Skip to content

The Wedding Feast vs. Table Scraps

By John Mallon
© 2005 by John Mallon
Catholic Online

Last year I did some work for an organization that deserves much more attention than it's getting. The organization, which I mentioned in my last article is the Population Research Institute of Front Royal, VA. Their mission statement, as stated on their website (, is "The Population Research Institute is dedicated to stopping human rights abuses committed in the name of family planning, and through research and education to dispelling the myth of overpopulation."

Yes, overpopulation is a myth. Around the turn of the 19th Century an Anglican Minister named Thomas Malthus wrote an essay that became famous and actually influenced Charles Darwin. In a nutshell Malthus believed that human reproduction would out-pace the planet's ability to sustain and feed the people of the earth.

The alarmist predictions of Malthus have been proven wrong time and time again, yet this idea was revived in a book called The Population Bomb by Paul Erlich in the 1960s. Variations of the theory are put into practice by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The West is obsessed with contraception and the notion that children are something to be avoided at all costs or, when "wanted," seen as instruments of self-fulfillment. We cannot help but think the obsession with imposing these attitudes to the developing world is a salve for a conscience nearly moribund from opposing our most noble human instincts.

For over two decades PRI has been warning of this very crisis now coming home to roost if Western nations continued in their irrational anti-natalist policies, and Chicken Little alarmist "family planning" measures. At the root of much of this artificial alarm has been the more hidden agenda for "consequence free" sex, pushed under the rubric of "reproductive health" and sexual and reproductive rights."

Needless to say, sex is a very powerful motivator and the push has been on for decades to mow down anything that stands in the way of the agenda that wants official moral sanction of sexual pleasure in any and all forms. This process, by its nature moves sex from being a selfless act of self-giving and sacrifices to a selfish act free from any and all responsibility.

Two major impediments to this agenda is any form of traditional religion, all of which place sexual activity in the context of marriage, defined as between one man and one woman bound in love and a freely chosen life-long commitment. Love as always, seeks to flower in fruitfulness and in marriage does so uniquely in the form of children which forms a family, the fundamental source of society and social stability.

This of course, for the sexual ideologue, is the second impediment which is the possibility of offspring resulting from sexual encounters.

The sexual ideologues have succeeded in creating a Catch-22 on which they base many of their arguments. They point to the fact that many modern families are failing as proof that the traditional family system does not work or is inadequate to modern realities.

But the truth is, families are failing precisely as the result of the destabilization created by the sexual ideologues. Not to give them credit, of course, Christians see this turn of events in modernity as the result of larger forces at work in history, namely Original Sin and general widespread concupiscence.

Also at work is a false opposition between science and faith since the Enlightenment.

In the generation, commonly called the "Baby Boomers," during these forces have accelerated promoting an unfortunate individualism and many people past childbearing age now contemplate the prospect of growing old alone. This sad prospect among the faithless, only fuels arguments for euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Perhaps the greatest joys and comforts amid the increasing aches, pains and discomforts of old age are children, particularly grandchildren. The tragedy of a life lived chiefly for oneself is that in the end that is all you are left with. This is one Christian definition of hell; the fruits of one's life ratified for all eternity: either the love of God and neighbor and the generosity of giving life to others, biologically or spiritually, resulting in an eternity of love in its ultimate fulfillment; or the opposite: the fruits of one's selfishness confining one to eternal darkness and solitary confinement. I recently heard quote that said "A man wrapped up in himself is a very small package."

Sexual pleasure divorced from all its incumbent responsibilities and sacrifices is also necessarily divorced from all it joys. Joy and pleasure are not the same thing. In fact pleasure for its own sake is often tragic, pathetic substitute for joy. St. Thomas Aquinas said, "No one can live without joy. That is why a man deprived of spiritual joy goes over to carnal pleasures." (Summa Theologica, IIa-IIae, 35.4 ad 2).

Sexual activity is not an end in itself, it leads somewhere and points to things beyond itself. Sexual activity always has consequences. In a happy, healthy marriage it leads to deeper union of husband and wife strengthening the marital bond in security and stability and flowering into a family which requires great security and stability based on love and commitment. Ultimately it points to union with God in Heaven and the consummation of all things in the Beatific Vision.

Outside of the marital bond there is a tearing, and sundering of the soul because nothing is being ratified, it is not the seal of a covenant but a theft and a lie, instead of unity there is greater alienation and loneliness, and a despair of the stable permanence for which the heart longs because the empty promise disappoints. Outside of marriage there is no home being built in the bed just a reminder of a terrible transience of a loveless life, nipping at the table scraps instead of being seated at the banquet of love.


Mallon is Contributing Editor for Inside the Vatican magazine. He can be reached at


John Mallon OK, US
John Mallon - Columnist,



Population Control, UNFPA, Marriage, Sexual Ethics

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.