July 22, 2018
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
The Church has written several things about sexual morality including on the topic of contraception. Unfortunately, many Catholics are not familiar with these documents. In particular, I encourage everyone to read the encyclical Humanae Vitae, which is the main document explaining the Church’s reasons for condemning the use of artificial birth control.
Very often, people reject the Church’s teaching on contraception without taking an honest look at what the Church teaches and why. In reality, the Church’s teaching on love and life is challenging, but very beautiful and reasonable.
I really hope you will take the time to read the entire document, which is just 13 pages long and can be read online or easily printed from the Vatican website, just search Google for Humanae Vitae. Just this week I re-read it again too. In this bulletin article I’d like to highlight a few of the lines from the document.
“The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.”
“Married love…takes its origin from God, who ‘is love’”.
There is an “inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.”
“to experience the gift of married love while respecting the laws of conception is to acknowledge that one is not the master of the sources of life but rather the minister of the design established by the Creator.”
An act of “sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive [is] intrinsically wrong”.
“If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births…married couples may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained.” This method of observing signs of fertility is called Natural Family Planning, or NFP.
It goes on to acknowledge that, although this is difficult to live in our world today, nevertheless, it is possible with God’s grace, and indeed He will come to the help of couples with “the grace by which the goodwill of men is sustained and strengthened.”
“Then let them implore the help of God…with unremitting prayer and, most of all, let them draw grace and charity from that unfailing fount which is the Eucharist.”
You are in my daily prayers.
God bless you,