Thursday, July 12, 2012

100% Organic Love

“When a man and woman consciously and of their own free will choose to marry and have sexual relations, they choose at the same time the possibility of procreation... And it is only when they do so that they put their sexual relationship within the framework of marriage on a truly personal level.”
- Karol Wojtyla, Love and Responsibility

I'm going to talk about my favorite controversial subject here... *drum roll please*... contraception! If you don't want to listen to a little tangent on crazy-holy, beautiful, organic sex...
then you probably should walk away now :-) You've been warned. Lol.

Nathan and I have been married for 3 years this summer and I still can't get over the goodness of God's order and design for man and woman in marriage. You know, from the very beginning God was trying to tell us what's up, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it...'” (Gen. 1:27-28). I imagine this whole thing going down at the first WEDDING CEREMONY... Adam and Eve standing in awe of the gift of each other in the presence of God... and this was his HOMILY – this was his BLESSING on them.

“Man cannot find himself except by making a sincere gift of himself.” - Gaudium et Spes

I tell Nathan all the time, because I love to talk about contraception, remember? lol... that I can't imagine what our marriage would be like if contraception was part of it.

Here's what I can gather on contraception inside of marriage...

is almost always one spouse's responsibility

treats pregnancy as a disease that should be avoided at all costs

harmful side effects (many contraceptives are actually listed as harmful carcinogens)

prone to failure / leads to spouses condemning each other

can turn sex into a habit

can make conception and sustaining a pregnancy difficult in the future

messes with hormones for both men and women

is known to decrease sex drive

opens the door for infidelity / a spouse can be unfaithful without repercussions

sends the message to your spouse that you want all of them (what gives you pleasure) EXCEPT their fertility

I could go on and on and on....

So we're all just supposed to get married and pro-create like rabbits, right?!?!? Here's what my favorite late pope, JP2, has to say to that...

“Unfortunately, Catholic thought is often misunderstood on this point, as if the Church supported an ideology of fertility at all costs, urging married couples to procreate indiscriminately and without thought for the future. But one need only study the pronouncements of the Magisterium to know that this is NOT so. Truly, in begetting life the spouses fulfill one of the highest dimensions of their calling: they are God's co-workers. Precisely for this reason they must have an extremely responsible attitude. In deciding whether or not to have a child, they must not be motivated by selfishness or carelessness, but by a prudent, conscious generosity that weighs the possibilities and circumstances, and especially gives priority to the welfare of the unborn child. Therefore, when there is a reason not to procreate, this choice is permissible and may even be necessary.” - July 1994 Angelus address

Here's where the Church hands us the gift of Natural Family Planning! To use NFP a couple must take an upclose and personal look at the woman's cycle. A truly beautiful ART to master -for both the man and woman. This raw, organic approach to having a family can be such a blessing and answers the skeptic's rebuttal: “God not only said to procreate, but to SUBDUE the earth... responsible parenthood!” Yes, we ARE to subdue the earth and take care of what God has given us. NFP empowers a couple to prayerfully discern whether it is a good time to conceive a child or not. If not – couples can abstain from sexual union during the fertile phase.... and “God-willing” postpone pregnancy until the discerned time. I say “God-willing” because without contraception in the way there is ALWAYS a chance that God can act. An NFP couple allows God to trump EVERY TIME! They are OPEN, in a sense, because they have not closed the way with artificial instruments.

Natural Family Planning allows a couple to...

share the responsibility of husband and wife / it takes TWO!

communicate more about each others' bodies

pRAY and DISCERN together about their marriage and family

keep the passion alive by taking breaks from sexual activity to work on other ways of loving

intentionally conceive

avoid harmful side effects, both physical, emotional, and spiritual – NFP is natural goodness

build virtue together

increase their LOVE and RESPECT for each other

frees a couple from being bound by sexual desires and allows them to be GIFT OF SELF

embrace ALL of the other with no reservations or barriers in the way


“The man who abstains from bodily pleasures and delights in this very fact is temperate, while the man who is annoyed at it is self-indulgent.”
- Aristotle , 366 B.C., Nicomachean Ethics

I love and respect my husband so much for being interested and taking the time to learn my body's unique rhythm. I feel like he is MAN for me as he takes care of my WHOLE person, especially by denying his own sexual desires to honor God inside of our marriage.

And can I just say that I LOVE the joy we share each month at the idea of conceiving another child. Because we are “open” there is always a little excitement at the idea of God working through our union to bring about HIS will! The other night we had a conversation that went something like this...

“How was your day, Brit?”

“Oh it was good. I woke up from my nap with the kids and felt nauseous though.”

**Nathan cocks head slightly with a playful grin as he bends over and starts talking to my STOMACH!....**
“Hello, little baby!!! Hello hello!!! I LOVE YOU!”

Just a good way to share our JOY of being open to life with you :-)

I'm going to close with one of my favorite paragraphs from G.K. Chesterton's, Orthodoxy:

“It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again' to the sun; and every evening 'Do it again' to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes the daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never gotten tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore. Heaven may encore the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life of purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain.”

God creates because he LOVES to LOVE. If we are indeed made in His image, perhaps it is the same for us. Husband and wife, united to the Father, LOVE to love! And since LOVE is creative it brings forth new creation... and we LOVE 'em up – one baby at a time!


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