Dear YCP family,
As I reflect on my life, I can concretely see how God is constantly teaching me things through my experiences. Being the president of YCP has been quite transformative, and I wanted to share with all of you a particularly difficult - but also powerful - experience I had recently.
One of the tasks of the president is to choose speakers. The ideal speaker is a successful professional and most importantly - also what sets us apart from other secular professional groups - a devout Catholic. Many of you may not be aware of this, but every speaker, board member, and member of the leadership team signs a Faithfulness to Church Teachings document. You can find this document at the end of this blog.
In late August, I thought I had found the perfect married couple to speak for us in October. I sent an email with all the final details and a request to sign the document. The next day I received a call from the woman. I will keep this brief because I want to maintain their privacy, but I also need to share my story. She said they couldn’t sign because they disagree with the Church’s teachings on contraception and having only male priests. She asked if I was married, and I said no. She went on to say that those who don’t use contraception have 8 kids or an unhappy marriage, and I should remember this conversation when I am using contraception in my married life. To have someone assume that I would abandon my current beliefs was heavy on my heart. I thought I had found a devout Catholic role model who could give us helpful advice, so it was a painful surprise to hear she thought God’s ideas for marriage wouldn’t lead to happiness. We ended the discussion peacefully, but I did tell her they could not speak for YCP. I only want speakers for you all that fully embrace and live out our faith.
As a medical professional, I have spent many hours researching the physical and psychological effects of contraception and reading JPII’s Theology of the Body. I don’t want to focus on the despair I felt after this phone call, but it did give the enemy an opportunity to throw many lies at me. Was I going to be miserable if I followed Church teaching? Does Jesus really know what will make me and those around me truly joyful? Is all this stuff just archaic and oppressive?
Rather than allowing the doubt to continue to fester, God gave me the nudge to reach out to the faith-filled people in my life. I was reminded of God’s goodness and that following His will gives an indescribable peace. Specifically, I was told of very happy married couples. When they stand before God someday, they can tell Him they gave Him everything and trusted Him with everything, and it lead to a life that was more beautiful than they could have planned.
My biggest grace is the new-found fervor in being called to be a radical disciple of Jesus. I think our generation is hungry for truth and a faith that is not watered down. In the current cultural climate, only Catholics with bold faith can truly flourish. I don’t think we can pick and choose Church doctrine anymore. We are called to be brave and countercultural. It’s going to be an adventure, and we need each other.
Take a moment to review the faithfulness document below. I invite you to read it, even to print it out and sign it. As you do this, I also ask that you ponder one of my favorite quotes from St. John Henry Newman: “1000 questions do not equal one doubt.” Our faith calls us to follow several radical, countercultural teachings. God is not afraid of our questioning because He has the truth. If a teaching happens to be especially difficult for you to understand and/or follow, this is not a reason to leave the Church, but rather to delve in - read the saints, listen to podcasts, talk to a priest. I am confident that in time God will help us understand and give us the grace to live courageously Catholic.
I invite you to come to our speaker series on Oct 16th. In my last minute panic, God provided a devout - but also totally normal - couple to speak for us about marriage. If you’d like to give God the opportunity to teach you through YCP leadership, send me an email and I’d be happy to help you apply!
See you soon, I’m praying for you, and let’s be bold together!
Preview attachment YCP Faithfulness to Church Teaching.pdf
YCP Faithfulness to Church Teaching.pdf
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