Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Birth Control Pill vs. the Magic Pill

Did you know that there's a way to become automatically virtuous, so much so that discernment and deliberation and uncertainty vanish and that every decision you make about a certain subject is automatically correct?

No, it's not by means of mortification or by the long and frustrating process of trial and error and increasing maturity.  It's by charting your wife's fertile periods, taking her basal temperature, analyzing her vaginal secretions and examining her cervix.  And by giving money to the NFP industry.

In addressing the question of "serious motives" or "grave reasons" that the Church teaches must be present for having sex only when you think your wife won't get pregnant, Fr. Richard Hogan of "NFP Outreach" makes a rather stunning assertion (my emphasis) ...

NFP ... builds a respect for human life. With this respect in place through the use of NFP, any decision by a couple to try to achieve a pregnancy or to avoid will be made for a good reason. It is not that serious reasons are not necessary—they are. But, a couple practicing NFP after taking the classes and knowing the method, practicing their faith attending Church and receiving the sacraments, with an active prayer life, and conscientious about the religious education of their children, will, if they decide to avoid a pregnancy, have serious reasons. 

In other words, NFP is the magic pill.  The NFP Outreach spokesman assures us that if you buy into the technique, BINGO! your discernment process is solved.  Any reason you come up with for separating sex from babies will, since you've come up with it, be a serious one! 

Thinking of not making babies for a few years in order to enjoy a more materialist lifestyle?  Hoping to put off, for the sake of convenience, being hassled by another immortal soul making a mess in the house whose smelly diapers need to be changed?  If you  answer Hell yes I'm thinking of avoiding that! and you've paid to take the NFP classes (plus if you've prayed and received the sacraments), your decision to put off making a baby is automatically valid and moral!  If you've simply prayed and received the sacraments, it is not.

Maybe this is why we can't evangelize well any more, we devout Catholics.  We're suckers - suckers who congratulate themselves for being Catholic and virtuous - and the rest of the world can see it.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

My first marriage was not sacramental, but a civil contract between two unbaptized persons. My husband's first "marriage" was in fact an adulterous relationship as he'd married a divorced Protestant outside the church. So to make a long story short, after many trials we two Catholics having repented of worldly BS found one another, fell in love and decided to marry SACRAMENTALLY--joined in the eyes of God, with full understanding of the incredible beauty, poetry and mystery of this Catholic Sacrament. For both of us this is our first and only true marriage.

Part of marriage preparation was an NFP class, but just the thought of it made my heart sink to the depths of Mordor. The exact same deep deflation of spirit occurred during my conversion process whenever I let myself be swayed against the Church so that "feeling" is a huge red flag. My husband and I are in our low fertility years and just the thought of declining, however politely, an Abraham and Sarah miracle felt like an affront to love and hope, It was disappointing to be encouraged to do so.

This weekend my husband wanted to know where I wanted to go for Mother's Day and I told him I always feel strange celebrating that day with him because I'm not the mother of his children and he said, "Yes, but you could be." Which was a profound statement on so many levels.