Alright Sistas! Let’s talk about contraception and theology.
People opine a lot that someday there can be a development of doctrine that will permit the practice of contraception, but they don’t understand the reason why contraception can never be permitted. Catholic moral laws are most fundamentally rooted in love. That is probably the single most misunderstood part of moral theology. It’s about love.
A marriage, man and woman united as one, is the most 1) fundamental and 2) intimate social unit. Scripture describes how the Father, the First Person of the Trinity, conceives the Word and begets the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, gives all of Himself to the Son except to be Father. Did you catch the eternal fecundity in God, conceiving and begetting?
From the Father and the Son together – as one substance – breaths forth the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit, which is Love Himself. In God there is perfect unity, perfect giving, perfect receiving, perfect love between three Persons, so much so that they are One God.
Families are a reflection of that perfection.
Anything that compromises the openness to communication and personified love for each other and for children cannot, therefore, be permissible. What is revealed by God is infallible, and Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, said that loving God and your neighbor is the basis of the whole law.
“You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depends the whole law and the prophets.” Matthew 22: 37-40
Father Benedict Ashley O.P. addresses contraception in his book, “Living the Truth in Love” and says that contraception, just as anything else that degrades the sexual act to an act only for recreation, “depersonalizes love.” (221-222) It is intrinsically immoral to render the beautiful and loving gift of the sexual act between a husband and a wife sterile by mechanical, surgical, or chemical means in order to merely obtain for one’s self sexual pleasure unrelated to procreation. That is what we call selfishness. Ahem, selfishness is a vice, and vices do not lead to real happiness.
This wonderful, loving truth is what makes the nasty demons roar their ugly lies. Why? Because the destruction of the family is Satan’s most effective weapon. Break families and you break people, then you break society. God made us to belong, to be loved, to be known – and we are desperate without it. Satan is against love and unity, a cosmic war on the family.
Therefore, if a doctrine developed that permitted contraception, it would be a doctrine that directly contradicted the very basis of the entire moral law from God for how man is to live and find happiness, and for how man is to achieve an eternal life of bliss. Doctrine cannot contradict the infallible revelations of God. God is Love. God is Unity. God perfectly communicates Love.
God is not, “Come here baby and let me hold you and use you, but first I need to medicate myself against you or wrap myself up in plastic so I don’t really touch you because you might do something to me that is unplanned.”
However, it should be noted that it is permissible to know and communicate the natural cycles of the body between married couples, and to choose to abstain from the procreative act during fertile periods, so long as the couple does not completely become closed to raising a family in love.
OK, bring it home then.
When I see my husband, the love of my life, stare at our baby boy as if he would pour all of himself into that child if only it were somehow mystically possible, and when I even begin to think of the damage it would do to that child were our sacred marital bond ever broken, I understand the Blessed Trinity, One God as three Persons, a little better and I am lifted Heavenward.
Contraception robs you of that.
“The thief comes not, but for to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
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About Stacy Trasancos
Stacy Trasancos, Ph.D. is a scientist turned homemaker raising seven children with her husband in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. She is pursuing a MA in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, and she is Editor-in-Chief at Ignitum Today and Catholic Stand, and a Senior Editor at Catholic Lane. She writes about popular science, dogmatic theology, and mountain life at her website.