To answer you: no, I don’t have the right to tell people what to believe, no. Believing, and acting upon what we believe, must be completely free. You and I and everyone has this freedom, God-given. What I can do is to tell others of what I believe and how it brings me and my loved ones happiness. It is all God’s grace, and this sort of thing is fruitful: we want others to enjoy the same joy! Now the Church not only has authority, but it is Her mission to tell us what is right. But our membership in the Church is also completely free.
If I may elaborate on the contraception issue—for those interested in reading. I don’t mean to offend anyone. Raising seven kids, some pretty close together, has not been easy, as anyone can imagine. To this day, as my youngest is 12, it isn't easy. We don’t have and have never had disposable income. We have never taken the kids to Disney or any resort for that matter. Our best vacations? Camping trips to beautiful state parks with other like-minded large families. Did I feel at times like dressing up, dropping off my kids somewhere and having an interesting, intellectually-challenging work day? You bet. Did I ever wish I were driving a neat SUV instead of the big old van? Certainly. Or that we could take the kids to restaurants more often? Yes. Would I do differently if I had the chance? Heavens, No! The sorrows of raising a bunch of kids on one-income, I believe, are so minor compared to what I have seen, personally, as the sorrows in the hearts of contracepting women: I couldn't count how many times I have been stopped in public places by women who had their eyes moist as they watched us. “I wish today I had had more children”.... is the common statement. It breaks the heart. I know this is just empirical, and probably because my kids were well-behaved and I’m smiley and outgoing, and perhaps these were the only women in America who go around carrying a sorrowful heart—but I doubt it. I think artificial contraception comes in opposition to what is in the depths of the heart of most women, a God-given, natural inclination to motherhood, nurturing, family love. I have a masters degree but have been always at home. I have done a variety of small, creative things to earn a little $ and to fulfill my own desire to improve my mind. Writing has been one of them, but there are many ways women can do a little bit of satisfying work without relinquishing the care of their children to another person, I think. In any event, it has been a good, wonderful, fulfilling life—full of small sorrows, yes, but all under a big-picture of doing something Beautiful and ultimately rewarding!
Monday, February 25, 2013
There is an article on the National Catholic Register entitled Those Catholic Women Who Use Contraception. As of today the comments section is at 347 comments! You will have the usual naysayers and whiners, and also the angry bunch, but there are quite a few comments from people who are genuinely interested in the subject. I have written a few, in response to some questions, and here is one I wrote yesterday.