treatment, the disease is manageable. the protocol lasts two years. Our circumstances are not ideal.  Although we find practicing NFP necessary at this time, it grieves us. And it should, it’s not normal.

Helen of Troy


Women envious that they can’t disrupt the world to wars, discredit her beauty: Who is that beautiful? No one. Her appeal: Who is that desirable? No one. And shrug it off. But you can’t dismiss ancient myth- Leda and the Swan!- implanted in our psyches. Men sobered by the tale, by  war,  don’t disregard Helen.They see her as an ideal, a villain, a warning, an archetypal woman that could drive you mad!