God’s Natural, Beautiful Design

“The fact is, as experience shows, that new life is not the result of each and every act of sexual intercourse.” Humanae Vitae

God’s natural, beautiful design is that women are only fertile for a short time each month. Taking into account egg life (48 hours at most) and sperm life (up to five days depending on the type of mucus in the woman’s body), there are approximately seven fertile days in a woman’s cycle.

Other factors include each woman’s individual level of fertility, the type of mucus, their age (the younger they are, the more fertile) and the man’s particular level of fertility (sperm count and quality of sperm). For a normal healthy couple actively seeking a pregnancy, it usually happens within six months.

Intercourse is not supposed to result in pregnancy every time a couple engages in the marital embrace. And contrary to popular belief, the Catholic Church does not teach that a couple must actively seek pregnancy every time they engaged in marital relations. But she does teach that intercourse must at least implicitly retain its procreative meaning. Therefore, if spacing or avoidance of pregnancy is desired, the couple may use Natural Family Planning…that is, relations during the infertile time.

NFP is safe, healthy and effective and works as good, if not better, than most of the popular contraceptive devices without any of the side effects.

Let us pray each time we approach the marital bed: “I take you to be my spouse. I come here freely, I love you totally and I am open to creating children with you.”

Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Article in Local Newspaper

A few days ago, the local newspaper printed an article about me and it’s now been uploaded to their website.

“Ellen Gable Hrkach has been awarded the gold (first place) medal in Religious Fiction in the 2010 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards for her novel, In Name Only. Hrkach, whose first novel, Emily’s Hope, won an Honorable Mention Award in the 2006 IPPY Awards, accepted her gold medal at a gala awards ceremony in New York City on May 25.”

To read more, click on the link below:


For those readers who are local, feel free to visit the Arnprior Public Library on Saturday and say hello! There will be freebies available to everyone who purchases a copy of my second book!

copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

The Hour Is Late

Patti Maguire Armstrong has written an excellent article at the Integrated Catholic Life website/magazine which begins:

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please? Put down the birth control. You heard me. Put it down and walk away.

I don’t like to be harsh, but the hour is late. The citizens of many countries belong on the endangered species because they are dying out. Never before in the history of the world have so many countries lost so many people without disease or war to blame. This loss is by choice and it’s downright suicidal.”

To read the rest, click here:


Beautiful Quote

This is a beautiful quote by Lawrence Lovasik from his book, the Hidden Power of Kindness, published by Sophia Press:

“If you want to win souls for Christ, you must willingly endure the anguish for sins that sinners do not experience, in order to win at least ultimately the grace of repentance for them. You may have to go through the agonies of delayed hopes for many hearts, and even seeming failure at the end, for someone whose soul has been your deep concern. But your sincere devotion to bring a soul to Christ will not be in vain. God knows the secret workings of His grace in souls.”

This quote sums up one of the themes of my first book, Emily’s Hope. As well, it can be an appropriate quote for mothers (like St. Monica, who prayed for many years that her son, St. Augustine, would repent and convert.)

Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

The Mystery of Things by Debra Murphy

Here is the link to my latest review on CatholicFiction.net of Debra Murphy’s The Mystery of Things:


It was a hard-to-put down, compelling tale and one of the most entertaining and engaging Catholic novels I’ve ever read, filled with rich language and beautiful imagery, as well as excellent (and brilliant) writing. There’s a definite Flannery O’Connor feel to it, but this novel was unlike any other Catholic novel I had ever read. As an NFP teacher and as a novelist whose own books’ themes center around the Theology of the Body, I was particular impressed with how well the author illustrated these teachings within the context of the book.

Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

How To Help Your College Kids Remain Chaste

My new column at Catholic Mom is entitled: How To Help Your College Kids Remain Chaste:


“Chastity is the sure way to happiness.”

This quote by John Paul II brings to light the importance of chastity in our sex-saturated culture. A friend of ours once stated, “It doesn’t matter how well you raise your children. There are no guarantees they will wait until marriage to have sex.” While this is true, I believe that, as parents, we can stack the odds in our favor and help our college-aged children remain chaste.

Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach

Canadian Women Sue Birth Control Manufacturer

Interesting article on LifeSiteNews about a group of Canadian Women who are suing Bayer Pharmaceutical claiming that it “does not adequately inform users of the potential serious health risks associated with the oral contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin.”


“Matthew Baer, legal counsel at Siskinds, told the media that he has evidence about the health risks of the product, which uses drospirenone, a synthetic progestin that has been linked to over 25,000 reported cases of adverse effects and several deaths.”

Top Five Challenges of Using NFP

Interesting article and discussion on NFP at the “Engaged Marriage” website:


“Do I love Natural Family Planning? Yep, guilty as charged. But I also understand why NFP is practiced by less than 5% of couples in their child-bearing years. If Natural Family Planning were the easy choice, everyone would use it, right? Well, probably not, but I recognize the challenges of using NFP because we live with them every day.”

Thanks, Dustin, for the great article!

Abstinence: A Blessing or a Curse?

My new column is up at Amazing Catechists and is entitled Abstinence: A Blessing or a Curse:


Abstinence has been a challenging aspect of NFP for us, but I have also discovered that it is what has made our intimate life more exciting. As a woman, I have never felt used. When we abstain from marital relations, it doesn’t mean that we stop loving each other. In fact, we can become more aware of the friendship part of our relationship.

Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach