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Men and women considering marriage yearn for certain things. They want to be accepted unconditionally by each other. They want their marriage to be filled with love and happiness. They want a family.
In short, they want their marriage to be a source of joy and fulfillment their whole life long. The desire and ability of a man and woman to form a lasting bond of love and life in marriage are written into their nature. In the Rite of Marriage a man and woman are asked if they will love one another faithfully and totally—in short, if they will love as God loves.
Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church? The spouses seal their love and commitment through their sexual union. Many today find it difficult to understand how profound and meaningful this union is, how it embodies these promises of marriage. Our culture often presents sex as merely recreational, not as a deeply personal or even important encounter between spouses. In this view, being responsible about sex simply means limiting its consequences—avoiding disease and using contraceptives to prevent pregnancy.
This cultural view is impoverished, even sad. It fails to for the true needs and deepest desires of men and women. Living in accord with this view has caused much loneliness and many broken hearts. Here sexuality is the source of a joy and pleasure that helps the spouses give themselves to each other completely and for their entire lives. Marriage is more than a civil contract; it is a lifelong covenant of love between a man and a woman. It is an intimate partnership in which husbands and wives learn to give and receive love unselfishly, and then teach their children to do so as well.
The Church teaches that the sexual union of husband and wife is meant to express the full meaning of love, its power to bind a couple together and its openness to new life. A husband and wife express their committed love not only with words, but with the language of their bodies. So the question about contraception is this: Does sexual intercourse using contraception faithfully affirm this committed love?
Or does it introduce a false note into this conversation? Married love differs from any other love in the world. By its nature, the love of husband and wife is so complete, so ordered to a lifetime of communion with God and each other, that it is open to creating a new human being they will love and care for together. Therefore, the mutual gift of fertility is an integral part of the bonding power of marital intercourse.
That power to create a new life with God is at the heart of what spouses share with each other. To be sure, spouses who are not granted the gift of children can have a married life that is filled with Beautiful couples wants love DC and meaning. This may seem a hard saying. Certainly it is a teaching that many couples today, through no fault of their own, have not heard or not heard in a way they could appreciate and understand.
But as many couples who have turned away from contraception tell us, living this teaching can contribute to the honesty, openness, and intimacy of marriage and help make couples truly fulfilled. Some argue that if a husband and wife remain open to children throughout their marriage, they need not worry about using contraception occasionally. But practicing what is good most of the time does not justify doing what is wrong some of the time. By such acts, I begin to make myself into the kind of person who lies. A couple need not desire or seek to have in each and every act of intercourse.
And it is not wrong for couples to have intercourse even when they know the wife is naturally infertile, as discussed below. But they should never act to suppress or curtail the life-giving power given by God that is an integral part of what they pledged to each other in their marriage vows.
This is what the Church means by saying that every act of intercourse must remain open to life and that contraception is objectively immoral. The essential qualities of self-restraint, self-discipline, mutual respect, and shared responsibility carry over to all facets of our marriage, making our relationship more intimate.
Certainly not. The Church teaches that a couple may generously decide to have a large family, or may for serious reasons choose not to have more children for the time being or even for Beautiful couples wants love DC indefinite period Humanae Vitaeno. In married life, serious circumstances—financial, physical, psychological, or those involving responsibilities to other family members—may arise to make an increase in family size untimely.
The Church understands this, while encouraging couples to take a generous view of children. This is the principle behind natural family planning NFP. Natural methods of family planning involve fertility education that enables couples to cooperate with the body as God deed it. We have gained so much by using NFP and have lost nothing.
A man is fertile throughout his life, while a woman is fertile for only a few days each cycle during the child-bearing years. Some believe that NFP involves using a calendar to predict the fertile time. That is not what NFP is today. A woman experiences clear, observable s indicating when she is fertile and when she is infertile.
Learning to observe and understand these s is at the heart of education in natural family planning. When a couple decides to postpone pregnancy, NFP can be very effective. NFP can also be very helpful for couples who desire to have because it identifies the time of ovulation. It is used by many fertility specialists for this purpose. Thus a couple can have marital relations at a time when they know that conception is most likely to take place.
On the surface, there may seem to be little difference. But the end result is not the only thing that matters, and the way we get to that result may make an enormous moral difference. Couples who have practiced natural family planning after using contraception have experienced a profound difference in the meaning of their sexual intimacy. When couples use contraception, either physical or chemical, they suppress their fertility, asserting that they alone have ultimate control over this power to create a new human life. This is the difference between choosing to falsify the full marital language of the body and choosing at certain times not to speak that language.
Rather, NFP respects the God-given power to love a new human life into being even when we are not actively seeking to exercise that power. However, because NFP does not change the human Beautiful couples wants love DC in any way, or upset its balance with potentially harmful drugs or devices, people of other faiths or of no religious affiliation have also come to accept and use it from a desire to work in harmony with their bodies.
They have also found that it le couples to show greater attentiveness to and respect for each other. It has called me to cherish my wife rather than simply desire her. Many would likely be surprised at how long all Christian churches agreed on this teaching against contraception. It was only in that some Protestant denominations began to reject this long-held position. Those opposed to this trend predicted an increase in premarital sex, adultery, acceptance of divorce, and abortion. Later, inPope Paul VI warned that the use of contraception would allow one spouse to treat the other more like an object than a person, and that in time governments would be tempted to impose laws limiting family size.
These predictions have come true. Today we see a pandemic of sexually transmitted diseases, an enormous rise in cohabitation, one in three children born outside of marriage, and abortion used by many when contraception fails. Some methods of birth control are aimed at preventing the union of sperm and egg and therefore act only as contraceptives.
These would include barriers such as condoms and diaphragms.
By contrast, hormonal methods such as the Pill may work in several ways. They can suppress ovulation or alter cervical mucus to prevent fertilization, and thus act contraceptively. But they may at times have other effects, such as changes to the lining of the uterus. If the contraceptive action fails and fertilization takes place, these hormonal methods may make it impossible for a newly conceived life to implant and survive.
That would be a very early abortion. Medical opinions differ on whether or how often this may occur. Currently there is no way to know precisely how these drugs work at any given time in an individual woman. In some cases these pills are taken when sperm and egg have already ed to create a new life, in which case the drug could not have any effect except to cause an early abortion.
By using contraception, couples may think that they are avoiding problems or easing tensions, that they are exerting control over their lives. But the gift of being able to help create another person, a new human being with his or her own life, involves profound relationships. It affects our relationship with God, who created us complete with this powerful gift. It involves whether spouses will truly love and accept each other as they are, including their gift of fertility.
Finally, it involves the way spouses will spontaneously accept their child as a gift from God and the fruit of their mutual love. Like all important relationships with other persons, it is not subject solely to our individual control. In the end, this gift is far richer and more rewarding than that. You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. But husbands and wives have not been left alone to live out this fundamental life challenge.
If you have failed to do so in the past, do not be discouraged.
God loves you and wants your ultimate happiness. Loving as Christ loves is a possibility opened to us by the power of the Holy Spirit, as a free gift of God. Through prayer and the sacraments, including Reconciliation and the Eucharist, God offers us the strength to live up to this challenge. The following list of resources begins with practical assistance and brief articles, and it concludes with books and major Church documents that explore the Church's vision of responsible parenthood at a deeper level.
It was approved for publication by the full body of bishops at its November General Meeting and has been authorized for publication by the undered. David J. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Published by Servant Books, an imprint of St. Anthony Messenger Press. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder.Beautiful couples wants love DC
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