Discovering the Roots of the Contraception Battle: Weeds in the Garden of the Culture of Life
blessing of family members and focused on expressing the call to generosity and trust.
However, in an attempt to attract new business, the message was tailored to sound more appealing to younger couples, who'd grown up without benefit of well formed consciences in the area of Church teaching. Serious reason was replaced with responsible parenthood. Not that responsible parenthood isn't a goal, but it seems more in line with the culture's vision that responsible adults are the ones who limit their family size to one boy and one girl. The new slant is toward having a goal every cycle, to either be working at achieving or avoiding. Those of us whose goal is total surrender to God's total dominion over our love lives are labeled Providentialists, a term more synonymous with religious zealots (aka freaks).
In the state I live in, there can hardly be found a single ob/gyn practice that doesn't embrace the culture of death. While looking for a new physician, I called about a dozen offices and asked about their acceptance of Natural Family Planning. Each time the receptionist misunderstood me and readily rattled off the lists of hormonal contraceptives they could provide me with. Forced to choose a practice, I chose one that was recommended by pro-life friends, who praised one of the physicians as being both Catholic and the father of a large family.
Presenting in the office, I was immediately bombarded with advertisements for contraception in nearly every room.
Not a single pro-life, pro-NFP message was found anywhere. As an added challenge, in the state of NC, home birth midwives, who provide a real pro-life, pro-family, pro-woman alternative, are illegal. One cannot ignore the effect this has on other less informed women. If the message everywhere in the "world"(from your doctor's office and hospitals, to print ads and commercials) is one of anti-life, it isn't hard to understand why even seemingly pro-life people easily make some concessions.
Are we just supposed to give up and let the fields return to the wild? Should we just accept that the land has already been conquered by the enemy? No way!
But if we continue to focus all of our attention on a single issue like the HHS mandate alone, then we simply break a weed or two from its stem while leaving all the deep root age behind. My beloved Catholic Church is to be applauded for holding fast to Truth, but we as the Body of Christ must rise up and shine in every place and circumstance.
We must examine our consciences continually and ask ourselves if we are willing to follow the examples of St. Gianna Beretta Molla and Chiara Corbella, who sacrificed their lives (literally) in order that their unborn children could live. This call to live our faith, means clinging to the Cross which entails real actions, real sacrifices. Perhaps, for too long, the majority have grown accustomed to merely glancing at the Crucifix and so have lost sight of the need to kiss it.
We conjure up every manner of excuse for how we can tolerate individual situations that fuel the culture of death. In my own case, well intentioned people have attempted to dissuade me from remaining completely open to life because in recent years it has meant much loss and physical suffering. In the case of physicians, they claim it is too big a risk to their livelihood to stop authoring prescriptions for abortifacients. And the excuses we all make go on and on.
It is long past time to relinquish control, give God everything and trust in His promises to provide for His people. Yes, we must do battle in the public square, but we must also work diligently and overtly for His glory. Not that we should be self-righteous like the Pharisees, but when people in the "world" look at us, they should see our unwavering love and devotion to Christ Jesus. We'll make mistakes, we'll fail some days, so then we should run to confession and adoration so that the Divine Gardener can prune our hearts and refresh spirits. Realize that the blood of martyrs waters the mustard seed, so pray for courage and fortitude. Let us remember his first command was to "be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it."
The old laws may have changed, but the commandments never will. Find inspiration in knowing that there is no doubt that Christ will be the Victor. Accept your vocation and within it carry His standard high in the battlefields. Recognize that we must fight tirelessly on all fronts to extirpate the source of the culture of death. If we all conform ourselves to the task at hand, we can be confident that in His time the garden will return to its former beauty.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: contraception, HHS mandate, NFP, Natural Family Planning, contraception, contraceptive mentality, Tara K. E. Brelinsky
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