Once or twice a month, I get to meet with some of my favorite people: the priests and pastoral associates of Priests for Life. These folks provide me with encouragement, wisdom and a plethora of ideas for spreading the pro-life message, particularly with regards to contraception. You, my dear reader, will notice that I am going to focus more and more on this subject from now on in this blog.
I am firmly convinced that reliance on contraceptive devices has erased all sense of rationality and stability in marital relationships. This chaos has spilled over into society, because when there is not peace and justice in the bedroom, how can there be peace and justice in other aspects of private and public life? There can't be.
Let's compare it to one's spiritual life. For the sake of argument, let's make our subject a priest. He is a parish priest, serving as the assistant pastor of a parish with 2500 families. The monsignor is getting older, and therefore many of the administrative duties fall on our young priest. He has to manage the finances of the parish, oversee the scheduling of all events in the Church, celebrate Mass two times per day, be available for all pre-cana and baptism prep classes, and runs the religious education program. He also serves on the board of the local pregnancy resource center and prays at the abortion clinic two mornings per week. Wow! He is a busy man! With all of this pastoral responsibility, it can be quite easy for our young priest to forget to take one or two hours out of each day to spend with Our Lord in prayer. One hour would consist of praying the Divine Office throughout the day, and the other hour would be spiritual reading, meditating on Scripture, silent prayer, and celebrating the Holy Mass.
But, as the days, weeks and months pass, our priest lets his personal prayer life slip farther and farther away, to the point that he rarely says the bare minimum requirements of the Office. His time is captivated by outward duties, and interiorly, he is in shambles. His productivity at the parish has been decreasing more and more. His spirit and willingness to serve have been eroded. Soon enough, all of his good works become moot because the purpose of his vocation is no longer met. He no longer yearns to love and serve God, but only sees his duties as a job. He no longer spends his time falling deeper and deeper in love with God, but spends his time making things appear sufficient in secular affairs.
Eek!! God forbid this happen to any priest. Let's apply this to marriage through the use of contraception. Couples begin their marriage committed to each other and their vocation. Each takes their role seriously to server the other and to sacrifice for the good of their marriage. In their goodness, they give life to 5 wonderful children. Outward pressures of children's extracurricular activities, parental involvement demands, more work hours to provide material goods for the children and other things drive these wonderful parents to resort to the use of contraception. They think they can handle no more children in their marriage.
Through the use of contraception, their love for each other fades. The no longer see each other as an equal person to be loved, but an object to be used for infrequent sexual gratification. Each is no longer willing to make even the small sacrifices for the other. They harbor grudges and resentments toward each other for small things, then for minor things, then for large things. A wedge is driven into their love, and in the end, there is no more commitment to one another or the great sacrament that they share together. They divorce. The children's faith and trust and innocence are destroyed. A bad example is given to the children of other families in their neighborhood. The courts get involved, dictating the every action of the parents' involvement in the lives of the children. The children are emotionally harmed beyond repair.
You see, without peace and justice in the bedroom, there cannot be peace and justice in the world.