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Feb. 8, 2012, at 11:00am
Friend Justine links to this Fox news story about a college in Pennsylvania that has a vending machine where students can purchase "emergency contraception", the so-called Plan B or Morning After pill.
I was especially struck by this defense offered by one senior: "It's a way for students to get the help or care they need".
Help and care from a vending machine?!
You know what the real "message" of the machine to young women is? No one cares about you and what's happening in your life. No one wants to deal with any consequences. You're on your own.
Great post Devra. It fits very well with our motto: tua res agitur.
Dec. 13 at 12:43pm | See in context
I'm late to this discussion, but Patrick, this:
"By virtue of their own decision to have sexual intercourse, couples are, or ought to be, taking responsibility for what may occur (preganancy). "
...is at the core of the practice of NFP. NFP is not indulgence, it is, at it's heart, self-denial. A form of self-denial which Church teaching recognizes as an admirable form of self-sacrificial prudence in cases when a couple discerns that it would do a disservice to the child or the family to indiscriminately invite pregnancy at a particular point in a couple's married life.
I think the terminology of 'contraceptive mentality' does a disservice to everyone in these discussions by conflating two different issues: selfishness (which may be sinful, but not necessarily grave matter), and contraception (which is an act which constitutes grave matter, and, when intentionality and knowledge are present, may constitute moral sin).
A couple may use NFP selfishly, though I would agree with Katie that it doesn't seem to be the greatest risk out there. But they cannot use NFP contraceptively because NFP does not, in fact, in any way interfere with the nature and form of the marital act.
Dec. 13 at 12:16pm | See in context
Samwise, are you familiar with the second half of that prayer? It's wonderful (and applicable):
"God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next."
Dec. 13 at 12:04pm | See in context
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen
Dec. 13 at 11:50am | See in context
Ouch. That hits me where it hurts...in a good way, much as does Francis' writing! (I'm only two thirds through the exhortation, still trying to avoid other people's interpretations and read what it has to say to me...challenging stuff!)
Dec. 13 at 11:43am | See in context
Another heartening discovery: to find that a man such as Dietrich von Hildebrand would not agree that criticism of a Pope or Bishop is necessarily uncharitable or beyond the competency of the layman, and the entryway for clericailism that such thinking produces. DvH was prophetic.
Dec. 10 at 3:02pm | See in context
I know there may be some couples who use NFP that way, but personally, I find it hard to imagine.
Generally speaking, to forego birth control and choose NFP, because it's the only licit means of spacing children, is to be a morally serious, pro-life person. To willingly accept the sacrificies and discipline involved NFP is to be committed to right values.
Selfish, superficial, or irreligious people are unlikely to put up with it.
Again, I don't say it's impossible, just unlikely.
I think this is a big part of the explanation for why the percentage of couples who use NFP getting divorced is so miniscule. People who use NFP are (broadly speaking) people who are serious about the Church's teaching on marriage and sexuality—not just in its "negative" aspect (what's not allowed), but also in its positive aspect (life is good; children are a gift, etc.) They also, on average, have a lot more kids than couples who practice birth control, which stands to reason, because NFP is essentially life affirming.
Dec. 5 at 12:54pm | See in context
It depends on how the purposes of NFP are understood. If taken, as I believe the Church intends, as a means to avoid pregnancy for grave reasons, then no. If NFP however is taken as a 'lifestyle' where the openess to children is put on par with other pursuits, then yes: it is the contraceptive mentality at work.
Dec. 5 at 9:32am | See in context
I thought of your point 5 from post #41 (The gates of Hell not prevailing) today when reading an interview with Bishop Fellay, wherein he discusses in the section, "The Church however has promises of eternal life," how the Church is suffering today, the "climate of confusion" that makes one's head spin. It was heartening to read, because it is the best articulation I've seen yet of the kind of confusion I mentioned above, and because he encourages the faithful to keep the faith in these trying times.
Dec. 5 at 9:29am | See in context
Yes, every married couple promises to be open to children and to receive children generously. And every conjugal act must be open (i.e. not artificially closed). If a pregnancy occurs, the child is to be received as a gift, cherished, cared for and educated.
A couple cannot licitly refuse children. A couple cannot artificially prevent children, either through contraception or through sterilization.
Yes, as with all human acts, our agency is embedded within the higher and deeper agency of God. When a new person comes into existence, God always is the prime Creator.
Do you see a disagreement somewhere?
Dec. 5 at 5:20am | See in context
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