(the last of a six-part series)
The solution to all of this is obvious. We can only contain today’s evil and disorder by teaching people that the following of God’s law, as expressed in Natural Law and as taught by the Church, is the only way to stable families, communities and nations. We cannot maintain a healthy and strong society by simply ignoring Natural Law or virtue or trying to suppress the consequences of man’s disordered actions with technological and even murderous “fixes”—that only serve or increase vice and deepen the degeneration.
Contracepting people offer many rationalizations and defense mechanisms for the unnaturalness of their self-imposed sterility, but the separation of sex from procreation never delivers the so-called “happiness” that is propagandized. Contraception is intrinsically disordered and in conflict with the very essence of what it means to be human: made in the image of God, made to love and be loved in exclusivity, made to love and be open to fruitfulness in fidelity. The truth of the matter is that the contraception mentality entrenches people in selfishness and, as such, contracepting people cannot truly love or attain true happiness. One very interesting and concrete illustration of this is that people who abstain from sex before marriage, and remain faithful and open to fruitfulness after marriage, have a divorce rate of about three to six percent, according to a range of studies; those who are sexually active before marriage and use contraception have a divorce rate of more than fifty percent.
Another sad phenomenon that reflects the natural consequences of the contraception lie is that women who have been on the Pill or similar steroids for many years, and who then finally decide that they are “ready” for a child, discover that they cannot conceive. Every year, thousands of these women are stunned to find that their fertility has been permanently damaged, and they feel compelled to resort to hugely expensive and unreliable (and often immoral) assisted reproductive technologies in pursuit of the children they rejected years before.
God is Love: love gives itself to the beloved and s naturally fruitful; therefore, the human person can only be happy—in this life and in the next—when he can love and be open to fruitfulness, according to his dignity as a human person made in God’s image. Our Lord Jesus established the Catholic Church not to place limits ad restrictions upon us, but to teach us how to live on earth in accordance with our dignity as persons created in the image of God and to thus one day live forever with Him in Heaven.
What is the remedy to this catastrophe?
(This article was actually primarily addressed to priest and future priests; this however does not mean that this cannot be addressed likewise to the lay faithful as well)
As priests, you will have the power to promote God’s plan for a culture of life and love, wherever you are, in any part of the world. This is, in fact, the greatest mission of the Church today. If you preach against contraception, people of good will listen because they naturally thirst for the truth. If they embrace this truth, they can recognize that procreation is good, they can repudiate the “contraceptive mentality” which rejects God’s plan, and they will have the opportunity to learn to love authentically. Marriage and family can begin to flourish; and as children are increasingly welcomed and loved, stable societies can be restored.
But they must hear this from you, the priests. By not preaching against contraception, you will be giving an unspoken approval of it; you will be, in a very real manner, contracepting the truth by acting as a barrier between God’s truth and His people. As Pope St. Felix III so famously proclaimed, “Not to oppose error is to approve it; not to defend the truth is to suppress it”.
By preaching the fullness of the Gospel of Life and refuting all aspects of a contraceptive mentality, not only will your people be much happier and more fully human, but you will be happier as well. you will spend less time in marriage counseling and mediating family conflicts, and much more time in performing baptisms and marriages that last a lifetime. Your parish, and the souls of your people, will be serene.
The Church’s fundamental mission today is to labor for the establishment of a “culture of life”, so encouraged by Bl. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, by “making disciples of all nations”. We cannot do this by simply eliminating something that is evil; we must bring about the restoration of civilization by understanding and embracing what is fundamentally good: in this case, authentic human love. fidelity in marriage, and openness to fruitfulness within the context of committed married love, living thus in accordance with our dignity as persons created in God’s image—the image of love.
Such evangelization is no longer just a great good. It is a necessity if we are to survive.